Tuesday, September 26, 2006

An Instant Ago

(Are we at this Meadow again?! l-r, Woodhouse, Starkey, Lori, Pete, Sally, Liz, McMahon, Steph, Gilmer and Robert gather at foot of Grandfather Mountain in NC.)

Excerpts from editorial published in Lenoir News Topic last week:
View the entire article.

Virginia Beach-based Tripower Cycling Club and friends join the Bridge to Bridge 100-mile peloton to take on Grandfather each year. The Beach pack has been 10, 12 sometimes 16 riders strong over the past 9 years. We have all but patented the “I live in the flats” excuse given to cyclists we meet during this mountain century and take pride in telling fellow riders that many parts of the Hampton Roads region are even below sea level.

Jim, John and Gene finished in the top 50 in 2002. The following year, Katrina and Richard both ascended Grandfather after having bailed early the year before. Last year, 62-year-old Pete completed the ride. It was his first mountain ride. Ever. And his daughter Sally was the first Hampton Roads woman to ever break a 6-hour finish time.

“Just being in that group of all the athletes is an ego trip. It’s such a great feeling being on the start line with the team and other superb athletes from all over the country,” Woodhouse said.


The pre-ride dinner yarns at Lenoir Sagebrush were as colorful as the mass start pageantry. This year, we badgered Robert for mysteriously retiring from cycling for six months immediately following last year’s B2B and for scheduling his upcoming wedding around this year’s event. We lied a bit to first timers Mike and Gilmer about the last two miles up Grandfather. We joked about strapping our timing chips onto Gilmer’s front handlebars since he was the clear favorite for reaching the top first. We talked about food intake strategy and hydration.

“The game faces were on and the drinkers didn’t drink,”
Sally Tempest said.

Woodhouse's 12-year B2B history all came together at mile 60 when the serious climbing started. Every year, he starts up the Route 181 ascent only to discover the “entire year has passed by in an instant, and here I am doing it again. It never seems like it’s been a year. It feels like I was just there an instant ago.”

Bill Gilmer and Gene Rutledge placed in the top 50 finishers and Sally Tempest was the third woman across the line. Six others in our group completed the ride, and mechanicals forced two to abandon at the 80-mile mark.

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