Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The 3 Gap 50 - Woody Gap

I was going through my old blogs today, and I discovered that I never finished blogging about the September 28th 3 Gap 50 bike ride. I failed to highlight not only the best part of the bike ride, but arguably the best 8 miles I have ridden all year -- the descent from Woody Gap.

The climb up Woody Gap completes the Neels/Wolf Pen/Woody/ "Gap" trilogy. Woody is the shortest and least steep of the three mountains. But the prize isn't the climb. It's the descent. It's long. It's fast. You reach speeds approaching 40 mph without trying. It has decreasing radius turns, sweeping turns, and tight turns. The road is an amusement park roller coaster -- and not a new state-of-the-art coasters made of metal and designed by NASA computers. It's an old rickety wooden coasters that's loud, rickety, and gives you the sensation that at any moment the car could jump the track. It's a ton of fun, but it's not to be taken lightly. The road demands respect.

Once Jim and I reached the final rest stop at the Woody Gap summit, we were reminded of what could happen if you screw up. Behind the table of sports drinks and carbohydrates, was a rider laying on his back with a cold cloth across his head. In the distance the faint wail of a siren could be heard, and it was growing louder. Soon, an ambulance pulled in. After a brief exam, the rider was on the gurney, loaded in the back, and he was on his way to the hospital. Afterward I heard the story of what happened. Reportedly he got spooked by a passing car, misjudged a turn and crashed into a guardrail. A motorist traveling in the opposite direction stopped, gave him aid and a ride back to the summit rest stop. The bent aluminum and carbon fiber which used to be his immaculately tuned bike lay abandoned in the grass. His injuries did not look too serious, but he certainly had a big hit.

Below are the videos of Jim and my descent. I haven't figured out the reasons why, but Jim is faster on the downhills then me. If I am in his draft, I can hang with him. But if I lose his slip stream, I can't catch him. He slowly pulls away.

It took 14 minutes to cover the 8 mile descent. Youtube has a rule that no video can be longer than 10 minutes, so it's broken up into two parts.

Here is Part 1 :

and Part 2:

Speed is Good!

1 comment:

kpg said...

Have you already considered weight? Does Jim weigh more than you?