Back in Bethel after our trip to Asheville, NC.
Members of the Gould road team had a great trip to Asheville, NC over the past week.
We rode on six of the seven days of the trip. The first day was a very short “suburban circuit ride” until it got too dark around Madison’s neighborhood. It was a short shakedown ride, and no one hit a parked car or trash can. On day two we departed Pennsylvania, stopping to ride near Roanoke, Virginia on mountain pass road, violating my rule to avoid roads with the word “hill” or “mountain” in them. We got to ride about 20 miles with a bit of climbing, and even a short stint on the closed Blue Ridge Parkway.
The drive to Asheville turned exciting when we realized we were lost in Tennessee, and the road devolved into a series of switchbacks, in the snow. This put us on the wrong side of the mountain from Hailey Sarausky, who we were planning to pick up on the way down. We arrived at our humble abode at around 2:30AM. The rode to our house was steep and had switchbacks, making access with the van and trailer a challenge.
Day three we took the van much of the way up to the Blue ridge parkway and did another 20 miles with lots of climbing and too much cold. There was ice in one tunnel, and snow at the top near Mount Pisgah. The descent all the way to our house was epic, for those still warm enough to tackle the 30 to 40 switchbacks and thousands of feet of descent.
Day four, we did a longer ride, closer to 30 miles, going east from our house, towards Asheville. We encountered lots of beautiful rolling farmland, but still plenty of climbing. We then drove to Warren Wilson college, met with their coach, and picked up Robbie Leeson and headed back to Asheville for the “Ring of Fire” circuit race. Max, Kyer, Melissa, Robbie, and Catherine Harnden all raced around the 500m track and all did very well. It was a very exciting event with many sprint laps. We finally took everyone out for pizza at the Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company. (We had to stick to the pizza part).
Day five we went for a tour of Biltmore House, the largest house in the United States. It was reminiscent of the European palaces. The afternoon was spent riding to the west of our house, another rolling, climbing ride ending on Groundhog road. Catherine took Max and Kyler on a mountain biking ride to Brevard. That night we had Catherine and Izzy Cohan over to the house for our last night in Candler.
Day six we met Hailey Sarausky on our way back to Pennsylvania, and got to see Lees McRae college, and meet with her coach. We then drove all the way through to South Wales, PA arriving around 10:00PM, our only day without riding a bike.
Day seven, we rode in the morning in PA, a beautiful 23 mile ride, with a few, but not so many hills, and then left for Bethel.
A fun filled, busy week. Now back to classes and a big group of new riders…