Yeah "The Sunday After New Years Day Lake Loop" went down in the books this past weekend. Not the most pleasant of conditions. Unless you were of Belgium descent. Everyone claimed to have had a good time. Not sure I 100% believe that. Plan was to loop Lake Murray with a low traffic route as always, and that's exactly what we did. 10 riders departed from the DMV at 10 a.m.
The route would take the group across the recently finished dam. Though the view of Lake Murray was covered in fog. As the group navigated the wet back roads of Lexington County on the way to Saluda County. A near miss from a disgruntle driver in a black SUV. Passing the group on a two lane bridge with oncoming traffic. All this 100' from our turn.
One scheduled stop at the traffic circle on Hwy 391. One sleeve of Crunch Gem Doughnuts & a Coke later the group saddles up and hit the road again. Pushing on down Hwy 391, heading into Newberry County. Another view of the lake from the West end. Hwy 391 was a bit busy at times. Mixed with rain and fog this was the perfect settings for a terrifying ride. Along 391 was the very spot were I began to self implode. My hammy decided to go on lock down. How unfortunate. Dropped on my own ride. As I watched the group head on down the road.
No worries just ride a manageable pace. Pushed on past the group waiting. To keep moving was the key to not giving up. Jamie pulls up beside me and kept my pace, as to inspire. The dirt (or mud) section was coming up soon. The excitement slowly crept into my veins. All of a sudden the pain was gone. Dodging the puddles and picking the best lines through the gravel section. It was over quickly. Probably only a 1/2 mile or so.
Soon after the pain was back. Dangling from the group once again. My own pace took back over. Luckily for me Gabe was running a Safety Sag at the rear of the group. For the entire ride Gabe just hung off the back with his hazards on. Offering up a motor paced assist. I tried several attempts to salvage the morale; but it was not happening. I motioned for Gabe to stop. I loaded up my soaking ass self and finished the remaining 10 miles in sag vehicle.
It has been a long time since I've bailed on a ride. That is what I get for not riding as of late. The best thing is this. The FIRE has been lit.
(photos courtesy of Gabe & more @ HBW blog)
(title courtesy of Nick)