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Mountains of Misery--all 200 km of them
Yesterday the new cassette body arrived by priority mail from John at Neuvation. Following the instructions on his website, I easily installed the new unit on the axle and reinstalled the cassette and voila! the Tarmac is back in business. And a good thing too as tomorrow I leave for Blacksburg, VA and the fabled Cycling Doubleheader. On Saturday I will do the Wilderness Road Ride, where I have a choice of rolling hills in routes that go from 25 miles to 78--dare I go all the way this year for the first time? On Sunday comes the main dish: the Mountains of Misery Double Metric Century with a whole heap o' hard climbing. Having lost 20 pounds since January 1st and now outfitted with one of the best bikes you can get, I am looking forward to this challenge.
Unfortunately, the two friends I met on my very first MoM way back in May 2003 will not be able to ride with me. Jeff is volunteering at the Kelly Cup, his team's annual race, near Baltimore, while poor Ralph the Badger is recovering from a broken hip in Colorado. But I will dedicate my ride to them and the hills will become the Mountains of Mirth. On Monday I will ride out of the Hotel Roanoke and go up Mill Mountain, my traditional recovery ride, before a screaming descent back into town and an espresso at the Mill Mountain Coffee Shop.
The weather for all four days I will be away looks perfect. I plan to come back tan and relaxed and even lighter. I may even have photos of more than the usual en route food stops that I always seem to take at century rides. More anon!