15 June 2006

BRAG Day 5 - Gainesville to Commerce

Yesterday, after my update, I went bowling with the kids. I am not a bowler, but it was fun. Then, the family dropped me off at camp and left for Atlanta.

I had dinner. Then it was time to hang out until bedtime. Steve and Riley showed up and I helped them set up their camp. We listened to a really good bluegrass/country band. Then, we called it a night.

In the morning, my legs felt great! Todays stage was relatively short, about 43 or 44 miles on the route sheet. Plus, it was not as hilly. There was more downhill than uphill today.

On one of the early hills, I got to give a good push to a friend. I rode with Steve and Riley almost all day. We rode past some areas that were vaguely familiar to me, the Chateau Elan winery/resort and the Mayfield Dairy, where most of the riders bought some ice cream. We took a couple of pictures of the giant Mayfield cow.

The final stretch was a long uphill to Commerce Middle School, our host for the night. The town had some cheerleaders at the entrance area, to cheer in all the riders as they finished. It was the best welcome that we have had yet. I had gotten a ways ahead of Steve and Riley, so I turned around and rode back down the hill to rejoin them at the bottom. The second time up the hill was much more difficult. I finished just behind Riley and Steve.

We found our bags. I set up camp. Steve and Riley went and found Steve's wife. It was time for them to go home. They have a wedding to go to this weekend. I have really enjoyed getting to know them. I will miss hanging out and riding with them.

Steve and I have commented several times this week that we have been able to feel ourselves getting stronger. Even as I had very sore muscles on Tuesday, I was climbing really well. It was this growing strength that allowed me to push other riders.

Today's stats:
46.19 mi.
3:28:17
38.1 max.
13.2 avg.

HRM
5:37:59 (includes setting up camp)
131 avg. Hr
205 max. Hr

Until tomorrow.

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