Sunday, August 26, 2007

Nimbelwill Rain Festival

This weekend was the Nimbelwill Mountain Bike Festival in North Georgia. The poker ride has always been a favorite of Raja's, so we cleared the calender for the all important event. Saturday was to be an easy 3 hr road ride so as not to burn out the legs for Sunday's festivities.

We rounded up 5 of our roadie friends for an early morning ride. I fell for the oldest trick in the book, "we're tired of hammering, just want to go easy." Yea, yea, wish I had a dime for every time I've heard that line. My legs were still heavy and not yet recovered from the week of climbing. I stuck to my guns and kept my heart rate where I wanted it, while watching the hammerheads pull away on every climb. It was still a nice ride on new roads for me, and I always enjoy these guys' company. Satisfied that we got in exactly 3 hrs for the day, I spent a good hour stretching and rolling my legs to prepare for Sunday.

We arrived Sunday morning bright and early, ready to map out a strategy for getting the most "punches" for our poker hand. Roger managed to get a map early on and poured over the punch locations to plan our our route. He knows every one of these trails; mark one, advantage for us.

We started at 9:30 and had 4 hrs to get as many punches as possible (8 total possible). Of course, the wild card punch was at the top of the long delightful climb up Winding Stair. After a quick diversion to get a punch on NoTell, we started the lovely climb up, up, up. Things were going along swimmingly. We reached the top, punched away (well, Mike was so excited about being the first up that he forgot to punch his card), then turned around to descend back down.

I was flying down the road, when all of a sudden, Mr.Bee decides to make a bulls eye between my legs, to my.....AAAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

Ouch! Thanks alot, Mr. Bee!!!! I almost ripped my shorts off, but I remembered Mike was behind me, so I thought better of it. I popped an Allegra in my mouth, and tried not to focus on the PAIN! I can't emphasize strongly enough how much I believe in immunotherapy. Being in my 4th year of getting monthly shots, I no longer have to be afraid of getting stung. I used to be allergic to all stinging insects, and had to carry an epi pen. But I no longer have the reactions since I have been getting the shots. So, if you are allergic, go to your allergist and get started!

Our plan continued to work out great, with Raja leading the way. We got punch #3, #4, and were on our way to #5. At this rate, we're going to get 7 for sure. Then, KaBoom, Crash, Bolt of Lightening, drops of rain. Hmmm. A passing thunderstorm to cool us off? After 10 minutes of rain pelting down harder and harder, it became evident that our plans were going to change. The trails turned quickly to mud, slippery, ice slick mud. Glasses became useless, eyes became useless, brakes were useless, THIS is useless!

We found punch #5, barely, and continued bravely on with valiant thoughts of no surrender. Secretly we were all thinking something else. As we approached the climb/descent leading us to punch #6, Raja spoke up, voicing our thoughts. We ditched our efforts and headed back to camp. But as we neared the camp, it was obvious that it wasn't raining near the last punch. We had enough time to make the Black Falls punch before the 4 hr deadline. All was not in vain!

3 hrs 8 min, and only 27 miles, a bee sting, 10 lbs of mud, and soaked to the bone.
You gotta love mountain biking! I can only think of one Nimblewill Festival that I've done where I didn't ride in the rain. Either '95 or '96. The year I also won a mountain bike! This year I got a decent hand, and won a Yakima bike rack, and Raja scored a bike computer!

Do not adjust your screen:
That's Mike, in the above picture, riding in the rain before it
really started coming down!


James Bigler said...

I am excited you started a blog. I love reading your stories you post.

Glad you guys had fun this weekend. My nephew and I rode again at Blankets. I took some pics and will post later.

Sorry about the bee sting. Oooouuuccch!

Becky said...

Now I can confidently say you are officially the toughest gal I know. To be stung there and keep riding - How?!!?!??? Well keep it up! We love following your adventures.