2005 Tour to Tanglewood

The Tour to Tanglewood, our local MS 150 ride, celebrated its 20th anniversary this year; this was the second year I’ve ridden.

This year’s ride featured a new route, a Saturday century for those who wanted more than the usual 50 or 60 mile ride. About a dozen of our team members opted to do the century, and to avoid the rush (1,200+ riders) we left a half-hour before the official start.

Greensboro Velo at the Tour to Tanglewood
7:15 AM — Are we ready yet?

The combination of an early start and the optional century loops worked wonders for keeping us out of the main flow of traffic. One of the consequences of riding among a thousand cyclists, all moving at different speeds, is that you’re constantly trying to pass or be aware of those passing you. Add a few cars and it gets to be nerve-wracking.

Greensboro Velo at the Tour to Tanglewood
Mid-century. Taking a break in the shade.

No problems this year. There weren’t a lot of riders on the century route, so other than ten miles or so along the main route, we felt like we were on our own. The ride was mostly flat, with a few hills thrown into the middle. One quirk was a final loop that forced a repeat of the climb to the Tanglewood Park entrance. Fortunately, the climb’s not particularly steep so it was relatively easy to roll along at a nice pace.

My family met me at Tanglewood, and had our camp already set up. After a quick shower, we convened at Ralph’s Place (the traditional beer truck) for a cold one, some dinner, and after-dinner disco. A comfortably cool evening made sleeping enjoyable, then the next morning it was time to jump back on the bike.

One of my teammates put it this way: "Cyclists are pathological liars." She was referring to the group decision to take it easy on Sunday, a decision that went out the window right away. My legs were a bit tired from the day before, so I spun along at an easy pace, riding with a few GVC riders who weren’t in the mood to hammer. I got a second wind after the last rest stop, and upped the pace for the last 8 miles or so, all the way to the finish.

Miles for the weekend: Saturday – 106, Sunday – 46.

A notable first (for me, anyway): This was the first time I’ve completed two centuries in one month.

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