Friday, November 27, 2015

Weekend Camp

This past weekend Sara and I hosted our first weekend cycling camp. This has been something we have been wanting to do for a while, and we are glad we did it. We kept it low key because we wanted it to be an exclusive event where everyone could interact and get to know each other.  Our goal was to provide ride food made from scratch, some great routes, a support car, and to show off a few of the great places Greenville has to offer.

We kicked things off with coffee at Methodical in downtown Greenville. We had a great time drinking coffee and chatting about the weekend ahead. For the first day we did a 92 mile ride with 8500 feet of climbing. The Watershed Climb was the first challenge of the weekend. At this time of year all the leaves have fallen from the trees, and beautiful reservoirs that are hidden behind trees in the summer can be seen as you head up the watershed. Then we rolled through Saluda and screamed down the wide open Saluda Grade. Next we climbed Skyuka Mountain Road (4 miles @9%), the hardest climb of the weekend with arguably the most rewarding view at the top. Then we came back up the Saluda Grade via the Pearson Falls dirt road climb. I like this climb because there is a creek that winds along this quiet backroad through the woods. I didn't hear a single banjo. Then we descended back down the watershed and took some rolling roads back to Traveler's Rest. During the last few miles into Traveler's Rest we hit some drizzle, but it did not ruin a super day on the bike. Here's a link to Saturday's ride on Strava:

Day two started at Tandem Coffee Shop and Creperie in downtown Traveler's Rest. If you have never been there before, this place offers a large variety of crepes. All flavors on the menu are delicious! After we were all creped and caffeined up we headed out for a 62 mile ride with 5000 feet of climbing to Caesar's Head and back. We went out on some secluded backroads. Then we tackled Caesar's Head, which is one of the longest climbs around at 7.2 miles @5%. We headed back on some different roads than we came out on. We loved Tandem so much in the morning that we went there once again post ride. Here's a link to Sunday's ride on Strava:

This was a fun and positive experience. People did longer rides than they normally do and some riders suffered through some climbs they had never done before. Jordan and Spencer impressed us both days by the way they attacked the climbs and pushed the pace on the flats. This was a great opportunity to help people grow as riders and push to new limits. Kenneth and Nick showed their resilience by battling through both days. Willie and Simon (the only teammates at the camp) demonstrated textbook teamwork by trading pulls at the bottom of climbs. Both Josh and Clint bravely tackled Skyuka for the first time at this camp. As a professional cyclist, I considered these two solid days of training which makes it all the more impressive these guys were able to get through them because they all have day jobs. We came into this event wanting to learn as much as we could and use that information to provide a better product going forward, and we learned a lot. The ride food was a big hit and the riders were excited to get their hands on food that wasn't prepackaged. I want to thank everyone who came to the camp for coming out to our first event. I would also like to thank Nate Evans from Velo Valets for helping with sag support this weekend. We had super weather, and we all had a great time. Look out for similar events in the future.