We left Stacie’s early yesterday and did the 5 hour drive from Louisville. It is a super pretty drive to Knoxville and then it skirts the Great Smokey Mt. National Park and then to Asheville.
We got here and unpacked at the hotel. Trudi was pretty nervous about getting her wrist band and figuring out the parking situation, so she took off and I dressed cozy warm and rode over. Asheville is pretty hilly and I was a little lost trying to get across the river, but meandered my way over to the Biltmore Estates.
I bought the wristband for $16.05 (photo below) and then rode the next 3 miles through the estate to the course. It was pretty cold, upper 20’s, but the wind was constant. Trudi got the last parking space at the venue parking and I found the car and striped down a little.
First the course. It is super cool. I like it a lot. It is pretty much on the side of a wooded hill with a couple super steep climbs, run-ups, off-camber descents, technical stuff. The field section is great too, a couple u-turns, a couple fly-overs, just a fun, hard course to ride. But it is dry. If it get wet, then it is going to be beyond technical, really too much. They probably have a contingency for that, I’d hope, but didn’t see any “rain alternative” course marking.
There is one ride up that is going to be a run-up for most of the racers, until Sunday. It is super steep and it too hard for a 39 x 28. I’m looking for some compact cranks for Wednesday.
I have to say I felt pretty great riding over to the course and back. Like super good. Not sure if it was from not riding yesterday or what, but I was climbing seated, with plenty of power. That is the good side.
The bad side was that I fell and hurt myself. It remains to be seen how badly, but as of now, I can am hurt. I was going down the steepest descent to a road and my phone rang, I got a little crossed up and launched over the bars. I landed on my side and have some rib issues. But I’ve hurt my ribs a ton and can race with that pain.
My real problem is my good thumb. My left one. It is hurt. I’m not exactly sure how bad. I think it is broken, pretty low, near the wrist, but sometimes I’m wrong. I called Stacie and we’re on the same page. See how it is and take appropriate action. It really doesn’t matter if it is broken or not, it doesn’t work. I iced it all night, ate half a bottle of ibuprofen and wrapped it tightly in Coban. I’m going to head over to the course and see if I can hold onto the brake lever this morning. I couldn’t yesterday. Sleeping last night was pretty non-existent. Pretty tweaked.
There is very limited time to ride today. I can get my thumb, and ribs I guess, x-rayed, and maybe I will today, but not before I go over to the course. I’m pretty sure there is anything to be done in one day. The course is open from 11:50 – 12:30.
Okay, I still have a day and a half and am not panicked yet, but am close. I might be after I ride, but not just yet.