Asheville Camp: Day 7

DZ Associate Coach & Webmaster, Mike Mahoney, at DZ Blue Ridge Endurance Triathlon Camp 2012

by Mike Mahoney

Day 7 at asheville-spring-2013/#top1″>Asheville Spring Training Camp 2013!

“There’s a #&%[email protected] Pee Break?!?

“What Part Of Your Bike Is Missing?”

Geri before the Assault on The Carolinas Bicycle Race, April 13, 2013Race morning. The weatherman has been calling for rainy nasty cold all week. The locals tell us that weather from the north hits the mountains and won’t be a problem. The locals are right. Race morning is a bit chill as Coach, Geri, James, and I get ready, drive to Brevard, and set up for the race, but then it turns beautiful. Warm and sunny is more like it. A perfect day for a bike race in the spectacular Carolinas.

Coach has been giving us triathletes a crash course in bicycle racing. To start with, it’s not illegal to draft–riding close behind another competitor to reduce air resistance–and this changes the whole race dynamic. Cyclists move in big packs and the advantage from drafting is so pronounced that there are strategies and teamwork taking place all the time. There’s a whole code of etiquette of which we are largely ignorant. Our aero bars, DZ jerseys and tri gear clearly mark us as outsiders. Everyone’s welcoming and nice, but just a bit leery of riding near us.

Geri finishes the Assault on The Carolinas Bicycle Race, April 13, 2013The race goes off, for us, with what I’m going to call “eventful success.” Several cyclists go careening off into the ditch, one right in front of me, but we four manage to stay on our bikes, and on the road. James and Coach Mike worked as a team in the lead pack, and James discovered an astounding bit of cycling etiquette: the entire 50-rider lead pack will stop for a pee during the race. Not kidding. The plan was working well until Coach’s crank fell off, at the bottom of the monumental Caesar’s Head mountain climb, of course. Coach went up Caesar’s head on one pedal. Still not kidding. And the race is a bit more than a metric century at 105.55 km, as James found out after sprinting from 99 km. Geri and I had fun but uneventful races, by comparison. Oh, and did I mention that James led the race for a good chunk of it?

James finished way up in the front group while Coach Mike was labouring up Caesar's Head.  But James took his bike and did a repeat of the last few kilometres to finish with Mike.Assault on The Carolinas isn’t a terribly formal race. There’s no electronic timing, though there is a segment for the race on Strava. I haven’t seen any results, and the medal is a mardi-gras beaded necklace with a beer can attached. (Awesome!) What the race does offer is a friendly but competitive atmosphere and an incomparably beautiful course. Highly recommended.

We met many great people, among them a surprising number of Canadians. Nicole texted me a picture of the ice in Ontario–maybe none of us wanted to be home. In any case, Canucks were the fourth-largest jurisdiction represented.

After the race.Here’s a shot of us hanging out after the race.

Of course, we had to drink beer, eat tacos and lasagna, and do pushups!

Tomorrow, Geri has to depart for the frozen north, but Michelle arrives for her week of training.

Discomfort Zone Triathletes just love pushups.

Ride on;