Paris & Hightower: Two “mountain” 200k

https://www.strava.com/activities/364320544

Ugh. I couldn’t get a handle on this ride.I started seriously watching what I eat this week and ended up feeling ill on Thursday and Friday. Just felt like I couldn’t digest anything. I think that was due to unintentionally not eating enough vegetables, just kind of stopped up feeling. Anyway, I had a good start, rode up Old Hwy 41 in the dark and really liked the low traffic and easy rolling hills. Got seriously creeped out climbing in the dark on Green Ridge. Felt like something from Silent Hill was going to jump out and grab me. Got a little chilly descending down to Dabbs Bridge but not too bad.

Heading west on Braswell Mountain road I saw a super sad looking German Shepard. Stopped and gave it half a powerbar and a whole clif bar. I ended up driving up later and getting it some water. No collar, didn’t know any commands so I guess it was wild.

Moving through Rockmart I missed my turn since the road had a different name then the one on my cue sheet. Ended up +6 miles to my ride and was pretty miffed since it was all Silver Comet. The first climb was Paris Mtn and it was actually really nice. My stomach felt like a ball of lead so I really only gave it what I felt like was 75% but the climb is really nice. Just steep enough to be challenging but I could see making it really hard with a solid attack and just trying to push through.

Second climb was on Hightower which is about the same difficulty but feels much harder since it has a steeper initial kick and doesn’t wind as much so you always feel like you’re climbing. I hit a mile or two of gravel between Hightower and Browning and it was really tense riding trying to avoid a pinch flat. This bothered me so much I actually got off my butt and ordered a 650B frame and wheelset so I can ride pretty much any road I find without stressing. The rest of the ride was a total death march. I didn’t realize it at the time but I had way underfed so I was really losing energy. My stomach was still blocked and I just couldn’t digest anything. I also picked the worst route ever to come back by. Usually I just roll down the easy rollers on Holly Springs/Canton or Old Hwy 41 but this time it was all little ring rollers across Paulding County. Ugh. Lots of intersections with no street signs.

I briefly considered taking the Silver Comet back from Dallas since it would be way easier but I was fortified by a note from my Girlfriend I had stuck under my cuesheet earlier that morning so I decided to follow the original route. I was so blown, just trying to turn the pedals for 2+ hours was a nightmare. I did find a couple cool tools but man I will not be on those roads for a while, not a fun route. I don’t think I’ve been so happy to be home, ever.

So overall, I’m glad I did the route but I need to come back and try these climbs again, hopefully with more enjoyable way back!

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