I questioned turning my bike around and heading right back to Columbus a few times on the road out of town yesterday morning, it was hard to pull away from my bed, friends and family especially with some hard days of riding that lay ahead of us. We cruised through downtown Columbus before heading south out of the city along flat roads for the first 20 or so miles before things really got going for the day. After being off for a few days over the weekend the shock of the first couple of climbs as we neared Hocking Hills State Park was felt by everyones legs as our speeds rapidly dropped as we struggled up them in our "granny"/"bail out" gears. We spent the next 70 miles climbing, descending and then doing it all over again, it really kept things interesting to say the least. I had ridden to Athens previously with other group rides and never remembered the number or severity of the climbs we had, I think the lead van was actively searching them out or something. We ended up with right around 3600 feet of climbing for the day which isn't a huge number but was definitely enough to up the dosage of ibuprofen that night as we hammered them pretty hard overall. It was very overcast for most of our ride, we even rode through some light sprinkles for a couple of miles early on but as soon as we pulled into our destination the sky opened up and it just poured, sometimes it pays off to ride fast.
We arrived in Athens around 2 pm and our event with the med students didn't begin until 6 so we ended up killing a lot of time in the student union in the middle of campus, we checked out the cafeteria, played some pool and grabbed some quick naps. The presentation to the students went really well and was attended by a lot of people who were very receptive of our message and mission. We had home-stays arranged for our lodgings so Roshan and I got to go home after the event with one of the new faculty members at the college of medicine, she had beds for both of us which was a welcomed surprise at the end of a long day. Big day of climbing coming up, No Chain!
One of the few flat sections that allowed us to form a paceline on.
When this is located on top of a hill, you know you've climbed a lot.