Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Camp Evotri 2012 - Day 2

After a successful first day in Chattanooga, Team Evotri was ready to take on some serious terrain. Most of Friday's HUB Happy Hour and dinner conversation surrounded about the next day's climbs. Friend of HUB David convinced the adventurous to tackle Roberts Mill Road (1,086 foot gain @ 12.1%) and the rest of us would tackle something a bit more on the sane side of things.

Chris with an all-knowing smile, "Does JP know what he's in for?"
Once again, the Tennessee River did not disappoint in the morning. It's one thing to be on vacation, and see the sun rise over the steady pulses of waves pound the shore. But, it's a whole other experience to watch steam rise from a mighty and powerful working river that has cut a path deep into Earth, leaving great hills to climb on bikes.

Off we went as a team. The hearty would challenge Roberts Mill Road, of which only two souls in the history of bike riding have made it to the top in the big chain ring. Matt, JP, and Chris followed David up -- straight up -- while the rest of the team joined Anthony and Andy and followed the brave marching into battle. We got as far as the bottom, where it tips up at an unfathomable pitch. We offered some feeble words of encouragement and continued on to our climb.

Onward we rode, until one final rest stop when Andy said it would be a right then a left and then up. One by one, we peeled off at our own pace. Rob burnt some matches early and was off the front but was quickly reeled in by Michelle, who increased her pace as she climbed and pushed on ahead towards the top. Stu kept his wheels spinning, sometimes singing a tune. Sara discovered two additional gears and made it to the top in style.

All smiles at the top
The crew reconvened at the house and set off for some southern BBQ. Real honest-to-goodness BBQ, highly recommended by all the locals. You know it's good when from the outside it bears no resemblance to a restaurant whatsoever.

But the R&R didn't last for very long. Trash talk between Team Michelle and Team Stu began early in the training camp preparation. With the river right out our back door, the afternoon swim was going to be a relay, a perfect venue for the Showdown. Four teammates crossed to the other side of the approximately 250m wide river while the other four stayed on the near shore. One length each for a nice workout. Michelle, JP, Sara, and Rob (Team Michelle) went up against Stu, Sarah, Chris, and Matt (Team Stu.) The battle was hot right from the get-go, with Stu setting the early pace and just out-distancing Michelle across the water. The river pulled Chris off course a bit, so JP made up the difference. The Sara(h)s matched paces and it was a dead heat between Matt & Rob on the final leg. Eager Inch took off like a shot, and wise-old Rob settled in behind for a draft. But the earlier hills did in the wise, but out-of-shape Rob and Matt prevailed to give Team Stu the inaugural victory.

What weekend on the river wouldn't be complete without eating burgers from the grill, sipping on limoncello and other local drinks, and siting around a campfire and toasting S'Mores? We couldn't let the opportunity pass us by.  Plus, there's Sasquatch to communicate with. Alas, all good things must come to an end and most of us were in bed early, resting up for our final day.