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Upstate Winter Bike League Ride (1/22)

I’ve done plenty of group rides since I’ve been up at school, but the ride I attended this past weekend deserved a post. With all the key qualities of an epic ride (nice mileage, poor weather, big group, flat tires, etc.), I’ll be sure to be heading back for more! This ride that some of the team went to attend last weekend in Greenville, SC was the Upstate Winter Bike League (UWBL) ride. Advertised as being a hilly and fast 4.5 hour ride with two attack zones, I was definitely up for it!

With upwards of 100 riders at the start, many of whom appeared to be in the higher tier categories (Pro,1,2), it was going to be an awesome ride. Rolling out, it was around 25°F and cloudy, so there was a good bit of complaining coming from the pack for the first hour or so! Once the sun finally came out and it warmed up a bit, we were able to take off some of the thicker layers and really be able to enjoy the ride. By the time the first sprint zone came I was ready for a pick up in the pace and was getting jittery. As the ride leader blew his whistle to announce the start, the attacks began almost instantly. With no idea where the end was, I was happy with being able to keep up with the main leading group and put in a few hard efforts.

After the mid-ride store stop, the pace either picked up or I was beginning to feel the effects of the ride! Regardless, a lot of people were beginning to struggle, especially with the hills, but with a van following behind for support nobody was left behind. As the second sprint zone was fast approaching, I moved up as quick as possible to the front of the now-shrunken pack. Again, as the starting whistle blew, the first attack went. With all of us from the team up towards the front we made several good attempts at getting off the front, but with no telling how far away the sprint was, it was difficult to make any headway. I made several attacks when I thought we were nearing the end, but little did I know it was only around the halfway point! After discovering this I stayed in the main pack and enjoyed the fast-paced ride back into town.

With about 95 miles in that kind of hilly terrain, I was very happy with my ride. After the easy drive back to Mars Hill, I put the legs up for a little while to rest up for another hard effort the next day. The UWBL ride next week is supposed to be a 107 mile ride from Greenville, SC to Waterloo, SC and back with a fair amount of climbing. I’m not too sure if I’ll be attending with the first race the following weekend, but we’ll see what happens!

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