|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Looping around Gibson Mountain and High Top Mountain, which sit at the top of the loop made for some semi-hard climbing--certainly more sustained than in DC. Plenty of false flats and then small ramps that sent me reaching deep into the suitcase of courage, pedaling squares at only 8 mph. The descents were fantastic, but what went down quickly went back up. I was doing plenty of work with both the big and small ring, and a fair amount of work up and down the cassette. This ride had many of moments of learning and exertion. Not a bad way to end the third decade of my life and enter the fourth...soloing amongst the hills and hollows of the Blue Ridge, which as we know are the mountains of heart.