Day 2: Laurenceburg, TN to Russellville, AL

Wow, what a day. Although technically today was shorter, we still had a fair amount of climbing as we rolled out of Tennessee and into Alabama. I can’t express enough how beautiful some of these roads are we’re riding down. Definitely a testament to the wisdom behind getting off the beaten path.

Highlight of the day was stopping to film our afternoon dedication at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. I’ll let you read the Wikipedia entry to get all the details, but suffice it to say, some of the most important sound recordings in history came out of this studio. Seriously heavy stuff. My musician dorkiness was goin’ off big time.

Day 1: Nashville to Laurenceburg, TN

Got through Day 1 of Week 3 without any major problems. We did about 88 miles from Nashville to Laurenceburg, TN. Total climbing of around 3800 ft. Now, I haven’t ridden anywhere near these distances of certainly climbed ANYTHING in a long long time. But the challenge is one I’m ready to grapple with.

The rest of the guys are all very cool. Some offering tips on how best to ride in a group. Others making adjustments to my position on the bike. Others just trying to offer me giant glasses of wine immediately following the ride (yikes).

USA Pro Cycling Challenge

I’ve been watching the USA Pro Cycling Challenge all week, and I have to say, what an amazing event that was. Stellar performances from all the participants, but especially big kudos to the top 5 in GC – all Americans! Great all around performance by Levi Leipheimer. Great stage win into Aspen by George Hincapie. Amazing performance by 22 year old Tejay Van Garderen. Mind-blowing sprint victories by Elia Viviani. Beautiful and leg-breaking routes through Colorado. Welcome back to big-time bike racing!

Top 5 in General Classification
1 Levi Leipheimer :00 20:00:24 RadioShack
2 Christian VandeVelde :11 20:00:35 Garmin Cervelo
3 Tejay Van Garderen :17 20:00:41 HTC Highroad
4 Tom Danielson :21 20:00:45 Garmin Cervelo
5 George Hincapie :53 20:01:17 BMC

Totally got me stoked for the ride in October, and cannot wait for next year’s edition. Congrats to all in Colorado for bringing another world-class bicycle race to the United States.

A Visit to Bike Lab

Bamboo Bike from Bike Lab in Greensboro, AL. Photo courtesy of Matt Allison.

Today I had the very special opportunity to visit the Bike Lab in Greensboro, AL. This concept was conceived of by Project M, a Design Lab based in Greensboro, Alabama, has teamed up with COMMON Works to turn some of that domestically grown bamboo into bicycle frames (read the background on that story here). This bamboo bike project is the focus of COMMON’s first Maniacal Business Attack (MBA), a “startup accelerator program that encourages visionaries and their newfound constituents to put their collective talents toward making change happen immediately and collaboratively.”

These bikes are beautiful to look at, but damn do I want to take one out for a spin!