Greg Grossart

Personal Summary

Work hard, play harder

Integrity can only be measured by how we act when no one is looking.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 22:37-39)

Married to my best friend & fellow adventurer since 1997

Greg Grossart

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

2009 3 State 3 Mountain

My third 3S3M is in the books and it was another tough but rewarding ride due to both the course and the crazy weather. After optimistically saying "it can't be worse than last year" several times on Friday night, we were met at the start with overcast skies. Literally a minute before the ride started, the drizzle began to fall and quickly turned into a torrential downpour for the first 30 miles. Although it was raining harder this year, at least the lightning wasn't striking the ground (which delayed last year's start by 30 minutes) and the air temperature was a bit warmer. Also on the plus side, the rain seems to keep people riding a bit more sensibly than they otherwise might. Fresh legs, dry roads, and event excitement can be a recipe for cyclists losing their minds and riding stupid.

It was easy to ignore the rain on the first big climb up Suck Creek Mountain. The energy output of the climb coupled with the thrill of biking past other riders really keeps you warm. Once over the top, the warmth quickly turned into chills as the heavy rain and speed of the descent made for low visibility and shivers. Although I was able to somewhat control my speed on the descent (bicycle brakes just don't work as well as usual under those conditions), I was mainly worried about being hit from behind by a faster descender. Part of the way down, I made a quick stop to turn on my "blinky" and I was off towards the bottom. Once the descent was over, I thought about how bad the other two descents would be in rain that heavy. After a quick stop at the first SAG to put my jacket on, Mike Garrison caught up and we pretty much stayed together the rest of the day.

After about 30 miles of riding, the rain let up for the most part and though the roads were still quite wet, we got to really enjoy the remainder of the ride. I think the adversity of the first part of the ride really helped to bring out camaraderie among the riders. While I and fellow IndyRootstockers Mike Garrison and Michael Sapper (who we picked up at the second SAG) spent most of the ride together, it was also fun riding and chatting with different groups of people along the way. After making it to the finish, we got to enjoy the post race pizza and beer (which we really felt like we earned!). Our crew stayed at the finish line ringing cowbells and cheering on the other finishers who endured the weather and full century ride.

The Chattanooga Bicycle Club and the city of Chattanooga really put on a first class event. The route is well planned and very fun/challenging. The SAGS are well spaced, well stocked, and run by great volunteers. And, the police control at nearly every intersection along the way is the best I have ever seen at a cycling event. I look forward to participating in this event again (and again) in the future.