I'm here back at home after a legendary time in Tiger, Georgia with the rest of the Hot Tubes team. When I last updated my blog we were planning on climbing Brasstown Bald the next day. The Brasstown Bald is the same decisive climb that was used in the Tour of Georgia. We did about a twenty mile ride to the base of the climb. One of the hardest things about Brasstown is the lead-in for the climb. For about 7 miles before the climb actually starts, there are a bunch of rolling hills that take a lot out of the legs. When we got to the base of the 2.5 mile climb with parts over a 20% grade, Stuart got to the front and set a steady tempo. The group stayed together until about one of the steepest section on the climb. Stuart rode ahead of everyone with Gavin behind him, and Anders and I behind Gavin. This part of the climb was so steep that if you only did about 10 seconds of really hard pedal strokes you could easily make up a ton of time. This is what I did and I found myself riding alongside Gavin. I did the same thing and was able to pull ahead of Gavin and got about 5-10 seconds behind Stuee. I then tried to ride at a steady pace and finished the climb in second place with a time of 17:17. We weren't able to climb to the very top of the mountain because the next mile was a walkway and is only accessible on foot. We then finished out the day with for about four hours at around 65-70 miles. The rest of the days were along the same pattern. On Wednesday, we went out on a 75 mile ride to figure out how to use the iBikes that we are going to be using this season. For the final miles of the ride, we did a mock race where some cheating was involved such as Stuee and Downtown Nate Brown drafting behind the team van and blowing by everyone else at 45+ mph. Later that night we went to the movie theater to see State of Play. The next day, Thursday, we were planning on riding three mountain passes, Hog Pen (the climb we did the first day), Brasstown, and Wolf Pen. Toby then decided to bag Brasstown thinking it would be too much. We all rode somewhat easy up Hog Pen where Ben took the sprint finish. The plan was to ride another 20ish miles to the base of Wolf Pen, but when we got to where we thought the base of the climb was we couldn't find it and decided to end the day at about 70 miles. That night we decided to go bowling where we saw Toby take the overall win over Downtown. I bowled the fastest ball at 23.6 mph and got a prize of a treat at Dairy Queen. On Friday, we rode about 20 miles to a white water rafting place where we spent about 5 hours on a raft flying down the Chatahoochee River. That night we all packed up all of our stuff for the departure Saturday morning. We left the house at around 8:15 the next morning so that Ben and I could be dropped off at the Charlotte airport. The rest of the team drove back to Toby's house in Mass. where they are staying until Tuesday when they leave for Europe. I needed to come back to Houston so that I could take the mandatory TAKS tests. After I finish my last test on Friday, I plan on traveling over to Belgium to meet up with the rest of the team where we will compete in a stage race in France. Special thanks to my school, Cypress Springs High School, and all of my awesome teachers for their cooperation. There would be no way for me to go on all of these trips if it weren't for my teachers working hard to prepare all of my lessons before I leave and working with my due dates while I'm gone. Thanks!!!