All I want to do is drink beer and train like an animal.
- Rod Dixon

I'm feeling rough. I'm feeling raw. I'm in the prime of my life.

The Lifestyle: Spring Break - Prologue

This is the first in a series of posts chronicling my spring break trip to NC. I hope you enjoy.


My original plan was to leave Baltimore after work on Thursday night and arrive Friday morning. Plan B was to leave Friday morning after stopping in quickly at work. In classic Alex style I finally ended up leaving Baltimore at about 5:30 PM on Friday.

After driving through rush hour traffic in both Baltimore and DC and then spending ~320M on the highway 81S through Virginia I finally arrived in the mountains in Tennessee. My cell immediately cut out and I was shrouded in fog as I followed the switchbacks and state highways into Smokey Mountains of North Carolina.

(It takes a lot of crap to ride for a week in the mountains)

Finally at 5am I arrived at the Nantahalla Outdoor Center. Kinda. It seems the Google and reality are in a little bit of a disagreement over where the NOC actually is. According to Google it's some random driveway on the side of the highway. Fortunately through a combination of 3 year old memories, my iPhone's maps and calling people I was able to find it over the course of the next 1.5 hours in the rain, fog and night.

I arrived at the NOC to find college cyclists haphazardly strewn about the cabin with literally rows and rows of bikes outside. I slept for maybe 30min on the floor but I was too excited to see Geo to sleep. Once Geo got there I slept a little in the trunk of my car and again for about 2 hours once we got a room squared away.

(My new ride - still nameless)

Finally after about 3 hours of sleep I decided it was time to start this trip. There were limits to be tested, mountains be climbed and fears to be confronted. I can sleep when I'm dead.

To be continued ...

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