Tag Archives: Falls Park

Back to the scene

Last Friday I was reminded of one of my first crashes. It came to my mind as I got my heart rate down after a near wipe out. Thankfully, I rode away with a smile on my face.

There is no need to retell the story of that crash back in the mid-nineties on a Huffy brand bike. You can read about it in this archive of an archive: The Huffy. The pertinent piece of information is where the accident took place.

Today the Governor’s School overlooks Greenville’s beautiful Falls Park along the Reedy River. Back when I first started riding, the land there was nothing but scrubby plants and scraggly trees back behind the Greenville County government offices. There was also a small single track that ran along the ridge and then descended into a paved cul de sac.

The end of Howe Street

Where Howe St. ends and connects to the Swamp Rabbit Trail

It is the end of the line section of asphalt that factors into our story for today. While back in those days it was a somewhat scarey place to be, the cul de sac is now part of the Swamp Rabbit Trail. It is one of the joints that connects Falls Park to Cleveland Park where the trail goes beneath Church Street. That means that I ride my bike through the area often as I am heading out of town or returning home.

Recently they did some work there that changed the angle of how the SRT joins the cul de sac. They have also altered the transition of the two surfaces. I guess it is to help with controlling run off, but there is now a sizable hump where the trail and the asphalt meet.

I’ve had fun hitting the hump with a little speed and picking up some air on my road bike. Well, last Friday I decided to really take flight. So, I approached the hump with a little more speed than usual.

Sure enough, I got some air — a lot more than I bargained for! Because of the angle at which I hit the hump, my trajectory sent me through the air so far that I came down off the trail. Suddenly, I was doing cyclo cross!

There was an initial fear, but that was  replaced with just reaction. I loosened my grip and my stance and weighted the rear of my bike allowing the front wheel to skip over some of the rough ground until I got better control. Thankfully, I had the bike where I needed it in time to avoid a pot hole. Then I was able to ease the bike back onto the trail before I ran out of space all together.

“That was stupid!” was my first thought once I was able to form one. Yet, a big grin popped on my face. At first it was a sheepish one. Then it grew into one of joy. I rode home with a little more zip in my pedal stroke.

Thanks, bicycle, for the memories and the smiles.

Taking a ride through Falls Park

You might be aware of my video woes.  My VholdR helmet camera always seems to mess me up.  It never seems to be the same thing.  Always something different to frustrate me as I move the hoped for video to my computer.  Whether it will be there or not is hit or miss.

Well, yesterday I went out for a ride.  I stuck the thing on my head and declared, “If it doesn’t work today, I am going to throw it in the trash or sell it.”  I didn’t really care what I recorded.  I just hoped it would record!

I turned it on and started riding.  30 minutes later it beeped twice telling me it had run out of memory.  That was promising — normally it doesn’t warn me of its failure.  Here is just a portion of what I ended up with.

I won’t bore you with the other 25 minutes or so.  However, for sure, Greenville and Upstate South Carolina is a wonderful place to ride a bike.  Perhaps I can get some more video of some of the interesting spots around here.

Do you have any places you would like for me to catch on video?  I’m going to give this VholdR helmet cam another chance.  If it fails me again, I’m going to move to a new POV camera system.

Time for the POA Cycling Summer Race Series

Tonight is the first in a series of POA Cycling Team Summer Series races.  It will be my second criterium race in five days.  I hope the old legs will be ready.

Yesterday I was home with a sick child.  It was a stomach virus.  I don’t know about you, but when I am around someone sick like that I start having all kinds of strange feelings.  The day started out with me thinking I was getting the bug as well.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the case and the beautiful redhead returned in time for me to get out and stretch the legs a bit.  It was a fun easy ride that started at my house.  I headed down East North Street and Pelham Road to The Worthwhile Company offices.  I needed to sign a paper.

From there I started making my way towards Sunshine Cycle Shop.  I had no desire to ride on Pleasantburg Drive, so I cut through the backlots of the strip malls on that section.  That brought me nearly to Pine Knoll.  After a very short section on Pleasantburg, I was able to breathe again.

At Sunshine I had John check out my gears.  On Tuesday night I kept having some chain skip when under load.  I didn’t want that happening when I came out of a corner Thursday night.  After the minor adjustment and some talk, I headed out toward downtown.

I did this by cutting through neighborhood streets that ran parallel to Wade Hampton Blvd. until I reached Main St.  I stayed on Main because I wanted to swing by the new South Main St. location of Liquid Highway.  After finishing off a muffin and starting on a cup of coffee, I headed to Fall River Park.

It was time for a pit stop, so I rode my bike right into the elevator and dropped to the second level of the park where the bridge (and the restroom) is.  I left the Garmin on to see if it would pick up the elevation change.  All done there, I headed across the Liberty Bridge and then to Cleveland Park.

A nice urban ride

A nice urban ride

A lap later I was heading home.  It was nice to cover only about 17 miles in an hour and a half.  You (or at least I do) need to have those times on the bike when you can just look around you and take in the scenery and activities around you.  This ride was good for the body and soul.

Tonight that will change.  The good news is there is no chance of rain, the winds will only be around 5 mph, and the temperature will be in the 70s.  It is going to be a fun night for racing.

My objectives are: 1) keep the rubber side down and 2) get a top ten finish.  Hopefully I learned what not to do during Sunday’s race.  It would be nice if I could start learning what to do this evening.

If you have the evening free, head on out to the old Greenville Braves stadium (Municipal Stadium) and take in some of the action at the POA Cycling Summer Race Series.  I’ll be putting out there during the 6 PM race.  The real racers will take the course after that.

Some pics from my Urban Ride

Here are some pictures from last evening’s ride. First, from Timmons Park: a coaches pitch baseball game. There is normally a game going on each time I take an early evening ride.

Here is a part of Cleveland Park that a lot of people don’t see. This is the Eagle Trail that runs above the tennis courts and runs from one end of the park to the other. This is root-rock combination that gets nice and fun when it is wet.

Now, on to Fall River Park. This is a shot of the Liberty Bridge. It has become quite the magnet on the West End of town. It is pretty cool.

Finally, here is yours truly on the bridge overlooking the falls.