Posted by Editoress on 12/10/10
Every March, cyclists from Northern climates descend on sunny South Carolina to get a jump start on their Spring cycling training program. Chris Helwig of Coachchris.ca has organized training camps in South Carolina for over 15 years, and provides an outline of the reasons this area is perfect for early season riding.
Nestled on the edge of the Smokey Mountains, Table Rock State Park offers a perfect March training experience. Table Rock is very close to the North Carolina border, with many of the region's classic rides going across the state border. Caesaer's Head is one of those local climbs; a 10 kilometre climb with a moderate grade of about 6%. Riders can test their early season fitness on the slopes of the climb. Often there is dozens of cyclists on the climb at the same time. Other local rides include the Bakery ride to Saluda, North Carolina and the ride to Furman University.
The main road outside Table Rock has a bike lane and is beautiful smooth pavement. The local roads are quiet with little traffic and the locals are used to seeing riders in the the area.
Nearby Greenville South Carolina offers some very nice bike shops, as well as traditional shopping opportunities. Greenville is home to one of North America's top cyclists - George Hincapie. Many camps have seen George out training on the local roads.
The weather in March in South Carolina isn't quite tropical, but is always good for riding. South Carolina is about two months ahead of Ontario's weather, so the March weather in South Carolina is similar to May in Ontario. Typically, there is at least a couple days when the knee and arm warmers come off and people can work on their tans.
For those in Ontario or Quebec, South Carolina has an added benefit of being within driving distance. Riders can bring their tools, spare wheels and all their gear to this fabulous training area.
Whether you are a Cat 1/2 with years of experience, or a rider new to the sport, the roads of South Carolina offer something for everyone.
If you have any questions about riding in this region, or are interested in attending the March South Carolina Camp that Chris Helwig runs, e-mails can be directed to Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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