Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cherokee to Asheville NC

This was expected to be the first real test ride and it was.  I rode with Chris today.  Stan, Chris' boy friend, is a very strong rider and we decided yesterday he could ride at his own speed and Chris, Kay and I would go at our (much slower) pace.  But Kay got sick as we started to climb and had to abandon the ride.  So Chris and I pushed on.  I am almost positive Kay was not faking it but it wouldn't have been a bad idea.

We left Cherokee at 7:20 and rode the 1.6 miles to the south end of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It was pretty cool so we had on wind breakers and arm warmers.  The first climb of the day was a real stinker.  It took Kay and I 90 minutes to go the first 8 miles and then another 90 minutes to get to the top.  After three hours of climbing we had gone 18 of 90 miles and climbed just one of many big climbs.

I thought that the highest point on the parkway was 3,000 something feet.  I was seriously wrong.

While the elevation is nothing compared to Colorado, the length and steepness of the climb are definitely comparable to the major Colorado climbs (well, maybe not Mt. Evans).  Each major climb of the day was a steady 7% and that is hard work over a multi-hour ascent.

The PAC Tour team setup lunch at mile 47; about 25 miles closer than normal.  Still Kay and I didn't reach there until 1:30.  Took us right at six hours to go 47 miles.  The lunch was great!  They had grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches with bacon if you wanted (yes, please).  And there were vegetables and puddings.

Tracey at the Lunch Truck grill

The lunch really perked us up and there was a lot more downhill so we finished the 90 miles just at 5pm.  Total time out 9:40, total ride time 8:25, 90 miles and 10,700 feet of climbs.

1 comment:

Susan Oselio said...

You're doing a great job riding those climbs! You can do this! Keep up the hard work.