I did this ride last weekend. What a ride it was. We woke up Saturday morning to thunderstorms and lots of rain. The ride started a little late, but without the storm. The rain was there though. Can you say enough water that it squished out your shoes on each down stroke?
The first mountain was easy breezy. 5 miles of steady uphill. Spinning was easy as was talking to your neighbors. The downhill side was a little scary as the brakes were constantly on as it was very steep and wet. At the first rest stop I had my brakes checked and the rear were almost gone. Water, grit etc and brakes dont mix. The bike guy pulled my brakes tight and sent me on my way.
The second mountain was steeper with lots of switch back, but it was shorter. It was probably 3 miles or so in length. The downhill side was pretty fun and not as scary as the first mountain. It was dry at this time and the sun had come out as well.
The third mountain was a different story however. When I turned the corner and saw the climb, I just shifted my triple to the small gear and moved to the large cassette. Keep in mind this is at mile 77.5 miles into a 100 mile ride. People were already walking their ride up the big hill. I thought I could see the top of the hill and decided to at least try. The mountain was 2.4 miles of grind it out spinning. As I neared the top of what I thought was the top I saw that the road turned to the right and left and got even steeper. I make in only a few more feet. I missed riding to the top by about 6 light poles. At the top we had rollers back to the quick decent of lookout mountain which was almost dangerous with all the cars and switchback road. All in all, it was a great ride...very tough.