I just staggered in from my last big training ride for Mt. Mitchell. I've been doing lots of commuting, and doing more hills - I had an 86-miler, a 100 miler, and the last month, I did 5 55-mile/5K climb rides. Today was going to be a solo century with 6K climbing. It started out OK, and I felt pretty good out through the 45 mile mark, with a short rest stop at 30 to get something to eat, a bathroom break, and some time off of the saddle.
I started the climb up towards Mt. Weather, and even though it was hard, I was doing OK. Turned up Route 7, and wasn't doing badly...then up the killer climb up route 601. It's less than 1/2 mile, but it starts at 13% and gets progressively steeper until you're doing 18-20%. Made it...with a short break to get HR back to human range...then up to the summit. Got up to the top, and turned around for the descent......when....
The clouds opened up with a thunderstorm that was so heavy, I couldn't see. I pedaled back towards an overpass near a government facility to get some shelter, and waited it out. I was soaked from head to toe. I took my helmet and gloves off to wring them out while I was waiting...and after about 20 minutes, it cleared up enough to move out.
The descent was pretty tricky, since the roads were VERY wet, and brakes really didn't want to work unless I manhandled them into cooperating. I eventually got down to the bottom, and turned down the highway - got buzzed by a semi going 70+ - that was NOT fun.
Made a stop at 60 miles to get more Gatorade...and moved on. Stopped at 72 and 87 miles, then rode the rest of the way home. In a few minutes, I'll get a shower and start cleaning the bike...but all in all, it was a pretty good ride.
Total miles - 101.1
Ride time - 7:23
Average Speed 13.6 MPH
Top speed - 38 MPH
Total Ascent - 6500 feet