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  1. #1
    Senior Member 1855Cru's Avatar
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    Blood, Sweat and Gears Century - the toughest ride I have ever done

    Yesterday I rode the Blood, Sweat and Gears Century ride from lovely Valle Cruces, NC. Billed as a 'strenuous century ride' it was by far the hardest ride I have completed.

    This was my third ever century, all of them completed this year. My first was in April in Charleston on a fairly flat route which I rode in 5:08:09 for the 103.52 miles. This gave me the confidence to tackle my second, the San Diego Century in May, a much hillier course, which I completed in 7:08:31 for its 105 mile route. Total climbing was just under 6,000 ft for the ride.

    So brimming with confidence I took on the Blood, Sweat and Gears course. This race/ride is extremely popular and all 750 spots for the century were sold in less than 7 hours. We started in damp, foggy conditions and the start was a zoo! 750 riders all bunched up trying to get through the chute and over the timing mats. Unscathed I got underway, the first 4 miles were easy, gently rolling hills then we had our first significant climb, a 6 mile ascent up Shulls Mill Rd which really got me warmed up . The next 15 miles were quite hilly and I registered just over 3,000 ft at the first rest stop at mile 25, so far so good. The next 32 miles were a mix of hills and some flats and by mile 57 I had registered over 6,100 ft of climbing. Then the ride really got hilly!!

    First up was the 5 mile ascent up snake mountain. The first 4 miles were fairly easy but the last mile was brutal with long stretches of 18-20% grade! I saw dozens of cyclists walking up the hill. I'm very proud that I made it, even though I was barely averaging 3mph up to the summit! After a fun downhill the next 20 miles were fairly uneventful but quite beautiful. Next up was the ascent up George's Gap, a long , steep, winding road that was very tough coming after an already grueling 82 miles. Somehow I made it up George's and two more climbs and finally crossed the finish line.

    My official chip time was 7:08:19 for 100.27 miles and 12,434 ft of climbing. I was exhausted but elated and enjoyed a fine celebration that night

    Amazingly, the race winner's time was 4:52:20, to average over 20mph on that course is just incredible!!
    http://www.ablokeandabike.blogspot.com

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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Great job! I have yet to really get into any serious hills. Around my house, it's mostly 5-10%. Something I'll be working on. Wow, 12,434 ft of climb.. you should be proud!

  3. #3
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    Holy cow, that was an awesome ride.

  4. #4
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Nice. You conquered a beast!
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  5. #5
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Wow, so you did a century with double the climbing (6k vs 12k) in the same amount of time, that's nice!

  6. #6
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Wow, so you did a century with double the climbing (6k vs 12k) in the same amount of time, that's nice!

    I hate sandbaggers too

    just kidding, 1855Cru thats a crazy fast pace for all the climbing. you calves must be the size of justin bieber's waist.

  7. #7
    Senior Member 1855Cru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Wow, so you did a century with double the climbing (6k vs 12k) in the same amount of time, that's nice!
    I know it's crazy and actually it's even crazier! My BSG time was my total time and my San Diego time was just my riding time, my total time was about 8:40. I lost about 1hr 15min due to a broken spoke and when I got back on my bike my leg muscles were tight and I felt sluggish. Also the last 40 miles of that ride although fairly flat were directly into a 25-30mph wind which made it feel like I was still climbing .
    http://www.ablokeandabike.blogspot.com

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  8. #8
    Senior Member 1855Cru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just_Nigel View Post
    Great job! I have yet to really get into any serious hills. Around my house, it's mostly 5-10%. Something I'll be working on. Wow, 12,434 ft of climb.. you should be proud!
    Nigel, keep working on it and you will conquer any mountain. I've been riding for less than 2 years but I have learned a lot from the folks on this board and especially Mr. Beanz about climbing. It is amazing how your body can adapt and strengthen and your mind can overcome the fear of even the biggest grades.
    http://www.ablokeandabike.blogspot.com

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  9. #9
    old and in the way grueling's Avatar
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    way to go! I want to do that ride. I need to set a reminder for next year's registration.

  10. #10
    Senior Member 1855Cru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grueling View Post
    way to go! I want to do that ride. I need to set a reminder for next year's registration.
    That's what I did, they started online registration at midnight and by 7 am the ride was full. Even the 50 miler sold out in less than 24 hrs! It is a well supported and very bucolic ride.
    http://www.ablokeandabike.blogspot.com

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  11. #11
    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
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    Congrats on the completion. You should do Mountain Mama in August. I'm in on that one. 13,720' Century. Can't wait!

    http://bikemountainmama.homestead.com/

  12. #12
    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
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    Congrats on the completion. You should do Mountain Mama in August. I'm in on that one. 13,720' Century. Can't wait!

    http://bikemountainmama.homestead.com/

  13. #13
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    Kudos x 10000000000!!!!!!

  14. #14
    Senior Member 1855Cru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IBOHUNT View Post
    Congrats on the completion. You should do Mountain Mama in August. I'm in on that one. 13,720' Century. Can't wait!

    http://bikemountainmama.homestead.com/
    Blimey! That looks like another tough ride and in the middle of August it will be rather hot. I'd consider it but I will be in southern France for 4 months, cycling all over Provence and especially up Mt. Ventoux
    http://www.ablokeandabike.blogspot.com

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  15. #15
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    you have to stop talking about your trip to france, I am so jealous I am going to pop!

    Of course after 4 months you would find me hiding in the back of a cellar mumbling something about cheese...not sure why all those barrels are empty....

  16. #16
    Senior Member 1855Cru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesteroid View Post
    you have to stop talking about your trip to france, I am so jealous I am going to pop!

    Of course after 4 months you would find me hiding in the back of a cellar mumbling something about cheese...not sure why all those barrels are empty....
    Lol, well I am expecting to get very familiar with the wines of the Rhone Valley
    http://www.ablokeandabike.blogspot.com

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  17. #17
    Senior Member ZmanKC's Avatar
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    Wow, just wow. I did 71 miles with 2,700' of climbing last Sunday and was toast.

    I stand in awe of your accomplishment.
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  18. #18
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Nice job!

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