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Old 02-05-06, 05:29 PM   #1
jppe
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I made a return trip to Morrow Mountain again today. I enjoyed last week's trip so much I was motivated to try it again this week. Last week, not only did I have to live through the humility of coming up the learning curve on my camera, I found out from my cycling buddies that I only did 1/2 the climb!!!

Halfway into the park the main road "splits". Last week I only took the road that took me to the top. Today I took the other road that took me down to the lake which doubles the climbing distance and elevation gained. Duh!!!

The entire climb is about 3 miles with 600 ft of elevation gain with some stretches hitting 11%. Not too bad but certainly makes it a little more work.

To make the ride more interesting I took a completely different route on roads I had not traveled before after about 30 miles. Well, I learned to not put much stock into a road that is called "Short Cut Road". The mapping software I was using showed it as a good connector for my route and it turned out to be a gravel road!!

So, I'm off my route and unexpectedly wind up needing to take US Hwy 52 for about 10 miles....This is a 55 mph Hwy that can get some pretty speedy traffic on it. I'm sitting at the intersection trying to decide what to do and have my headphones on listening to a Classic Rock radio station. Would you believe that what the DJ started playing was Bachman Turner Overdrive's "Roll on down the highway"!!! So, that's just what I did.

Several miles later I got to a point where I was back on "my map" but still off course. I had a choice of taking some extra miles and getting back on the roads I had mapped or continuing on US Hwy 52. Now the DJ plays "Roll with the changes" by REO Speedwagon. So, I just stayed on US Hwy 52 and eventually it put me back on course.

The ride over was not too bad as I had a 10-15 mph tailwind and averaged about 19 mph. However, the wind seemed to continue to get stronger as the day went on so the ride back got pretty ugly. Plus, I had to wing some roads on the way back and one turn turned out to be a 8 mile mistake.....

Food/drink report:
1/2 a PB&J sandwich
1 banana
1 Energy Gel
1 Deli Turkey Sandwich from Subway
2 Bottles of Gatorade and 1 Cherry Coke (this time the Coke gave me a headache!)

Temps-mid 40's
Mostly Sunny with high clouds
Breezy as Heck

Distance: 107 miles
Rding time 6 hr 39 mins
Steepest climb 13%

What I learned? Those guys writing those Classic Rock songs really knew their stuff!!

The pics below are of Alcoa-been there 100 years and built the lake for aluminum production; an old but nice golf Course in Badin, where Alcoa is located; the one with my bike is at the start of the climb; the lake in the distance is Lake Tillery as viewed from the top of Morrow Mtn and the last pic is a view from the top looking west-that is where I'm heading back to.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Alcoa.jpg (50.4 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Badin Golf Course Green.jpg (53.5 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Start of Climb.jpg (61.2 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg Lake Tillery from the top.jpg (24.5 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Looking West.jpg (26.0 KB, 11 views)

Last edited by jppe; 02-05-06 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 02-06-06, 06:20 AM   #2
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Ah, memories! We used to do a Morrow Mt. century two or three times a year from the S.Charlotte area. Some of the hardcore would take the left fork down to the lake, then reverse and come all the way to the top. The rest of us "wimps" would turn right and head to the top. Sit on the wall, enjoy the scenery, eat whatever was in our pockets, then barrel to the bottom (being careful of the rockwall across the lane on the outside of the big righthand hairpin), and head back to S. Charlotte.

insert major jealousy of your wonderful ride here....

Maybe this summer??????
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Old 02-06-06, 11:52 AM   #3
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Nice report-jppe- perhaps I should mapquest a route from here and make it one of my long rides for this year. With that distance I would take the wimp route to the top. I got home this last Fri night and road yesterday as well. The wind was some of the strongest I have ridden in awhile. At one point on my ride with the wind totally at my back I was moving along at 28mph. Normally on that section I am riding 19-21.
No 100 plus miles, but for me being away so much just getting in 23+ was nice.
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Old 02-06-06, 02:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by p8rider
Nice report-jppe- perhaps I should mapquest a route from here and make it one of my long rides for this year. With that distance I would take the wimp route to the top. I got home this last Fri night and road yesterday as well. The wind was some of the strongest I have ridden in awhile. At one point on my ride with the wind totally at my back I was moving along at 28mph. Normally on that section I am riding 19-21.
No 100 plus miles, but for me being away so much just getting in 23+ was nice.

I saw in one of your posts that you were holed up out west maybe in Seattle?? As tough as the conditions were yesterday 23 miles is certainly an excellent workout. For me, riding into the wind works on my mental attitude as much as the physical part. Hopefully when some of these long rides with a lot more climbing (like Mitchell) come up I will be more mentally prepared!!

I'm envious of the areas you have to ride. You have Hanging Rock and Pilot Mtn where you can work those into your routes and get in some excellent climbing as well. That climb up Pilot is about as tough as they come in these part. Hope to see you out there some time!!
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Old 02-06-06, 07:13 PM   #5
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You're right, Pilot is hard, but Hanging Rock has steeper climbs and coming from Winston it's about equal in overall climb.
I'm trying to use fitness equipment while travelling to keep some semblance of fitness. My home ride has changed some also as we have moved out of our house for a couple of months while major renovations go on. The family is in an apartment and the Trek is in the honored dining room spot. The problem is this complex opens onto a major fast road where a friend of mine was hit while jogging early this fall. He was well into the breakdown lane, but it seems not to matter. The result is that I am very cautious about my early morning rides. It sort of has me spooked. So if I am home, I ride on weekends more and if the weather, fog, whatever makes visibility questionable I pedal a cycle in the apartment fitness room. I'll be out there soon, hold a date and we'll ride Pilot together!!
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Old 02-06-06, 09:19 PM   #6
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You're probably very smart to avoid those roads..my brother got hit by a car while riding last year and suffered a broken hip-- so like you, I try to be extremely safety concious. Would look forward to climbing the hills up your way!!
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