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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 06-24-06, 05:48 PM   #1
jppe
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Blood Sweat and Gears

Just got back from the Blood Sweat and Gears ride near Boone, NC. The name of the ride probably says enough.......Sorry-no pics today as my hands never left the bars all day.

This was a pretty tough ride. It was 102+ miles with about 9000 ft of climbing and it seemed that all the climbs were pretty long. There was a 4-5 mile climb near the start, 21 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway with several long climbs in the 6-7% range there, a 2 mile climb on Hwy 194 that averaged 6-7%, the signature climb called Snake Mountain which is 2-3 miles long and tops out around 17%-19%, Georges Gap which is 2 miles at 8%, Bethel Rd climb of 1.5 miles at 8% and then a climb near the finish of 1 mile at 9%.

750 riders did the 100 mile route and probably 100-200 more did the 50 mile route.

I could never really group up with anyone today where I needed to so I wound up doing 90+ miles of it solo. I was able to finish in 6 hr and 21 mins and an average speed of 16.4 mph which wasn't too bad for me. I spent over 30 mins with my heart rate over 170 bpm so there must have been spots where I was working pretty hard.

I had some of my buddies finish ahead of me and some behind me so all in all I have to be satisfied with the outcome.

The winner was a local legend who finished around 4hr 50 mins. How in the heck do they do that??

The story of the day was that near the last part of the ride I got up with a group that was working and pulling for a 15 year old girl. There were 2 guys and a Cat 2 female that were helping this young lady work her way through this really tough ride. I got caught up in it as well and lended a hand and it was terrific to see her finish around 6 hr 20 mins. Truly, truly incredible to see this young lady work through a really tough route and fight off all the cycling demons.

This was the last of the more challenging centuries I had on my calendar for a while. While I road decently today I didn't really have that burning desire to ride hard and up to my full potential. There were times when I could have pushed harder or spun faster but really opted to ride conservatively. I suspect I left 10-15 mins out there but just couldn't muster the motivation to do more today.

I think I'm going to hit the pause button for a bit and reassess my schedule. I think I need some fun rides with the family for a while to help to keep riding but to avoid burning out. I think I need as much of a mental break as I do a physical one at this point.

Last edited by jppe; 06-24-06 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 06-24-06, 07:06 PM   #2
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"Challenging?" I'd consider that ride impossible! Being a lazy flatland rider, I can't imagine doing a century with hills, much less mountains! My goal is to do a century on the flats when the weather gets cool... I envy your fitness and aspire to get there myself. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-24-06, 07:31 PM   #3
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Sounds like a rest is in order. Also sounds like your miles were not quite as gratifying as helping a younger new rider complete her miles. Cudos for your assistance.
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Old 06-24-06, 07:44 PM   #4
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That's an excellent speed for a hilly ride like that, IMHO. Congrats!
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Old 06-25-06, 10:26 AM   #5
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Great job!
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Old 06-26-06, 08:43 AM   #6
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I got to ride to 50 mile route. I waited too late to register and the 100 mile was full. What a blast! I almost cracked on the first climb up to the Blue Ridge Parkway trying to keep up, but once I settled down to my own pace it became tolerable. The ride was easily the toughest I've done. Before that the Triple mountain challenge in Pilot Mt. held that distinction. The long switchback descents were something I have never experienced before. The rains the day before brought out a little gravel that you had to be on alert for. Finished in 3:05 at 15.0mph. Can't wait for next year.
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Old 06-26-06, 10:38 AM   #7
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Nice ride report jppe. I agree with NOS88 that it seems you got as much enjoyment helping the young rider as you did out of the ride yourself. Of course I don't know if enjoyment would be the word considering the climbs. Was there rain during the ride?
Which bike were you riding?
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Old 06-26-06, 11:37 AM   #8
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What a great ride report, and what a great ride time. That kind of average is really kicking some butt over those climbs!!!!!!!!!!! Araghhh!@, and you were holding back!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-26-06, 03:17 PM   #9
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Sounds a good ride. Just enough hills to say you worked most of the way, and that you had enough sense to realise that this was a ride and not a race- Save the energy for the important hard rides.

I think I have enough problems offroad, but at least my hills are not that long. Good and steep but not many longer than a mile or so. At least I have a rest on the downhills, but on a ride that just goes up- not much chance for that.

Good ride but take a rest next time- or ride no handed for the next ride. Says me that always forgets the camera in the first place.
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Old 06-26-06, 06:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p8rider
Nice ride report jppe. I agree with NOS88 that it seems you got as much enjoyment helping the young rider as you did out of the ride yourself. Of course I don't know if enjoyment would be the word considering the climbs. Was there rain during the ride?
Which bike were you riding?

Perfect weather actually as we caught a nice window with no rain. It monsooned Friday night and Saturday afternoon but not during the ride.

I took the 5900 with the 11/32. I used the 34/32 on Snake Mountain which worked out really nice. I might have used it on another climb as well but Snake was probably the only one where I really needed it.
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