We completed the Bridge to Bridge ride today which is 101.8 miles and finishes at the top of Grandfather Mtn. Next to Mt Mitchell it is probably the second toughest ride I do annually.
Perfect day for riding-60 degrees to start and probably in the mid to low 70's at the top of Grandfather under gorgeous skies. A little breezier than perfect but it could have been much worse!
I didn't have a record time but I finished in around 6hr 30 mins which was probably my second best time on that ride. I stopped one time where my wife and son met me at the 70 mile mark and I restocked on fluids and bananas. I stopped a couple mins longer at the 70 mile mark than normal just to work out some cramping issues and looking for encouragement that it would be OK if I didn't finish!! My wife simply said that she would see me at the top........
I had been dreading the 2+ mile climb up Grandfather but with the compact crank and the 11/32 cassette it wasn't as bad as I had feared. However the last couple hundred yards took all I had.....
Unfortunately several guys in my bike club were either involved in crashes or had mechanical problems and were unable to finish. I saw 2 guys on the side of road holding chains that had broken......
Here are some pics:
At the top of the 12 mile climb up Hwy 181
Looking down on the last few switchbacks at the top of Grandfather
Leading the charge up the last 200 yards with a group I had been riding with
100 yards from the top
Side view 10 yards from the top-I was hurting!! The picture just doesn't show how steep that sucker is.
My sag crew-wife and son
I just saw the results and the first place finisher was 51-52 years old. Hooray!!!! Another victory for the 50+ crowd!! Unfortunately the second place finisher was a good cycling friend and he has won it before. He was only 20 seconds behind. I would have enjoyed seeing them paired up climbing Grandfather....