I went to Asheville, NC last week for a wedding. I was able to rent a road bike and go for a ride. The LBS gave me several maps of routes with lots of different roads, turns, etc. (in very small print no less ), so I opted for the easy route, straight out and back on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Ms. PB dropped me off at the Folk Art Center and I rode northeast towards Mount Mitchell.
For 98% of the next 15.5 miles I climbed, from about 2000 feet above sea level to somewhere over 5000 feet. There were only two slight descents that couldn't have lasted more than 1/2 mile combined. While it was never a steep grade (compared to many of my much shorter NH climbs), it just kept going up, up, up! Needless to say, my speed was not all that great.
Finally, Ms. PB called on the cell phone, "I have dinner reservations at the Grove Park Inn, come on back." I took a big swig of water, zipped up tight, and pointed the front wheel in the opposite direction. I felt as if I was in the TdF coming off of the Alps. Brake for the turns, accelerate out onto the straights, hit speeds above 45 mph, and 35 minutes later, I was back from where I started! What a ride!