I completed a "training ride" for Mt Mitchell today. It was 86+ miles with 8330 ft of climbing. We just beat the rain and storms that are coming in but the weather was perfect for us. Arm warmers were the order of the day-slide them down and unzip the jersey on climbs and pull the arm warmers and zipper back up on descents.
Immediately before the featured 6 mile climb of the ride, they took us on a 1-2 mile road that had one heck of a hill. I flipped the Garmin over to the % Grade display and it was showing 23%.....24%.....then 28%. That section wasn't all that long-maybe 300 yards-but I had to come up out of the saddle in my 34/27 and stomp on my pedals to get up that thing. My cadence would come to a brief stop as I was rotating my weight from one foot to the other other. You didn't dare stop moving forward or over you'd go.... or even worse...backwards!!!!! I later found out the locals that knew the route took a shorcut around that darn thing.
What were they thinking tossing in that section before the 6 mile climb!!!
There was also a 7 mile climb, a 10 mile climb and several 1-3 mile climbs with 10-15% grades for stretches in them. Good 'ol Blue Ridge Mountains.
(Edit: not all the ride was climbing! I was cruising down one 3 mile descent at 46 mph and a cyclist came by me like a rocket towing two others behind him. He said he hit about 53 mph...........)
Good free food afterwards as well. No pie, but plenty of other goodies. It looks like I burned about 6600 calories today.
What are some hills you folks have done?
Edit 2: Here is the profile from Training Center-the top of Caesars Head is the big spike in the middle. It was an out and back so the ride profile coming in mirrors the profile going out.