Let's do a Century
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Carolina
Bikes: Pinarello Prince/Campy SR; Cervelo R3/Sram Red; Trek 5900/Duraace, Cervelo P2C/Duraace
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Originally Posted by PAlt
Funny you should bring up Bridge to Bridge... After finishing RAIN, was talking to my coach who quickly deflated my ego at having done what I thought was a pretty good ride by asking, "OK, So what's your next challenge?". He believes I could do the ride, but need to train on climbing on weekends. Suggested that there were some training rides relatively close by (1 hr or less drive time one way) I could do to prepare. Was going to PM you to ask if you might know those routes, since I am certain you do WAY more vertical training than I. Would like to get some insight from you if you're inclined as to whether you think a relative "newbie" to that much vertical work can get in shape to do the ride by end of September.
I suspect the training routes your coach is referring to is the Brushy Mountains between Hiddenite and N Wilkesboro. We have made trips up that way and parked in Hiddenite and done many of the hills. In my opinion, it's better to drive another 45 mins or so and go on up to Blowing Rock or Stone Mountain in Traphill just north of Elkin or south of Sparta. The Brushies are ok for a late afternoon ride but to get the full effect it's best to go on up to the mountains.
Some routes with route sheets that might help: From the Brushy Mountain Cyclist web site-look for The RAW ride (Brushy Mountains) and also the Hurt Pain and Agony ride (out of Traphill). HP&A is this coming Saturday by the way. I do that route as a training ride so much I don't even take a route sheet anymore and it would only be a little over an hour from Davidson. The first 6 miles is all climbing with the steepest section at 19-20%. There's also another 2 mile climb at about 50 miles with a super steep stretch as you pull back onto the BRP. It is a really gorgeous area to ride-includes about 15-20 miles on the BRP.
From Gaston County Cyclists web site look for the Blowin Beech route-a 50+ mile loop from Blowing Rock as another option. You can also find the 3 Headed Snake out of West Jefferson which includes LOTS of climbs including Snake Mountain.
Another good training ride is to drive north of Morganton on Hwy 181 and park at the white church at Adako Rd. You can do an out and back on Adako Rd to warm up and then do the 13 miles climb on Hwy 181 up to the BRP. From there I'll either go into Linville and climb 221 that goes in front of Grandfather or just take the BRP to Blowing Rock and then take 221 back to the BRP. It's nice to finish with the 13 miles screaming back down 181 to the car.
Doing the full BtB including Grandfather is a pill.......climbing Grandfather after riding 100 miles is a real challenge but doable. I think I did it for the first time in the second full year that I had been riding. The neat thing is there is usually a lot of folks at the very top of Grandfather cheering you up the last couple hundred yards......and believe me it REALLY helps to hear your friends hollering your name at the top of their lungs and ringing cowbells. I've seen folks cramp up and fall over on that last hill. I've seen folks try and unclip and fall over. Yours truly stood up out of the saddle on that last stretch the first year I did it and could not move the pedals.....somehow I stayed up and zig zigged for a bit and got to the top.
If it were me, unless you can get in a good bit of climbing over the next 6 weeks I'd probably do the 80 mile Ridge Rd that has a lot of the route except for the 20 mile loop to Blowing Rock and back to Grandfather plus climbing Grandfather. It includes the 13 miles climb up Hwy 181. Hwy 181 is not very steep but if you haven't done much climbing it can wear on you as it kicks in at the 52 mile point.
Hope this helps!!
BTW-I went out and did about 60 miles early this morning and the weather was incredible. Some of the route included Enochville, Linwood Rd to Mooresville, Hwy 801 to Mt Ulla and then circled back via White and Millbridge. One of the rare times I have a tailwind heading west the last 25 miles or so. Just terrific. I'm sure you've ridden those roads quite a bit. I did see a number of others out as well-as usual up your way.