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Old 08-26-07, 07:57 PM   #1
Jet Travis
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The Sweet Spot in Time

Rode the metric century on the Blue Ridge Extreme in Virginia today which happened to fall on my Birthday. The weather couldn't have been better. Relatively cool (after yesterday's 100 degree heat), a gentle sprinkle of rain during the toughest climb of the day, which ended as soon as I reached the top. Good company and the feeling of steady, good-enough power throughout as we wheeled through wonderful scenery. It was the sweet spot in time, the best birthday ride ever.

The only thing missing was I wasn't able to hook up with Bobby C at the start. Cell phone coverage didn't work at our location. Heck, we may have been right next to each other at some point--we've never met before. Hope to hear his report soon.
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Old 08-26-07, 08:30 PM   #2
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Congrats JT. You guys deserve a break from the heat.
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Old 08-26-07, 08:36 PM   #3
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Happy birthday, JT! Sounds like the perfect day.
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Old 08-26-07, 08:43 PM   #4
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Uber cool!
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Old 08-26-07, 08:53 PM   #5
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From the sounds of this:
http://www.blueridgeextreme.com/

you are being modest in your achievement. Two 2.3 mile 11% grades! I can only dream.
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Old 08-26-07, 09:06 PM   #6
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From the sounds of this:
http://www.blueridgeextreme.com/

you are being modest in your achievement. Two 2.3 mile 11% grades! I can only dream.
Truth in broadcasting: My route only had one of those climbs--but it did have a section of 15 percent grade, I think. The huffing and puffing was amazing. I felt like I was in a Lamaze class.
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Old 08-26-07, 11:28 PM   #7
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Hey, nice ride, JT. Happy Birthday.
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Old 08-26-07, 11:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jet Travis View Post
Truth in broadcasting: My route only had one of those climbs--but it did have a section of 15 percent grade, I think. The huffing and puffing was amazing. I felt like I was in a Lamaze class.
Happy birthday and congrats on the accomplishment! That's just great!

Let's talk Lamaze...until you're the giving-birth part of the equation, you can only huff and puff and wonder.

That's not just stoker smack-talk; just sayin'.

Good on you for exceeding your expectations!
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Old 08-27-07, 01:54 AM   #9
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Happy birthday and congrats on the accomplishment! That's just great!

Let's talk Lamaze...until you're the giving-birth part of the equation, you can only huff and puff and wonder.

That's not just stoker smack-talk; just sayin'.

Good on you for exceeding your expectations!
Stokers huffing and puffing- You have got it wrong- I leave that to the pilot.

Well done on the ride J.T.
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Old 08-27-07, 02:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jet Travis View Post
Rode the metric century on the Blue Ridge Extreme in Virginia today which happened to fall on my Birthday. The weather couldn't have been better. Relatively cool (after yesterday's 100 degree heat), a gentle sprinkle of rain during the toughest climb of the day, which ended as soon as I reached the top. Good company and the feeling of steady, good-enough power throughout as we wheeled through wonderful scenery. It was the sweet spot in time, the best birthday ride ever.

The only thing missing was I wasn't able to hook up with Bobby C at the start. Cell phone coverage didn't work at our location. Heck, we may have been right next to each other at some point--we've never met before. Hope to hear his report soon.
That's a good ride. I like to brag that I was the official course record holder for the metric for a year (I rode it in 2005). Of course, that was the first year they timed it, and it's not a race, and all the faster riders all do the SAE century, and someone rode it 15-20 minutes faster the next year...

But it's not about me...good going!

We're the little orange newts all over the road this year?
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Old 08-27-07, 04:56 AM   #11
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Sounds like a magic day.

george
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Old 08-27-07, 05:39 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Red Rider View Post

Let's talk Lamaze...until you're the giving-birth part of the equation, you can only huff and puff and wonder.
I did try to give birth to an idea once or twice, but that was mostly just huffing and puffing, too.
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Old 08-27-07, 07:04 AM   #13
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That is some incredible riding - happy birthday!
I lived in Mr. Jefferson's town for 15 years before I moved up to NY. I never rode that part of the parkway but there are some real steeps. I know my car hated the climb up Wintergreen mountain, I kept saying to myself, I'll attempt that on my bike - I never did - friken wall.
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Old 08-27-07, 10:36 AM   #14
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Hey Jet - yes indeed, it was truly tragic that we didn't hook up. And on your birthday no less! What a way to celebrate!

My ride was great. My wife did the 1/2 metric, I opted for the metric. After 30 miles in, I was considering jumping onto the century as at my first stop (the 2nd rest stop with the tipped Porta-Potty) my average speed was around 20. I knew hills were coming up but I felt pretty good at that point. A few miles later it started raining and I hit Mt. Vesuvius.

I just did some calculation - Mt. Vesuvius seems to be about 4 miles with an average grade of 8.6. There is one spot where the grade was 17.5. Man, that was one kick-butt hill. I've done one steeper (8.8 grade) but it was only 2 miles. This hill got my attention, don't think I've every struggled as much for as long. I've been thinking about a compact crank, that would have helped. I rode it with a 53/39 - 12/25, better gearing would have helped. Next year I will be prepared!

After Vesuvius I considered jumping on the the Century route again but decided my legs probably would asplode so I went back on the metric route. The last 20 miles of this route are on the Blue Ridge Parkway - beautiful scenery though it was rainy most of the way. The whole trip back was solo, except for a tandem that I saw in the distance, I didn't run into any other riders. What a nice ride that was, 20 miles of 4-8% uphills and downhills. That last descent from Humpback Rocks (I think it was called) was fantastic - speeds up to 45 mph with rain stinging your face, what a great feeling.

I finished the ride a bit after 12, despite my struggle up Vesuvius, I was happy with my speed (ave. 15.8) over 6,400 feet of climbing. Like Jet said, the century had an additional climb that was rated a Cat 1, glad I skipped that. But next year I'm hoping to flatten it.

All in all a great day of riding. I haven't done a ton of organized rides like this but I have to say it was incredibly well organized, had great food (fresh, locally grown peaches at a rest stop!) and best of all, the Inn at Afton (where the ride began and ended) offered free showers. Outstanding. This is one I'll try again - hopefully with even better results as we continue to mature!

By the way Jet, thanks for the food suggestions, Staunton is a great place.
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Old 08-27-07, 11:57 AM   #15
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Here are some images from the ride. It was a bit cloudy & rainy so not the most detail, but still purdy:

Profile of the Metric:


Where the Metric joined the Blue Ridge Parkway:


More BRP:


Again:


Farm:


Fin:
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Old 08-27-07, 12:10 PM   #16
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Here are some images from the ride. It was a bit cloudy & rainy so not the most detail, but still purdy
Nice report and pics.

53/39 and 12/25... great job on that climb.
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Old 08-27-07, 12:34 PM   #17
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Sounds fun. Nice way to spend your big day. Sounds like you rode your age ... or more.
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Old 08-27-07, 12:58 PM   #18
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Thanks for the pics, looks lovely! Good job to both of you!
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