This afternoon was the annual sign up for the Assault on Mt Mitchell. Entries are limited due to the Park Service limiting the number of riders on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I've ridden in it every year I've been riding except for the first year. It helps me to gauge my riding fitness from year to year and last year was a record time for me.
They have continued to deal with increased interest in the event. It used to be you sent in a form with about $40 and you could get a number. The past couple years you could get a number for certain by being a member of their local club and paying an additional $20. I think their membership went from 60 people to around 600 people in two years. Interesting marketing concept........
With the ride fee now $85+ I just couldn't stomach paying $100+ for that much pain. Not to mention the additional dollars for the hotel, travel, meals, etc.
Last year it sold out in 20 mins but I was still able to get a number. I took my chances in signing up on-line this afternoon for the remaining couple hundred slots and wasn't able to get a number. I got all the way through the sign up at 6 mins after the site opened and got rejected when I hit the payment button. My brother got a number at 4 minutes after.
I'm sure they will be numbers for sale but it's a hassle buying one from someone and getting stuff changed.........I guess it's a good thing that many folks are interested in the event and riding and suffering that much for a day.
I've only ridden the Assault on Mt.Mitchell once ('88) and I agree its an excellent ride. It was a 13 hour drive each way when I lived in MO, and now that I live in CA it would have to be a flight.
So I don't think I'll be doing it again. Fortunately (or not) there are lots of rides that provide as much or more pain per dollar out here! If you like Mt. Mitchell you would love the Markleeville Death Ride!
Rick / OCRR
My friend had a similar experience today. Closed out after just 6 min. I was able to get my number. It seems this ride is close to being closed out before it opens. Not really fair to those that go the Marion qualifier route the year before. Perhaps a letter to the NPS concerning the availability of numbers would open things up. After all, it is they who control whether the ride happens or not by granting the permit.
Perhaps it's just nature's way of telling you to play a round of golf.
sounds like you'll have to do Mountains of Misery (the double metric option)...
Or you can join us as we do the "Tour de Skyline"... a two day, 220 mile 20,000+ feet of climbing odyssey on the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway... we start in Front Royal, VA and ride to Waynesboro, over the ridge. (110 miles). Spend the night in Waynesboro, and the next day ride back to Frtont Royal. My guess is we'll be doing it in mid May or so-- I will post here for those interested-
Would it be possible to do the route on a different day with a small group of friends? Are there stores or water along the route?
Although I do the Bulk of my riding on my own- There are the odd occasional rides that I like doing. Most of these are sponsored rides for a charity so I normally pay the Entry fee and donate about $50 to the charity. But that entry fee has been rising for the last few years. Then last year- Some of the charities started to insist on minimum Sponsorship. One I used to do- For a good cause and over a very good Course- Was the Hampton Court to Hove--Or the Big "H" as they called it. Entry last year was $50 and minimum sponsorship requested was $400. I didn't bother. $450 for a 60 mile bike ride that just had a few hills in it- I did my Own Big "H" and rode to Hove from Home- Watched my mates come in and then rode home- around 60 miles and up better hills. And It did not cost me a penny and the charity lost out on MY generous donation.
Originally Posted by big john
Good idea but due to the logistics this is one route where it wold be very difficult to do that. It is a point to point ride where the starting point and end point are literally 100+ miles apart. Plus, I've done it enough to where I just don't think I could get myself motivated to do it in a much smaller group. The ride is "easier" if you can ride with the peloton the first 60-70 miles as the last 25 miles is pretty much uphill.
There are other centuries in the NC mountains that are loops and we've done it in smaller groups and it was a lot of fun.
I think I just need to look for some other rides and venues anyway. I enjoy going different places to ride-other than the part about shelling out $3 a gallon to get there-but this is probably just a signal that is what I need to do.
The biggest downside is I now don't have as much of an excuse to keep putting off finishing painting my house because of training for this stuff!!!
I didn't think about it being a point to point ride. If you do sign up, how do you get back to the start? It's popular enough that we hear about it out here on the left coast.
There is a great point to point ride out here called "Sea to Summit". I haven't done it, but friends do every year. You have to find your own way back from a remote finish. Makes for a long day with a lot of driving.
You can get back to the start by either paying more money to use their transportation or arrange your own. I've been very lucky the last 6-7 years as my brother has also ridden. My older sisters have been coming in the night before the last few year and have gotten a big kick out of sagging for us the next day..... so they have been our transportation back to the start.
Originally Posted by big john
It's been fun seeing them so excited about helping and feeling a part of the event. In fact they made a pretty neat CD a couple years ago and recorded a lot of the ride for us. With them helping it has been more of a "family gig" which was nice and added some incentive to keep riding when you felt like quitting. Plus there was always a little bit of friendly competition between my brother and me. My sisters would give us reports on how far apart we were along the route.
The first 70-75 miles can be pretty quick in a group as it's only 6000-7000' of climbing but it's pretty much solo the last 25 miles. Kinda works on your psychie when you see you're only 12 miles from the finish and know you're only going to average 6 mph so it's 2 more hours!!!!
That's very cool. Now I know why you were so bummed to miss it.