I was up in the NC mountains with family this weekend and rode from where we were staying to the top of Mt Mitchell-highest point east of the Mississippi. Most of the ride was on the Blue Ridge Parkway which in this section is either going up or going down-no flats. Since the BRP is closed to Mitchell from the south there was very little traffic on the road. Most of the grades are in the 6-10% range.
Weather was very typical for Mitchell this time of the year. Cold, windy and cloudy. It was perfect for climbing and very chilly descending until about 4000 ft. I thought there were would more riders doing the climb from Marion preparing for the Assault but I only saw 4-5 others.
When I had got to the top of Mitchell I was really surprised to see that I'd climbed about 6600 ft in 30 miles. There was only 2000 ft of climbing the last 35 miles so I wound up with 8600ft for the day.
Miles 15 to 30 are a part of the Assault on Mt Mitchell and it was so nice not having 85 miles in the saddle prior to hitting this section. As I was moving along I was reminded of the several Mitchell rides I've done and especially the first one. There's a spot about 7 miles from the finish I'll always remember from my first Mitchell. I was so tired physically and mentally at that point I got off my bike and literally started talking to myself out loud trying to summon the where with all to get back on the bike and finish. After a good talking too I got back on the bike and managed to finish to the cheers of my family.
My legs felt the best they'd felt in a long, long time. I was even able to keep my HR around 80% of max the entire ride. The only thing I did differently this past week was drink a beer. Guess I'll have to include that as a part of my weekly recovery.......
Here is the profile. Sure was a lot of climbing for such a short distance-but it sure was fun!! Just wished I would have remembered my camera that I left back in the cabin.