I rode "Blood Sweat and Gears" near Boone this past Saturday-103 miles with just short of 9000 ft of climbing. It is limited to 750 riders as it uses the Blue Ridge Parkway for about 25 miles and the Rangers limit the participants. Another 500 riders did the shorter 50 mile event.
This is becoming one of my favorite rides as it's a loop and has really nice roads and a number of different climbs. It is really something to hear and see folks screaming in pain riding (or a lot walking) up the featured climb-Snake Mountain. That climb easily tops out above 20% and is unrelenting. I finished within a minute of what I've done it in the last couple of years but I did move up to finish in 167th spot even though it was a pretty blustery day. For the first time on this particular ride I felt strong enough to be able to spend a lot of time riding in groups which helped immensely.
If you're interested in doing a mountain century this one would be a good one to do.
It's the second ride I've completed after using the V8 Fusion juice as prep the day before (tons of potassium and sodium) and I had very limited cramping.
Here are the more noteworthy climbs (information from my Garmin)
Climb Name-Start Mile Point for the Climb- Climb Length (miles)-Avg Grade (%)-Max Grade (%)
Bill Hill Rd-53.0-2.4-2.2-14.7
Here's a picture of last year's start with everyone riding over the mats. I think this is what is called a Mass start. I was fortunate enough to be at the very start as it only took me about 10 seconds to get across the mat-and I only had to shove a couple folks out of my way!!!