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  1. #1
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Anyone else doing Six Gaps in Ga Sunday?

    Normally I look forward to doing different rides but with my lack of conditioning I might be in over my head this Sunday.

    Anybody done this route before??

  2. #2
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I had this one marked on my calendar, but fate decided I would miss it once again. Definitely on my "must do" list for my recovery year.

    Several people from here are going up to ride 6 Gap. From what they have told me. it is a hard ride, but no harder than some of the rides I've seen you describe, jppe. I have ridden some of the climbs on the route. Jack's Gap is no problem. Wolfpen is not too steep, but seems endless. Hogpen is the real test. I have only ridden a short part of it, but it is long and fairly steep.

    I'm looking forward to seeing your ride report and to possibly riding it with you next year. Have a great ride!
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    Some of the Gaps are used in the Tour de Georgia. They elicited comments from Armstrong and some of the foreign riders that they didn't know about these tough climbs in the US. I've backpacked over hog Pen and the one by Blood Mountain on the Appalachian Trail, but never ridden them.

    If Armstrong does in fact make a comeback in '09, I'll be about a half mile from Hog Pen to see him race once again.

    Some Tour riders resorted to triples to get up Brasstown, but I don't know if it's included in six gaps.

    I have a friend who's spending the week at the big bike show out west. He's getting back in time to ride it. I don't think he'll get far as he's not been riding the whole week and has only trained for it in north Florida. A 100 mile ride in Florida is not even close.

    Al

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    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alcanoe View Post
    Some Tour riders resorted to triples to get up Brasstown, but I don't know if it's included in six gaps.
    Brasstown Bald is not part of the Six Gap ride. Jack's gap takes you to the start of BB but you keep going past it. I have riden up Brasstown Bald before and it is a mother. Much steeper than anything on the Six Gap route.
    Here is the route info and elevation profile.
    Last edited by BluesDawg; 09-22-08 at 09:26 AM.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    11,230 feet in 103.8 miles will be a great ride. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Pat
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    Yeah, Brasstown Bald is not on the 6 Gaps ride. I think it is for a good reason too. Brasstown Bald is a 3 mile out and back. It is steeper than all get out maxing out at 28%. Going up does not seem to scary but going down......

  7. #7
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link BluesDawg. Geez......I just wanted to do something different but it looks like I'm going to have to ride my tail off. Just looking at the ride profile there are some pretty long ups in this one!! I will definitely make sure I have my 32 cassette in good working order.

    I've done 2-3 of the climbs before but don't recall which ones. I'm guessing it was Wolfpen and Woody as we were down watching the Tour de Georgia and rode before the riders came through. If I can make it to mile mark 87.2 I think I can get back to the start..........At least weather wise it doesn't look to be too terribly hot-but maybe a tad wet.....

  8. #8
    Road Nazi Hunter Donegal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post
    Normally I look forward to doing different rides but with my lack of conditioning I might be in over my head this Sunday.

    Anybody done this route before??
    Hey Jppe, tough route. I'm going to be up on the mountain with you Sunday. Look for me, Old, Fat and Fredly..... I've run the front or the rear 3 several times, never all 6. This year my business has kept me off of the bike and I know I will pay for it Sunday.

    There are 20 miles of up and downs to get to the first hill, Neal's. 7.5 miles, 35-45 minutes to the top. Not too steep, averages 7.5%, false flat 1/2 way up. Don't work too hard, more to come. Ride comfortably, don't dig too deep. Fun downhill to follow, safe and easy, turn right at 180. The roads become rougher, and hillier.

    Jack's is the second gap. The entry to Brasstown is on the top of it. You have to know it is somewhat steeper. Long enough to put some pain into the legs, steep as hell. The downhill after is a blast and lasts for a really long time.

    The next is Unicoi, Steep also, slightly longish but new pavement makes it pretty manageable. Again, conserve, the fun is about to start. Another great downhill.

    When you turn uphill, you run up and down a bit, don't be fooled. You will turn right again and begin hating life almost immediately. Up and around the bend is the first wall. 13-15%. It will finally let you go and you have a small downhill respite. When you turn up again, just concentrate on turning the pedals over. It's gonna be steep and seems to go on forever. There is a water stop on this wall, but It's hard to get going again. If you can, keep going. You get to an overlook, but be careful, it's not over yet.
    You will be in your lowest gear, struggling to turn it over. I was told to keep your head down, there will be carnage all over the road on this hill. Recover at the top, stretch and enjoy a downhill that is steep enough to cross 50 mph. On a 14-15lb bike, it is like flying on a leaf. After a small road ride with a few ups and downs, you turn back towards Neals, uphill to a right turn to Wolfpen.

    Wolfpen is pretty steep with steep ramps in the corners. The best part is "It is shady". It will be cooler and thereby is a good climb later in the day. Great downhill after, lots of fun. Pretty long ride with lots of rollers into Suches, where you turn at the convenience store up to the last gap.

    The last gap is Woodys and is it really just a bump after all the climbing you have done. It is a pain nonetheless. Put your head down and it goes away fairly quickly. The downhill after is one of the longest and is now very dangerous. It is covered with the tar snakes and later in the day they will be melted. Don't push the corners too hard while watching your traction. I was hoping that the tar snakes meant they were going to pave it. You run downhill 2/3 of the way home. Watch the last corner calling for 20 mph, it tightens up. I've almost missed it a couple of times.

    I am going into this thing with one thought. Conserve. I have the tendency to mash up the hill in a bigger gear all the way to failure. That won't work if I intend to go 100 miles. I will be riding a 50/34 compact with a 12/27 rear cassette. I am generally a flats and roller rider and climbing is definitely not my thing. With my cardio conditioning, my heart rate runs up quick and I will do everything but take valium to keep it down. I had my longest ride ever this weekend, 120 miles on the Comet Trail. We rode to Alabama and back. It was a great endurance ride, flatter and more in my ballpark. I can assure you, Sunday I will be suffering'.
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  9. #9
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Thanks Donegal. That is exactly the type of information I was looking for-but I was really hoping the grades were 3%-5% instead of 13%-15%. With all the climbing it sure doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to be in a big group or push hard at the start like a lot of rides I do. I'm sure for these types of climbs I will be solo and really couldn't care what others are doing anyway.

    I'm afraid I just haven't been riding enough hills to do this type of ride right now but will give it a shot. Plus I've let my weight creep up and I know how much more effort it takes to lug all those pounds up the steeper hills. I'm probably worried about being mentally tough enough to push through some of the steeper sections later in the ride without stopping like I would prefer to do but we'll see.

    At least I've done Wolfpen and Woody and would agree that Woody will probably feel a lot steeper that deep into the ride. At least when you get to the top it eases off a bit for a spell.

    I hope your ride is a safe one. I think my mantra will be like yours to conserve and to just finish. It feels like it's probably going to run me between 7-8 hours which is a pretty long time to be in the saddle.......and then drive about 5 hours back to the house.

    Not sure why but I'm already getting this big sense of dread coming on!!!!

  10. #10
    Road Nazi Hunter Donegal's Avatar
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    Hey Jppe, this is only my second organized century. I did one 7 years ago and went crazy. I hate getting dropped, hung with the front runners for 90 miles and finished it in 4:18. I rode so far over my head, gutted it out the whole way and never wanted to see my bike again. This time, I am going to enjoy the ride, stop and stretch, eat and ride within my own limits. Then I will be sitting down to a good cold one or two or three. Hope to see you, have fun with it. Like a friend told me "Ride to complete, not compete." If I can drag my big as* over those hills, you can too.
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