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  1. #1
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Six Gap Century - Sept. 27, 2009

    http://www.cyclenorthgeorgia.com/ind...d=51&Itemid=35

    One of the most beautiful and most challenging rides in Georgia. It climbs six mountain gaps in North Georgia in 103 miles with over 11,000 feet of climbing. I have ridden four of the six gaps before on various rides, but not the toughest one, Hogpen Gap, which was a major climb in most of the Tour de Georgia routes.

    I've been wanting to do this one for a long time and this year I'm finally going to do it. I plan to climb every hill I can find and get myself used to long days in the saddle so I'll be ready to tackle those mountain climbs about seven weeks from now.

    Are any other 50+ posters planning to do this ride? It would be great to meet before the ride.



    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  2. #2
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Sounds like fun to me, but GA is just too far away from CA for a weekend ride-event commute. Thankfully we have rides with similar milage and elevation gains closer to home!

    Of course, we don't have GA level humidity, so your miles and elevations are probably more challenging than ours!

    Rick / OCRR

  3. #3
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    I'm glad to hear that you are feeling up to it, BD. Enjoy the ride!

  4. #4
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    6 Gap is on my schedule to ride this year. It's not far from me but I've never done the ride before. Usually by late Sept. the humidity is no longer an issue down there. I'd be more worried about a cold rain. I guess that would be considered humidity also. LOL.

    As for training for the ride, all my terrain is like 6 Gap so that shouldn't be a problem. I climbed 4000' on my morning ride today.

  5. #5
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Hogpen looks like a hard climb. I'll be with you in spirit. Sept 26th is my scheduled attack on Mt Greylock as part of a 75 mile loop. This weekend is a 80 mile ride with 6000' climbing, next weekend a 75 mile loop with 6800', and then the centurys in Sept where they always throw in a few rough climbs. I started training 3 weeks ago and will keep at it through late Sept. I just need to be careful not to overtrain, this week I laid off the mid week climbing fest to rest for tomorrow - the group will be fast, two very long and hard ascents and I'll need all the energy I can muster to do that, keep up with the faster group plus make the distance. Next week I will climb Wed evening even though I have the long ride on Sunday, that will give me enough time to rest with a couple of moderately paced training rides on Thur & Sat. After that I have three weeks to get two solid climbing days/week in before the century rides start in early Sept and then Greylock hits in late Sept.

    Greylock is a real sweetie - 6% for 9 miles
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
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  6. #6
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    Hogpen looks like a hard climb. I'll be with you in spirit. Sept 26th is my scheduled attack on Mt Greylock as part of a 75 mile loop. This weekend is a 80 mile ride with 6000' climbing, next weekend a 75 mile loop with 6800', and then the centurys in Sept where they always throw in a few rough climbs. I started training 3 weeks ago and will keep at it through late Sept. I just need to be careful not to overtrain, this week I laid off the mid week climbing fest to rest for tomorrow - the group will be fast, two very long and hard ascents and I'll need all the energy I can muster to do that, keep up with the faster group plus make the distance. Next week I will climb Wed evening even though I have the long ride on Sunday, that will give me enough time to rest with a couple of moderately paced training rides on Thur & Sat. After that I have three weeks to get two solid climbing days/week in before the century rides start in early Sept and then Greylock hits in late Sept.

    Greylock is a real sweetie - 6% for 9 miles
    So will you climb Greylock on the North or South grade? 2 weeks ago I climbed to Carver's Gap on Roan Mtn Tn. and it was 7 miles and 2500 or 2700' depending on who you believe. That was a good climb. I expect Hogpen Gap to be similar but with steeper grades mixed with a few breaks. I'm sure Hogpen will be a solid hour's worth of climbing for me.

  7. #7
    Wheezing Geezer Bud Bent's Avatar
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    Wow, good luck, BD! I've been sitting here whining to myself about the climbing I'll have tomorrow on my 200k Cleburne Goatneck permanent, but after looking at that route, I'll shut up now.
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    They told me it's ok to post mileage over in the commuting forum, so you'll probably find me there these days.

  8. #8
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    BluesDawg, If you want a great tuneup ride before 6 Gap, we have the Tour de Tuck metric/century in town two weeks before. I'll be doing that one, but which length remains to be seen.


  9. #9
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I had thought about coming back down and doing Six Gap again this year but most likely will not. My brother and I usually travel together for rides like that but he crashed a month ago and is just now getting back on the bike. I doubt he would be in good enough shape to tackle it again this year. Plus we have a home football game that Saturday and I'm missing two others prior to that one for other rides.

    I really enjoyed the ride last year and would hope to go back again. We caught the weather on a really good day for riding so that certainly helped. It is a legitimate 11,000 feet of climbing so it is definitely advertised correctly-unlike a number of other rides. Except for the first 10 miles or so, I felt as if I was either going up or descending all day. You certainly didn't have to worry about riding in a group!!

    I think I stopped at Uncoi and the top of Hogpen and had enough fluids for the rest of the ride. Hogpen is not the steepest or hardest climb I've ever done but it was relentless. I just don't recall it giving you any slack once you started the steeper part until you got to the top-maybe two miles?? I do recall using the 34/32 just about all of that climb-and wishing I had a gear or two easier!!

    The descent off Hogpen was deceptively fast-most riders were easily going 50+. I wound up with a car in front of me about half ways down so I had to back off a little but they wound up waiving me around. Unfortunately a female crashed on the descent and as I recall later died.

    On the other hand I have a new set of lightweight climbing wheels for the 5900 coming and they might persuade me to change my mind!!

    BD-I know you'll do well. Other than the climbs being a little longer it should have a lot of familiarity with the roads you normally ride. I hope you guys have great weather!
    Last edited by jppe; 08-08-09 at 09:45 AM.

  10. #10
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
    So will you climb Greylock on the North or South grade? 2 weeks ago I climbed to Carver's Gap on Roan Mtn Tn. and it was 7 miles and 2500 or 2700' depending on who you believe. That was a good climb. I expect Hogpen Gap to be similar but with steeper grades mixed with a few breaks. I'm sure Hogpen will be a solid hour's worth of climbing for me.
    Why the north side out of North Adams of course. It ain't Greylock if you don't experience it at her worst.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
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  11. #11
    Road Nazi Hunter Donegal's Avatar
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    Hey BD, glad to see you back kicking a$s. I found out last year that with my big butt, I am a better roleur than grimpeur. I do better on the flats and rollers vs. dragging my butt uphill. My riding partner is now around 140 lbs and goes uphill twice as fast as I do. I had a mechanical and had to pull out at around 51 miles when my rear wheel locked up. Since I do all my own mechanical work, I really felt stupid.

    I have had a lot of setbacks this year, keeping me from riding much. If I can get a few long rides in between now and the ride, I will come up for it. I might even just do the 50. I would love to try the 100again just to see if I can do it.

    I had a 34/27 last year and spent some good bit of time in the bottom gear. Anyway, glad to hear you are back, I'll keep you posted if I can make it.
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  12. #12
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Thanks for the encouragement. I'll be practicing lots of climbs between now and then. We have plenty of steep hills locally, but nothing more than a couple of miles long, most less than one mile. Some of the best preparation will be from mountain biking like I did Saturday where the hills are relentless. I rode for about 3 hours including breaks, covering only 16 miles and I felt like I had done a hard 50 miler.
    My current lowest gear on Ribby is a 26 front 28 rear combo. I'm debating whether to go even lower with a MTB derailleur and a cassette with a 32 tooth cog. I'll decide in a few weeks. If I can handle the toughest hills around here with a gear or two in reserve I'll stick with what I have.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  13. #13
    Senior Member yamura's Avatar
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    BD, a back injury about a month ago (right after the Peachtree Road Race) has stopped me cold; no running, no riding. Just now starting to be able to walk w/o too much pain again. MRI last Thursday and I see Herr Doktor tomorrow to hopefully rule out a disc. Good luck out there and I hope to join you next year.

  14. #14
    old but fast
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    BluesDawg, Although I'm not a regular here at the 50+ forum ( I'm 53 so I quailify) I spend most of my time at the Great Lakes forum but lurk here now and then, your post got me interested. So now you will have one more for your ride, well two really, as my wife is doing the 50 miler (she's 49, almost there). We need to set up a meet at the Saturday bike expo. I rode part of this in 2008 with a friend during the tour of Georgia, tough stuff for sure.

  15. #15
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    The descent off Hogpen was deceptively fast-most riders were easily going 50+. I wound up with a car in front of me about half ways down so I had to back off a little but they wound up waiving me around. Unfortunately a female crashed on the descent and as I recall later died.
    jppe,

    That's true - the woman was a member of the club I belong to, and since the club is in South Florida, she had very little to no experience at riding mountain roads, and perhaps because of that the situation (excessive speed) caused her to not brake properly (perhaps too much at the wrong times in the descent), overheating the rims and causing a blowout (from what they found with the tire) which caused the crash, so, a word of advice that this century is for the cyclist of an advanced skill level who has at least some level of experience when it comes to very steep ascents and descents - don't forget that these are the same roads used during the Tour de Georgia stages, so they are mountain roads suited for the professional cyclist...

    The female rider spoken of rode with the fast weekend peletons, but with the exception of our local highway bridges and a few rolling hills in Central Florida (Mount Dora) actually had no experience in a mountain setting - years ago I found the same true when attending an LAW (now LAB) GEAR rally in the Shenandoah Valley - mountain roads do take a certain level of skill to ride safely (we also had one rider go down on a downhill, but fortunately it was at a much slower speed and she only had some road rash)...

    I really got some static (on the safety board) when this was brought up after the Hogpen accident (lots of under 30 cyclists on that board who consider only excessive speeds to be fun), but it's the same for airplane pilots, skiiers, mountain climbers and divers - what the person is attempting should at least come close to matching their skill level - a certain level of challenge is good, but anything beyond that is dangerous if they are not prepared for it...

    So, enjoy - but be mindful of your skill level, and don't be ashamed to brake at the start of the downhill (which won't overheat the rims), to keep the speed further down the mountain to a safe level - better to have a 18 mph downhill start peak at 50, than to have a 30 mph start peak at a dangerous 60 or higher - even the Tour de France guys are barely holding on at those speeds...

    Frank
    Last edited by Glades2; 08-11-09 at 09:04 AM.

  16. #16
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Mountain descents are definitely not to be taken lightly. Very sorry to hear about the woman's death. Even experienced riders can get in over their heads as was the case of the man who crashed and died descending Brasstown Bald a couple of years ago after the TdG stage.

    I have become much more restrained in my downhill speed lately. I found it to be plenty thrilling to max out at 42mph coming down from Unicoi Gap in June compared to past years when I would hit 50+. I am definitely more careful than when I was an immortal teenager coming down Hogpen on a motorcycle at ridiculous speeds. I have no idea how I survived those years.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  17. #17
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    I am signed up for both the Tour de Tuck and 6 Gap Century rides on the 19th and 27th respectively. Both rides have just over 11,000' of climbing but are very different in nature. The TdT has long climbs, 10 miles + with 3000' gains while 6 Gap has shorter more frequent climbs. Both will hurt.

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