Great weather to do the ride with temps in the 60's pretty much the whole ride. Sky's were cloudy with lots of fog the first hour+. The sun was in and out the last 1-2 hours. However it was extremely humid---I've never been as wet as I was today except for riding in the rain and I'm a light sweater.
The Assault on Mt Mitchell starts in Spartanburg, SC and ends at the top of Mt Mitchell which is the tallest peak east of the Mississippi at 6600 ft. It is 102.7 miles with 10,000+ ft of climbing with most of it the last 25 miles. My ride went as well I could have expected---no crashes, no cramps and no broken spokes. I've had those happen more than once on this ride in the past so I was grateful for an uneventful ride.
I didn't record my best time but my finish time was 7 hr 2 mins which was probably a little better than I was expecting but I was hoping for a sub 7 hour time. I stopped 3 times for 7 mins total and probably could have eliminated one of the stops. Today's time was probably my 3rd best time so overall I guess I shouldn't be too upset.
I never really pushed it that hard for the whole ride......just tried to ride my style and not let others influence how I rode. I rode with the front pack for the first 40 miles where we were averaging about 23 mph. I've done a lot of large group rides but I've never seen the extreme yo-yoing as the pack experienced today. I'm pretty much a constant watt type of rider so the slow down, almost stop and then sprint to catch up was not to my liking. Part of the issue was I should have been in at least the front 1/3 of the group.
At 40 miles there was a climb that was just enough to break up the group. I was too far back to notice that a gap had formed so there wasn't much I could do at that point. We were able to group up at appropriate times so that helped reduce the effort and keep the pace up. I averaged 20+ mph for the first 75 miles so I was pretty pleased with that.
I used my relatively new Cervelo R3 and it did great. I took some risks and adjusted the saddle position a day or two before the ride and I think it helped. I didn't have any knee or hip pain from the ride.......it would have showed up if things were off. Before I had adjusted the saddle I had noticed some pains that weren't severe but I could tell some adjustments were needed. Basically I moved the saddle a little more forward and dropped the height about 5 mm.
Nutrition today was 2 1/2 bananas, 5 small fig newtons and 1 Gu pack. I think I only drank about 4 bottles of fluids.
I'm pretty sure I was filmed from a news photographer riding in helicopter climbing Mt Mitchell--I'll see if I can chase that down.
I managed to enjoy 3 Krispy Kreme doughnuts that were "Hot N Now" this evening.
I'll probably do another 100 miler before heading out to Ride the Rockies.
Here is a link to a video the Asheville newspaper did:
Here is a photo my wife took of unclipping at the finish:
Here I am after the ride---it's probably the nicest I've ever seen the weather up there this time of year: