Best Events [centuries] in the South? Opinion?
I asked this question in another thread [about Horrible Hundred event], but thought it might be interesting enough for it's own thread.
I listed my idea of the top events in the south as:
Georgia's 'Six Gap, Three Gap' as most popular [I hear over 3000 show up for that one].
Chattanooga's 3 State, 3 Mountain event in May.
Alabama's Cheaha ride.
And I put Florida's 'Horrible Hundred' somewhere in my list as well.
There are many annual rides around the South, and it would interesting to hear what other's have to say about their ideas of the most popular events are [non competitive, Century type events...where a good number of riders show up etc (thousand or more etc?)]. Or any event of special note.
[hope this is not an old thread being reproduced]...
I researched them all a little.I am hoping to attempt my first century by April or May will see how i progress in the next few months.Looking at the Tour de Pike for my first or maybe Wheels O Fire both in GA.
I am looking at the Tour de Pike as well as a training ride for BRAG next Summer Probaly in for the 66 miler. I lived in that area for a while years ago and it is very pretty rural country side with roilling hills If you decide to go kflagg let me know. Can give you some local info if needed
Hey, looking at doing BRAG myself this year; might see you there. Then...I dunno; I just broke my collar bone yesterday LOL. It'll be healed by June of course...but you just never know what's around the corner [pun]. Sunday pleasure ride...beebopping along, carefree, nice day, good mood [zippidey doo dah day, ha]...and BOOM!...I go down reaching for my water bottle. Ah well. Armstrong said that anyone riding bicycles is gonna crash sometime, somewhere. As far as rides, I've read a few threads sinced my OP...and some really tough rides in NC, Virginia, Tenn...rides for the 'big boys', ha. Brasstown Bald comes to mind [way out of my league...although, I dunno, I did Raccoon and Lookout last year in Chattanooga so maybe some juice in the old leagues yet]. Living in Florida, kinda tough finding 'hills' except in Clermont area...and then nothing like real mountains. Florida 'mountains' are usually intercoastal bridges, ha. Damn this shoulder hurts!!!
Originally Posted by bo31210
Dang Ron Terrible way to start the year. Get that shoulder healed and make it for BRAG This will be my first so wont know anyone LOL
Theres the Natchez Trace,, 444 miles,,, Starts in Natchez Miss. ends Nashville Tenn. do it at your leasure,, picnic grounds thruout the trace with clean bathrooms!!!!! no commercial traffic!! google it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Beautiful Backroads Century is a great ride and always well attended (except when it's pouring down rain like last year). Starts and ends at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery near Cartersville GA. The roads are great, good rest stops, and some of the best end-of-ride food I've had at any event. And free beer.
Sometime around the third Saturday in September.
A might bewildered...
Old Kentucky Home Tour in September is notorious: monster hills at mile 90 or so, kind of like machine gunning survivors.
Ill be attempting the Redbud Ride century in London, Ky, in April. Very hilly.
Horsey Hundred in Georgetown, Ky, on Memorial Day is popular.
The only downside to the Trace is the scenery doesn't vary much. I lived in/near Nashville for years and did part of it, but some may want more variety than it will offer.
Originally Posted by Fastfingaz
Let's do a Century
I've done all those except for Horrible Hundred. Some I'd suggest around the Carolinas:
Originally Posted by Ron Harry
Assault on Mt Mitchell in May-point to point ride-102 miles from Spartanburg to Mt Mitchell-pricey but everyone needs to do it once
Blood Sweat and Gears-Registration is closed but is a terrific mountain century-Rider limit of 750 reached in 16 mins this year
Brutal Blue Ridge out of West Jefferson NC-another good mountain century but less than 500 riders
Blue Ridge Breakaway-My favorite of all the Mountain Centuries I've done-107 miles, 10,000 ft of climbing and includes 30 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway-less than 500 riders but growing annually as folks find out about it
Note: Bridge to Bridge is also a terrific Mountain Century that finishes on top of Grandfather Mountain but it is doubtful that it will be held this year. They are looking for someone to organize it.
I've ridden Cheaha several times. It will be interesting to see what the new route looks like with the climb near the end.
Originally Posted by jppe
I'd love to do the blue ridge parkway. I try and do cycle north carolina annually now, but we're pretty much out of the mountains by second or third day usually on that event (only problem is CNC coincides with 6gap ride in Georgia). I can usually do one or two more weekend events a year out of state [florida for me]...so some tough decisions to make [where to go]...plus doing BRAG etc. Of course, 'ya want to try them all, ha.
About Cheaha...spring is coming up on us...and I'm way out of shape. How would you rate Cheaha on difficulty? They are advertising being 'toughest ride in the south' this year, comparing 'blow for blow' comparison to 6 gap 3 gap?
Still have a month...so maybe if get off my butt and...well, we'll see I guess. I really enjoyed Chattanooga last year [3state3Mtn]...even if it rained hard and we lost a fellow rider. They held the USA pro cycling championships there last year. Saw where the leaders do them 'hills' [ahem] at 25 mph or better. Get out of here; no way.
Let's do a Century
I've done CNC a few times and you are correct. There is generally not a lot of climbing, even in the mountains. Even for the first day or so in the mountains they attempt to route it so it's more downhill than uphill but when you are trying to move a group of 1000+ riders will varying skill levels that is the best thing to do. Instead of CNC, especially since I already ride in NC so much, I travel to other states and do tours just to do something different. My favorite is Ride the Rockies or Bike Tour Colorado. Very good value for the experience. I did Cycle Oregon last year and am signed up for Wyoming this year. Hopefully I'll also do one of the Colorado tours again this year.
6 Gaps is a terrific ride. Other than Hogpen the climbs while long are not that bad, and there are plenty of other riders along with you. I've had the feeling at 6 Gap that you are either going up or going down.
Cheaha has always been a great century for me to see where I am fitness wise early in the year. With the past routes, all the climbing was packed into a 60 mile segment with first and last 20 miles fairly flat. I generally judge the difficulty of centuries by how long it takes me to do them. I have done Cheaha in under 6 hours several times. Six Gap I'm about an hour longer. Cheaha has some steeper climbs but they are not terribly long. Cheaha is a nice route as it has been an out and back......if you're having a bad day you can just turn around the cut the ride short. It is a very good event and a great early season Century that lets you test your climbing legs. The wind usually comes into play more with Cheaha, particularly the last segment. Last year we had a headwind the last 20 miles and I was solo so it probably took me 10+ minutes longer than normal. I'm interested to see how changing the start/finish area affects the overall climbing. If you consider states to the north of Alabama to also be "in the South" then I'd put other rides as more difficult, much more difficult in fact. But I really enjoy doing Cheaha and they do a terrific job with the entire weekend. If you have not ridden in it you really should make the trip.
Beautiful backroads Century
Three gap / six gap
GA 400 Century
Tour de tugaloo
Order of difficulty:
1) Three gap / six gap - 101 miles 11,000 vertical feet
2) GA 400 - 103 miles I think and 10k vertical
3) Tour de tugaloo - 102 miles and 8.2k vertical
4) BBC - 103 miles and 6.7k vertical
5) BRAG - 103 miles and 5.5k vertical
3/6 gap and GA 400.
I've done the Assault on Mt Mitchell, Bridge to Bridge, and Blood Sweat and Gears. All were great rides, the worse climb was probably Bridge to Bridge. The final climb up Grandfather Mountain was brutal, it had rained all day and never got out of the 50s. I felt even sorrier for my family, they sat outside on top of the mountain waiting on me to finish.