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  1. #1
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    Assault on Mt Mitchell

    got my password today anyone else?

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    Senior Member gapowermike's Avatar
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    Lucky dogs. I've got to get up there one year to ride Marion so I can get on the list.

    In the meantime, I'll have to shoot the moon at Brasstown Bald again this year.

    Michael
    RIP Stacey. =3.

  3. #3
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I got mine too. However, I'm not sure how much good the passcodes are going to do us this year. They open registration 3 weeks early for the Freewheelers members. All you have to do to be a member is pay $20 (before 12/31/06) and they will allow you to register early-so I guess you are guaranteed a number. I saw where they now have 660 members. That leaves just a few hundred slots for everyone else..........The odds are not very good anymore on getting a number unless you're a member. At least I've done it enough to where it will not hurt my feelings if I'm not one of the few to get a number. I just can't afford any more of a premium for the ride anyway........

  4. #4
    Senior Member kokomo61's Avatar
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    I joined the Freewheelers to get a passcode, and I just registered my number - (248). To get ready in time, should I be spending most of my time getting in mileage? How much should I be focusing on climbing/hills? Would it benefit me to be spending time in the gym on lower body weight training?
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  5. #5
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    I've done Mitchell the past 3 years. I strongly disagree with how the permit system works now. It really isn't fair to those that do the Marion ride nor to those that finished the year before. By joining the club one gets a fast pass to the event. I thought this was a charity ride not a boost the Freewheelers membership ride. To be absolutely fair, one should either ride the Marion ride or have finished the Mitchell ride the year before to be eligible. No exceptions, no tranfers. Then if there are more applicants than space a lottery should be held. If you don't get a permit that year, ride to Marion and try again next time. Seems only fair.

  6. #6
    Senior Member kokomo61's Avatar
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    Sorry - If it was a lottery, I'd be fine with that, but I just followed the rules. I plan on making it at least through Marion (I've got enough training to do that now), and to the top if I can train hard enough. I've ran the NYC marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon, which both used to be open entry, but now are (I think, I could be wrong) entirely lottery and/or charity/sponsor events. I've had a goal of doing Mt. Mitchell for at least 10 years, and am OK with the sponsoring cycling club handling entries the way they see fit. If they turn it into a lottery, I'll get in line.
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    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kokomo61
    Sorry - If it was a lottery, I'd be fine with that, but I just followed the rules. I plan on making it at least through Marion (I've got enough training to do that now), and to the top if I can train hard enough. I've ran the NYC marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon, which both used to be open entry, but now are (I think, I could be wrong) entirely lottery and/or charity/sponsor events. I've had a goal of doing Mt. Mitchell for at least 10 years, and am OK with the sponsoring cycling club handling entries the way they see fit. If they turn it into a lottery, I'll get in line.
    I'm not criticizing you at all as you said, you just followed the rules. I do think the club changed those rules after people entered the process last year which seems to me as a breach of contract. I'm not a lawyer so what do I know. At the least it isn't fair to those that followed the old rules.

  8. #8
    Senior Member kokomo61's Avatar
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    I hear you there. As events get more popular, it gets tougher and tougher to get in....and then all sorts of questions about who 'deserves' to get in come in to play. When I did the Marine Corps Marathon, it was a date driven entry. If you got your entry in early enough, you got in. No problem. Same with New York. Now, if you don't sign up to raise money for a charity, it's almost impossible to get into the MCM, because most of their slots go to Team in Training or other charities. I don't have anything against the charities, but from what I've found, most charities spend more on fund raising and admin expenses than they do on actual programs....I'd rather contribute directly, and just run the darn race......

    I bet that at some point, AoMM becomes a lottery, but it will likely cause some friction while they try to sort things out....it's not like the ride can support thousands of participants.
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    with it being on a monday this year, it will be interesting to see how many riders do the ride.

  10. #10
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kokomo61
    I joined the Freewheelers to get a passcode, and I just registered my number - (248). To get ready in time, should I be spending most of my time getting in mileage? How much should I be focusing on climbing/hills? Would it benefit me to be spending time in the gym on lower body weight training?
    I'll try and offer some help on your question (and avoid my sentiments on the registration process!). I'd recommend to start with getting in a lot of base miles first. The ride to Marion is a pretty quick ride in a group so that goes by pretty quickly and without a lot of undue effort for experienced riders. The AOMM really begins just past Marion going up Hwy 80 where the climbing really starts. You'll be on the bike for a good long while that day while so you need a lot of good base miles to start with. About 6-8 weeks ahead of the event, start doing a lot more climbing. Make sure you're doing rides with over 6000 feet of climbing and even more a few weeks before the event.

    There's nothing on AOMM that is overly steep but the long climbs that deep into the ride tend to wear on you.

    I've done the AOMM enough to where if I don't get in I'm not losing any sleep over it. There are lot more great events out there plus they are much, much cheaper than AOMM.
    Last edited by jppe; 02-02-07 at 07:40 PM.

  11. #11
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    I'll try and offer some help on your question (and avoid my sentiments on the registration process!). I'd recommend to start with getting in a lot of base miles first. The ride to Marion is a pretty quick ride in a group so that goes by pretty quickly and without a lot of undue effort for experienced riders. The AOMM really begins just past Marion going up Hwy 80 where the climbing really starts. You'll be on the bike for a good long while that day while so you need a lot of good base miles to start with. About 6-8 weeks ahead of the event, start doing a lot more climbing. Make sure you're doing rides with over 6000 feet of climbing and even more a few weeks before the event.

    There's nothing on AOMM that is overly steep but the long climbs that deep into the ride tend to wear on you.

    I've done the AOMM enough to where if I don't get in I'm losing any sleep over it. There are lot more great events out there plus they are much, much cheaper than AOMM.
    jppe is spot on. Marion is the halfway point of the ride as far as effort goes. Try to conserve energy as much as possible to Marion. After that is quickly becomes a grind. It is as much a mental challenge as it is physical. For training, it is really hard to simulate 2 miles at 9% at mile 98. Try to do long climbs, shorter hill repeats with spints at the end of each rep, and good long general rides. But in reality, for the average rider it comes down to perseverance to finish the ride.

  12. #12
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Thanks for mentioning the mental aspect. I don't know how I could have forgotten how the BRP gets you swearing seeing the mile markers go by so slowly. I almost quit a mile or so from the entrance to the park on my first AOMM-I just didn't know what to expect and it was really, really hard. I was ready to toss the old bike over the guardrail but after several minutes of arguing with myself I got back on. For me it remains a very physically tough ride but I've learned what to expect which has really helped the mental side. I'm not sure how to train for the mental challenges but I'm sure Kokomo has been down that path if he's done marathons.

  13. #13
    Senior Member kokomo61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    Thanks for mentioning the mental aspect. I don't know how I could have forgotten how the BRP gets you swearing seeing the mile markers go by so slowly. I almost quit a mile or so from the entrance to the park on my first AOMM-I just didn't know what to expect and it was really, really hard. I was ready to toss the old bike over the guardrail but after several minutes of arguing with myself I got back on. For me it remains a very physically tough ride but I've learned what to expect which has really helped the mental side. I'm not sure how to train for the mental challenges but I'm sure Kokomo has been down that path if he's done marathons.
    When I ran NYC, I hadn't trained for enough long runs - I had only done one 18 miler, and it wasn't all that great....when I finally got to NYC, I started up too far in the pack (in the 3rd row of the open division), and was forced to run the first 3 miles in 6:00-6:30 a mile....WAY over my planned pace. I settled down by mile 4, but by then the damage was done. At mile 18, when you come off the Queensborough bridge, it's a long, slow rise up 1st Avenue. I started cramping, and had to walk about every 200 yards...then I could hobble for a few feet, then cramping would set in again. I finished, but couldn't do stairs facing forwards for about a week.

    I trained better for the MCM, but around mile 20, I really could have used some food in me - they had some Gatorade along the way, but I needed a banana, some Gu, or something. Way out on Hains point, it gets really deserted, and it's easy to think of quitting. But, I made it to the end, and finished in 4:22, which may not sound fast, but I made it.

    I'm going to do the best I can, and try to train right, but if I don't make it on my first try, that's OK. I'll make it at least to Marion, and decide at that point. Once I go on, I think I'm OK with the mental part (If I've trained properly). The two marathons help with the mental aspect , but I also had to recover from a motorcycle accident 2.5 years ago, where I had to learn to walk all over again (at first, they thought I wouldn't). I learned a lot about mental toughness and persistence from that experience.....hopefully it will apply here.
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  14. #14
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    I found AOMM to be less imposing by visiting Marion several times during the year and doing the Marion to Mitchell section of the climbs. This is a 60 mile round trip, approx. 30 of which is UP, and 30 back DOWN. I got so I knew every curve, bump, and "quitting" spot by heart.
    kokomo why don't you take a weekend, drive down to Marion and do a training ride or two.

  15. #15
    Senior Member gapowermike's Avatar
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    Come ride Brasstown Bald at the end of April. There won't be near the crowd and the area is beautiful. I recommend one of the cabins around Helen....or Unicoi SP if you've got a camper.

    Just don't take my spot,

    Michael
    RIP Stacey. =3.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gapowermike
    Come ride Brasstown Bald at the end of April. There won't be near the crowd and the area is beautiful. I recommend one of the cabins around Helen....or Unicoi SP if you've got a camper.

    Just don't take my spot,

    Michael
    I always quit on Hogpen, but you are certainly right about the peace and quiet of great mountain riding....

  17. #17
    Senior Member gapowermike's Avatar
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    I quit on Hogpen last year. Don't intend on letting that happen this year.

    We'll see,

    Michael
    RIP Stacey. =3.

  18. #18
    You rode how far??? GamecockTaco's Avatar
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    well, if you ever had any questions why they don't do Assault on Mt Mitchell in early February, never fear. The answer is in the link. http://ils.unc.edu/parkproject/webcam/weather.html BBBBBBRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Especially the early morning temps today.

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    Average of 23 mph winds, with gusts up to 56 mph. If it is a tail wind, then that would be the opportune time to climb it, as long as you are bundled up.

  20. #20
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I was able to register and get a number. Anyone else?

  21. #21
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Yes, I'm in. This will be my fourth year in a row. For better or worse.

  22. #22
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I was comparing numbers with some friends and it looks like 250 numbers were issued within 5 mins. Number 850+ was issued around 10 mins after Active started taking registrations. Sounds like it went a lot faster than the 40 some minutes last year.

  23. #23
    Senior Member kokomo61's Avatar
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    I got my hotel room for the ride - staying Sunday and Monday (I don't want to drive the 7 hours+ back to DC after being in the saddle all day).

    Roads should be clear enough starting this weekend to get back outside and start building up the mileage....and I've found a riding partner to do the Front Royal-Skyland loop to get some climbing training in.....If I can do that 3-4 times before June, that'll help.

    One question for the vets....just how bad are the last few miles? If I've got a good base and climbing training in, along with a good triple and pacing, can I bank on getting to the top if I take enough time?
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  24. #24
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kokomo61
    I got my hotel room for the ride - staying Sunday and Monday (I don't want to drive the 7 hours+ back to DC after being in the saddle all day).

    Roads should be clear enough starting this weekend to get back outside and start building up the mileage....and I've found a riding partner to do the Front Royal-Skyland loop to get some climbing training in.....If I can do that 3-4 times before June, that'll help.

    One question for the vets....just how bad are the last few miles? If I've got a good base and climbing training in, along with a good triple and pacing, can I bank on getting to the top if I take enough time?
    Sure, getting to the top, once you've done the first 98 miles, is just a matter of sticking to the task at hand. The tough part of the Mitchell Rd is in the first 2.5 miles. Actually, the first .5 mile is pretty easy, then it hits a steady 9%. When you see the gates of heaven, the entrance to the Park, it slackens up and even has some downslope. The last mile is just gravy after that cause you know it's almost over.
    Last edited by BikeWNC; 02-22-07 at 01:16 PM.

  25. #25
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    One other thing, since this is your first time doing Mitchell it is really hard to simulate the last 20+ miles of hill in training. People go and ride up from Marion for training and are surprised that on event day it takes an hour longer to get to the top. Remember to pace well from the start. Don't get caught up in the irrational exuberance of the first 40 miles. I swear you can smell the testosterone in the air at the start.

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