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  1. #1
    Senior Member gapowermike's Avatar
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    Brasstown Bald Buster

    It's official, I'm signed up. I'm in a little worse shape than I was last year but I'm going for it anyway. I've got 3 months to prepare and at least I know what to expect this time.

    For those of you who haven't heard about the ride, the full century option has over 14,000 feet of climbing over Hogpen & Jack's Gaps with a finish at the top of Brasstown Bald. It's a bit pricey at ~105 but that includes transporting you and your bike back to Helen. They did a great job last year with the ride and you can't beat the scenery. If you're not interested in that kind of beating you can opt for the shorter 80 mile option ending in Helen. It's got a fair amount of elevation gain as well and if you'd like a bit more you could climb Hogpen then turn around and coast back to Helen.

    This year it's the week after the TdG so the roads should still be decorated. That should be pretty decent motivation. I hope to see some of you guys/gals up there. It would be neat to meet some of the Georgia BikeForumers.

    Here's a link:

    www.BrasstownBaldBusterCentury.com
    RIP Stacey. =3.

  2. #2
    Vino 4-ever FastFreddy's Avatar
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    I just signed up. Thanks for the reminder, Mike.

    Registration is available only through active.com. Beware when registering online for anything at active.com. They make sales pitches disguised as this or that being “free”. Read the fine print or you may have some strange charges on your credit card 3 months from now.
    Sheriff: You have a lot of experience with bounty hunters, do you?
    Mattie Ross: That is a silly question. I am here to settle my father’s affairs.
    Sheriff: All alone?
    Mattie Ross: I am the person for it. Mama was never any good at sums and she could hardly spell “CAT”.
    --from the movie True Grit (2010)

  3. #3
    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    unfortunately it's the same day as the athens twilight

  4. #4
    I-M-D bell curve of bikn'
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    Never heard of this until now. When is it? I doubt it would be one I could make but there is next year. I saw times from 10 hrs. last year. Thats insane. How many riders usually show?
    Ego Campana Inflectum of Circuitous

  5. #5
    Senior Member gapowermike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by branman1986
    unfortunately it's the same day as the athens twilight
    You'll have plenty of time to make it to the Athens twilight. I'm tempted to try to make that myself.
    RIP Stacey. =3.

  6. #6
    Senior Member gapowermike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msheron
    Never heard of this until now. When is it? I doubt it would be one I could make but there is next year. I saw times from 10 hrs. last year. Thats insane. How many riders usually show?
    Last year there were almost 100 but a good portion of them were there for the 80 mile option. The ride is only in its 3rd year and the schedule kind of floats around to avoid Mt Mitchell and 6 Gap. It's found its place among the die hards that have tried it and it's growing each year.

    And for the 10 hours......it's not unreasonable if you factor in the majority of the 14000' comes in the last 15 miles.

    Michael
    RIP Stacey. =3.

  7. #7
    I-M-D bell curve of bikn'
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    Sounds like a potential for next year. How does it compare to the Assault on Mt. Mitchell ride?
    Ego Campana Inflectum of Circuitous

  8. #8
    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gapowermike
    You'll have plenty of time to make it to the Athens twilight. I'm tempted to try to make that myself.
    racing in the morning(athens twilight greenway) and hopefully I'll be racing that night

  9. #9
    Vino 4-ever FastFreddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msheron
    Sounds like a potential for next year. How does it compare to the Assault on Mt. Mitchell ride?
    Brasstown is quite a bit tougher. The courses are similar in that they’re both point-to-point with a mountain-top finish. Brasstown has about 14,000 vertical feet vs. 11,000 for Mitchell. Brasstown also has an insanely steep section at the end – nothing comparable on Mitchell. I’ve done Brasstown once and Mitchell 17 times.
    Sheriff: You have a lot of experience with bounty hunters, do you?
    Mattie Ross: That is a silly question. I am here to settle my father’s affairs.
    Sheriff: All alone?
    Mattie Ross: I am the person for it. Mama was never any good at sums and she could hardly spell “CAT”.
    --from the movie True Grit (2010)

  10. #10
    Senior Member gapowermike's Avatar
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    I'm recon'ing Hogpen in a couple of weeks. Planning on riding the Helen-Hogpen-Jacks-Unicoi-Helen loop on March 12th if anyone is interested. I've got a bit of training in Anniston, AL and will be going via Helen. I've got to get over Hogpen so it's not in my head come April.

    Michael
    RIP Stacey. =3.

  11. #11
    My idea of fun kensuf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gapowermike
    I'm recon'ing Hogpen in a couple of weeks. Planning on riding the Helen-Hogpen-Jacks-Unicoi-Helen loop on March 12th if anyone is interested. I've got a bit of training in Anniston, AL and will be going via Helen. I've got to get over Hogpen so it's not in my head come April.

    Michael
    Oh I'm interested, but March 12th is a Monday and I'd have to work.

    BTW, I hear they've had a bit of snow up there this past weekend. I've been stuck up there in March when it snowed for 5 days straight before.

  12. #12
    Senior Member gapowermike's Avatar
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    Not my kind of riding. I hope that late April is pretty nice for the actual century. Last year is was a week later and quite chilly at the start but it warmed up to a perfect day.
    RIP Stacey. =3.

  13. #13
    Senior Member gapowermike's Avatar
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    UPDATE email from Jim and Mitch::

    Greetings!

    Come join us for the Third Annual Brasstown Bald Buster Century. Attack the same mountain that will be assaulted in the 2007 Tour De Georgia. Challenge yourself to a course similar to what Lance Armstrong competed on in the 2004 & 2005 Tour de Georgia!

    Are you ready to ride 100 miles, and over 14,000 ft of elevation gain? Are you ready to ride "The Wall" on Brasstown Bald? If you're not ready for that, you can stop after 80 miles, with an option by passing the big mountains back to Helen.

    The Brasstown Bald Buster Century is Saturday April 28th, 2007. With the time changing early (next weekend), you'll have plenty of opportunity to get out and train! What are you waiting for?

    For more information, visit the event website:
    www.BrasstownBaldBusterCentury.com

    Or go straight to registration by visiting www.Active.com.

    Regards,

    Jim & Mitch
    Surge Sports, Inc.

    To stop receiving these mailings please go to the following URL:
    http://www.active.com/unsubscribe.cf...69ECCBE3FBC9B6
    RIP Stacey. =3.

  14. #14
    Senior Member gapowermike's Avatar
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    BUMP -- It's getting closer. Who's been training? Who's going to make it?

    I haven't been training enough but I'm more prepared than last year. We'll see. The weather should be great and the roads will still be 'chalked' from the TdG.

    Michael
    RIP Stacey. =3.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Ktmartin's Avatar
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    I think you all have lost your minds. They would have to pay me to do this century.
    2006 TREK 2100

  16. #16
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    Training for this beast is tough for a flat lander like myself but....

    I have been riding every chance I get. I am stoked that is for sure.

    My goals are:
    1a. Have fun.
    1. Make the cutoff time to be able to go to the Bald.
    2. Finish under my own power.

  17. #17
    Senior Member gapowermike's Avatar
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    1. You will for the first 80 miles.
    2. Cutoff isn't an issue because you've got ~5.5 hours.
    3. Nobody's going to push you.
    RIP Stacey. =3.

  18. #18
    Senior Member gapowermike's Avatar
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    I told Mike45 that I'd get back to him about the route and might as well share it here in case anyone else is interested. I think it'll be just like last years route. I'm not going to know the road names but I can give you a general direction. We started out leaving Helen under police escort heading south. IIRC we turned at the old Indian burial mound and headed out SE of town where we ended up doing a large circle that brought us back to the North side of Helen on the road (375) in front of Unicoi S.P. When you dead end back into Hwy 17 you turn right and then left less than a mile later on 75ALT. Then it's a right turn onto 348. That turn is the cutoff point and the SAG stop at the base of Hogpen Gap. The climbing starts immediately and lasts for ~7 miles or so. Try to have fun. There are a few downhill sections to give you a break but the climb seems to go on forever. There is another SAG at the top and then it's a screaming descent before you head up Jack's Gap. Another descent and then the climb to the top of Brasstown Bald. Hogpen is the one where you make it or you don't. If you peter-out (like I did last year) you can turn around and ride back to Helen. It doesn't take long but you'll still have some climbing to do to make up for the false fronts that you've already passed. You're better off to suck it up and keep pedalling. You'll make it eventually even if you have to walk some of it.

    The last 20 miles are the toughest part of the ride but don't let that fool you. The first 80 are nowhere near flat to a flat-lander like me. I distinctly remember 2 climbs on the 'flat' part of the ride that were extremely steep and nearly a mile (?guess?) in length. When the ride leaves Helen there will be a huge peloton that you should try to avoid. They will be moving at a pace you most likely can't maintain so let them go. You'll pass a good portion of them as the day wears on. It's going to be a really long day in the saddle so don't kill yourself on the first 80. Don't waste time at the SAGs and make sure that you eat and drink plenty along the way. I recommend 2 large water bottles because the climb up Hogpen will probably take more than an hour.

    You'll be getting a survival packet that gives you a lot of the same information from Jim and Mitch so be on the lookout for it. And Mike45, I'm also staying at Unicoi SP. I stayed even farther away last year and rode to the start. It's only a couple of miles and I'll probably ride in if you want to join me. The ride in isn't very hilly at all but may be a little cool. You'll also need to haul a backpack with your personal belongings to the start. Make sure that you put some duct tape or something with your name on it so you can find it later. I'm getting pumped. This is going to be fun.

    Cheers,

    Michael
    RIP Stacey. =3.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Thanks for the update! You can bet I won't be trying to keep up with any fast pelotons.
    My strategy is start off in survival mode.

  20. #20
    Senior Member gapowermike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike45
    Thanks for the update! You can bet I won't be trying to keep up with any fast pelotons.
    My strategy is start off in survival mode.

    You up for riding from Unicoi? I've got a buddy that's staying somewhere in Helen. We might all be riding to the start.

    Michael
    RIP Stacey. =3.

  21. #21
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Is there an elevation profile for this ride anywhere?

  22. #22
    Senior Member gapowermike's Avatar
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    This guy rode 6 Gap and it's got 4000' less climbing.

    http://www.bike4one.com/rides2004/sixgap.htm

    This one is from the TdG site and shows Hogpen, Jacks, and BB.

    http://167.192.158.252/2005/the_race...rofile_000.pdf
    RIP Stacey. =3.

  23. #23
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    I saw that graph. That's why I question the 14K of elevation gain for the ride. It seems like there is 5K of climbing from the base of Hogpen to the top of BB. The 80 mile ride says there is 6K of climbing total and it turns around at the base of Hogpen. So if there is say 4K of climbing on the way to Hogpen, 2K back to Helen, then there would be about a total of 9K for the whole ride. I'm not trying to say it isn't a very hard ride, but often ride organizations like to use the highest climbing total they can find for bragging rights. I know how those mapping programs over estimate elevation gain. There is no doubt the last 20 miles are the real deal.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by gapowermike
    You up for riding from Unicoi? I've got a buddy that's staying somewhere in Helen. We might all be riding to the start.

    Michael
    Most likely...The family and I are driving up to Unicoi Friday. My plan is to ride from the SP to Helen for the ride. The other option is to load my bike into the mini-van and drive down.

    I am stoked! I wish I had more time to train but that is the way it goes. Maybe I'll look at this as training for the six gap century.

  25. #25
    Senior Member gapowermike's Avatar
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    BB and 6 Gap.....that's a pretty lofty goal. We're driving to Unicoi on Thursday. I'm planning on riding to the start as well. Don't worry about getting there early, they won't let us leave until 0730.

    Cheers,

    Michael
    RIP Stacey. =3.

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