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Old 03-25-07, 10:20 AM   #1
Velo Vol 
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3-State 3-Mountain Challenge (5 May 2007)

Anyone riding the 3-State 3-Mountain Challenge?

I did it last year and had a good time (other than the tack-induced flat tire). I'm thinking about doing it again.
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Old 03-25-07, 02:42 PM   #2
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I did it the past two years but not this one. I have a graduation to attend. I also got a flat from what must have been a tac cause it was just a pinhole in a new tire and tube. It happened right after the first sag stop after the descent off Suck Ck.
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Old 03-26-07, 08:21 AM   #3
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VV, where did your flat occur? If there's a problem in a certain area, I would love to warn my group who's going.
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Old 03-26-07, 12:36 PM   #4
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I hit my tack near the end of the decent off Suck Mountain, right before the road flattened out, about a mile(?) before the SAG stop. There were reports of a number of flats in the area; in fact, the SAG stop ran out of tubes.

Of course, if the party* responsible for doing that last decides to do it again, he/she could lay the land mines somewhere else this year. So you never know.

*Otherwise known as a$$hole.
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Old 03-26-07, 01:06 PM   #5
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Good enough to know that two of you had flats at or near the bottom of Suck Mountain - I'll alert my group. Thanks!
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Old 04-24-07, 09:28 PM   #6
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Despite being woefully unprepared, I went ahead and signed up.

Anyone else riding? The website says over 2,300 people are registered.
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Old 04-25-07, 09:38 AM   #7
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A group of us from Atlanta are planning on riding it. Looks like a great ride!
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Old 04-25-07, 09:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Pedal Wench
A group of us from Atlanta are planning on riding it. Looks like a great ride!
It is a great ride. Just a few notes. Watch the RR crossing in the early miles. Also, coming off the bridge at the start there is often a big slowdown. Be aware. 2500 cyclists of all skill levels are out on the road with you! The descent off Suck Ck isn't all that technical, but there are a couple of switchbacks that seem to give some riders trouble. Watch your spacing around other riders. Other than that, it is a fast ride through the valleys and on the plateaus with great scenery. Hope you have good weather. Wish I could be there this year.
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Old 04-25-07, 10:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Velo Vol
Anyone else riding? The website says over 2,300 people are registered.
I'll be there. This will be my first mountain century. Lots of hills where I ride, but none like these mountains. Just get a new cassette to improve climbing gearing, and I've been riding LOTS of hills lately. The hills are getting easier, so I hope the mountains aren't too bad. I plan to ride the full century, all three gaps, as longs as I'm not dead after the first one. If this goes well, I'll attempt 6-gap in September.

Wish me luck!

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Old 04-25-07, 10:59 AM   #10
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Registration closed on the 23rd. Anyone that hasn't registered won't be able to as they have reached their limit. My wife and I aren't going so if anyone wants to purchase our registration numbers, let me know.

PM me.
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Old 04-25-07, 11:21 AM   #11
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Count me it too. I have been training for it for 2-3 months. I have been road biking for about 6 months and this will be my first attempt at a century. Being from Chattanooga, I have the luxury of practicing on part of the ride route. I just successfully climbed Burkhalter Gap Road for the first time yesterday. I have a compact double crankset and 12-27 cassette so it wasn't too bad. The last part of the climb (the wall) was a little longer and more painful than I expected.

Good luck to all. Let's pray for pleasant weather.
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Old 04-25-07, 11:47 AM   #12
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Walter: if you've been doing some hill work, you should be fine. I wouldn't call this a true "mountain century" as is lots of flat riding between the mountains.

The first mountain almost seems like a long hill. The second mountain is somewhat more difficult, but at least it's shaded. The last mountain has the toughest climbing--it has a nice kick at the end. But it's only 2(?) miles, so in the worst case it's not a real long walk.

Hopefully it won't be as hot as last year. The sun beating down compounded the misery of the last climb.

BikeWNC rightly noted the descent off Suck Creek Mountain; here's a safety advisory. There's been two bad accidents there the past two years.
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Old 04-26-07, 10:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velo Vol
The first mountain almost seems like a long hill. The second mountain is somewhat more difficult, but at least it's shaded. The last mountain has the toughest climbing--it has a nice kick at the end. But it's only 2(?) miles, so in the worst case it's not a real long walk.
Thanks for the good info. I hope I really enjoy this ride. As a young adult, I spent more weekends than I could count in the N. Ga. mountains. The mountains on a nice day are the most relaxing place in the world. I can hardly wait to ride my bike up there. I'm hoping to do this well enough to ride 6-gap in September, which I understand is a "real" mountain ride.
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Old 04-26-07, 11:18 AM   #14
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Anyone know what the grade is toward the top of Burkhalter Gap climb on Lookout Mountain?
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Old 04-26-07, 11:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velo Vol
Anyone know what the grade is toward the top of Burkhalter Gap climb on Lookout Mountain?
My polar 720i recorded 12.5% in about 0.3 miles. But I think that it gets a bit steeper somewhere in that distance, like maybe 15%?
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Old 04-26-07, 11:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velo Vol
Anyone know what the grade is toward the top of Burkhalter Gap climb on Lookout Mountain?
VeloVol,

Not sure if you have seen this but the CBC website gives the following info for the three climbs, "Note: I get a lot of questions concerning the gradient of the mountains. This is a hard question because I get so many different answers. This is the best guess that I can figure from the various information I've been given. The mountains increase in difficulty. Suck Creek is long and gentle - around 5 miles at a 4-6% grade. Sand is shorter and slightly steeper - 2.5 miles at a 6-7% grade. Lookout is by far the steepest - 2.3 miles at a 8-10% grade with a 14-17% grade at the top. The total climbing is somewhere between 6000 and 9000 ft. I've come up with over 9000 ft using two different topo software programs but the folks recording it say they only get between 6000 and 8000 ft.
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Old 04-26-07, 12:03 PM   #17
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VeloVol,

Not sure if you have seen this but the CBC website gives the following info for the three climbs, "Note: I get a lot of questions concerning the gradient of the mountains. This is a hard question because I get so many different answers. This is the best guess that I can figure from the various information I've been given. The mountains increase in difficulty. Suck Creek is long and gentle - around 5 miles at a 4-6% grade. Sand is shorter and slightly steeper - 2.5 miles at a 6-7% grade. Lookout is by far the steepest - 2.3 miles at a 8-10% grade with a 14-17% grade at the top. The total climbing is somewhere between 6000 and 9000 ft. I've come up with over 9000 ft using two different topo software programs but the folks recording it say they only get between 6000 and 8000 ft.
That sounds about right from my experience.

My polar recorded 6385 and 6385 ft of elevation gain the two times I rode 3 State. It doesn't feel like more than that especially since my ride time was 5:50.

Edit. Both years recorded 6385 ft of elevation gain.

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Old 04-26-07, 08:30 PM   #18
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Thanks guys. I'm not good at estimating grades.

For any first timers out there (as I was last year): have your low gears ready for the last stretch on the third mountain; it will get your attention in a hurry.
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Old 04-27-07, 09:57 AM   #19
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What kind of training rides are you doing this weekend? I hope to do a 50-60 mile ride which may or may not include a longer climb.

This is my first century of the season, and I haven't gotten the longer rides in that I should have. I've only done one ride longer than 45 miles this year.
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Old 04-27-07, 10:03 AM   #20
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I'm doing the Burnsville Metric tomorrow, really it is only 59 miles.
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Old 04-27-07, 10:10 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Velo Vol
What kind of training rides are you doing this weekend? I hope to do a 50-60 mile ride which may or may not include a longer climb.

This is my first century of the season, and I haven't gotten the longer rides in that I should have. I've only done one ride longer than 45 miles this year.
I am doing my last long ride before the 3-state tomorrow morning. I plan to do the Suck Creek/Signal mountain ride followed by a ride up Mowbray mountain . That will give me 3 climbs in one day with around 92 miles, which will be similar to the 3-state ride (although none of the climbs are as difficult as Burkhalter Gap
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Old 04-27-07, 10:36 AM   #22
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Bob, at 92 miles you might as well just ride the whole thing.

Showoff.
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Old 04-27-07, 10:54 AM   #23
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Bob, at 92 miles you might as well just ride the whole thing.

Showoff.
Yes, I know, nobody likes a show-off. I did not say what speed I would be riding tomorrow (read slow and steady). I am 40-something and about 185 lbs, so I can't climb the mountains like the young 150 lb gazelles.

I just want to finish my first century with an acceptable amount of pain and suffering. Is that too much to ask?
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Old 04-28-07, 01:51 AM   #24
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What kind of gears would be recommended for this one?

jw
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Old 04-28-07, 12:29 PM   #25
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Bob, congrats on your first century! You've come a long way in six months, eh?

John, see the above post listing the climbing grades.
Quote:
Lookout is by far the steepest - 2.3 miles at a 8-10% grade with a 14-17% grade at the top.
Use whatever you need to get over that. I was able to mash through it going 39x25, but your results may vary
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