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  1. #1
    Cat WTF
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    Charlotte, NC training

    Apparently, I should have posted this in this forum and not Racing...

    I'm looking into a road trip to Moorseville, North Carolina next spring for reasons other than road riding. I figured I may as well pack my bike and make a week of it since the weather MUST be nicer than SW Ohio in Feb/March.

    Anyone been to or are from that area with any insight into good places to ride there? Also, tell me about the weather.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nota's Avatar
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    I work in Mooresville.

    If you're coming in early spring, Feb/March, then the weather, which on average is probably 10-15 degrees warmer than many parts of Ohio I would guess, you're still probably going to be 40's to 50's during the day. You might luck up and get a nice day or two with temps in the low 60's; that's about as good as it gets in early spring around here. Come late March and early April, however, it can get quite pleasant around here.

    That's probably too early for most "organized" bike rides, but you could probably find some nice biking around Lake Norman;, which is an attractive man-made (covering several thousand acres, IIRC) lake that serves as water resevoir for Charlotte and surrounding communities, and now boasts a plethora of multi-million dollar homes along it's shoreline.

    If you go just NW of exit 36 (off I-77), you'll run into some nice rolling countryside that makes for nice biking.


    Oh, and if you happen to be into NASCAR (I'm not), Mooresville is "Mecca".

  3. #3
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I live not too far away and ride the roads around Mooresville a lot. You can be out on some good rural roads pretty quickly and easily from the town itself. As the time gets closer, PM me and I can give you some routes from 20 to 100 miles to fit your needs. It is mostly rolling hills with a tendency to be flatter than hilly-although I can put you in some spots that might give you a few more hills but there is nothing very steep-or very long. As Nota pointed out the weather can vary from day to day, but generally you can layer up and ride about anytime.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nota's Avatar
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    Hey JPPE, I see, from reading some of your recent past threads, where you did AOMM & BSG this year. Just out of curiousity, any chance you're doing either Tour de Tuck or B2B ("Mall to Meadow"), this year?

    I've already signed on for B2B, but, being the (apparent?) glutton for punishement that I am , I'm thinking semi-seriously about signing on to try and do the Tour de Tuck ride, too; which happens to be the day before the B2B ride!

    btw, who's your (preferred) LBS, here in the Mooresville area - Cool Breeze?

  5. #5
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I am not doing BtB this year-just some scheduling stuff getting in the way that weekend plus without Grandfather it's just not quite the same. Plus I've already done all the route this year (except for some of the flats around Lenoir). Without Grandfather doing those back to back is probably doable since there really isn't anything too terribly steep in BtB.

    I'm going to travel down and do Six Gaps the next weekend anyway.

    The folks at Cool Breeze are great. I live closer to Right Gear and have gotten to know them really well so I use them when needed.

  6. #6
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    There will be several members here doing the metric at the Tour de Tuck. This time of year I'm over doing century rides. Mainly because I don't ride much in the summer. I'm more of a cool weather person. The century at the TdT has nearly 12,000' of climbing. That's not an exaggeration as so many rides tend to do these days. It's a great ride but don't expect to finish fresh for the next day at B2B. If you want more details just let me know.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nota's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post
    I am not doing BtB this year-just some scheduling stuff getting in the way that weekend plus without Grandfather it's just not quite the same.

    Yeah, I've heard a number of veteran riders saying the same thing....ie "it's just not the same without the signature climb at the end" -- though, this being my first attempt at B2B, after being out of biking for 12yrs (until just a few months ago) and also having lost 110lbs since last October, I'm not too dismayed at forgoing the legendary brutal climb at the end; at least for this year, anyway.

    Plus I've already done all the route this year (except for some of the flats around Lenoir). Without Grandfather doing those back to back is probably doable since there really isn't anything too terribly steep in BtB.

    That's why I'm thinking I could probably handle a double-dose of mountain century rides, in the same weekend.

    I'm going to travel down and do Six Gaps the next weekend anyway.

    I met a cyclist at a favored rest stop, the Brushy Mtn VFD, during my training ride up in the Brushy Mtns yesterday morning, who had just ridden up from Statesville, and, like you, said he was a veteran to all the area rides and that he ALSO was going down to Georgia to do Six Gaps ride this year.

    I'm not familiar with the Six Gaps ride, though, much as I like a good mountain century, I'm not hard core enough to travel quite that far. The 2-1/2 hrs it would take me to get to Sylva,NC for the start of Tour de Tuck, is about my traveling threshold; at least to get up and drive during the (early) morning preceding a ride.

    I just looked up the Six Gaps ride. It looks like a nice ride; a challenging one through some beautiful country no doubt, but, at least "on paper", I suspect that Tour de Tuck, what with its 12000 ft climbing, with a full mile between high and low points and high elevation just under 6000ft - may be just a wee bit more difficult. I'm intrigued by the 40+ miles you get to do on the BRP. I did about 15 or 20 miles on the Pkwy during my Blue Ridge Brutal 100 ride a couple weeks ago, and thought that was fabulous.

    The folks at Cool Breeze are great. I live closer to Right Gear and have gotten to know them really well so I use them when needed.
    I'm thinking of getting some professional bike fitting service, and will probably go to either Cool Breeze or Right Gear for it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Nota's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
    There will be several members here doing the metric at the Tour de Tuck. This time of year I'm over doing century rides. Mainly because I don't ride much in the summer. I'm more of a cool weather person. The century at the TdT has nearly 12,000' of climbing. That's not an exaggeration as so many rides tend to do these days. It's a great ride but don't expect to finish fresh for the next day at B2B. If you want more details just let me know.
    Yeah, I looked into TdT, after Wolfpack metioned it; I'd never heard of it before. I read a couple ride summary blogs from a couple people who had done it, and they attest to just how difficult it is. It looks like a beautiful ride, and a very challenging one at that.

    It doesn't appear, at the moment anyway, that there are all that many people currently signed up to do it; less than 120 total (between metric & century), at last I checked. I consider that a GOOD thing; I'm not too fond of of large crowds, and I'm normally out there pedaling all by my lonesome on most of these rides, anway.

    I suspect that the relatively small turnout has to do with lack of exposure, as well as the name. "Tour de Tuck" just sounds kind of whimpy -- not MANLY like, BS&G or HPA. I think it'd draw more people if they named it something like..."The Heinous Hundred"...or "For Sado-Masochists ONLY Ride"

    I think if I could pull off doing those two rides back-to-back, I might finally have myself convinced that I finally "fully" recovered from being the 275lb lethargic couch-potato fat slob that I was as of last October, and that at 44yo, I can succeed in doing just about anything I put my mind to.

    We'll see.

  9. #9
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    The TdT ride is limited to 125 for the century and 250 I believe for the metric. Those numbers are set by the NPS because the route covers 45 miles on the BRP. Both rides run together until Balsam Gap where the metric turns back to town and the century continues on the BRP. The BRP section of the century has over 8300' of climbing in those 45 miles, half of which are up and half down for an average grade of almost 7%.

    One thing to note, there is a cutoff time for the century. You will have to get to Balsam Gap by noon to continue on for the century. The ride starts at 7:30. I would say that most riders should have no problem making that cutoff, 4.5 hours for 48 miles if they are capable of the full century.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Nota's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
    The TdT ride is limited to 125 for the century and 250 I believe for the metric. Those numbers are set by the NPS because the route covers 45 miles on the BRP. Both rides run together until Balsam Gap where the metric turns back to town and the century continues on the BRP. The BRP section of the century has over 8300' of climbing in those 45 miles, half of which are up and half down for an average grade of almost 7%.

    One thing to note, there is a cutoff time for the century. You will have to get to Balsam Gap by noon to continue on for the century. The ride starts at 7:30. I would say that most riders should have no problem making that cutoff, 4.5 hours for 48 miles if they are capable of the full century.
    That's good info; particularly about the limited number of riders, as I wasn't aware they had a limit. Now I know what that "thermometer" on their website is for. I just looked it up and they're only up to 71 people registered for the century, so I should be good if I decide to throw my hat in the ring here in the next couple days.

    I'm pretty confident I can complete the ride, my only reservations are: can I convince my s/o that yet ANOTHER, ride entry fee is ("justifiably") in our budget, and do I really want to get up at 4:00 am and drive all the way to Sylva.

    Stats for total climb and percentage grades aside, I think it tends to be a bit subjective, depending on the rider you ask and their level of fitness and conditioning, not to mention their cycling "bio-rythms" the day they did the rides, but I'd be curious how most riders who've don the TdT century, would compare it to rides like: AOMM, B2B,Roan Moan, BSG, HPA?

    Bottom line, I guess, is there one "general consensus" agreement on exactly which NC mountain century ride is thee "toughest"? I'm guessing most people would probably say AOMM - but I could be wrong.

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    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    As a matter of comparison, there is a local Cat 1 that has done both. His time at the AoMM is 5:20 and on the TdT is 5:42. Of course the AoMM finishes on top of the mountain while the TdT is a loop finishing where is starts. Some of that time difference may be due to the group staying together longer on the way to Marion in the AoMM. They are both tough rides but different from each other.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Nota's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
    As a matter of comparison, there is a local Cat 1 that has done both. His time at the AoMM is 5:20 and on the TdT is 5:42. Of course the AoMM finishes on top of the mountain while the TdT is a loop finishing where is starts. Some of that time difference may be due to the group staying together longer on the way to Marion in the AoMM. They are both tough rides but different from each other.
    So IOW, B2B will be my "recovery" ride?

  13. #13
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    You can also check out MapmyRide.com and search for rides in Mooresville, NC. There are several rides there that will get you out of the congestion and into the countryside. +1 on Cool Breeze. You can also check out The Cycle Shop in Davidson.

  14. #14
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I've done most of the centuries in the area but have not done Tour de Tuck-it sounds like a beast.

    The first 75 miles of AOMM is actually pretty quick......it is the last 25 that is a real grind-and what makes it so difficult is there is just not much relief the last 25 miles except for a brief downhill. For that reason I put it at my number one.........especially this past year when it was 85+ degrees on the BRP.

    The others pretty much stack up the same-BS&G, BtB, Brutal etc. They all have a pretty steep section but never take me as long as AOMM. BtB is my favorite when it has the Grandfather finish and the weather is agreeable. There are some terrific views plus finishing with a crowd on top of Grandfather is pretty cool.

    The only century I'd put ahead of AOMM that I've done is Mountains of Misery. What sets it apart is the 3 mile finish at a really, really steep grade. I did the first 100 miles in under 6 hours but the last 3 took me about 40 mins and I didn't make any stops.........It was all I could do to pedal faster than some people were walking. They also offer a 125 mile route with the same finish.

    Hopefully I'll find out where Six Gaps stacks up in a few weeks.

    I do HP&A quite a bit as a training route-it only takes a little over an hour from the house and has some steep climbs and terrific views.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Nota's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the good info.

    I had hoped to be able to try AOMM next year, but I didn't get in my (apparently?) obligatory AO Marion ride this year, so I guess I'll have to see if I can work that in next year, so I can do AOMM the following year. I guess it's either that, or try to luck up/hook up with someone who's dropping out that will sell there slot. I guess you can do that?

    I had every intention of doing HP&A this year, particularly as it's hosted by the cycle club in my area, BMCC, and that I recently joined - but I got my dates mixed up and had already commited to doing the Roan Moan ride...I think it was. I'll definitely do HP&A next year, though.

    Here's a link to the elevation pic for the TdT ride. Yes, I'd say it's a beast. It's the 40+ miles on the BRP that I'd be most looking forward to, rather than any searing pain in my legs from the extended steep climbs. I'm not that good of a climber.

    http://www.tourdetuck.com/html/century_profile.html

    Have you done the Tour de Gaps ride, out of Mt. Airy? I did it a couple weekends ago. It was pretty brutal, though it was only an 82 miler, so that made it a bit easier.

    A lot of the ride is up in the hills of Virgina on the "gap" roads, that lead up to the Parkway. I was peddaling on one of 'em, out in the middle of BF nowhere, when I see this dude flying down the road towards me on a big red ATV, with one hand on the throttle and the other outstretched and up high....holding a very loooong snake, just behind the head. The snake was definitely alive, and trying to keep it's tail curled up to keep it from dragging on the ground. I'm still not sure what that was all about, whether it was simply a redneck doing what rednecks do, of it may not have been a local Pentecostal, on his way to a prayer meet'n somewhere? Of course, as they say...I was "so far up in dem hills, even the Presbyterians hanlde snakes", so it coulda been one them on his way to a meet'n.

  16. #16
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    I guess we have totally hacked this thread and I hope the OP doesn't mind. Looking at the profile for the TdT, do not underestimate the little climbs from mile 70-78. These climbs in the Charleys Creek section are very steep. One is 13% for 3/4 of a mile.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Nota's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
    I guess we have totally hacked this thread and I hope the OP doesn't mind. Looking at the profile for the TdT, do not underestimate the little climbs from mile 70-78. These climbs in the Charleys Creek section are very steep. One is 13% for 3/4 of a mile.
    Yes, I guess we have mucked it up a bit, though the OP has been noticably absent, and in the event they did take exception - they're certainly welcome to come back and derail our discussion.

    If I'm not mistaken, one of the TdT ride summary biking blogs I read recently made mention of it, I believe it must have been that very section you're talking about, saying the profile graph picture was inaccuratey deceptive, and that there were actually some short "spikes" that seemed near "straight up" in steepness in that area. That must have been what she was referring to.

  18. #18
    Senior Member dguest's Avatar
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    There is a good mountain bike trail in Lake Norman State park. This Trail is easy to Moderate and is 13 miles. If you head a little North West of Moorseville you can find 25 t0 30 miles of mountain bike trails at the Army Corps of Eng lake in Wilkesboro, NC. ( John Kerr Scott Lake.) The Blue Ridge Bike club has a website with pictures and maps of these trails. Its anly about 1 hour north of Mooresville,. Also as you are headed up I77 from Mooresville toward Wilkesboro you can get off on US 421 and head west towards Wilkesboro and you will see a Windsor Road exit. If you get off this exit and turn left you will head into an Amish area where there is an Amish Bakery and dry goods store. The raods in this area are rural and are very popular with the cyclists from Winston Salem.

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