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Old 09-22-08, 09:48 PM   #1
piper_chuck
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Chuck's mini-AoMM

Here are some pics from my ride on the BRP from Crabtree Meadows to the top of Mt Mitchell and back.

Home sweet home.
I stayed at Julian Price Campground. It was kind of far for where I chose to ride, but the campground was great. I arrived at around 4:30 on Friday. Plenty of time to setup camp and go for a hike around the lake. I managed to get the last spot on the water.


I drove to Crabtree Meadows to begin my ride. The BRP was super quiet. I think it was a combination of the season and the fact that it is closed between Mt Mitchell and Craggy Gardens. This reduces through traffic from Ashville. Miles and miles of roads like this:


I stopped to get a picture of my first tunnel. It wasn't very long, but it was dark inside.


It was at this point that I could begin to see what I've gotten myself into


I'm climbing that? What was I thinking?


Almost at the entrance to Mount Mitchell State Park

After lots of climbing, and a few fun descents, I was finally at the point where it was either me or the mountain. I had stopped 5-10 minutes earlier to down a Gu and drink some water. I felt comfortable going up the mountain at this point, but in the back of my mind was the fact that I had already been down some long descents. Would I have enough energy to make it back up them?


Doh, I'm so glad they told me!


Not far now. By stopping at the park office, I broke the final climb into two pieces.
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Old 09-22-08, 09:50 PM   #2
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Victory! I made it to the top. A couple had just finished taking their pictures by the sign, so I asked if they would be willing to take mine. We chatted for a while and I confirmed that yes indeed I had cycled all the way to the top.


The view on Saturday was great. I was actually worried about this because much of the parkway was in clouds from the time I left the campground until I was part way into the ride. Things started clearing up as I was riding.


Another pic at one of the overlooks on the way back. I love the mountain scenery.


Almost back to the car.

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Old 09-22-08, 09:57 PM   #3
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I am very glad I did this ride. It was the hardest I've done to date, but I proved to myself that even though I'm slow, I could do it.
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Old 09-23-08, 05:32 AM   #4
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I am very glad I did this ride. It was the hardest I've done to date, but I proved to myself that even though I'm slow, I could do it.
Great job and great pics, Chuck!

You have the right attitude, so I have every confidence that you can do ANY ride you choose, as long as your heart is in it, and you make it your goal. You might want to check around and see if you can find a nice local ride to do - like a metric century; maybe even this fall. If not, there'll be plenty of rides come next spring to choose from.

For my first "real" ride (anything over 10 miles), since I took up biking in April of this year, I chose a 70 mile trek out of Wilkesboro back in June, called the "RAW" ride (Ride Around Wilkes...which is sponsored by the BMCC cylce club that I joined). I know I was probably one of the last participants to finish the ride, but I did it. I felt like I'd accompolished something that day, and proved to myself I could tackle any ride, as long as I set mind to it.

Good luck, good riding, and I hope to see you one day - doing a beautiful century ride on a gorgeous day.

Cheers
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Old 09-23-08, 06:13 AM   #5
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Great pics. Congrats on the accomplishment.

Those roads look kinda flat to me. j/k
Maybe I will get over that way next summer.
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Old 09-23-08, 06:31 AM   #6
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great pics!!!!

so, chuck, ready to go back now??? did you love it up there or what??? i SOOOO want to live up there! but, i guess i'll just keep driving up there every 4 weeks or so.
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Old 09-23-08, 07:57 AM   #7
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great pics!!!!

so, chuck, ready to go back now??? did you love it up there or what??? i SOOOO want to live up there! but, i guess i'll just keep driving up there every 4 weeks or so.
Thanks. Yes, ready to go back, although I think I'll choose a slightly less hilly section next time. I've actually thought about going back the first weekend of October, but I probably should be responsible and stay home so I can do some work around the house. I know what you mean about the mountains, buying a house on a lake in the mountains would be my dream retirement home.
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Old 09-23-08, 07:58 AM   #8
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Great pics. Congrats on the accomplishment.

Those roads look kinda flat to me. j/k
Maybe I will get over that way next summer.
Yup, they were flat, piece of cake!
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Old 09-23-08, 09:10 AM   #9
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nice ride and riding! Next time I ride MM, I'm bringing cash. I didn't know they were serving cappacinos at the summit parking lot...
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Old 09-23-08, 11:48 AM   #10
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Good job on the ride and, those are great pictures. Mountain riding can be addictive. I rode up Mitchell the day after the Burnsville Metric and the weather was rough. I need to get up there and do it again while we are having near perfect Fall weather.

You might want to consider riding the Burnsville metric route sometime, as its not far from Mitchell and is a great route with not too much climbing.
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Old 09-23-08, 12:38 PM   #11
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Good job on the ride and, those are great pictures. Mountain riding can be addictive. I rode up Mitchell the day after the Burnsville Metric and the weather was rough. I need to get up there and do it again while we are having near perfect Fall weather.

You might want to consider riding the Burnsville metric route sometime, as its not far from Mitchell and is a great route with not too much climbing.
Thanks, just added it to my list of candidate rides. Hopefully I'll do a better job next year of having the necessary base miles early in the year to be able to get in longer rides.
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Old 09-23-08, 12:41 PM   #12
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nice ride and riding! Next time I ride MM, I'm bringing cash. I didn't know they were serving cappacinos at the summit parking lot...
I bought some kind of cider stuff while I was up there. I didn't really need it, but it's a quiet time and I like to support having the snack bar up there.
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Old 09-23-08, 12:45 PM   #13
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Great job and great pics, Chuck!

You have the right attitude, so I have every confidence that you can do ANY ride you choose, as long as your heart is in it, and you make it your goal. You might want to check around and see if you can find a nice local ride to do - like a metric century; maybe even this fall. If not, there'll be plenty of rides come next spring to choose from.

For my first "real" ride (anything over 10 miles), since I took up biking in April of this year, I chose a 70 mile trek out of Wilkesboro back in June, called the "RAW" ride (Ride Around Wilkes...which is sponsored by the BMCC cylce club that I joined). I know I was probably one of the last participants to finish the ride, but I did it. I felt like I'd accompolished something that day, and proved to myself I could tackle any ride, as long as I set mind to it.

Good luck, good riding, and I hope to see you one day - doing a beautiful century ride on a gorgeous day.

Cheers
Yup, I'm looking at doing a metric two weekends from now. I did several when I was younger and thinner. I'm at the point in the training schedule where I'm ready for one and I think the time in the saddle and the effort involved in climbing MM is very similar to a metric on flatter terrain. Looks like there are several to choose from on the 10/4-5 weekend...
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Old 09-25-08, 06:31 PM   #14
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Great ride and photos! You just never know what kind of weather you're going to get on Mitchell so it sounds like you got lucky there. Julian Price is one of our favorites and I'm really surprised you were able to get a spot on the loop that runs by the lake.

Keep up the great riding. It won't be long before you'll be doing the full AOMM.
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