Let's do a Century
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Carolina
Bikes: Pinarello Prince/Campy SR; Cervelo R3/Sram Red; Trek 5900/Duraace, Cervelo P2C/Duraace
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I've done it numerous times and if the weather is "cool" and clear it's a terrific ride. If it helps any, I usually finish BtB around 30 mins faster than AOMM.
I'm guessing with the later start this year (9am I think), they will not route us back through Lenoir at the 30 mile mark to avoid conflicts with the churches downtown. We'll head south from downtown Lenoir and then loop around back around the eastern and nothern part of Lenoir back over to Adako Rd and Hwy 181 like what was done 2 years ago. The majority of the climbing is the last 50 miles with Hwy 181, some on the BRP and Hwy 221 from Blowing Rock leading up to the entrance to Grandfather. I think it's 13 miles from the start of Hwy 181 to Jonas Ridge and then a few more miles over to the BRP. About 12 of those miles is uphill-nothing too steep but it's a climb that usually takes me around 80 mins to do. The first mile of Grandfather is not too bad. However the second mile makes you feel most every turn of the pedal. As Kostrikzer mentions the crowd gathered at the top really is a boost that helps you get up that last couple hundred yards.
The first time I did BtB I came up out of the saddle to do the very last climb and could not turn the pedals......I quickly started tacking up the hill and was able to get to the top without falling over. It's not the steepest hill you'll ever do but after 101+ miles it's plenty steep enough.
It is well supported and the organizers do a terrific job given it's a point to point ride. Usually there are a good number of people out cheering along the way in the Caldwell County Community.
If the weather is hot or rainy.......it can make for a really long day.