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Old 02-01-06, 10:50 PM   #1
Ostuni
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I said keep out.....

Will use this thread to keep a training diary for the 2006 Assault on Mount Mitchell.

Over 3 1/2 months to go. Have registered and gotten the number (19). The decision to attempt it has given my cycling a charge. Have changed my daily ride route to add mileage and include some goodly hills that I previously avoided.

Nowadays, if I charge out of the office right at quitting time (4:30pm), I can get home and get geared up and on the bike in time to do 22 miles before dark... almost.

Gold Mine Road has the best hills around here, and seems like this week I've been seeing more than the usual number of roadies out there. Maybe they're doing the same?

Idea: Raise money from sponsors - and hit some of the vendors I have given lots of business to - and endow a small scholarship to give a graduating senior at SHS a nice check or a laptop for college? Do that every year? Call it something like the AoMM Scholarship. Award it to a kid from an underprivileged background? Would add some nice 'good works' motivation to the ride and give all this a greater purpose than just doing it for the personal satisfaction....

Still somewhat mindful (fearful?) of a BF member's (Dante Severoni?) warning from some weeks ago that his cousin or brother - who sounds younger, fitter, and more experienced than me - has not been the same man since doing Mitchell...

Will hopefully gain a little edge by putting a 12/27 cassette on the Pedal Force (still unnamed) bike that is under construction.... Meanwhile, am training on more hills now and am learning what a weak climber I am...
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Old 02-02-06, 05:23 AM   #2
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Brasstown Bald will be one of your training rides, right? I'll meet you there and we can suffer together. I'm still shooting to do the Marion ride and ghost riding to Mt. Mitchell. At least it'll get me on the list for AoMM '07.
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Old 02-02-06, 06:52 AM   #3
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Good luck! Here just about any ride involves some pretty decent hills if you go any farther than 10 miles it seems. I haven't done any mountain climbs though - I hear its a different beast altogether. At least you're putting together the right kind of bike for it.
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Old 02-02-06, 11:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by gapowermike
Brasstown Bald will be one of your training rides, right?...
sure! and in between i'll jet over to france and do the Alpe d'Huez a couple of times!
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Old 02-02-06, 11:15 AM   #5
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Good luck! Here just about any ride involves some pretty decent hills if you go any farther than 10 miles it seems. I haven't done any mountain climbs though - I hear its a different beast altogether. At least you're putting together the right kind of bike for it.
thanks - 'beast' is probably a good choice of words for what awaits...
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Old 02-02-06, 11:36 AM   #6
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what kinda hills are you looking for?
how long and what %grade...you may want to travel a bit to do some hills other than the local ones...maybe???

ps...The thing you most need to practice is pedalling at an even constant pressure on the pedals and never freewheeling during an hour period.

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Old 02-02-06, 12:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ostuni
...

Will hopefully gain a little edge by putting a 12/27 cassette on the Pedal Force (still unnamed)...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ostuni
thanks - 'beast' is probably a good choice of words for what awaits...
hhhmmmmm, then if you do indeed conquer Mt. Mitchell, you should christen the Pedal Force, "The Beastmaster".
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Old 02-02-06, 04:02 PM   #8
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Along with that 12/27, Im afraid I would also drop a 50/34 compact crank on that puppy too. This is one hell of a ride you are getting ready to do. By the way, how did you get a number to do the whole ride? Was it because you are a member of the local club? Good Luck in your endeavors!!
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Old 02-02-06, 08:36 PM   #9
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Brasstown Bald is a AWESOME climb. For those who have yet to climb it, do it. It is serious fun and great training. A great training tool for those of you attempting the Mitchell ride. I do some serious training in the Georgia mountains once a month for about 4-5 days. One day of that I climb "the Bald" 3 times along with some other climbs. It has sure helped me become a better climber!
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Old 02-02-06, 09:54 PM   #10
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I've done Mitchell several times. Last year with the additional mileage, foul weather and climbing it got pretty ugly......Until you've experienced the last 30 miles of climbing with 70 miles already in the saddle, it's really hard to prepare for. Good luck on your ride.
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Old 02-02-06, 10:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggg300
...you may want to travel a bit to do some hills other than the local ones...maybe???

ps...The thing you most need to practice is pedalling at an even constant pressure on the pedals and never freewheeling during an hour period.
cheers. the freewheelers have several organized rides between now and the aomm that get progressively longer and steeper... will be doing those for sure...

and thanks for the climbing tip..


Quote:
Originally Posted by celticfrost
...hhhmmmmm, then if you do indeed conquer Mt. Mitchell, you should christen the Pedal Force, "The Beastmaster".
on the other hand, maybe 'the coffin' or 'the black widow' will be more appropriate...


Quote:
Originally Posted by BikerJoeP
Along with that 12/27, Im afraid I would also drop a 50/34 compact crank on that puppy too. This is one hell of a ride you are getting ready to do. By the way, how did you get a number to do the whole ride? Was it because you are a member of the local club? Good Luck in your endeavors!!
got that covered: the fsa slk crank i'm moving over is a 50/36...

right: got the number by virtue of being a member of the freewheelers...


Quote:
Originally Posted by jppe
I've done Mitchell several times. Last year with the additional mileage, foul weather and climbing it got pretty ugly......Until you've experienced the last 30 miles of climbing with 70 miles already in the saddle, it's really hard to prepare for. Good luck on your ride.
it looked ugly.... let's hope for mild, calm conditions this year

one of these weekends i'm gonna DRIVE the route just to see it at least once before i ride it......

and reckon my best preparation will be losing 10-12 pounds of blubber.....
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Old 02-03-06, 07:36 AM   #12
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...and reckon my best preparation will be losing 10-12 pounds of blubber.....

I'm working on the same before the Brasstown Bald Century. I need to shed ~30 by May. That'll get me down to 180 and I think it would make my day a lot more enjoyable. As enjoyable as a century with all that climbing can be anyway. I'm riding the BB area during the 3rd week of March if you want to meet up for a 'hilly' ride. I've got a nice route from one of the local bike clubs. It'll give you a chance to get out of the state.

Michael
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Old 02-03-06, 08:56 AM   #13
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...I'm riding the BB area during the 3rd week of March if you want to meet up for a 'hilly' ride. I've got a nice route from one of the local bike clubs. It'll give you a chance to get out of the state....
thanks - excellent idea. let's do. assuming it'll be a weekend thing. will i need a visa for my passport to cross the border into georgia?
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Old 02-03-06, 09:12 AM   #14
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An older gent that rides in our group does the AoMM. He's a masher too. Some of the guys want to train him to spin more and have a better time this year. We'll see.

Hey, and good luck with it yourself.
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Old 02-03-06, 01:04 PM   #15
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...assuming it'll be a weekend thing.
I think my free day will be a Monday. I might could eek out a Sunday afternoon. We'll see as it gets closer.
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Old 02-03-06, 03:55 PM   #16
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...on the other hand, maybe 'the coffin' or 'the black widow' will be more appropriate...


....
Let's hope not --- good luck, have fun.
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Old 02-03-06, 06:13 PM   #17
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diary entry:

did a slightly modified route on the daily ride today and think this new route will work well... sort of like a micro-assault....

more better hills. and convenient to start literally right out of my driveway...

folks familiar with area will know the route: country club road > emma cudd > bethesda > gold mine > lewish chapel > hopper fish camp > whitestone-glendale > heritage hill > meadowbrook > harrell > brian > sloan's grove > fairview > montgomery > woodburn > home.... about 22 miles and lots of decent climbs....figure if i do this every day and get to the freewheelers practice rides (and lose 10-12 lbs) i'll be as good as i'll ever be for the assault...

spectacular wx today: ~65 degrees, calm and sunny....

saw an incredible horse on a small farm on bethesda near goldmine - HUGE. all muscle. held his head high and watched me go by the whole way.... i'll call him bucephalus (sp?)... hope he's nearer the fence by the road tomorrow....

heeded the advice above and made a conscious effort to not freewheel so much and maintain steady pace and cadence... very basic stuff, that advice, but it's often good to be reminded of the basics.... reminds me of my soccer coaching days when my mantra would be 'look up, talk, run off the ball, and stay goal-side to your mark...' every player knows that, but many need to be constantly reminded to do them...

am considering creating a extra long playlist of songs that i can listen to on the rave mpg player between marion and mitchell... maybe an all-out, high-energy, full-speed mix of rock and punk and alt-country to help move me up the mountain....
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Old 02-03-06, 06:32 PM   #18
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If you want to do a ride to Mitchell befoe the ride, let me know, on weekends I don't work until 4 pm usually, so if you can get to my area in the am, would have plenty of time to ride it and back.
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Old 02-03-06, 07:30 PM   #19
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...all-out, high-energy, full-speed mix of rock and punk and alt-country to help move me up the mountain....
Death Metal might be more appropriate. Everyone I talk to that's done Mitchell and made it say that it was not fun at all.

It feels good when we stop though, doesn't it?
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Old 02-04-06, 04:43 PM   #20
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DIARY ENTRY:

Another brilliant day: ~55 degrees, sunny, but windy: probably a steady 15-20mph with gusts that might have been getting up near 30mph?

Great ride, even with some tough uphills through big headwinds. Am riding the Le Champ Team exclusively until the Pedal Force build is done (forks scheduled to ship Monday?), and am getting up the hills well in the Team's 39/21, so am curious how the 36/27 on the Pedal Force will do....

Speaking of the PF build, I've become a weight weenie. Decided to ditch the Moto's BB (sounds like a loose bearing in there?) and buy a new one for the PF. Got a Race Face SRX from the LBS. Feels heavy compared to the BB that came off the Moto. So I spend who knows how long looking up various BBs to compare weights, and was actually seriously considering getting a different BB that will be all of 1-ounce lighter... Snapped out of it and will keep the Race Face... Sigh. And just 10-months ago I was thrilled to be riding a brand-new Trek 1200. Had NO IDEA how much the bike weighed, much less what the BB weighed. (For that matter, didn't know what a BB was...)

Subject change: This area really is a great place to ride. More or less year-round except for the occasional snow/ice event. Some good hills right here, and real mountains not far... And South Carolinians in general and Spartanburg Countians specifically are just plain nice people... Most are kindly willing to share the road...

Was quiet out there today - very little traffic, and no other cyclists in sight. Felt like a Sunday....

On Goldmine Road I keep seeing a sad sight: a great big beautiful black Lab - about 60lbs of puppy - on a short chain in a front yard. Appears to be out there all the time. When I ride by he jumps up and runs around as much as the chain will allow as if he's trying to tell me to take him home. Wish I could - poor thing must be miserable out there....

Speaking of animals, brought the camera to get a picture of Bucephalus. He appears to be thinking about coming over to say hello, but he wouldn't come any closer than this:



Maybe tomorrow I'll bring some apple slices and sugar cubes...
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Old 02-05-06, 07:31 PM   #21
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DIARY ENTRY:
Another terrific day - a little colder but less windier than yesterday, and more clear, blue skies... (While Mt. Mitchell gets snow...)

Came close to underdressing, but once underway warmed up nicely....

Wonder if I should do Goldmine Road from the other direction - seems like I'd get more climbing work in that way, but would lose the Emma Cudd climb which is no small thing either...

Bucephalus does not seem inclined to come over by the road to see me. The apple slices and sugar cubes idea didn't pan out: all I've got is Splenda, and no apples (low-carb thing)...

The Lab is always out there, and I'm always tempted to stop and give him some company, but from the looks of the property they probably don't take kindly to strangers, period, much less funny looking guy in road kit...

Will try to drive up to Mitchell some weekend soon to at least have some idea what to expect - maybe a silly thing to do, but that might take some of the edge off the anxiety about the climbs (or add to it..)

With daylight lasting longer I can do this ride most every weekday, and will tack on some good climbs between Cowpens and Chesnee....
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Old 02-06-06, 12:58 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ostuni
diary entry:

...am considering creating a extra long playlist of songs that i can listen to on the rave mpg player between marion and mitchell... maybe an all-out, high-energy, full-speed mix of rock and punk and alt-country to help move me up the mountain....
hmmm......replying to our own posts, are we? possibly weird and probably pathetic behavior, that....

on yesterday's ride it occured to me that a mix of bluegrass and mountain music would be better and more appropriate....
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Old 02-06-06, 02:04 PM   #23
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Mt. mitchell is not accessible by vehicle at this time. They just got some snow this weekend, so biking to it would be a bit sketchy on a roadbike. I'll let you know when the road is open to mitchell for cars if you want. But if you are going to drive here, you might as well bike to mitchell from either hwy 80 or Asheville, that would give you a better preview.
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Old 02-06-06, 03:15 PM   #24
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Mt. mitchell is not accessible by vehicle at this time. They just got some snow this weekend, so biking to it would be a bit sketchy on a roadbike. I'll let you know when the road is open to mitchell for cars if you want. But if you are going to drive here, you might as well bike to mitchell from either hwy 80 or Asheville, that would give you a better preview.
Many thanks for that reminder! You might have saved me a big, fat 'DOH!' some weekend....

And good idea about doing the scouting trip by bike from some nearby point. I think Asheville > Mitchell = 30 miles?

Please do post here if you can when it's open to cars - meanwhile, I'll watch the webcams and the weather channel! Cheers.
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Old 02-06-06, 05:01 PM   #25
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I've heard the raceface bb's are very nice. My mechanic swears by them. I just received (today) a FSA Platinium Pro (not the Ti - opted for the chromolly spindle 'cause of my weight. Didn't feel like the 13 grm savings was worth it) and was suprised when it weighed in at 275 grams instead of the advertised 200 grams (the Ti is only 13 grams less). Of course, I'm not sure how they weighed that 200 grams - with or without bolts, ect..., But 75 grams seems like a stretch. I'm going to pull out the Truvative and see what it weighs when I replace it. I'm a bit dissapointed though.
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