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Challenging Ride on Gravel!

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Challenging Ride on Gravel!

Old 03-11-18, 07:51 AM
  #1  
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Challenging Ride on Gravel!

I'm slowing progressing riding my new Lynskey on dirt and gravel. I'm not the greatest bike handler out there and I also want to make sure I have everything working well on the bike before I ventured too far.

Yesterday's ride was just my second on dirt/gravel and it was a real shakedown. I live just an hour or so from the NC mountains so I drove up to an area that features some real dirt, albeit somewhat hilly. Little did I know I'd be riding lots of 10%+ grades! All in all it was 48 miles with 5600' of climbing with about 60% of the ride on gravel. That was one heck of a workout!!

I've ridden all the paved roads in that area many times as it's a great place to train for hills. There is one 5 mile climb that has grades of 15% in spots and is as tough as any you'll find. I even had the opportunity to climb that beast on my gravel bike. From the outset I've been worried that the 46/34 crank with an 11-34 cassette might not be enough gearing. However yesterday I didn't have any issues so I'm content I've made the right choice.

The titanium frame was really super on the really bumpy stuff as well. It's not too stiff but you are always in control. I can see why it has gotten rave reviews on ride comfort and handling. I really like it on the downhill descents on paved roads. With the wide carbon rims and 35 mm tires the bike just stuck to the road. I averaged about 12 mph for the day which was about what I was thinking. There were a lot of younger guys zooming past me on the climbs.

I actually like climbing better than descending. There were lots of places where there was a good bit of loose gravel on descents which makes sense for cars needing traction. However I took those extremely slow and was really happy to have hydraulic disc brakes!!

This area is very rural. It was home of the original NC moonshine what Junior Johnson used to run. You certainly do NOT want to have an emergency in this area and it's best to just keep moving along!!!

This route starts and ends in Love Valley. Some might remember that there was a huge outdoor event there in the 60s not long after Woodstock. Interesting spot in the world. I was able to enjoy a few of my favorite Brown Ales afterwards.

Love Valley NC

IMG_0685 by joe price, on Flickr

IMG_0686 by joe price, on Flickr

Little did I know that the future Carolina Thread Trail is slated to run through there

IMG_0688 by joe price, on Flickr

A local business in the downtown area

IMG_0689 by joe price, on Flickr

Craft Brown Ale brewed in Raleigh and is really smooth after a long ride

IMG_0690 by joe price, on Flickr

Elevation Profile of the route. The big climbs and up and over Brushy Mountain from both sides

LVR elevation_profile by joe price, on Flickr
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Old 03-11-18, 08:02 AM
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Very cool bike, in a very cool place, on a very cool ride. My folks used to live in Hickory. Too bad they moved.
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Old 03-11-18, 08:17 AM
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That looks like a beautiful though very challenging area to ride! You'll get more comfortable with the descents with experience. Wider tires and optimum air pressure make a big difference imho. That's a good beer, even better I'd bet after a tough ride like that.
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Old 03-11-18, 08:47 AM
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Looks like fun! I love me some brown ale...Imma gonna look for that one.
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Old 03-11-18, 02:11 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Classtime
Very cool bike, in a very cool place, on a very cool ride. My folks used to live in Hickory. Too bad they moved.
I lived in Hickory 1974-1981 starting my career right out of College.
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