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My ride today with pics

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Old 04-01-08, 03:45 PM
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BikeWNC
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My ride today with pics

This morning when I woke it was raining and the forecast was for more of the same throughout the day. After taking my daughter to school, I took advantage of the weather and went back to bed.

But something happened while I slept because I got up to clear skies, bright sun and warm temps. I had
to take advantage of the break in the rain and the radar seemed to indicate it would stay clear for the rest of the day. After running some errands and eating lunch I loaded the bike for the short trip to the edge of town where I would start my ride. The plan was to ride the 19 miles to the top of Waterrock Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway at 5820'. The ride starts around 2100'. It was to be a RPE 6/7 ride but as always the effort seems more difficult near the end of the climb.

The first 10.2 miles follow a small lightly traveled road up to the BRP with 1400' of elevation gain. The road follow Scott's Creek most of the way up to Balsam Gap where I access the Parkway.



Once on the BRP, it is another 8.7 miles and 2450' to the top. I took some pictures along the way up.


Waterrock Knob is a bit higher than Lyn Lowry but is behind it in this photo. I'm heading to the parking lot up there at 5820'.


The mostly empty BRP. Great smooth pavement.


I went unwired today. No powermeter, cyclometer or gps. Just me and my RPE. Old school!


The top of the waterfall in the second picture. It starts above the road and passes under. I was riding by so it's a little blurry.


Mountains are everywhere in Western NC.

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Old 04-01-08, 03:46 PM
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My destination is the flat area in the distance. Still over 3 miles of climbing to go.


View of Great Smoky Mtn NP from the Waterrock Knob parking area.


Looking across the parking area.


View of the BRP I came up.


Another view of this great road.

It was 72F when I left town and I actually got too hot on a part of the climb. Luckily it was in the mid 50s at the top and I put on a vest and arm warmers for the fast descent.

I did the climb, 19 miles and 3900' of climbing in 1:58 ride time and 2:10 total. I had to stop and adjust my saddle at one point and there were a couple of photo stops. The descent took 47 min. for a total ride time of 2:45. Awesome day for a ride!

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Old 04-01-08, 04:11 PM
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Thanks for the report and pics. The road surface looked really smooth with great visibility. What did you do with the cars?
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Old 04-01-08, 04:20 PM
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Very nice! Your ride resembles some of the rides we do out here in SoCal.
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Old 04-01-08, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
Thanks for the report and pics. The road surface looked really smooth with great visibility. What did you do with the cars?
There is very little traffic this time of year. Actually there were more cars than usual on the BRP because of Spring Break. I saw several families pass me by. I would guess once I got out of town that I saw less than 20 cars and about 8 motorcycles in 2 hours on the way up. On the way down it was more like 3 or 4 total.
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Old 04-01-08, 04:41 PM
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Thanks for the pics, maybe I'll get to meet you when you come out. Is that a new Indie Fab? Steel?
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Old 04-01-08, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Thanks for the pics, maybe I'll get to meet you when you come out. Is that a new Indie Fab? Steel?
I hope we can meet too! The IF is a 2004 model CJ in Ti. I just revamped it over the winter with new DA 10sp with an Ultegra SL compact crank, new saddle and bartape.
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Old 04-01-08, 05:32 PM
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dang. very nice pics, as usual bwnc. can't wait to get up there and ride again. soon.
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Old 04-01-08, 05:36 PM
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Nice ride. Thanks for taking us there.
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Old 04-01-08, 05:49 PM
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Nice pictures, I think I live in the flatness state in the country
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Old 04-01-08, 06:02 PM
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Nice pics indeed, and I'm looking forward to the day when I can confront a ride like that.

The first 10.2 miles follow a small lightly traveled road up to the BRP with 1400' of elevation gain. The road follow Scott's Creek most of the way up to Balsam Gap where I access the Parkway.
Small creeks like the one pictured are so delightful that must've been a particularly enjoyable section of the ride, I'd imagine?
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Old 04-01-08, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Catweazle View Post
Nice pics indeed, and I'm looking forward to the day when I can confront a ride like that.



Small creeks like the one pictured are so delightful that must've been a particularly enjoyable section of the ride, I'd imagine?
Yes, that section of road is used for the regular Tues. night slugfest from the LBS. The creek is flanked most of the way up by steep hills on both sides with occasional views of small farms. The creek keeps that section of the ride nice and cool in the warmer weather.
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Old 04-01-08, 07:00 PM
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I've been flying up and down the Appalachians for years. One of my boxes to check was to drive the Blue Ridge. Which we did. A great trip. Perfect weather, just like your pictures. Now it looks like the list just got added to. Well parts of it.

Towney
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Old 04-01-08, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
I hope we can meet too! The IF is a 2004 model CJ in Ti. I just revamped it over the winter with new DA 10sp with an Ultegra SL compact crank, new saddle and bartape.
Nice! They're great looking frames, several steel ones around here.
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Old 04-01-08, 08:15 PM
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great pics... thanks for sharing... i'm getting ready to share more (have already uploaded three rides here in 50+ - THE BEST BF FORUM!)

:-)
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Old 04-01-08, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by George View Post
Nice pictures, I think I live in the flatness state in the country
No you don't, George. But you do live in one of the flattest parts.

Ride WNC - Beautiful pics of the ride.
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Old 04-01-08, 09:00 PM
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3,900' of climbing, great weather, beautiful scenery... What a day, what a ride! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-01-08, 09:04 PM
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Beautiful scenery. That's a trail I'd definitely like to take a ride on.
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Old 04-02-08, 02:32 AM
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Very nice! Your ride resembles some of the rides we do out here in SoCal.
Really what are some of the rides as that is a bit closer to home then West North Carolina.

Definitely amazing pics, should shoot for a cross country tour and ride that same ride myself So many possibilities. California to West North Carolina, hmm what would be the best route.

to hear there are so many great sights to behold. Is a wonderful thing. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-02-08, 03:43 AM
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Great pics, great report, Thanks for sharing.
Now I know I'm a wuss as I fret about climbing the little
ridge on my way into work every day.
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Old 04-02-08, 06:36 AM
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Why do they call it Wesner Bald? Do they clearcut all the trees back there like they do here in the Northwest?
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Old 04-02-08, 06:41 AM
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What a beautiful place to ride. It's one of the places I have on my "must ride someday" list.
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Old 04-02-08, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by stringbreaker View Post
Why do they call it Wesner Bald? Do they clearcut all the trees back there like they do here in the Northwest?
Mountaintop balds in NC are both natural and man made. Some were cleared years ago to provide high summer pasture, others from natural fire or windstorms. The growing season is pretty short at 5000'+ so it takes many years for a forest to reestablish. It looks to me like Wesner Bald is no longer bald.

The trees at the top of Waterrock Knob at 5800-6300' will not leaf out until Memorial Day and turn in Sept.
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Old 04-02-08, 06:51 AM
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Great photos. A group I was with summitted all the 6000' peaks in the Plott Balsams last year: Yellowface, Waterrock Knob, Lyn Lowry (the peak with the huge cross commemorating a young girl who died of cancer) and Plott Balsam. The trout lilliies on Lyn Lowry were outstading. We are going back this year during wildflower season.
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Old 04-02-08, 07:27 AM
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I love the BRP. I've done the full length (including Skyline Drive) on a motorcycle and various other sections in my car, but it does look like it'd be nice for bicycling. Great pics!
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