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-   -   Skyline drive in VA advice (https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycling/1169867-skyline-drive-va-advice.html)

kevinabbot 04-04-19 06:42 PM

Skyline drive in VA advice
 
I am 17 115lbs and 53. I was built to climb. Whenever I go out group rides with experienced cyclists I pass them on climbs.

So I am a climber?
Sure but I have only started riding since July of 2018. I have put down 4500 miles and done multiple centuries but none with tons of climbing.

I know Skyline drive is climbing climbing climbing (I would be starting north and head southbound). I wanna do it and I know it will be my hardest ride yet. My dad said he would be in a car ready to resupply me and stuff. He has done it before too..

think i can do it?

jpescatore 04-05-19 06:29 AM

Go for it! I am twice your weight and 3.6 times your age and I enjoy biking on Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Ride some local hills in advance, I bet you'll be fine.

If you dad has to back out, and you have a car, I used to do my own loops: you can pick out sections to bike and then lock your bike up at a trail head, connect to the Appalachian Trail and hike back to your car. If you live in Maryland, you can do this in the Harper's Ferry area to get some hill climbing in: park in the trailhead at the bottom of Weverton cliffs, bike to Gathland State Park (some big hills), lock your bike there and hike south (mostly level but a big downhill at the end) to your car.

datlas 04-05-19 06:53 AM

Doooo eeeeet!!!!

rm -rf 04-05-19 07:12 AM

Yeah, go.

Here's the route. 105 miles, 11,000 feet of climbing.
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/7411755

That's a big day. My rule of thumb is that climbing 200 feet is like adding another flat road mile. So it's similar to 150 flat miles. But having a sag driver is great, you can go for it and bail out if needed.

At least the climbing is front loaded, with 7000 feet in the first 50 miles. And it's a nice mix of climbing and descending.

For me, pacing is key. I want to go too hard at the start, and pay for it later. I've used a heart rate monitor to keep my efforts at a sustainable pace.

waters60 04-05-19 07:20 AM

You will have no problem. Though long the climbs are not super steep. You are young, strong and light. Just make note of the stops for water. If your dad can supply water, all the better. It is a very enjoyable ride with beautiful scenery.
Set your sights on the Diabolical Double in Western MD

rowebr 04-05-19 10:03 AM


Originally Posted by kevinabbot (Post 20870179)
I am 17 115lbs and 53. I was built to climb. Whenever I go out group rides with experienced cyclists I pass them on climbs.

So I am a climber?
Sure but I have only started riding since July of 2018. I have put down 4500 miles and done multiple centuries but none with tons of climbing.

I know Skyline drive is climbing climbing climbing (I would be starting north and head southbound). I wanna do it and I know it will be my hardest ride yet. My dad said he would be in a car ready to resupply me and stuff. He has done it before too..

think i can do it?

Of course you should give it a try, especially with your Dad there to help out if needed.

If you start from Front Royal early in the morning on a weekday, you should have several hours of riding with very little traffic.

It can be much colder up there on Skyline drive than down in the valley.

Even if the forecast is for a warm day, I would bring a light packable wind vest and thin long finger gloves.

Good luck!


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