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Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

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Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Old 05-28-09, 11:09 AM
  #26  
balto charlie
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Originally Posted by Nota View Post
Yeah. If you're a reasonably strong cyclist, and so long as you keep your heart rate down, by spinning a small gear up the hills, you really can go all day. Dealing with the saddle sores and lower back pain, was more of a challenge than the leg fatigue pedaling aspect. I (regularly) took "Advil for back pain", to deal with the lower back. That helped a lot. As for the saddle......well, you just deal with it - "push through the pain". The one good thing that did come out of having to do most of the last day in the rain was that my brand new Brooks B17 saddle (finally!) got broke in good 'n proper. It's now permanently sunken down in and molded to the shape of my arse....uber comfortable. I'm going to buy a black one to put on my Trek Madone......and then go ride it in the rain.

I know some people seemed to think that I missed a whole lot, by doing so many miles each day, but as you said, my olefactory senses work just fine; I smelled, and saw, quite a bit. I may not have stopped and gotten off the bike at each scenic overlook, but had my head turned towards it and enjoyed just the same, as I was pedaling by. By far, the best smells were up at the "balsam" area, near Pisgah.

Out of curiousity,Charlie, just what part of Bal'mer, Merlin are you from? I actually grew up in Baltimore, having lived all over the city and parts of Baltimore County, but moved down to the Carolinas about 20 yrs ago now.
I live in Catonsville(western 'burb of Bmore) but have also lived in Charles Village and Cedarcroft. We have thought about retiring to NC(mountain area Ashville/Brevard). I like the idea more than my wife.

When I ride looong distances(300K) my neck is my biggest problem, my saddle is an old Brooks Pro well broken in so no problems there. I can't believe you broke in a new Brooks on a long tour.

I've been meaning to ride the BRP but on a self supported camping trip. I know I can't do 120 mile days fully loaded. I think I might be able to do 80 but still in the planning stages. 80 might be biting off more than I can chew with those hills.
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Old 05-28-09, 04:24 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
I live in Catonsville(western 'burb of Bmore) but have also lived in Charles Village and Cedarcroft. We have thought about retiring to NC(mountain area Ashville/Brevard). I like the idea more than my wife.

When I ride looong distances(300K) my neck is my biggest problem, my saddle is an old Brooks Pro well broken in so no problems there. I can't believe you broke in a new Brooks on a long tour.

I've been meaning to ride the BRP but on a self supported camping trip. I know I can't do 120 mile days fully loaded. I think I might be able to do 80 but still in the planning stages. 80 might be biting off more than I can chew with those hills.
I used to work as a security guard at the mall in Catonsville, back when I was about 19 or 20 y/o. I grew up very near Cedarcroft - just off the Alameda (on Glenhaven Rd). Why is your wife not keen on retiring to the NC mtns? Actually, I had the very same idea, to retire to the NC mtns. I like the Boone & Blowing Rock area, but they're way too pricey. I wound up buying a second home on 23 wooded acres just outside Wilkesboro, in the Brushy Mtns. I've had it for 3-1/2 yrs now, and I LOVE IT! I go there EVERY weekend. (see attached pic of the view from my mtn house)


As for breaking in a brand new Brooks on my trip, the way I figured it, my other two saddles (a Fizik Airone, and a Forte Pro) hurt my butt after just 40 miles, and they each have over a thousand miles on them. I've read countless testimonials on the comfort of Brooks saddles - so I figured I'd give it a try. I did just one training ride on it, 43 miles, before I left for my trip last week. It felt great for that whole ride, so I figured it couldn't be any worse than my other two "already broken in", saddles. And besides, the honey colored leather looks way cool with the celeste green Bianchi, dontcha think?

I had planned on traveling even lighter than I did. That trunk bag has zip out sides that become panniers. I hadn't planned on employing them, but I had so much crap that I couldn't quite decide how to pare down before my trip, so I just said screw it, take everything..."better to have it and not need it, than to need it an not have it", so I did.

I hadn't realized just how heavy the rig was, til I went to sneak through the only closed section (that I couldn't go around the barriers and pedal through - there were 2 of those spots) of the parkway (the Goshen Bridge near Boone, just before hwy 421). I hoisted the bike up and put it on my shoulder so I could shinny across the bridge (which was undergoing major renovation, and had rebar and metal sticking out everywhere, but no road surface), and damn that thing was heavy; about 50lbs total I'd guess. I wouldn't have wanted to carry any further than I did.

Last edited by Nota; 08-27-09 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 05-29-09, 06:39 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Nota View Post
I used to work as a security guard at the mall in Catonsville, back when I was about 19 or 20 y/o. I grew up very near Cedarcroft - just off the Alameda (on Glenhaven Rd). Why is your wife not keen on retiring to the NC mtns? Actually, I had the very same idea, to retire to the NC mtns. I like the Boone & Blowing Rock area, but they're way too pricey. I wound up buying a second home on 23 wooded acres just outside Wilkesboro, in the Brushy Mtns. I've had it for 3-1/2 yrs now, and I LOVE IT! I go there EVERY weekend. (see attached pic of the view from my mtn house)


As for breaking in a brand new Brooks on my trip, the way I figured it, my other two saddles (a Fizik Airone, and a Forte Pro) hurt my butt after just 40 miles, and they each have over a thousand miles on them. I've read countless testimonials on the comfort of Brooks saddles - so I figured I'd give it a try. I did just one training ride on it, 43 miles, before I left for my trip last week. It felt great for that whole ride, so I figured it couldn't be any worse than my other two "already broken in", saddles. And besides, the honey colored leather looks way cool with the celeste green Bianchi, dontcha think?

I had planned on traveling even lighter than I did. That trunk bag has zip out sides that become panniers. I hadn't planned on employing them, but I had so much crap that I couldn't quite decide how to pare down before my trip, so I just said screw it, take everything..."better to have it and not need it, than to need it an not have it", so I did.

I hadn't realized just how heavy the rig was, til I went to sneak through the only closed section (that I couldn't go around the barriers and pedal through - there were 2 of those spots) of the parkway (the Goshen Bridge near Boone, just before hwy 421). I hoisted the bike up and put it on my shoulder so I could shinny across the bridge (which was undergoing major renovation, and had rebar and metal sticking out everywhere, but no road surface), and damn that thing was heavy; about 50lbs total I'd guess. I wouldn't have wanted to carry any further than I did.
Glenhaven rd: My parents rented a rowhouse on Northwood Dr just across the park from Glenhaven when we first moved to Baltimore('67) before settling on Cedarcroft. I don't remember why she wasn't thrilled with NC? It's been a few years. It might have been real rainy while we were there. I think we camped for 1 week and rented a cabin for the second week just after a long drought had ended. Lots and lots of rain. I love it...kayaking, mnt biking, climbing everywhere!! Waterfalls were awesome. We still continue our search for a retirement home. Just went to S. Utah for 11 days for hiking and checking out the real estate there. Wonderful state and weather. Another option is to get ourselves a camper van(vanagon/Eurovan) type vehicle. This way we will keep our current residence(paid for) and go where ever we please whenever we please.
A 50 lb bike is heavy, almost the weight of a fully loaded rig. So part of the BRP is closed? I sometimes tour with a trailer so this might be an obstacle that will need to be considered.
Nice view from your mnt home. Later, Charlie
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Old 06-01-09, 10:12 AM
  #29  
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Hey All,

I finally got the rest of my pics of my BRP bike tour uploaded to my webshots album, if anyone cares to see them. It takes about 3hrs to upload that many pics.

The pics are primarily of day three, and only a little bit of day 4, since it was raining and there wasn't a whole lot worth taking a picture of, what with the foggy conditions and all.

As you can see from the pics up on Mt. Mitchell, I donned an improvised...dorky, rainproof-skull-cap beanie (I made it out of a CVS pharmacy shopping bag, just in case any of you are interested...and taking notes. Actually, CVS bags make your BEST improvised rain cap beanies. No, it's true...really. Oh yeah, I've always said that.) , to try to at least keep my scalp dry during the rainy ascent and descent.

https://outdoors.webshots.com/album/572342303OZDhhB
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Old 06-01-09, 03:50 PM
  #30  
BikeWNC
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BTW, how does that Brooks saddle work for you? What model is it?

edit. Nevermind, I read the thread and found the answer. Doh.

Last edited by BikeWNC; 06-01-09 at 04:14 PM.
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