Skip to main content

Pre-riding the Beach Mountain Century

Photo courtesy Robin Rohlke. (L to R) Tom, Tim, Paula & Dave

Monday was an add-on break connected to the Easter weekend. So, instead of drinking 12-packs like many others in the parks were doing, a small group of us opted for a big dose of punishment, pre-riding the new Beach Mountain Century loop.

Here are all the details on this flog-your-way-to-the-top epic ride:

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2926923

We took a 10 am start out of Valle Crucis, with an immediate climb up 194 into Banner Elk. If you have not made this climb, well, you better come over and try it for yourself. If it wasn't for the casual attitude and pace of ride leaders Paula and Dave, I would have packed up the tent and went home. You have to take it ever-so-easy on the long climbs and then enjoy the descents on the other side.

Near Bethel, we did the Cat-1 level climb on Stone Mountain Road. It's 1.5 miles of body pain. You'd think cycling was in the legs, but you're putting so much into it that when I got home, it felt like someone got after me with a ball bat.

What' scary and a bit of concern is the fast downhill after the Stone Mountain crest. There are switchbacks and gravel is abundant. I'm sure many on the tour will go all Johnny Race on the way down and get into the corners hot. Carnage and chaos may ensue.

There's more to it, but 58 miles later we were back at the start, with a 12 mph average. You have to ride mountains to understand. On this day, we skipped the actual Beach Mountain climb, but that's another story.

Let me state it here: The Beach Mountain Century will separate the big boys from the little boys and the big girls from the little girls. It incorporates all the best our area offers. Tough duty, but the views are amazing.

Ride hard, ride well, but most important remember speed kills. Go home safe and in one piece.

Comments

  1. woah, 12 mph and you didn't climb beech? that is insane! I can't believe it. Stay safe out there!

    I'm heading to Foscoe this weekend to get together with some old fraternity brothers. Haven't been to the mountains in a few years so I can't wait.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Nothing to see here, folks

It's been a long time since I've been active on my blog. To be honest, I got tired of putting in the work, creating content, with so little feedback or response. Time to divert to other things...such as my new fiction book, coming out soon. Part horror story, part steamy romance. You'll definitely want a copy.

There's another reason I haven't been posting. My endurance spirit is broken.

Some medical issues, some sadness is loss of speed. I don't have much range left in my pulse rate and I have put on a blob of weight.

I "ran" my 10 mile loop this morning...in 2:18. Is that ugly, or what? An overall fatigue follows the run. I remember a few years ago, I'd bang it out in straight 9's for a 1:30 - and at that time had a long section of medium effort trail included, too.

It's the new normal. It's age appropriate. I'll be 59 in two weeks. Let's get real.

Rode my mountain bike Sunday after church. Don't know what I hit but I went…

Break(down)

You have to look closely (click and enlarge photo if needed), but when you do, check out the 5th metacarpal (bone furthest from thumb).

The diagonal break is symbolic of what happens when your mountain bike handlebars snap around 360 degrees, and those bars catch your hand against the bike frame during the rotation.

Well there you have it. I got up after my ride over the bars and knew something was wrong, but didn't want to admit it. Rode about three miles back to the car, then went a week with some ice and heat. Thought it was good, until I smacked the same bone on the bars during a road ride the following weekend.

Time to stop the charades and get to urgent care.

For the past three weeks, I have been in a formed splint that kept the pinkie and ring fingers immobilized in a hooked formation. Don't want those tendons to move across the bone. As the doc stated, it's a "forgiving" break, but nonetheless you don't want to give the bone any excuse to shift; that…