Monday, August 28, 2006


Blue Ridge Extreme - ly fun

Out the door just after 3AM to make it up to the Blue Ridge Extreme. The event was expertly planned and run by Charlottesville Racing Club.

Lots of fog around the Afton Inn as the sun comes up. It would prove to be an absolutely beautiful day for a ride in the mountains.

My first time up for this classic. From the map it looks like your "normal" century with 2 BRUTAL climbs thrown in -Vesuvious and Reed's Gap. Each 6+ miles at 10-12% with pitches up to 20%. As a FOF (fat old flatlander) I'm constantly amazed when riding in the mountains. Not by what they CALL hills, but what they don't. There were countless hills on the route that are way bigger than anything we get to train on and don't even show up in the elevation profile. Rollers that roll, and rollers that don't. Man I wish I could train on these hills.

First thing I notice when I put my helmet on - it REEKS. Smelled like a family of skunk slept in there overnight, AND they had dirty feet. pheeeeeeeew. Need to wash that thang.

Crazy pulled the Floyd "I'll notice my flat tire 4 minutes before the start" Landis thing and missed the rollout by 10-15 minutes. Later he'd try to transfer his guilt by attempting to make us feel bad for not waiting, HAH. As I'm pulling a small group through the valley I hear "Excuse me Sir, Do you have any Grey Poupon?" and turn left to see him taking a picture. By the time I can get my camera out he's rolled on by (along with the group I was towing). He finished strong and was one of the few out there without a compact crankset or triple.

Turbo Tim and Speedy Bill (andele' andele') would finish in the first 5 or so completing the 102+ miles with over 8,000 feet of climbing in well under 5:30. Robert was happy to be done. Super Sally battled mechanicals right from the start and still perservered through the end. Mike rode the 40 pound bike (okay maybe it was only 38) and got 'er done.

After stopping for a nature break at the 2nd rest area, I followed a rider out and ended up going about 2 miles off the century route. They were also running a metric and half metric centuries. We realize our mistake and turn around.

On the way back I hear the noise of something rubbing. Look down and see I have a broken spoke - EFF. What to do now? Ride back to the rest area and SAG in? That would really suck. I asked myself what I would do if I were riding alone? Heck - I'd try to make it back. So that's what I did. Loosen the rear brake. Tire still rubbing on frame. Oh well. RideOn.

Ended up staying on the metric route and doing the Vesuvious climb with my tire rubbing. Was surprised at the number of people walking up. Just kept on pedaling. The end came quicker than I figured. It was a serious grunt, but once on the Blue Ridge the views were outstanding. Still plenty of climbing left. But also PLENTY of descending. The rub rub rub was getting old. Pulled over to totally disconnect the rear brake, then manipulated my quick release enough to keep the tire off the frame, it was already rubbing a spot through the sidewall. Shakey video but you get the idea.

Legs felt GREAT, The views were AWESOME. The descents, even at my cautious speed with only 1 brake and a wobblin' wheel had me grinning ear to ear. Kept thinkin', "This is almost as much fun as mountain biking".

So I had to settle for the metric century. 62 miles, 6600 feet of climbing. At least I got in early enough to shower, clean up and watch the rest of the crew finish.

And you thought you were tough - Check out this kid who rode the metric century with a cast on up over his elbow. How the HECK did he climb like that?

Can't wait till next year to do this one again.

Mad props to the fast JB for his top ten at the world's in New Zealand. WTG!!!!!! Think of what he woulda done with a good position on the starting grid. Fell-EPO Merhagger. HAHAHA.



I was waiting on that write up... Glad to hear ya'll had a good time! And that you Rode ON, despite the broken spoke which sounded like a very ill goose BTW.
All set for the SM100
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