Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
go up
Joined
·
648 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've ridden the organized ride the last seven years; 3 years did the metric, the last 4 I've done the full 100. This year I am forced to miss the Century because I am going to be out of town.

So Saturday I just figured, "What the heck, I'll just ride it today." I have not done anything longer than 85 miles or so this year so far, so I was worried how long it would take; I guessed it would be around 6.5 hours.

I live within a mile of the last descent, so I just rode from the house and got to it. It was a bit breezy and cool at the start but good for riding. The roads from the Start at the stadium are pretty much the same condition as last year. A little rough through the city but nothing terrible.

The climb up Suck Creek Mountian was nice. Some small flowers starting to bloom here and there and the sounds of Suck Creek flowing of to the right kept my mind off the sluggish feeling in my legs. A little past halfway up my legs began to feel really good so I picked up the pace a bit. The descent is the same as usual, smooth, a couple tight turns, fast, and long.

Once I made the left turn in the valley I found myself with a nice, really nice, tailwind. I stopped at some point to shed a few layers; the sun had broken through the clouds and was beginning to warm me up. I made it to the old blue bridge crossing the Tennessee River to find the wind blowing me all over, which is pretty frightening on this bridge. I made it over the bridge, without being blown into the river, to enjoy the tail wind again for a few minutes before climbing the ridge near New Hope. There are some dangerous cracks in the road as you come off the ridge; they would easily ruin your day if you hit them. More tailwind all the way to the turn to the Alabama-pave section. Yes, it's as rough as it ever was.

I was expecting to be riding into the wind once making the top of the Sand Mountian climb but was glad to find myself wrong. The view off into the valley to the left (west) is incredible! I stopped to refill my water bottles and stretch for a couple minutes. When I got back on the bike my legs took a few minutes to get back into it. The section of road just before the descent and the descent off Sand Mtn. have been repaved. I can't remember if this was so last year; I don't think so. Anyway, the downhill is a screamer! Watch for the sharp right, the woman in front of me two years ago bit it there; it is smooth now but just as tight.

After making my way to the base of Lookout on New England Road, the little hill there reminded me of what was ahead, Burkhalter Gap. Yee-haaw, what a climb! I'm glad I am old enough to be riding with 27 teeth on the cassette. Looking at the time I reached the top, it crept into my mind I might finish in under six hours if I push it a little harder for the remainder of the ride. I made the last few rollers on top of Lookout without much difficulty and dropped off the mountian to my turn off the course in 5:55. A nice surprise for me doing this one solo!

Anyway, if you have any questions about the ride or course, send-em while it's fresh in my mind.
 

·
Adrenalina Italiana
Joined
·
987 Posts
Thanks for the ride review.

Looking forward to doing it in May. I'll be doing the Cherohala ride Wednesday morning with a couple of other wheels and your welcome to join in the suffering if your able. See ya man.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
rode a small portion of it on Sunday

I was just going to do an easy recovery ride on Sunday, but plans changed after about 3 miles. The legs felt strong, and I had time. My Saturday ride did not have any hard climbs, but the pace was enough to leave me feeling the workout. We did the Racoon mtn loop with some minor additions to add miles.

I decided to try to climb Burkhalter Gap for the first time this year. I started drinking plenty of water and getting food into my system early. It did not seem to help. I struggled on the climb even from the beginning. I should have stayed with the recovery ride, but I am too stubborn to turn back now. Unfortunately I had to add some traverses to the climb to recover a couple times. I made it to the top, but it was not gracefully.

I am not sure if my memory of the last steep section was distorted this time, or the last times I climbed it. I thought it was only about a 200 yard section of really steep road. It felt like at least twice that length.

In the end it turned out to be a good test of my willpower. I would imagine that I will be pretty tired at this point of the 3 state ride. I hope I find the strength and determination on that day also.

See you on the roads,
John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Deadlegs - Great discription of the route. I am from St. Louis and have never done the 3 state 3 mtn ride but I along with a few buddies are signed up and ready to go. Thanks for recap of your ride, can't wait to climb those mtns and check out the views. We don't have that many good hills in STL, mostly just rolling hills.
 

·
go up
Joined
·
648 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
SPINDAWG, I hope you guys have a good ride today. It looks like it may be a bit cold with some wind! Heading to UNC tonight or in the morning for a little over two weeks. I'll yell when I get back; I'll be needing a little hill work after time in the flatlands.
 

·
go up
Joined
·
648 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey, lemond111. You'll see some rollers on the course as well. I would guess at least half total elevation gain is from the smaller hills. The three main climbs do reach elevations of 1200 to 1400 feet but the valleys are at around 650 feet above sea level. Anyway, have a great ride and save something for the last climb and the next 5 or 6 miles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Thanks, again, Deadlegs! I'm also going to ride this, but right now I'm down for the metric. But I'm hoping to do the full blown ride... I'll just have to see what shape I'm in in another month or so (if I remember from the registration form on Active I'm not obligated to one ride or the other at this point). Going to hit the hills hard in April and I'll see where things stand by then. Either ride sounds like great scenary.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top