I am officially registered for Bridge to Bridge. It is yet another mountainous century ride, beginning at Lenoir, NC and ending at the top of Grandfather Mountain. While the numbers are comparable to Hot Doggett, the layout is more like Mitchell. The only major difference is that the climbing begins about halfway with a 10-mile, category one climb, then a gradual climb to the top. Grandfather Mountain will be short and steep. I have heard it is anywhere from a 15-20% grade.
With just under two months to prepare, it is time for me to get back into a training mentality. I stopped weighing myself after Mitchell. I was careful to continue to make healthy food choices, but didn’t watch calories or watch for portion control. I just weighed myself yesterday and found that I am about six pounds heavier than I was in May. That is still a great weight for me, but to make the climbing easier, it would help if I gradually dropped a little bit. Now I am at around 152 and would like to be 145 by ride day.
Much of my training will be similar to what I did before, which worked great for Mitchell. The only change I’ll make is with my training ride fueling. I feel that I am a stronger rider now and much less susceptible to bonking from inadequate fueling. During my initial training, I would make sure to get around 250-300 calories per hour of riding. I’m going to cut that down to about 100 for weekday rides and 200 for longer rides. I will fuel a little more for the big, organized rides like Blue Ridge Breakaway and Carolina Foothills Tour, where over-fueling will be the safest and most comfortable route.
My fall schedule will be heavy. Beginning August 20th, I will participate in large events for 5 of the next 6 weekends. That will end with the MS Ride, a double century. The season will be capped two weeks later with a 253 mile, one-day group ride from Spartanburg to Charleston. Yes, crazy, I know.