As I’ve mentioned numerous times, the goal this year is to conquer the four most difficult mountain centuries in the southeast. The first one is out of the way, and I’m just now beginning to taper for Blood, Sweat & Gears, which will take place on June 23rd. The other two are in the fall.
My focus this summer is to simply maintain my fitness, and have a good time doing that. The events I’ve lined up for the summer should be a blast, most of which are new to me.
Fabulous 4th Bike Ride – Even though this ride covers familiar territory in the Saluda/Tryon/Tuxedo area, it is my first time participating. This one is organized by Katie Malone, who has previously directed the Assaults. I’ve heard good things. The difficult part is that the 4th falls on a Wednesday. I’ll have to leave pretty early in the morning and return the same day. That’s not my favorite way to ride, but I think this one is worth it.
Raptor Ride – A group of us are heading to North Carolina for the Yadkinville Raptor Ride (not to be confused with Pendleton Raptor Ride on 10/6) at Brandon Hills Vineyard. This ride is in the foothills, not far from the Blue Ridge Parkway, and should be a lot of fun. While I’m there, I’m hoping to check out some of the climbs in the surrounding areas. There are a couple good climbs from nearby Elkin, NC to the Parkway. If I’m lucky, I may also get to check out some of the climbs near Winston-Salem (Pilot, Sauratown, Hanging Gardens).
The Colorado Trip – This year’s vacation is going to be Colorado. We picked a date that coincides with a mountain ride (thanks wife!), and I hope to do some more riding in the week beforehand. We’ll be flying into Denver at the end of July, where I’ll start acclimating. If that goes well, I’m going to take a stab at climbing Mount Evans, the 14,000 behemoth that towers over Denver. From there we’ll head to Breckenridge, where I’ll try to get a few rides in, and then participate in the Copper Triangle on August 5th.
Blue Ridge Breakaway/Brutal/Dove – Last year I thoroughly enjoyed Blue Ridge Breakaway and, in fact, named it my 2011 Ride of the year. This year I am torn because it falls on the same day as Blue Ridge Brutal, which I want to try someday. Brutal is also a little closer, and I have some friends who might be doing it. On top of that, there is an extremely popular SC ride on that same day, Flight of the Dove, which most of my local riding friends will be participating. This will be a tough decision.
Race to the Rock – This will be my first time trial. Usually this would not be my type of ride (race?), if not for the high rising finish. It ends with a short climb up to Chimney Rock. I became hypnotized by the scenery when riding the Tour de Lure, but unfortunately they do not let you climb the big hill most of the year. They open it up only for this event, a 25-mile time trial, which ends at the top.