Here I am again, on the eve of heading out of town for another mountain ride. This weekend takes me to Boone, NC, a familiar haunt, for my first attempt at Blood, Sweat & Gears. This is an A ride for me, the second of the four challenging mountain rides I’ve planned to conquer this year.
The ride compares well to Bridge to Bridge. Both are around Boone, NC and share a couple of climbs. I’ll have another stab at Schull’s Mill Road, a pleasant climb. I’ll spend some more time on the Parkway, including some areas I’ve yet to ride. Bridge to Bridge’s major climb is Grandfather Mountain, at the very end. BSG’s behemoth, Snake Mountain, comes about two-thirds of the way through. From what I hear, Snake is pretty tough, with a short section in the 18-20% range, but probably not nearly as difficult as Grandfather.
My expectation is this will be a hard ride, although probably the easiest of the four target rides. I’ve read some profiles that show 13,000 feet of climbing. From what I’ve been told by others, it’ll probably be closer to 10-11,000 feet. Aside from Snake Mountain and a few grunt hills here and there, the climbs should be relatively moderate. That said, I’m preparing as if I’m doing Mitchell. I’ve learned my lesson not to underestimate a ride. The taper began after the Fort Jackson ride and the eating starts tonight.
The weather is going to be nice, somewhat warm and mostly sunny. Perfect. Unlike my last big ride, I could care less about time. I’ll probably do fine because I’ve maintained my fitness since Mitchell, but I’m not going to push myself just to meet a goal. I’ll probably ride somewhat leisurely, and I will stop at rest stops. In other words, I want to smell the flowers this time, take my time and enjoy the ride. I have nothing to prove to myself or anyone else.
On Sunday, Boone is holding an event called Cyclo-via, which could be pretty cool. They will restrict a a small portion of downtown to bikes only. Motor vehicles will not be allowed. Two wheels will rule the road. There should be some entertaining events and booths. I’m down with any event that glorifies cycling, especially if in a mountain town like Boone. I’ll spend a little time checking it out before leaving town.