Thanks to Jack for capturing and letting me post the descent down Skyuka / White Oak Mountain. This is a good conclusion to the Hincapie Gran Fondo, and a worthwhile teaser for an upcoming couple posts about descents.
Some would argue that the climb up Skyuka Mountain is among the toughest in Western Carolina. Of all that I’ve experienced, it is certainly up there. It is long and steep, with pitches in the upper teens. It’s also a rewarding climb, as you get a clear view of the flatlands below — one of the best mountain views in the immediate area.
The descent is not fun, at least in my opinion. There is a lot of scenery and even a waterfall, not that you’d have time to appreciate it. The road goes fast, banks around corners, and requires me to ride the breaks a lot of the way down. On my first trip down, when I wasn’t as experienced, I almost lost control going around one of the corners. I think it’s the one with the Mavic van in Jack’s video. I freaked out a little bit when the corner snuck up on me. I didn’t think I’d be able to slow down in time, so I unclipped and tried to get a foot down (not smart, I know.). After the bike wheels stopped, I even skidded a few feet. It was one of the scariest descents I’ve tried, and on subsequent rides, I’ve been very careful going down.
Jack felt the opposite. He loved the descent, and somehow managed a top sleep of 38 mph, far faster than my top speed of around 32. For that reason, I really appreciate the video. He attacks the mountain with confidence and handles the corners a lot better than I would.
Thanks again, Jack!