Towards the end of the Snake Mountain climb, I saw a guy with a camera. True to form, I did not pass up the opportunity to ham it up. Remember that this was a grade in the high teens. That sly smile was all I could muster and it was for the benefit of the camera only. After the flash, I was back to my grimace.
Later I found out that the photographer was Jeff Viscount of WeeklyRides fame. I had not met him before, but we have emailed and I know him from reputation. He has done a tremendous amount for cycling in the Carolinas.
There are plenty of other images on his website. If you rode, you might find out how you looked while climbing ‘The Wall.’
Lonnie took some photos of riders going under the Parkway bridge through Blowing Rock.
You can also find a number of images at Mtn Snapshots.
Thanks also to Gary for sending the elevation profile below. It’s hard to believe he is from Raleigh since he seems to know the High Country like the back of his hand.
A lot of people have asked me where BSG stands up compared to other rides. Even though I said in my recap that it wasn’t as challenging as I expected, it was still a difficult mountain ride, one of the toughest around. Snake Mountain itself is brutal. The one difference about BSG compared to other rides are the small climbs. There are a lot of climbs of a mile or two. Some of them are steep and all add up. The longest climb starts in the first few miles, which is a major challenge for my slow warming legs.
Is it as tough as Mitchell? No, Mitchell is still the toughest ride I have ever done. It better compares to Bridge to Bridge. A key difference is that B2B starts with relatively fast pack riding, with the big climbs not starting until mid-way through the mileage. I would say that Grandfather Mountain is tougher than Snake, and 181 is tougher than Schull’s Mill, but there are more total climbs on BSG. Not all rides are the same, so it is tough to compare them.
The ride was also a lot more fun than I expected. From the start near the Mast store, to the finish beyond Mast Gap, there were a lot of laughs and thrills. This is already a contender for my top ride of 2012. If it was an endless sufferfest, it might not have been quite so enjoyable.
Good times. I’ll definitely be back.