Monday, April 28, 2008
28.0mi, 5300ft vert, 2:11hrs
Heavy rain and thunderstorms moved in late Saturday. It was iffy whether it would move out by Sunday morning. Brett and I had long drive back and needed to ride early if we were to ride at all.
The rain was gone, the roads were dry when we got up. Plan was simple - ride up Love Gap, traverse on Blue Ridge Parkway to Reid's Gap, descend other side, then hit 3000ft climb to summit of Wintergreen Resort. Brett hadn't done this biggie yet, like I did on our first day. There's actually a time-trial up this on the same weekend as Jiminy Peak. I'd like to try it some time. Fastest times are comparable to Equinox Hillclimb in Vermont, in the 30's minutes. The skies were heavy overcast starting out, and long sleeves were required for this early morning ride.
After 15hrs, 33,000ft of climbing the last three days, our legs were tapped out. An upper tempo pace was about the best we could muster up Wintergreen. The switchback section in the middle was awful. I really needed my triple. Cresting the summit on Devil's Knob Loop, I realized there is a scenic lookout there. I missed this my first time up. It is the best view of the whole trip from 3800ft. It wasn't all downhill back after reaching the summit. We still had the bulk of Reid's Gap to climb over to reach our cabin. This entails about 2 miles of 15%. My cadence must have dropped to about 40rpm.
For the four days, I logged 17.2hrs in the saddle, covering 276 miles with 39,000ft of climbing. This was the most focused four days of training I've ever done. Of the many mountain bike trips I've gone on, the vertical doesn't add up as fast, and it is harder to achieve long, uninterrupted climbs like you can get on the road. Riding in Arizona for six days two weeks ago was a nice prep for this extended training weekend. I would like to come back here again next year.