On Friday, instead of taking the train I decided to ride to my parents house for one last long ride before I head down south this coming Thursday for the Cohutta 100mi mtb race in TN and GA.
The weather was beautiful, in the upper 60s most the ride, and sunny with very little wind. Perfect for riding hard all day!
The route I take to my parents house is 95 miles with ~7250ft of total elevation gain. Nearly all of the climbing is in the final 50 miles. I have to wonder, does this ride ever get easy? I think it probably doesn't. The hills just beat the crap out of the legs.
I was tearing the road up until I hit the hills. My average speed after 43 miles was 22mph. I finished with an average speed of 19.82mph. 95 miles, 7250ft gain, 5 hours. Definitely my best time ever. I've clearly gotten significantly stronger since just last year. I must admit to pooping out near the end. For the last ten miles I was dreaming more about the food I was going to eat, rather than focusing on my 90rpm's or keeping the speed up. I noted at one point I was on a 19% grade near the end.
This route would be great for a stage race with a whopper of an ending. The last mile includes a brutal climb with the grades hitting 18% gaining nearly 1000ft!