oh my...I am still really worn out. But... I cannot go against the public outcry for more information, I must tell it. Asheville will go down as one of my all time Wylie Coyote off the cliff moments, but when the dust cleared at the bottom there were all these really great people, and I was so glad to be there. There are tons of stories to tell, but I know what you want to hear about, the hills, so here is the first story of Asheville, the course, out and back style.
I have not really been able to determine exactly how far I went, the sign up info said the course was 105, but then when we got there, you had to ride 2 miles past the last check point and ride to where the road ends and touch gravel to have 100 miles, plus Barry who rode most of the second half of the course with me, had over 100, but on the steep inclines he would weave to cut into the incline, I did not do that.
I know I went at least 100, because I hope you know I was there to ride to glory, and that meant touching gravel, and darn right I did. Still gathering the photo evidence I will get that posted. I think I should mention here that they have an entirely different set of definitions when it comes to hills out there, the stuff they called rolling, still felt like plain ole hills to me, nothing rolling about them. And we have nothing that even faintly resembles hills in Nebraska based on their scale. The hills in Asheville just go on forever, you climb for miles and miles. Riding out had 22.53 miles of climb with elevation of 5625.2 ft. and riding back had 21.65 miles of climb with elevation of 5415.7 ft. So the total elevation of the ride because elevation is cumulative, even though that seems odd is 11040.9 ft. Hey did I mention I was from the land of big and flat. Happily never went backwards. Never even thought of bailing out, even at the metric century turn around where tons of folks I had been riding with turned back. I figured just keep going till you can't and see what happens. I will say it was a ride that did not see very much of the big ring, even when you were pointing down hill and you needed to keep peddling to keep you heart rate up, it was just too difficult to push the big ring very much, I had to keep it kind of spinny, and that worked out fine. Out of checkpoint two was one of the most challenging points in the course, it was up up up for about 8 miles. The coaches on the course said that was as bad as it would get, and that was true, though the road to glory(past checkpoint 4 to the gravel) was up too and at that point you were really ready for a little break, I went past the checkpoint and stopped on the way back, I know myself well enough to do it that way. I will say a huge thanks to my darling husband who back in June sort of pushed me into the road bike I have now, I could not have done it without Celeste, she may not be the fastest climber with me, but she climbs just the same with a never give up never surrender spirit. And on an 8 mile downhill she flies on wings unseen. It was dreamy boys and girls just dreamy, all the way down I thought to myself how the heck did I get up this hill? But I knew she is a great bike, high stepping and full of flight. And Celeste can take a turn so solid and full of grace it gives you courage to go at amazing speeds. No computer for Celeste, no actual time averages, or exact distance, that is just not her game, she works when it is time and goes fast when she can. Man I love that bike.
Other than that...well the coaches kept it moving and were a really great group of guys, when Tim told me I would not fail in my quest to complete the event, I for some odd reason just believed him. The sag was all volunteer and was superior. They even had a Dr. roaming the course, of course there were diabetic riders too, and everyone kept their eyes out for any trouble they may have been having. Also Maggie P. from the local chapter, was at the second checkpoint, and it was great to see her on both the way out and the way home, she really made me feel better both times, thx Maggie. So that is all there is about the course.