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400k mountainous training ride, Dawsonville, GA - 29 May 2004

Up, up, up we go ...

 

Facts

Part 1

29 May:

Distance: 184.4 Miles 296.8 km
Elevation (climbing): 13,379 ft 4,078 m
Riding time: 14:39 h  
Total time: 17:50 h  
Average speed: 12.6 mph 20.2 km/h
Calories burned 12,348 kcal  

 

Facts

Part 2

30 May:

Distance: 73.1 Miles 117.6 km
Elevation (climbing): 3,340 ft 1,018 m
Riding time: 5:28 h  
Total time: 6:50 h  
Average speed: 13.3 mph 21.4 km/h
Calories burned 3,631 kcal  

 

Ride report:

The Florida Flatlanders: Dog Chaser, Big Guy and Up Up Up decided to visit the Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee mountains for a 400k (250 Miles) training ride. We met at 5:30 AM Saturday morning in Dawsonville, GA and after cycling 1,000 ft (distance not height) we went to a breakfast place. This is the part of the ride we as Flatlanders knew how to handle.

After breakfast at 6:15 we went on the bikes and noticed the difference to Florida. Not warmed up yet, but uphill it went, not much, but even a slight slope makes an impact to Flatlanders with a full stomach and cold muscles. From there on it went up and down and it didn't took long before we were really warmed up and sweating while we had only temperatures in the low 60's F.

On the bottom of each hill someone shouted to us '''up up up". It was Up Up Up that was getting out of the seat and really up up up the hill he went, while Dog Chaser and Big Guy were crawling the same. After 30 Miles we already had 3,000 ft of climbing, this is 100 ft per Mile. That's almost all of the "Horrible Hundred" hills within the first 30 Miles. Then we headed towards Woodys gap. The approx. 5 Miles to the top took us almost 1 hour. Dog Chaser and Big Guy stayed together fighting switchback after switchback, the hill and the resistance to turn around and just go back to a suddenly much nicer looking hotel room. Couldn't we spend our weekend different? They kept going since somewhere in front it shouted through the forest "up up up" and there again "up up up".

At the top we stopped for a break with a rewarding view and the proud confidence Florida Flatlanders can get up a hill even it is at a speed of a snail.

Down on the other side was fun. It seemed so much easier then the up :-)), even so we were not good on this either. Big guy used his brakes frequently and felt this in his hands.

During the day, temperatures raised, but luckily we had a cloud overcast, so that the temperatures stayed at low/mid 80's F. We went rolling through up, downs and flats. Usually Up Up Up was in front pulling and left no doubt in a loud voice what was coming ... up, up, up, there we go again.

In the afternoon, rain showers started getting in. This reminded us of last years mountainous 300k in South Carolina that the same team did ride. Rain jacket on, rain jacket off, rain jacket on, rain jacket off ... Let us tell you, it is no fun in mid 80's F degree with high humidity in a rain jacket to cycle up a hill. We didn't know if we where getting more wet from the outside (rain) or the inside (sweat). This was going on for approx. 2 hours.

Luckily we still had quite some impressive clouds, but no more rain and we didn't have to cycle any major hills during the rain phase. We were afraid of having to do major downhill's with wet roads. Before we hit Woodys gap (3100 ft) again on our way back,  the roads started drying.

We stopped at a food place and eat some pizza. Isn't this what you are supposed to do, before you cycle up a major hill? After having cycled 150 Miles it seemed that now Woodys gap is even harder. We had hoped we would make it before sundown, but were caught right in the middle of the hill. We put our lights and reflective equipment on and while Dog Chaser and Big Guy continued their struggle, Up Up Up continued shouting and wondering why we are so slow.

The downhill with dry roads in complete darkness with just our bicycle lights was some fun. Even so, Big Guy and Dog Chaser had bright HID lights, this is the point where you always wish you had more light, especially going of speeds between 40 to 50 mph.

Shortly after midnight we were back to the motel, after completing 183 Miles with 13,400 ft  of climbing in a little less than 18 hours. While Lance probably just would smile without saying a word in reading this, the Florida Flatlanders were quite happy with their performance. Even Up Up Up was happy to be back at the motel, not because he had tired legs or felt the ride, no just because we kept him out there so long without sleep.

We were originally planning on only getting a 1 to 2 hour break and to continue to finish in less than 27 hour as required by a official Brevet. But since this was only a training ride, Ladyspeed wanted to join us for the last 70 Miles and since she doesn't ride at night we decided to meet again at 5:30 AM Sunday morning to do the second part of the ride. First thing again was breakfast and once more approx. 6:15 we went on the bikes.

We started with a quite good pace. Seemed that a 5.5 hour break made a difference. But it didn't last for long. After 5 to 10 Miles, Dog Chaser and Big Guy realized that the day before had some hard work and the speed in the

flats dropped to convenient 15 to 16 mph. Ladyspeed really enjoyed this and felt we always should do a 180 Mile mountain ride before we ride with her. This way she could experience that we were trying to hang on to her and not the other way around. Of course with the exception of Up UP UP, who always was up up and away somewhere.

We cycled down to Alpharetta, GA and were impressed by the houses we saw in this area. Our larger Florida homes seemed to be small to those houses. If my weekend budget would not have limited to a less than 7 digit dollar amount, I might have considered one of those homes.

The last 70 Miles consisted more of rollers than real hills and still had 3,400 ft of climbing for us. We finished in approx. 6.5 hours and enjoyed the scenery.

In the total of the ride we had only very few dog chasing activities, so Dog Chaser was quite happy. Overall we enjoyed the ride and were a good team. Ladyspeed liked to ride with tired people. We did sightseeing in the afternoon and decided to visit a Gold town museum. The movie in between was a welcome sleep break :-))

 

 

Ride cue sheet:

Elevation Profile:

 

georgia400k-profile-part2.jpg (15680 bytes)

The above shows the elevation profile for part 1:  184 Miles

 

This is the elevation profile for part 2:  73 Miles

 

Up 200k Brevet 24h Sebring 400k Brevet Fleche Safari 600k Brevet 400k Georgia Six Gap

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top Last updated by Ridehard -     03 Dec 2004