Day 1: Climbfest to and On the Blue Ridge Parkway - Throwback Tour 1997: Our First "Old Men's Bicycling Tour" When We Thought 40 Was Old - CycleBlaze

June 9, 1997

Day 1: Climbfest to and On the Blue Ridge Parkway

Gravity was not our friend at the start

Chris's plan called for a 37 or 60 mile loop on the first day, riding the Blue Ridge Parkway and returning to Waynesboro. The morning dawned cloudy but dry as a bone - we didn't see a drop of rain all day and spent most of the day under blue sky. We were the "Boyz in the Bubble" and decided to do the longer out and back 60-miler.

Up, up and away - sloowly.
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The goal was to ride about 30 miles to the restaurant at Whetstone Ridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway, have lunch and return. The first 15 miles up to Reed's Gap were a gradual uphill. The last two miles were straight up. Rick learned why a granny gear can be your friend and why not to pack things like electric can openers in your panniers. The elevation at Reed's Gap was 2620, a 1200 foot climb from Waynesboro.

We headed south on the BRP, a beautiful road to bike. Our max elevation appeared to be 3252 feet.

Our high point on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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We continued, with many long gradual climbs and a number of shorter, steeper descents. Mike began to learn about lactic acid buildup and why you should train on hills. We reached the restaurant and pigged out on a fine meal, with much blueberry cobbler for dessert.

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Rick TresslerRicky like!
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4 months ago

The ride back to Reed's Gap included a gorgeous 1.5 mile descent on long switchbacks with beautiful views. This section going north on the BRP was about the highlight of the trip. We had planned to continue north on the BRP and return to Waynesboro via Rockfish Gap but fog was moving in and a park ranger in a Jeep recommended we not continue on the parkway without lights. Given the opportunity to eliminate more climbing, we headed down the mountain. 

The roads were wet and the first mile of the descent was fog shrouded - our brakes were smoking. After the fog thinned out we made great time using the big chain ring. We made it back to the hotel in Waynesboro with 63 miles on the cyclometer and did the food bar at Gavids in town.

Today's ride: 63 miles (101 km)
Total: 63 miles (101 km)

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Rick TresslerGawd! My legs hurt that day...
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4 months ago