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Mount Mitchell Solo Ride

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Mount Mitchell Solo Ride

Postby UNCrayburn » Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:15 am

After a weekend with the future-in-laws I decided to take advantage of their home's proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway. For those of you unfamiliar with the Parkway, it is a roadway built on a high ride of the Appalachian Mountains through the states of Virginia and North Carolina. It has very little traffic except during the leaf season due to its maximum speed limit of 45 miles per hour. Anyway, Sunday morning I decided to drive up to the parkway and take on Mount Mitchell, the highest mountain peak east of the Mississippi River at an elevation of 6,684 feet. It was a very clear day as you can see from the following photos. The climb was fun, but the descent was definitely the best part of the ride. The Lew's performed well all-around. Enjoy the pictures.

This is the entrance to the park which is not quite at the top.
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This is from the parking lot at the summit of the mountain. The true summit area was closed due to the construction of a new "viewing area."
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Two shots from an overlook on the Parkway. Mount Mitchell is the peak to the right of the snow covered portion of the ridge.
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Two more shots from another overlook on the Parkway. A section of the Parkway is in the upper left, and, it is hard to see but, there is a switchback section of Highway 80 in the lower right.
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Sorry that there are no shots of me, but I never saw any other people except park rangers, who were too busy to take a photo.
- UNCrayburn
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Postby Jared B » Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:19 am

Awesome photos with views to die for. :)

I'm not even sure in Australia whether we have mountains that high in elevation where you took the happy snaps from. One of us Aussies here will know?

How did the Lews perform with heat from braking going down the hill?

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Postby stumpytrunks » Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:56 am

Nice! Jared, the best we've got down here would probably be Mt Wellington. I went up there very early the other morning. Great descent! Started at around 100m above sea level and the summit is 1271. Average grade a bit over 6%. Sorry that I haven't got the pics hosted.
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Postby Jared B » Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:10 am

I've jsut done some checking Stumpy and Mt Kosciuszko is actually out highest peak at a 2228m or 6684ft. I doubt whether you could ride that high though.

That being said and sorry to take the topic off line our mountains aren't that high. I rememeber when a stayed in Manitou Springs Colorado awhile back and climbing up Pikes Peak on Mtbs on single track to an elevation of 13,000ft. That was a lung buster that climb. That was when i was fit too!

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Postby MMC#2 » Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:41 am

Awesome pictures. Makes me want to head out for the hills!
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Postby UNCrayburn » Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:24 pm

Jared B wrote:...How did the Lews perform with heat from braking going down the hill?


There was no noticeable heat build up during braking, but the roads did not have many tight corners in a row. They were mainly wide, sweeping turns that required a little scrubbing of speed. In the few tight corners and the times I had to slam on the brakes to slow down for icy patches the braking was very good. Note I was using 0G's with Swisstop blacks.

Next week I hope to go back to the same area and ride Highway 40 which is very steep and has a lot of tight corners. I'll report on the performance.
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Postby Fibre-Lyte » Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:31 pm

Your bike is looking stunning, great backdrops for the photos :wink:

You mention future in-laws. So where's your "other half"? Not a rider?
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Postby billyboy » Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:37 am

That TREK is one beautiful bike :D . The mountains are not bad either!!!

What kind of camera were you toting along for the photos??
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Postby UNCrayburn » Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:03 am

Unfortunately, my other half is not a rider. I have tried, but she does not enjoy cycling as much as me. To each their own, I guess.

The camera is an old Minolta Dimage X that my mom could never figure out how to operate. It's a small, thin square that fits very nicely in my back pocket.

Thanks for the compliments guys.
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Postby Rasmus » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:13 am

That looks absolutely stunning! You just made me even more anxious to jump on the next available flight over :grin:

I'll be sure to drop you a PM as soon as the bikes make it to NC.
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Re: Mount Mitchell Solo Ride

Postby UNCrayburn » Tue May 31, 2011 2:44 am

Repeated this Solo Ride this past Saturday. My first child, a little girl, is due in early July, so I figured I'd get one more big ride in before she comes. Only two photos this time, but here they are:

On the way up the mountain, I had to climb through a cloud bank. That same cloud bank was trapped in the valley between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Black Mountain Range (in the distance). It looked like the valley had been lined with a very soft blanket:
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At the top of the mountain, I rested with my mid-ride beverage of choice these days before descending:
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The city of Marion, NC, the starting location for this ride, sits at approximately 1395 feet above sea level. The climb is long and somewhat unrelenting, but the descent is well worth it. The featured section of the descent is called "The Devil's Staircase" by the motorcyclists in the area. I highly recommend this ride to anyone that's in the area. Shoot me a PM if you'd like the route directions.
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Re: Mount Mitchell Solo Ride

Postby dalai » Tue May 31, 2011 8:09 am

Looks like a great ride UNCrayburn.

Congratulations on the new addition to the family on the way too.
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Re: Mount Mitchell Solo Ride

Postby keithc » Tue May 31, 2011 11:31 pm

Nice bike, nice photos, nice story!
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Re: Mount Mitchell Solo Ride

Postby Fibre-Lyte » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:44 pm

Great photos. Which wheels were you using this time around?
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Re: Mount Mitchell Solo Ride

Postby UNCrayburn » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:55 pm

The wheels are the 2006 model of the Bontrager Race Lite Aero wheelset. I've been abusing them for years now, and they've held up great. Not very high-end, but very reliable.
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