Day Two: Linville Falls to Mt Mitchell [aka 11,000+ ft Climing Day!]
At the start of Day Two, I promised NO GRAVEL. However I said nothing about climbs, wind, flying icicles, sleet or 11,000 feet of suffering. All were had on this epic day of cycling.
This is about as close to West Coast riding that you can get on the East Coast! Of course, we have to keep things real here by adding in the weather issues, but overall it was an epic day.
We were greeted by overcast skies, cool temps and even a light shower on the drive to the start. By the time we started riding though things had cleared up and smiles were everywhere!
Team Endurance Nation veteran Joe Matchette making riding look fun!
By the time we left the first SAG stop and started the clime to the entrance of Mt Mitchell, however, it was game on.
The Road Only Goes Up From Here!
The weather on Mount Mitchell was pretty damn ugly. A headwind and clouds made for slow and lonely going. Then add in the dropping temperatures and you have a recipe for danger. While a few brave souls rode to the tippy top, most of use turned at the official Park Entrance.
Look, the Tree in the Back is Covered in Frost / Ice!!!
With a super quick turnaround at the top, it was time to head back to lower / warmer temperatures. There’s quite the descent from Mt Mitchell first, and it was quite a while before anyone really felt “warm” again.
The Parkway accommodated those who opted in for the full ride with some sunshine and elevation to keep things interesting.
When it was all said and done, the group had a complete epic day. I personally rode the 82 miles in 5:20, with a Normalized Power of 260, an IF of .76 and racked up 311 TSS points. Totally shelled!
Time to rest up before tomorrow’s epic ride to Beech Mountain!