Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Assault on Mt. Mitchell

Yesterday I finished 5th at the Assault on Mt. Mitchell, a 103 mile ride from Spartanburg, SC to the top of the highest peak in the eastern US with over 10,000 feet of total climbing. I've never done AOMM before and had no plans to do it this year, until Saturday afternoon, when a ticket suddenly became available. I made a few preparations, then headed to Spartanburg Sunday afternoon with Mark D.

On Monday morning I ate a big breakfast with oatmeal, eggs, potatoes, bacon and a bagel with cream cheese, washed down with some coffee. Losing track of time I made it to the start at about 6:27 for the 6:3o am start. About 9 minutes into the ride, the guy right in front of me locked up his brakes avoiding a pothole on the bridge over I-85. He went down and I went around him. I looked back and saw riders going down like dominos across the road. LL got taken out and broke two spokes in his front wheel, but was able to continue thanks to the generousity of Casey, who offered up her wheel.

The first 82 miles of this ride were pretty easy for me, as the group was huge and nobody was driving the pace. The first 4:08 of the ride was only 217 watts NP for an IF of .66. Then we reached the steep climb up Hwy 80 and the shit hit the fan quickly. Our 100+ rider group was shredded to 9 as Boyd Johnson drilled it. I averaged 326 watts for 19:46 up to the turn onto the Parkway. After a slight pause, the pace was back up again and I couldn't hold on after a few more minutes. I watched the remaining 5 riders ride away and rode the final hour or so alone. I gradually slowed down, but kept a decent pace right to the end, averaging 252 watts for the final 24 minutes. I backed off before the final steep pitch, because I knew I would need to some power to push my 39x25 gear, which wasn't really enough in a couple of places.

I passed one rider from the fractured front group, so I ended up 5th with a time of 5:44. The last 20 miles took 1:34 at 270 watts avg, 286 watts normalized, and a speed of 12.7 mph. IF was .88. LL came in 12th and Mark D was 28th.


Sam said...

Great Job Jay!

betulla said...

Very Impressive. After the first 2 were DQ for illegal support you actually finished 3d! I assume the 2 DQ's had a car passing them food?
What did you do for food and drink?

Jay said...

Actually 2 were DQ'd for having a car transport them and their bikes from the top of the mountain back down.

I had someone standing beside the road pass me 2 bottles before the first climb. It was actually a very cool day with temps in the high 30's at the top, so we didn't need a whole lot of fluid. I think I drank 4 bottles of Gatorade, some Coke, and ate 2 Cliff bars during the ride.