Activity: road cycling
Location: Monterey, VA > Frankklin, WV > Cherry Grove, WV > Hightown, VA > Monterey
Distance: 100.6 miles (very hilly)
Weather: partly cloudy and very humid, 70-83 degrees
Avg HR: 140 (max 174)
The 2007 edition of the Mountain Mama Road Bike Challenge is in the books, and it was better than last year. I was with the lead group for the first 30 miles, then dropped the pace a bit and enjoyed the rest. The scenery was, as last year, beautiful, though the humidity level was higher by a significant amount (especially in the valleys). I had the advantage of riding the course last year, so I was ready for the false summit on Allegheny Mountain (pictured). My only hang-ups were a stubborn rear cog that made using certain gears nigh-on-impossible, and hot spots on my feet that caused intense pain for the last 20-or-so miles.
But as I said earlier: I wasn’t trying to go for a personal record on this course, so the pains were just a nuisance (though, in all fairness, coming in around 6 hours on a course with over 13,700 feet of climbing is nothing to sneeze at). I had time to take pictures, to enjoy the scenery, and to talk and joke with other riders. I saw wildlife and waved at the motorcyclists who also enjoyed the hills (and, more often than not, they waved back and smiled).
The level of organization on this ride is superb, and the course is one of the best I’ve ever ridden. I also got to ride with a lot of my friends, which is even more fun. After the ride was over an we had all cleaned up, we celebrated with a pot-luck picnic on the balcony of a local inn. Much wine, beer, pasta, veggies and dessert was enjoyed as the sun disappeared over the Appalachian horizon, another Mountain Mama Road Bike Challenge conquered.
ETA: You can read Darren’s account of the ride here. He also snapped some fun pictures.