June 3rd I did the 3 Mountain Madness bike ride up at Pilot Mountain, NC. That was one tough ride. I did the 75 mile version, however there was a 95 mile version as well. The ride consisted of 3 climbs interspersed w/ a bunch of rollers in between. The total elevation climbing was billed as 9280 feet.
The first climb was up Sauratown Mountain. The GPS topo map showed that this climb was ~1500 feet. I had a 12-27 cassette installed on my bike and I stayed in that 27 tooth cog for the complete climb. I had good energy and the weather was ideal so this climb went pretty good.
The 2nd climb was up to Hanging Rock park. This was the easiest of the climbs. I got through this one w/o much problems. It came up at about mile 30 and I was still feeling kinda fresh. I saw my buddy Dave passing me on the way up and he told me that the last climb was more difficult.
I hung on w/ a group of riders that I believe were from Greensboro. There was this one lady that was kinda funny. I had my Ofoto jersey on, and see would keep shouting out "Ofoto" when I'd push the pace a bit on the climbs. I got to the point of looking forward to her shouts and pulling that good energy from here enthusing.
The test. The Pilot Mountain climb. This climb was tough, tough, tough. It came up about mile 62. At this point I'm a bit spent and I still have this climb in front of me. Obviously I dropped down into the 27 and started spinning up the mountain. At first it was good, but quickly I started fading. About 3/4 of the way up, I was reaching the breaking point where I seriously considered stopping, the only problem was how would I start back? I eventually made it up to the top. It started getting pretty warm, so I unzipped my jersey for the climb. I felt like those guys on the Tour with there jerseys flying open for the climb.
All in all it was a great ride and day. I enjoyed myself and I'm looking for the next mountain adventure, "Blood, Sweat, and Gears" this Saturday in Valle Crusis, NC.