“It’s yourself you’re climbing. If you don’t want to know, stay at the bottom.” Paul Fournel
What an adventure for “The Lost Boys”! (From left to right: Tim, Jeff, Ralph, Leslie, Donald.)
We’re on top of Mt. Mitchell. You can see the full slide show of our cycling camp below.
I’m fortunate because I am now accepted as an honorary member of this great group of guys/cyclists. I truly mean that. Sure, these are guys that share the same love of the sport that I do… but they are also just really GOOD people. Last year, four of us met up in West Virginia for the Cheat Mountain Challenge that ends at the top of the Snowshoe Ski Resort. I mentioned we should all get together sometime at our condo on Sugar Mountain here in NC for a few days of cycling.
The talk of a Spring Cycling Camp quickly ensued and the Inaugural “Lost Boys” Spring Cycling Camp was born. We had four days… four great days of cycling and camaraderie. You can also throw the word “epic” in there to describe the weather conditions for one of those days. So here’s the breakdown:
Day 1: It was a good warm-up. 43 miles with 5,800 ft. of climbing… cloudy, wet roads, a couple of showers. It included great roads around Banner Elk, NC… like Hickory Nut Gap and Hwy 194.
Here’s the elevation profile:
Day 2: A Great second day… but here’s where the “epic” conditions come in. The roads were soaked, temperature in the low 40′s, some spots were so socked in with clouds/fog we could not see 10 yards in front of us. Oh… and there was a High Wind Warning… 20-30mph sustained with up to 50mph gusts. The worst part was climbing Hwy 221 up to the entrance of Grandfather Mountain. It was AWESOME!
The ride totaled 58 miles with 10,775 ft. of climbing. Here’s the elevation profile:
Day 3: An even GREATER day as we climbed the highest peak in eastern North America… Mt. Mitchell!
I was a day of full sun… not a cloud in the sky! We had to wear our cold weather gear but we quickly warmed up while climbing. We parked and started in Little Switzerland, NC. You pedal right out of the parking lot and onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. The ride totaled 53 miles with 7,855 ft. of climbing. Here’s the elevation profile:
Day 4: Wrapping up a successful camp with a classic climb up Beech Mtn. I say “classic” because this Cat. 1 climb was featured in the Tour Dupont. Lance Armstrong won the race in it’s last two years… 1995 & 1996. This was also the spot that he was climbing with Bob roll and Coach Chris Carmichael when he decided to make his comeback to professional cycling after cancer. The ride was only from the condo on Sugar Mtn. over to the summit Beech Mtn. and back. But what a great ride and the legs feel it. The ride totaled 20 miles with 3,427 ft. of climbing. Here’s the elevation profile:
I want to send a huge Thank You to all the guys for making this camp what it was. We not only had great rides… we had great laughs (no sarcasm of course)… geeked out cycling talks… plenty of cycling DVD’s to watch (Thanks Leslie!) and of course lots of great food (we have some wonderful wives to thank for that)!
I’m already looking forward to 2010: “The Lost Boys Return to Sugar Mountain”.