Day 0 - Friday, May 4th
Jeff and Aila made it to Maryland around 1:30 after a traffic free drive from Connecticut. After a brief tour of Idlewhile, we were on our way south to Waynesboro to meet up with Joe and Karen. Pretty smooth sailing past Harper's Ferry and Winchester before getting on 81. A visit to this area is not complete without a stop at Dinosaur Land in White Post, Virginia. The picture below was from my training day last week on Skyline Drive.
|Dinosaurs on Bikes - Jeff and Mark?|
|Shenandoah Mountains and Mount Jackson Water Tower|
|Great Friends Ready for a Great Week|
Day 1 - Saturday, May 5th
The Blue Ridge Park stretches 470 miles and ascends over 48,000 feet from Waynesboro, VA to Cherokee, NC. Elevations range from under 1,000 feet (by the James River) to almost 6,000 feet (Mount Mitchell). Our SAG extraordinaires, Aila and Karen, dropped us off with the sun shining. That would be about the last time we saw it.
|The SAG Team ... Thanks Aila and Karen|
|Jeff is Already Climbing|
|The Start to a Long, But Rewarding Day ... Note, Peak in Background|
Click Here to See My Route and Data -- 05/05/12 Blue Ridge Parkway - MP0 to MP86
Lots of great overlooks with views of the Blue Ridge (when they were visible). As expected, Jeff and Joe pushed up the climbs faster then me, but like they promised, they always waited for me at the top. When the road turned downward, I often led us down the descents. We all took it relatively easy with the wet conditions and limited visibility. I still hit 50 mph at one point (Karen ... breathe).
|Misty and Foggy, But Still Great Views|
|That's Me on the Big Climb|
|Peaks of Otter Lodge|
Day 2 - Sunday, May 6th
Wonderful sunny skies greeted us for day 2. Another 6,100 feet of climbing in 68 miles (Garmin on/off/on lost about 2).
Click Here to See My Route and Data -- 05/06/12 Blue Ridge Parkway - MP 86 - 154
We passed through the Jefferson National Forest, past Roanoke, and up Roanoke Mountain before staying on the ridge for some "mountain rollers". These are not like regular rolling hills where you get to stay in a higher gear and power over the hill (using the momentum from the previous descent). Instead, you must shift down and climb, often several hundred feet.
Some highlights of the day ...
|Iron Man Joe|
|Amazing Scenery at Every Turn|
|I am Done for the Day|
|Love that Helmet Hair|
|The Good News and the Bad News|
Day 3 was a walk in the park compared to the first two ... I'll post more on that tomorrow.
Good Night Moon ... Good Night Parkway ... Good Night Climbs ... Good Night Family ... Good Night Friends ...