2012 has seen its share of ups and downs and next week will be no exception. Beginning this Saturday May 5th, I will be riding the Blue Ridge Parkway with my cross country riding mates (and fellow Geldings) Joe Schroeder and Jeff Douglas.
|Waynesboro, VA to Cherokee, NC|
|Mark, Jeff, and Joe on Natchez Trace Parkway in 2011|
I wish I could say I was totally ready for the trip, but I lost the entire month of March to a nasty case of bronchitis. As a result, I have not logged quite as many miles as I had planned. That said, I still have ridden almost 1,500 miles in 2012. With our move to Braddock Heights, MD last fall, my training rides have gotten much hillier and scenic. Living in a 107 year old house (read more about Idlewhile) on top of a mountain has been everything we hoped for.
My training includes challenging climbs and wonderful destinations like Antietam Battlefield, Harper's Ferry, and Pen Mar Park to name a few. Last week I drove to Skyline Drive (about 90 minutes) to test myself on a longer climb ... passed the test and feel pretty good. I will include my route and ride data daily via Garmin Connect. Here are a couple of my recent training rides (click the link to see my route and data):
04/29/12 Skyline Drive to Hogback Mtn - 5,000 Ft
04/26/12 Antietam Battlefield
I definitely won't be the first one up each climb (that honor will likely go to Joe who has been pounding out incredibly mountainous rides in Northern Georgia), but with my extra "insulation", I will give them a run for fastest descent. Jeff and his new titanium Roark, aka "The Mistress", will certainly challenge me for that honor. All of us have wanted to ride the complete Blue Ridge Parkway for a long time. It should be a great trip!
We will average around 70 miles and almost 7,000 feet a day. Elevations will surpass 6,000 feet in some spots. The weather looks good with no wash outs in the forecast. We will stay in hotels including the Peaks of Otter Lodge and Mt. Pisgah Inn. No buffets planned for this trip.