Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My first full year of doing steep climbs on a bicycle in the Mountains of NC. From August of 2012 to August of 2013

Crossing finish line at the Blue Ridge Breakaway
On August the 17th I participated in the Blue Ridge Breakaway riding my bicycle in the mountains of NC. This represents one full year of   bicycling in the Mountains. In the past year I have done 10 bike rides in the mountains climbing steep mountain roads. I deliberately choose difficult rides to built up my endurance level in anticipation of doing some bike touring. 

While I have done 10  bicycle rides in the mountains I have done a lot more in and around my home in Lancaster and Charleston.

I have never been good at climbing and did not know if I could even climb up a steep mountain especially when the climbs were several miles long some as long as 15 miles with category 1 climbs along with 2's. 3's. 4's and 5's.  1 being the hardest and 5 being the easiest. I have to say that after doing some cat 1 climbs I got so tired that even the 5 Cat climbs was not easy and they are supposed to be the easiest.

To do these kinds of ride was not easy for me. I have a handicap and can not walk good and to even walking is very painful due to a damaging injuries to my left leg.  However I am fortunate that I can ride a bike  pretty darn good. Especially for  70's something old man.  

After a year of riding bikes in the mountains my leg muscles have gotten much stronger but I do need to build up my endurance more. I no longer get muscle burning while cycling up hills. 

My goal for another year is to lose more weight so I can climb faster. I also hope to get a bike setup especially for hill climbing and to use for touring. Oh! and do more steep climbs. Hopefully tour the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Speaking of touring I had hope to do a cross country tour with someone that ask me if I wanted to join them but they change their mind on this, probably never meant it anyway.  I wish people would not say things they do not mean. It was my dream to cycle coast to coast and that meant a lot to me.

I am much stronger now on a bike than I have ever been so doing a cross country is possible as for cycling goes but for now  it will remain on my bucket list of things to do for another time. It sort of a let down but that is life.

For now I am focusing more on doing the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway on my bike. The logistic of doing that is much easier for me to arrange. I don't need a cycling partner but will see if I can find one first. I like to try and ride it this year but it most likely will have to wait until next Spring.

I am really in good shape now and just have to keep in shape  and improve on it over the winter months.

Half Way up Highway to 276 to the Blue Ridge Parkway 

      in the Pisgah National Forest. Just stop to take this picture.

Lake Junaluska
Looking at the clouds from the Blue Ridge Parkway near
Mt. Pisgah