Monday, July 20, 2009

ORAMM PreRide Report

July 11th saw me up in Old Fort, parked at the foot of Curtis Creek for a ORAMM pre-ride scouting trip. The plan was to ride up Curtis Creek Road, then ride down the Blue Ridge Parkway, descend down HeartBreak Ridge, then fork off and go across StarGap ending up back at the car.

The initial part of the ride was fully experimental and simply to satisfy my curiosity as to how I would probably fare on a singlespeed climbing this neverending 9.2 mile gravel road. I also had a "secret" gear combo I was using which I had my doubts about, but am now certain it will work fine for most of ORAMM...

Upon starting the climb, I thought I was never going to finish this ascent since I am not the worlds strongest climber, but I can maintain, so I found a steady pace I could hold and basically just kept it right there and enjoyed the sounds of nature. The grades on the road ranged from 10-20 degrees! I would guess about 90% of the climb was done standing up and carefully listening to my heartrate monitor. It was intense at times and I did desire to stop on the side of the road a few times and simply walk, but I resisted and before I knew it, I had completed the climb and the rest was adrenaline history...riding the Blue Ridge Parkway on a singlespeed was interesting, yet liberating..the views were incredible and I felt great relief after having made it to the top of this climb...

Heartbreak was not that bad actually, although my hands still burned from holding the brakes so tight, but the switchbacks were manageable and the speed was insane! Stargap was a mess and needs to be mowed down(I do not look forward to this part of the ride next week)

Overall, about 3 hours riding time...some time was wasted seeing the sights up top and being a typical tourist. Equipment held up really well and nutrition notes were taken. Excellent day and worth the time making the trip!

1 week until ORAMM!

Trip GPS recap:

Check out this Garmin Connect activity: ORAMM Scouting Trip


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