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Brasstown Bald Buster Century - CycleCentury


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Helen, Georgia
United States
Surge Sports
65F / 18C
Precipitation
Total Time = 7h 15m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Stayed in Helen the night before. Got my nutrition and hydration together that morning, grabbed a bagel and some coffee. Went down to the starting/staging area and met Brett, grabbed my packet, pinned on my number and hit the portapotty
Event warmup:

No real warm up, just rolled out with everyone else
Bike
  • 6h 40m 2s
  • 100 miles
  • 15.00 mile/hr
Comments:

Part 1: the valley
I knew going into this event that it would be the hardest event I have ever attempted. My plan was to take it easy on the pace and have some reserves going into the mountains. Started out with the main pack and decided the way to go was to suck some wheel for the first 80 miles. Brett and I jumped into a group that was moving pretty quickly. I felt strong and we actually averaged about 20 mph through mile 57. I even pulled for a bit and felt very strong on the hills. we rolled to about mile 35 (I had to stop for a second to make a quick adjustment as I was getting a brake rub). At one point I got stuck between groups and I realized how much easier it was to stay in the pack so I made sure to stay in a pack until the mountan section. I got to the 76 mile point feeling a bit fatigued. We did about 6,000 feet of climbing at that point and averaged 19.5mph (pretty impressive if you ask me!). At this point it was my longest ride of the year. Problem was, fatigue had settled in and there was 7,000 ft of climbing to go over the next 24 miles.

Part 2: The Mountains
Small chain ring time. I got dropped right away at the SAG stop from the base of Hogpen. I knew at this point it was an individual effort and Hogpen was going to pretty take everything I could muster. Of course it started raining as soon as I started the ascent, just added some grittiness to the fun. Right away as I even began to aproach Hogpen I no longer had much power in my legs. Thankfully I had made the switch to a compact crankset as I needed the granny gear, which was where I settled into for the climb up Hogpen. It was a slow (5mph) painful climb to the next SAG, which thankfully came halfay up hogpen. I pulled in, dropped my bike and sat on the ground and stretched. My body was shaking and I was hurting- and there was still 19 more miles. after a 5 minute break I saddled up and decided I would just focus on the road for 200-300 yard stretches and take it a bit at a time. I finally made it to top. The tank was about empty. The dscent was a bit hairy as I was alone and It was rainy. I braked it down to around 30 mph and enjoyed the break on the legs. Next up was Jacks after about 7-8 miles of more rollers. I knew I was in trouble when the best I could do was about 13 mph in the flat spots. I had to stop again halfway to jacks gap and take a breather, take a gel and eat a couple of sport beans. I was starting to get crampy and I was right at 90 miles. I finally got to jacks,which is an easier climb than hogpen, but I was going 4 mph and giving it all I had to turn the crank. I was shutting down and I still had 4 miles to go to just get to the base of brasstown. I stopped about halfway up, shaking again and took a break for about 2 minutes. I finally decided I would have to suck it up and get to the last sag at brasstown and take as long as I needed there to make the final push. I finally got within 100 yard to the sag, and it felt like a mile. Brett was waiting for me there and I was happy to see a familiar face. We were both toast. I took a couple endurolytes to help with the cramping and stretched for about 5 minutes. We decided to go for it despite the body saying NO! We made it about 1/3 mile before Brett ran out of gearing and I ran out of leg. Time to take a walk break. We dismounted, took the shoes off and walked it up for a bit. There was no shame in this as I would have crawled to the top if that is what it took to finish. We mounted again and made it to "the wall" my legs cramped and we said no way- time to walk again (25%+ grade)walked it up the wall and remounted a bit after and it was still so steep Brett tipped right over as there was no turnover in the legs and it was still 15%+ grade. we finally found a flatter spot and rode to the finish. Thak god it was over! we got our finishers medals and they had our change of clothes bag waiting for us.
We ended up about 30 out of 60 finishers, and about 30 more DNF'ed.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing.I signed up only a few weeks before this event. I rode as much as I could- probably not enough- but it was just as hard as I knew it was going to be. 80 miles is tough enough, but then when you throw in the mountains at the end it makes it ridiculous no matter how good an athlete you are.
Post race
Warm down:

Brett bought me a coke from the store at the top. I don't normally like coke, but this one was delicious! Took the van to Helen and we went to the Mexican restaurant. That beer was sooo good! Drove home and had several more "Recovery Beers"

What limited your ability to perform faster:

who knows? How do you train for this? I did everything and more than my body would allow. Train in the gaps more.

Event comments:

low key event, but well organized. This is a total roadie event. There is only an 80 mile option under the century. That eliminated the casual cyclist, so there are no slouches here. The SAG's were well stocked and volunteers were great.The mexican meal at the end was a real treat too (although it was not very tatsty, they had beer and margaritas).
I dont have a desire to do the full 100 any time again soon, but the 80 mile hammerfest would be a great time.


Profile Album


Last updated: 2009-04-21 12:00 AM
Biking
06:40:02 | 100 miles | 15.00 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
avg HR 149 Max HR 178 (spent a lot of time in the 170's)
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: Beautiful course through country roads with the mountains as a backdrop on the first 75 miles, then all mountain the last 20 with a finish up brasstown
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2009-05-17 9:27 AM

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Master
1432
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Woodstock
Subject: Brasstown Bald Buster Century


2009-05-17 10:23 AM
in reply to: #2155755

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Extreme Veteran
452
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GA
Subject: RE: Brasstown Bald Buster Century
holy smokes! my legs are tired after just reading that.  way to dig down deep and finish!  you'll be proud of that finishers medal for a long time.
2009-05-17 12:42 PM
in reply to: #2155755

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Elite
3658
200010005001002525
Roswell, GA
Subject: RE: Brasstown Bald Buster Century

Nice ride!  I thought of you yesterday as I was suffering.  I told myself to toughen up because I didn't have to climb hogpen or brasstown at the end.  I can't imagine the wall you pushed through, but you know you can do just about anything now.  Congratulations!

2009-05-17 12:53 PM
in reply to: #2155755

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Champion
5529
500050025
Nashville, TN
Subject: RE: Brasstown Bald Buster Century
Dude.  That is awesome
2009-05-17 12:54 PM
in reply to: #2155932

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Master
1201
1000100100
Woodstock, GA
Subject: RE: Brasstown Bald Buster Century

brown_dog_us - 2009-05-17 1:42 PM

Nice ride!  I thought of you yesterday as I was suffering.  I told myself to toughen up because I didn't have to climb hogpen or brasstown at the end.  I can't imagine the wall you pushed through, but you know you can do just about anything now.  Congratulations!

Great Job!  I feel your pain. That wall on Brasstown is daunting  for sure.  Now that you have done it once we need to go back up there and do it without walking.  It should be a little easier if it is only about 8 miles into your ride instead of 95 miles into your ride.  I

2009-05-17 1:00 PM
in reply to: #2155755

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Master
1888
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Winder, GA
Subject: RE: Brasstown Bald Buster Century
Awesome work, Greg!


2009-05-17 4:41 PM
in reply to: #2155755

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Pro
3883
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Woodstock,GA
Subject: RE: Brasstown Bald Buster Century

Enjoyed it bro! It was a living hell going up Hogpen and Brasstown but we made it to the top!

I don't want to hear anymore whining about the hills around here ever again.

2009-05-17 5:22 PM
in reply to: #2155755

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Veteran
119
100
Subject: RE: Brasstown Bald Buster Century
Heck of a job Greg.  Way to stick with it!
2009-05-17 5:34 PM
in reply to: #2155755

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Master
2125
200010025
Subject: RE: Brasstown Bald Buster Century
Sounds like a tough day but like everyone else said, you did it.  Awesome job.    
2009-05-17 8:12 PM
in reply to: #2155755

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Regular
53
2525
Subject: RE: Brasstown Bald Buster Century
Nice job out there!  You are right that the quote says it all.  I'm impressed.
2009-05-17 9:56 PM
in reply to: #2155755

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Extreme Veteran
562
5002525
Subject: RE: Brasstown Bald Buster Century

Greg,

 

Good to meet you and Brett (again).  That was just as ridiculous as I remembered it being.  Congrats on being one of a very, very few finishers of the hardest century I know of.



2009-05-18 10:50 AM
in reply to: #2155755

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Master
2150
20001002525
Johns Creek, Georgia
Subject: RE: Brasstown Bald Buster Century
That sounds brutal - way to stick it out.  That must have been difficult.  Great job!
2009-05-18 11:24 AM
in reply to: #2155755

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Master
2638
200050010025
Subject: RE: Brasstown Bald Buster Century

We always knew you and Brett were badasses.

2009-05-18 12:08 PM
in reply to: #2155755

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Pro
3705
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Vestavia Hills
Subject: RE: Brasstown Bald Buster Century

We did about 6,000 feet of climbing at that point and averaged 19.5mph (pretty impressive if you ask me!). At this point it was my longest ride of the year. Problem was, fatigue had settled in and there was 7,000 ft of climbing to go over the next 24 miles.
  This is where your winter training came in effect.  Going from Hogpen (shoot, going <i>down</i> Hogpen in the rain is hard!) to Jacks to Brasstown makes my legs ache.

That is a ride of E-P-I-C proportions ... congratulations on finishing what arguably is one of the hardest centuries in the country.  Where you legs lost strength you gain more the your mental toughness that allowed you to earn one of the sweeter finisher medals in the sport.

2009-08-03 7:01 PM
in reply to: #2158190

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Master
2701
2000500100100
Salisbury, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Brasstown Bald Buster Century
Wow.. just read your report, as I was searching Brasstown Bald... just heard about it... did a lot of climbing over the winter and spring and this culminated in the Assault on Mt Mitchell, which is definitely not easy, but THIS..... this is insane.

Congrats ! fabulous job.

I want to try it. Any advice, besides "no" ?

Again congrats!
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