Ah! Vacation! I'm having a great time down here in Virginia. Ward and I went to the Blue Ridge Mtns yesterday for an epic ride. 100 miles and around 7,000 feet of climbing. We tackled Horseshoe Mountain on our way out from Rockfish Gap, then took on Montebello, then finally Vesuvius before heading back on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which had lots of climbing as well! It felt epic. There was a 7-mile dirt road descent and Montebello took over a half-hour to climb! When we took the right turn to start the ascent of Vesuvius, I knew we were in for it when I could smell burning brakes lingering in the air from descending vehicles.
When we got ready to ride from Rockfish Gap, it started pouring rain, and it was pretty cold. We had booties on, arm warmers, vest/jackets, leg warmers, and gloves. After about 20 minutes, the sun came out, and we swealtered! What a sight we must have been! Clothes and food stuffed in pockets and under our jerseys! Ward looked like an overweight beer drinker. ;-) (Has he spent too much time around you, Matt? ;-) We overheated and had to stop for tons of extra fluid, but it was still an amazing ride. I enjoyed the climbing so much. I wish I could ride in mountains like this all the time. Each climb has its own personality. Montebello had inconsistent rhythm to it - little steep ups and then it would level slightly then shoot back up. Very tiring. Vesuvius was just steady and brutal. The Blue Ridge Parkway had sections that led steady and straight up, a mirage of endless road.
Another 100-miles tomorrow and beautiful sunny weather in the forecast!