Friday, August 8, 2008
Six Gap and Brasstown
Last weekend we went to North Georgia to do hill work. People not familiar with North Georgia, may not associate Goergia with hills. However North Georgia has a substantial amount of climbing,and two of the more challenging climbs in the Southeast in Brasstown Bald and Hogpen.
We stayed in Helen Georgia, a faux Bavarian village. Helen is very convenient to the good climbing, being 3 miles from the start of Hogpen, and 18 miles to Brasstown.
Saturday we did the Six Gap Century Course http://www.dahlonega.org/index.php/festivals/six-gap-century-&-three-gap-fifty-bike-ride.html which includes 6 named climbs, the hardest of which is Hogpen. Hogpen is 7 miles long, and averages 7% grade with a sustained 15% section.
Because we started in Helen, we did the Century course out of order starting on Hogpen. We did well on Hogpen, but by the top of Neel's, our 4th gap we were fading a bit. 93 degree heat (abnormally high for North Georgia wasn't helping our cause.) We pretty much limped home for there, having completed 9500 feet of climbing.
Sunday, we did 3 Gaps, plus Brasstown. Brasstown is 3 miles averaging 11% grade, with "the Wall" which is 21% grade. We took it pretty easy up Brasstown, saving ourselves for the Wall. It took just about all we had to turn the cranks over on the Wall even with a gear of 26/27. But we made it to the Top.
Staying in Helen, we found a wonderful restaurant, Cafe Le Piazza. Owned by the Chef himself, the food is fantastic, and the wine selection, although limited in number was fantastic.
So in the progression, we've now completed a century, completed a hard mountain century, and are working on hard consecutive days. Making progress but still a long way to being prepared for EC, and time is starting to run short.