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October 18, 2010 / jslipschultz

Day 37: Asheville NC to Spartanburg SC (10/18)

Today rocked.  Period.  I guess you want a little more detail, eh?  Austin and I were fortunate to have three guides this morning to re-route us through Asheville:  Bill (who has a second home here), Joseph (who does, too), and Gary (Bill’s friend and the city manager of Asheville).  Instead of taking the Trek Travel route out of Asheville, we went up, up, up and then out of Asheville.  Right from the hotel parking lot (so much for a warm-up–a common theme).  We climbed from an altitude of 1,959 ft to 3,179 feet in 7.8 miles.  Not super tough, but there were spots of 15% grade.  Of course, the descent was fun.

Later, an awesome descent awaited us. Dropping from 2,621 feet to 820 feet in 10 miles.  Ten wonderful miles of 25 to 35+ mph descent in gentle curves.  And I finally let go of the brake levers.  In other words, I’m finally comfortable making the turns at high speed.  Only took 37 days, eh?  It was cool.  No lectures, sister Dana.  All good–all in control.

Plus, the scenery was spectacular.  Rivers and the famous Chimney Rock.  Quaint little towns.  All this BEFORE lunch.  After lunch, we got down to business.  Austin had important conference call scheduled with a certain CEO of a certain huge, retail chain.  He had to be in the hotel by 2:00.  We left lunch at 12:00 with about 30 miles to go.  With again no warm up, Joseph and I took turns pulling at got Austin to the hotel by 1:30.  We were cooking (20 mph average–often 23-25 mph–with some hills involved and a quick pic at the state line).  Great effort with a great result.

And lastly, we crossed the last state line and 3,000 miles at almost the same time.  We must be almost there, right?

Pics (thanks to Bill):  Early morning view from Blue Ridge Parkway, Climbing towards Hickory Nut Gap, Broad River in Hickory Nut Gorge, Chimney Rock (that little piece sticking out), Lake Lure
View from Blue Ridge Parkway Hickory Nut Gap broad-river-in-hickory-nut-gorgechimney-rock-above-hickory-nut-gorgelake-lure-nestled-against-the-escarpment SC stateline

By the numbers:  84.2 miles, 4:44:02 riding time, 17.8 mph average, 4,820 feet of climbing; Totals so far:  3,032 miles and 115,939 feet of climbing.

Next stop:  Columbia SC, 99.8 miles away

Helmet-cam: A View From Above of Asheville; A Cloudy and Cold Morning

Video recap:

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4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Ces / Oct 18 2010 4:20 pm

    That is some awesome country! I climbed up Chimney Rock in May!! Thought about what it would be like riding through there!!! Rock on!!

  2. Casey / Oct 19 2010 5:36 am

    Jeff, remember as you head for the salt, the oft used phrase…the journey is the destination. Enjoy yourself and your family. Casey

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