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Ride report. Assault on Marion(11 posts)

Ride report. Assault on MarionNC_Jim
May 18, 2003 6:20 AM
Promptly at 6:30a.m. the Assault commenced. I guess there to be about 1500 riders. We had a light rain. The Police had the intersections in town (and throughout the course) shut down for the riders. Two miles into the race, I flatted. I was the first person of many to do so. This put me and my riding partner, James (thanks again for the help), firmly in last place.

Once we got going again, we passed group after group, everyone having a good time. It misted and drizzled on and off and then as we reached the 35 mile point, just started raining. Bill's Hill, at mile 45, seemed to me to be a bit overrated. To me it just signaled what was beyond. I think it was described somewhere as gently rolling hills, but there was some really tough climbing involved as you hit hill after hill.

Happened across a really bad accident at the bottom of one hill at about the 65 mile mark. Guy laid out in the road, bleeding from his nose and mouth (Anyone hear what happened and how this guy is dong?). Apparently there was more than one accident at this same place.

Reached Marion at about 11:15a.m. soaking wet and cold. This is far as I went. No Mitchell for me this year. I will next year. A stories I heard about Mitchell was the fog was so bad people turned around, afraid to ride because they couldn't see the bike in front of them. I know I was cold in Marion, so I'm sure it must have been cold on the mountain.

All in all, a well organized event. Plenty of food, hot showers for everyone. I will be there next year.
This NC weather is getting real oldabicirider
May 18, 2003 6:50 AM
They are calling for more rain thru wed I'm sick of it, glad you made it as far as you did safley. I got get out of NC this is too old.
Be safe Out On The Roads!!!!!!!
Ray Still
Mooresville, NC
re: Ride report. Assault on Mitchellcw05
May 18, 2003 8:06 AM
I reached Marion about 11:00...I too flatted in the first 15 miles, wouldn't you know the first flat I've had in a year. I continued on from Marion to Mitchell, the fog was bad which made the two downhills a little sketchy on top of wet brakes but I didn't think it merited anyone turning around. I wasn't really cold until I reached the top and stopped riding (was wearing shorts, short sleeve jersey and a rainjacket). I agree it was a really well run event my only problems was there was zero mechanical support at any of the rest stops or at Marion (I was having derailleur difficulties) and the organizers decided to stop letting nonriders who had prepurchased bus tickets from Marion to Mitchell go to the top at 12:30...so I sat around freezing on Mitchell for an hour wondering where my girlfriend was who was supposed to meet me there. Overall, though, a great ride and a awesome experience.
re: Ride report. Assault on MitchellCARBON110
May 18, 2003 8:09 AM
Asheville weather has been really nice past 2 weeks with maybe 3-4 days of on and off rain...not that I care since I am still crutchn my azz around...4 more weeks :D
re: Ride report. Assault on MarionProboscis
May 18, 2003 9:15 AM
I too flatted about 25 min into it. Ever try to change a tubular in the rain. No fun. I used my rain jacket over the wheel to keep it as dry as possible. Around fast corners the rear felt a little squirrly, around every corner I prayed it would not roll off. Since there was still old glue on the rim, it was a lumpy ride to the top. Managed to get to the top of Mitchell in 7:04. My sit bones mostly hurt from the lumpy ride. 10 miles after Marion the fog settled in. Good thing, because I did not want to be reminded of what lay ahead. Just keep spinning, just keep spinning, was my mantra. Every time I do this ride I learn a little bit more.
re: Ride report. Assault on Marioncw05
May 18, 2003 2:41 PM
Were you on the red Bottechia with Helium tubulars? A guy in a Spartanburg freewheelers jersey flatted by me about that far into the ride.
re: Ride report. Assault on Marionkatie1
May 18, 2003 3:55 PM
To sum up Mt. Mitchell this year: cold, wet, misearble and dirty. I can't complain because I didn't have any of the mechanical problems mentioned above but it still sucked. I made it to Marion in 3:27. Had my car been there like last year, I would have bailed. The last 30 miles weren't as bad as the first 70. It was the first time all day I felt warm. The rain slowed to a mist but the fog was awful. I still climbed like a snail. My heart wasn't into it. I reached the top in 6:16. Thank goodness for warm, dry clothes. As if I didn't suffer enough on the ride up, the bus from Mitchell to Marion was God awful. It took 2 hours! Our bus driver got us lost. The bus ride from Marion to Spartanburg went a little smoother but when I picked up my bike, my handle bar tape and stickers got ripped from the U-Haul. Last year, I thoroughly enjoyed myself but this year was so-so. I'll check the weather before going next year.
re: Ride report. Assault on MarionTarheel71
May 18, 2003 6:31 PM
With some regrets and mixed emotions, I'm done with the Assault. Between the $65 registration fee, gamble on the weather, and least importantly, lack of official recording and posting of finishing times, it just isn't worth it for me anymore. At my age(53), my chances of bettering my best
time are probably slim. Had a goal of 5:45 this year, but that was possible only if I hung on to the front pack to Marion. A 3 rider crash about 10 miles out ended that dream
quickly, breaking up the pack. I had already been forced to bridge gaps about 3 times, as riders in front of me kept getting spit off the back in twos and threes. I rode with a smaller pack(varying from 20-40 or so) and got to Marion
about the same time as Katie above apparently. Since I needed to be there in 3:15 at the latest and I was soaked,
I bailed just like last year. At least this year, I hadn't
bothered to throw a bag in the Mitchell truck. Sitting around in wet riding clothes is bad, but better than driving
30 miles just to pick a bag. Henceforth, I'm just going to ride up Mitchell on my own when the weather is good. I live within 2-hours drive from Marion.
Any limitations for riding up the road on your own???biknben
May 19, 2003 7:31 AM
Does the park service have any problems with riders going up the road on their own? Can you come and go as you please assuming the weather is within reason?

I've been paying too much attention to Mt. Wash. and some others that don't allow bikes to the peak.
Any limitations for riding up the road on your own???Tarheel71
May 19, 2003 4:14 PM
There are no limitations to riding on the BR PKY and up NC 128 to the top of Mt. Mitchell other than the normal state
laws of riding with the traffic and as far to the right as feasible. Grandfather mountain is probably the most respected climb in the area, and it is privately owned and
cyclists are only allowed to enter the park one day a year
during the Bridge to Bridge Incredible Cycling Century.
re: Ride report. Assault on MarionFreewheelers
May 19, 2003 3:49 AM
Got to marion with the front group of about 20 in 3hrs. Maybe a minute or two less. Climbed at my own pace instead of trying to follow the insane pace of some. Ended up passing a few people going up. Finished in 5:29. Every year my improvement has been about 45mins! First year was 7:36 second was 6:15. Kinda funny.