Mount Cheaha Revisited 4.25x

November 21, 2011 at 1:47 am 2 comments

Awesome ride today doing hill repeats out on Mount Cheaha. I managed to climb it 4.25 times (yes I turned around about a quarter of the way up to restart the climb from state highway 49 when I was not happy with how the climb was going … just a number of random things interrupting the climb that made me say “enough” let’s go try this again since it was a first ascent for me from Lake Henry on Hwy 49). Yes, with the climb from Lake Henry, I think that means I have climbed Cheaha from every conceivable direction except for the mountain bike trail. This has been an unusual year in that I have had the opportunity to ride out at Cheaha at least 3 times this year including one ride from Birmingham.

About the Strava climbing competition, this ride today gives me even greater respect for the guys out in California who do most of their climbing on longer climbs like this one. It took me almost 5 and a half hours and a lot more effort to climb the same amount that I could do in under 4 hours on the smaller climbs and rollers around Birmingham. You just never get a chance to rest on these long climbs! Give me a 500′ rolling monster with pitches of 20+% any day over a 7% climb that just goes on and on forever. Still, it’s always fun to change things up a bit with long climbs like today on Cheaha and last weekend on Clingman’s Dome and the Blue Ridge Parkway. My personal preference for now is the smaller, steeper stuff because the descents are faster and more frequent.

View of a cloud covered Mount Cheaha from Cheaha Lake about 1200 vertical feet below the summit.

Nearing the top on the first time up the Cheaha climb — the longest version of the climb from below Camp Mac with an elevation difference of about 1800′ and total climbing exceeding 2500′.

The lookout tower on top of Mount Cheaha – the highest point in the state of Alabama – trying to peak out through the clouds.

Switchbacks climbing out of the Lake Chinnabee canyon.

The view looking southwest down the ridge line, plus a view of the road climbing up from the western side.

My bike after the ride … not looking so good after my accident on Wednesday (check out the right handlebar tape and the seat).

Finally, here is a link to the interactive data on Strava as well as a gallery of all the pictures I took on the ride. Hover over each picture for a caption. http://app.strava.com/rides/2402474

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Entry filed under: Training. Tags: , .

Anatomy of a rainy crash Thankful for mostly traffic free roads

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. dabbs  |  November 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    looks like a blast! i want to head out that way and try some hill climbs. how is the traffic?

    Reply
  • 2. kartoone  |  November 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    traffic isn’t bad at all … on the road that goes through camp mac you have to watch for people cutting corners, but visibility is good this time of year so you can see and hear them from a long ways off. then once you get up to 281 (the cheaha motorway) there are a few more cars, but the road is really wide. this only really applies to the weekend, though. i would suspect there is generally close to zero traffic during the week. i rode out there on a wednesday earlier this year and saw maybe 10 cars the entire ride?

    Reply

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Saw this hawk this morning hovering in the crazy updraft coming up Hwy 31 while I was waiting at the Hwy 31 / Shades Crest light. I really needed this today to be reminded that it is possible to be and stay graceful in the midst of all the chaos around us everywhere. I guess I will have to start wearing long finger gloves at some point this fall. Very long day today, a bunch of disrespectful, selfish drivers didn't help make a bad day any better.

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Anaerobic Threshold:
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AT power estimated by critical power curve in Golden Cheetah, which predicts I should be able to maintain 315 watts for 1 hour.

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