Wednesday, May 07, 2008

3 State 3 Mountain from the eyes of Ben G.

My friend, Ben, completed the 3-State 3-Mountain century ride this past weekend. It is a grueling 100 miles that climbs 3 insanely steep mountains in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. Check out his report:

Well we did the 3 state 3 mountain Saturday. We get to Finley Stadium and the bottom falls out. Rain, Thunder, Lightning, Wind, it was terrible. They delay the start to 8:30. The first 30 miles was nothing but rain and after that the sky was overcast. First mountain wasn't to bad. 4 to 6% grade about 5 miles long. The second mountain definitely harder as far as grade but not as long. I would say the second mountain was like climbing old Sewanee mountain through Alto. The view from this mountain was great.

Mile 50 and I'm thinking man we're just halfway home. From here to mile 70 wasn't much fun. My heart wasn't in it, I was suffering, the weather wasn't great, but from mile 70 on the sun finally came out.

From this point the miles were flying by because you knew what was coming up at mile 82 "Lookout Mountain." Before you even get to the mountain you climb a short hill but the grade starts at 10% and then goes to about 20% . Pretty intense and some people crashed because they couldn't make it up.

Lookout mountain is definitely the hardest mountain I've ever climbed. Starts out at 8 to 10% and seems to go on forever. People are walking,dieing, lots of suffering for sure. Then it flattens out and you think its over. WRONG. 16 to 18% straight up. People are walking but I tell myself I'll fall over before I get off my bike and walk. People on the side of the road cheering you on. I'm asking how much farther and they act like the don't even hear me, just keep cheering me on. My legs are trying to cramp up for the first time and I think man cant be much farther. Then I see the top and accelerate to the end.

Smooth sailing from here but still plenty of work to be done yet. A few more big hills and then finally head down the mountain.

I tell you what. The people make you feel like your a Pro Tour rider at this ride. Police at every intersection blocking traffic, People on side of the road ringing their cow bells, Pull into the Stadium and the place goes crazy. You see this big clock counting the time, everybody yelling and clapping. It was a great feeling.

Have say it was one of the best rides I've ever been on.


triguyjt said...

good luck at gulf coast...

wow, that three state mountain ride seemed very tough

Dan Seifring said...

Best of luck Saturday.

jahowie said...

Good luck!!

That ride sounds very tough, and it also sounds like a great experience.

Stephanie said...

I did that ride last year. It was very tough, but a lot of fun (I love to climb). Lookout Mountain was awesome - I left my friend, who is a stud, behind and passed people right and left! I kept telling myself, "Man, Steph, you're a freakin' mountain goat!" It was a lot of fun. Heard about the storms this year, and was really glad I didn't do it again. I don't even like to descend on dry roads - I probably would've walked my bike down every mountain this year!