I went on vacation with the family up to Bat Cave for a week of hanging out for my father in law's 70th birthday. We went to Bat Cave since it was close to Lake Lure and Asheville. Lake Lure was pretty fun and Charlotte got to swim and ride a horse as well as climb 654 stairs up to the top of Chimney Rock.
I rode Sunday around Lake Lure and it was very challenging. Basically there are 3 rules of riding in western NC:
1. All climbs are 3 miles long
2. There are no flat or straight roads
3. If you want to go somewhere you have to climb a mountain
The road up to our cabin on Shumont Road was a brutal piece of work. It climbed from Rt 9 through some very nice woods and then into great open meadows. It was 3.6 miles UP.
From Rt 9 I climbed up to Old Fort Rd and rode on this for awhile. I missed my turn onto Cedar Creek and got lost. I flagged down a local who told me, "Well champ, the first thing you want to do is take a nice long drink because you have to climb that mountain over there." So, another 3 mile climb back to the missed turn (where I had stopped to pee earlier--Doh!)
The road back to the lake was nice but not as flat as I had hoped. Getting back to Rt 9 took me through Chimney Rock and Bat Cave before the 3 mile climb to Shumont and the 3.6 mile climb back to the house. Here is the map, sans getting lost and the climb back to the house. It was 50 miles total.
The other two rides were rides from the Blue Ridge Parkway. I rode from the Folk Art Center to the base of Mt. Mitchell on one day and the other day i rode from the French Broad (191) to Graveyard Fields. Both of these were about 50 miles and had a lot of tunnels and fast descents coming back. The climbs are pretty relentless and climbs over 10 miles are not my thing so I only averaged around 10mph. on those.