High Country Association of REALTORS News

Things to do on a weekend - Something Brutal

Two months ago the area played host to hundreds of cyclists traveling a 100 miles. This weekend is another century race - the Blue Ridge Brutal 100. If you want a home where you can get your bike on, the high Country is for you!

Blue Ridge BrutalThe ride tours two northwest North Carolina counties: Ashe and Alleghany and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Beginning and ending at the foot of Mount Jefferson in West Jefferson, North Carolina, the ride offers 100 miles of varied and challenging terrain.

The Ashe Civic Center is pleased to sponsor the Blue Ridge Brutal and welcomes riders to the region to enjoy the surrounding natural beauty. The Brutal celebrated its 20th year in 2009 and acknowledges the many volunteers and riders over the years. The Brutal was started as a fundraiser for the Ashe Civic Center in 1990 and continues to use the proceeds to support community and school arts programming to benefit the surrounding area.

So how brutal is the Brutal? Let one 2006 rider lay it out.

Around mile 70, I start to feel a bit fatigued. Hill climbing becomes less fun as my glutes start to give out and more of my climbs are spent out of the saddle. “Fortunately”, this is just before the monster climb of the day called Buffalo Hill. This climb goes up for over 10 miles, with the last few at a relentless, vicious 8-20% grade (so says the GPS). Ouch. Thank goodness for the 12×27 cassette. I climb the best I can suffering badly, but still somehow passing people. I see zig-zagging, I see a guy hunched over his bicycle on the side of the road. I can’t tell if he’s sick and just trying to psych himself up for the remainder of the climb, but I don’t really have the energy to consider it because I have WORK to do!

At the top is an aid station with very, very helpful volunteers (this ride had a LOT of aid stations staffed with extremely helpful people). I was offered water melon (I took one piece), a refill on my water bottle (yes, please and various other foods and services (no thanks, this is enough).