Bridge to Bridge

  • Home
  • Bridge to Bridge
6 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

Anyone got elevation/gradient figures for the Bridge to Bridge Century in North Carolina? I'm wondering if my 39-25 (and stodgy legs) will get me up Grandfather Mountain.

Anonymous's picture
Jonathan Friedman (not verified)
grandfather mountain

-> click ""View Maps"" tab
-> enter: ""Grandfather Mountain""; State ""NC""
-> click on the Blue ""Grandfather Mountain"" that comes up
and you'll have a topo map.

You can get a big map & play with the magnification with the selections & ""Update Map"" button at the left.

But, is it the right Grandfather Mountain?


Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Grandfather Mountain

"Just did a Google search, and came up with this page: He says: ""In the past those last two and most difficult miles had not been as hard as I expected, but now my legs were burning as I stood in my 39x27 almost the entire way up. After a small loop in the parking lot below the switchbacks that I had surveyed earlier, I began my final push to the top. I felt that at any moment my legs could cramp up and I would fall over right in the middle of the road, but as the finish line grew visibly closer and my friends and family cheered my on, I dug deep and soon I was only a hundred yards from the end - the steepest part of all. Now I really felt like I could not go any farther but the end was so tantalizingly close it was impossible not to. I crested the climb with not a joule of energy left and turned to see the clock was still under 6 hours!""

It would be a good idea to have at least a 27t cog. The big climb comes at the end of the ride, and you won't regret having low gears. Of course, if you don't mind getting off and walking a bit...

Anonymous's picture
Charles Weaver (not verified)

I rode the Bridge to Bridge Incredible Challenge last year. I had a 39 X 30, and needed every bit of it!!! Those who know me know that I'm not a climber, but now 25 pounds lighter than last year, I will STILL go with the same gearing. Grandfather Mountain is a killer..the first 1/2 mile is really easy, and then the road kicks up sharply. Most people had a triple chainring or went with a compact crankset. There is another 2 mile section around mile 50 that's really a killer, and will put your climbing skills to the test.

The surprising thing is the first 50 miles....everyone shoots out of the parking lot and really goes for it. The first group usually reaches the first hard climb averaging 25 MPH; BUT the route is not flat. Its rolling the whole way, with many rollers forcing you into your easiest gear!

Well, that's my take on things. Matthias Stadtfeld, myself and my wife will be heading to North Carolina again this year. Will you be heading there?


Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)
Bridge to Bridge gradients

Charles, thanks for your thoughts. Yes I will be going to NC this year, with another NY rider.
I've been considering a compact crankset, but I managed to get up a few steep ones with my regular set-up so far this year, so I kept the money in my pocket.
I did Mt. Greylock in Mass. and the climb to Courchevel on the Tour de France route last month. If you have experience of either of those, how would you say they compare to Bridge/Bridge?
Ultimately, I'm in trouble only if the NC route has long sections in the 10 percent plus range. Or anything more than 50 yards at 20 percent.

Anonymous's picture
Charles Weaver (not verified)
Grandfather Mountain

Bill, one last note. I've never done Courchevel or the other climb mentioned. However, I can do Little Tor with my 23-tooth sprocket.....out of the saddle for the first steep 200 meters, then settling in as the gradient lessens. Doing Grandfather Mountain is like doing the first 200 meters of Little Tor but for 1.5 miles....OUCH!!!!!!

Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)
Bridge to Bridge gradients

I'm resigned to a lot of OUCH whatever I do.
Thanks for the tip, I'll tackle Little Tor next time I go to Bear Mountain, see how I fare.

cycling trips