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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Hillsboro, OR
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    5,050

    Thumbs up The Bicycle Inn, Bakersville, NC - my weekend recap

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    I posted some of this in the southeast thread, but I thought I'd share the full recap here. If anyone has opportunity to travel to NC to ride (either mtn or road), I highly recommend a trip to this place. It's totally worth the trip!!

    http://www.bicycleinn.com

    The Bicycle Inn is a Bed & Breakfast in Bakersville, NC that essentially caters to cyclists. The owner is an avid cyclist (has completed the Assault on Mt Mitchell over 25 times!) and a wonderful host. The inn has 5 rooms all decorated with a ‘theme’ related to cycling (like ‘Eddy’s Room’ for Eddy Merckx) and a main gathering room that looks like a cycling history museum. In addition, the entire inn is full of bicycle items from posters and photos, to jerseys, shoes, parts, stickers, and of course, bikes. Michael and Paulette Davis are the owners and they also host the yearly “Roan Moan” ride which leaves from right out in front of their place. We had plans to meet up with 4 other cycling couples from our town at the inn for a weekend of riding. This is our story…

    On Friday we arrived at about 2 pm and hung out on the huge porch for a bit, explored the inn, went for a walk and just relaxed until the next couples arrived. The organizing couple got there around 3, so by 4 pm, we were all out on the road doing the “Frankie and Charlie” ride. Michael (the innkeeper) led the ride, provided commentary and took a bunch of photos. It was 25 miles of ‘rolling’ terrain. We quickly discovered that rolling is a relative term because as compared to Greensboro; it was much more than just ‘rolling’! 24.7 miles and 1700 ft of climbing. I got dropped pretty quickly on the descents, but I always caught up on the climbs. By the end, I’d gotten much better at descending and I was really enjoying myself. The weather was perfect (the rain had cleared about 2 hours prior to the start) and the scenery was spectacular.

    The other couples had arrived by the time we got back, so we showered quickly and then met them at the local country club for dinner. Michael and Paulette joined us. Afterward, we all hung out on the porch at the inn drinking wine and getting to know each other a bit. We retired fairly early in preparation for Saturday’s ride.

    On Saturday, we awoke early, had coffee and generally lounged around while Michael prepared breakfast. There was a huge feast of options (eggs, fake bacon, pancakes, bagels, homemade breads, cereal, fruit, etc). After eating, we all changed and we were on the road by 9 am. The route was the Roan Moan Metric (67 miles, actually) and it took us around to the TN side of Roan (via Iron Mountain) over the mountain, and then back down the NC side. When we headed out, I felt pretty good, so I was hoping that my legs would be fresh enough to do the ride. I hadn’t slept well the night before worrying about it. Everything was fine until we got to the Iron Mtn climb. It was pretty steep and about 3 miles long. I found that my easiest spin cadence kept spiking my heart rate, so I had to dial it back. Unfortunately, doing so wore out my legs, so I was kind of at a loss. I ended up having to stop twice on the ascent to bring the HR down. I still made it up fairly quickly though. After a rest at the top to await the whole group, we began the descent. What fun! By the time we were needing to actually pedal again, I realized that my legs were already pretty spent. We had a nice ride to the base of Roan including a fun section that followed an old railroad bed (the Tweensie RR) that had been paved. We stopped at a store (with a restroom, yippee!) for supplies about 3 miles from the base of Roan Mtn. The climb up Roan was a tough 8 miles. I made it the first 2 miles, and then had to stop to rest. I was able to keep my HR in control by slowing my cadence, but it was killing my legs. I rested at about 2 miles, again after 3 miles and then from there on up, every once in awhile I pulled over to rest the legs. I did not walk once, though! And I did try doing a few switchbacks to help as well but there was just nothing left in my legs. I actually made it to the top in good time, so I think that if I had a 29 tooth ring in my cassette, I would have been fine. The alternative (and my goal) is to improve my leg strength and my heart strength…and to drop some weight. The rest of the ride was pretty much all down hill (for the most part) back to the inn. 67 miles and about 6000 ft of climbing.

    After the ride, we all got cleaned up as we had 5 pm reservations at The Toe River Lodge. We ate out on the ‘hummingbird porch’ and it was amazing food. Seriously…we were totally fine with spending $80/couple (no booze!) on it, because it was fan-freaking-tastic (and not just because we were starving from riding those miles!). I had a chocolate French toast thing with home-made vanilla ice cream for desert and it was incredible! After dinner, we returned to the inn and hung out on the porch recapping the days’ stories. We all retired fairly early as we were wiped out.

    Sunday morning we awoke fairly early again, had breakfast and then we all loaded up the cars with our bike stuff and headed over to do the ‘River Ride’. This was a flat 40 mile ride that follows the Toe and Cane rivers. For a long section of it, the road was recently paved, so the lead group got ‘sucked’ into a paceline and we kind of hammered for a few miles. Average speed was around 20 mph for that section (not exactly recovery pace). When we stopped at an intersection, we all decided that it was time to take it back a notch or two as this was supposed to be a recovery ride! It was a really nice ride overall. There was only one real climb that occurred at about 2/3rd of the way into the ride. After that hill, it was pretty much a slight downhill all the way back to the cars for about 10 miles. In those 10 miles, the lead group of guys all took off. Another woman and I hung on as best that we could for quite a while averaging about 23 – 24 mph and it was great fun. We both let off at about the same time. We still had about 2 miles left and I had decided that it was time to ‘cool down’ and relax a bit. She said she was thinking the same thing. My husband hammered all the way to the end and was quite proud of himself for keeping up. 39.8 miles and I’m guessing about 800 ft of climbing (my HRM memory filled up, so I lost most of the trip data for this day).

    After the ride, we went back to the inn, showered, packed up and said our good byes. We paid Michael and he gave us each a CD full of all the photos he took over the weekend (about 400 of them!!).

    It was a wonderful time. We will definitely be going back and next time, I’ll take my laptop so that I can unload my bike computer periodically (plus, they have WiFi at the Inn). The only down side to the whole weekend was that the inn doesn’t have TV. I had thought it would have been fun to watch the TdF with a group of cycling enthusiasts, but we were able to catch recaps via the internet.
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Sillycon Valley, California
    Posts
    4,869
    That sounds so cool! I'll add this to my list of places I'd like to visit.

    Are you going to share some pictures?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,050
    You know, I was just thinking how silly I was to post this without pictures! DUH!

    Yes...here are a few:
    This is me on the first ride (The Frankie & Charlie Ride)


    This is a group of us coming through the pass cut out of the mountain for the rail bed prior to the climb up Roan


    Me going through a tiny town on our way to the base of Roan


    This is my husband near the top of Roan Mtn


    This is me in the same spot (almost)


    A couple of views from the route up - this is facing TN:



    And a shot of my DH and I at the sign on top


    For some reason, the CD I have for day 2 is a bit messed up, so I'm going to have to email Michael for a replacement. I'll also post a shot or two showing the inn and the awesome front porch once I've got the whole set uploaded.
    Last edited by GLC1968; 07-17-2007 at 05:52 AM.
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    627
    Wow, what a great get away and great pics!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,050
    A few more shots showing more of the inn itself.

    A few of our group as we were heading out - The inn is on the left.


    Us on the awesome porch after the Roan ride

    The above photo was taken from the center of the porch between the steps and the front door (facing right). To the left of the door is an area of the same size with more seating and places for all 12 of our bikes!
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
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    5,269
    Wow- what a great place!!! If we're ever in that part of the country, we'll have to be sure to check it out! What a great adventure.
    Thanks for all the pics- the views up the mountain are just breathtaking! So beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing. Glad you had such a great time!
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
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    6,664
    Great review, GLC. I have heard so many nice things about the Bicycle Inn. Someday when I am in better shape I hope DH and I can get up there since we live in-state. I'm just not in shape to ride mountains currently (I found that out over the weekend riding in a very hilly area in Ohio!) Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Emily
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    Emily-

    I didn't have time for the 40 mile ride when I visited, but Michael assures me it's flatter than any roads near us! We're thinking of going up soon and trying it, and I'm a hill wimp, and from talking to Michael, he seems to understand that not all of us can do the long hilly rides (though I wish I could, and am trying to work towards it!).

    CA
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,050
    The 40 mile ride we did on Sunday was BEAUTIFUL and so NOT hilly. In fact, much less hilly than any ride I've ever done here in Greensboro! There was only 1 hill and it wasn't much of anything...but it did lead to a nice LONG gradual downhill all the way back to the cars!

    Part of the reason we drove to the river ride is purposely to skip all the hills. You could totally do it!

    In fact, if you guys ever want another couple to meet up with, we'd go back in a heartbeat!
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    Don't tempt me I was already looking at the calender trying to figure out when I have time to go up there - Labor Day is currently open (and that would probably be an OK training ride for the last weekend before our *flat* MS ride)

    Wonder if the Inn is booked.....

    CA
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,050
    Hmmm, labor day weekend our training schedule has us doing a mountainous 75 mile ride and a 40 mile easy ride. Bakersville would definitely be a good place to do both!!

    I also wonder if they are already booked...
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    425
    Wow, it's so pretty! Thanks for the sharing the stories and the pics. I haven't been out east much at all. Last fall I went to Greenville, SC, and was amazed at how beautiful it was. Now I want to go to NC too. (I might add that you don't really look like you have that much weight to loose, you look great!)
    The best part about going up hills is riding back down!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    steuben county new york
    Posts
    626
    What beautiful pics, thanks for sharing. Sounds like you had a great time. Its nice to know one can go on a vacation/weekend getaway to a bike friendly area. As far as the dropping weight thing I think you look great.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    We're going!!!! We should be up there mid-afternoon on Saturday and are staying until Monday. Yay!!!!
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
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    6,664
    Quote Originally Posted by CA_in_NC View Post
    We're going!!!! We should be up there mid-afternoon on Saturday and are staying until Monday. Yay!!!!
    Have a great time CA!

    I'm glad we didn't decide to try to go then, as we're closing on our sailboat purchase on Thursday and spending all weekend on the boat, getting to know her & her systems, settling in, and making some of the minor repairs suggested by the surveyor. We don't normally travel on holiday weekends, but it was unavoidable this time. I think it will be worth it.

    I hope the riding is great at the BI. It's supposed to be cooler this weekend too, and will be even more so up there. Can't wait for a report!

    Emily

    P.S. We're taking our Fridays on the boat and riding them back to get our car after sailing our boat to the marina. It's about a 15-mile sail on the Neuse River, but only 10 miles back on the road by bike.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

 

 

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