Our family recently took a vacation one week before the Wisconsin 70.3 Ironman — a training vacation. We definitely wanted to vacation in a location where we could pick up some training rides. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville presented lots of options for remarkable rides. So we headed down to Asheville, NC.
Blue Ridge Mountains
The training vacation ride that was at the top of our list was the climb to Mount Mitchell. We knew the gain would be a challenge, but that it would also be the perfect training ride. On our first full day, we decided to do a little warm-up ride. We climbed 11.1 miles up the side of Mount Mitchell (with a total elevation gain of 2,119 feet). The 11.1 miles back down were fast and fantastic.
The mountain views were just amazing. We stopped at a few of the overlooks to take pictures and we only decided to turn around once we hit an elevation of 5,000 feet.
For a complete description of our vacation to Asheville, NC, including rides, restaurants, and breweries, visit Gazettour.com for a complete travel summary.
The next day, we biked the same stretch, but added some additional miles to get to the Craggy Visitors Center (a total of 25.4 miles with 2,500-plus feet of gain).
What we didn’t anticipate was that rain was going to be a big part of our trip. It rained six out the eight days of our vacation! And not just a light sprinkle but long drawn out downpours. Biking in the rain is not my favorite thing to do. This rain was no exception.
We did end up getting two more rides in, including one more trip up to the Craggy Visitors Center and then a super-fast ride down Town Mountain Road, for a total of 94.3 miles with 8,759 feet of gain, according to my Strava.
A Successful Family Vacation
Even though the rain changed our vacation game plan, we still had a successful family vacation. We got a few great rides in but then also had some time for hiking, brewery tours, and family time.