2015 MTMS Ride Report


1Philly in the house! Kicking myself for not arranging a team picture.

It is tradition after the big ride events for folks to write a ride report for the folks back home.  It tends to be a short summary of the ride and the post-ride S talk.


If you haven’t ridden an MTCC Summit, you need to.  Major Taylor Groups around the country come to challenge themselves in this 4-day spring training and enjoy the comradery.  This year’s Summit had over 100 riders from as far as Los Angeles.  Once you climb these mountains in the early spring, the hills at home seem like nothing.  In fact, once you get that Summit strength in your legs you may find yourself seeking climbs.


Ashville NC is a cycling mecca where pro cyclists train in the spring. This small town supports over half a dozen high-end bike shops. The town is an artist haven with musicians on every corner that is packed with good bars and restaurants. The town is so small, that you can easily walk anywhere you need to go, even after a hard ride.


The Summit typically features an A and B ride every day to accommodate riders at all levels.  I picked the A ride on Thursday and Friday thinking the Saturday ride would be rained out.  It wasn’t, but by that time my legs were shot.  My normal plan is to do the B-ride on Friday to recover. However, I enjoyed a nice day hanging around the town and eating a late lunch with the remaining Philly crew (Butch, Jeff, Nadia, Yvette, Paris, Ramon, and Reggie).  Vernon, Charles, and Kenneth rolled out that morning.

2 This shop has been around since 1896

Thursday day was chilly at the start but warmed up on the climbs (well at least the way up).  The first climb was a 5+ mile, 8-10% KOM challenge.  I was too busy breathing and sucking Kenneth’s wheel to challenge the winner (well for a minute until Kenneth went beep-beep and was gone, who was that masked man).  We regrouped on the top of the climb.  BTW, this was not the only time Kenneth paced me up this weekend. Thanks, brother.


On the way to the next climb, Ramon’s chain broke.

As an aside, last year Ramon’s “state of the art” Campy Record electronic shifters froze up and he was climbing on a single speed.  And throughout last season Ramon’s Look with integrated breaks state of the art frame blah, blah, blah spent a long time in the shop for this or that.  I feel bad for the brother.  He waited a while to upgrade his whip and did it big.  More money more problems…

We can take a pool on what breaks next on Ramon’s bike.  Need to invest in some tools.


Anyway, I was able to fix the chain but the pack was gone by that time. Now it’s just me Ramon and Reggie from Philly, Dave from Atlanta, and Jeff S. from Tennessee who both graciously waited for us.  This was good because none of the Philly boys grabbed a ride map and the roads were not marked.


3 Looking optimistic with 8 miles to climb

We start the next climb, which was 11 miles long.  However, Ramon was feeling frisky jumping ahead.  Two miles later Ramone asks “how much more climbing”. Evidently, My Man did not hear the announcement of an 11-mile climb.  Needless to say, Ramon slowed his roll to a reasonable pace.


OK, I have to take a moment to discuss the incredible beauty of the mountains and the superior road conditions.  The vistas were unforgettable. Just insane beauty.  The roads were like they were just paved, glassy smooth.  You can see pictures on the Philly and other MTCC groups on Facebook but none to the beauty of the mountains justice.  It was the kind of view that makes you forget about the pain in your legs.

4  Thursday’s ride elevation chart




When we finally reached the top (correction… the turnaround point.  The summit was at the top of Mount Mitchell another 15 miles of climbing); ahem when we reached the turnaround point: got water, hit the can, took some picture,s and started hammering downhill.  Toooooo Fun! Weeeeee!

5 Recovery 101. See the ham sandwich and water. Hennessy not shone

But hold up!  Who is on my wheel at speed?  Is it a bird, a plane… My Man Reg was on it!  Even leading at points… accelerating in the turns… For those of you who don’t know Reggie, he is not typically known for his down-hilling. But that day… NEW MAN.  I think it was the kit. Got Reg all ninja!


But, it got too good to us and we missed our turn.  We picked up Barbara from DC (who also missed the turn) and carved out an alternative route. With google bike maps in your pocket… you’re never lost.  Added 5 miles but it was a nice day and while the ride had more traffic it was no challenge for three experienced city riders.  Oh, and even those roads were glassy smooth.


After the ride, the Atlanta Club (MAAC) sponsored a happy hour and I enjoyed sharing war stories with my fellow Philly riders over beer and pizza.

The other clubs really liked our jersey and many folks were interested in getting one.  Although Philly has been coming to the Summit for nearly 10 years, folks recognized us as our own club. Some of the old-timers said the kit makes Philly “Official”.


6 What am I looking at?
7 Flying the colors

Now we have to find other riders that can help us represent the City of Brotherly Love and the Spirit of Major Taylor.  While the Summit represents the number one MTCC event, the Seagull Century in October is the second most important event.


Our goals as a club include:

  • Deciding on a structure moving forward
  • Building club infrastructure based on the structure we decide
  • Having a go showing at the Seagull Century


OK there was a lot of stuff that I’m not going to cover but perhaps we can discuss on a ride this season, like:

  • Ramon and Reggie’s excursion
  • Reggie’s broken bottom bracket
  • Philly MTCC lunch
  • Hanging with Kenneth on the ride
  • Tring to hold Kenneth’s wheel
  • Vern and the drum circle
  • Paris who I think lives in Delaware but maybe from North Carolina (damn, should have asked before that beer). Anyway we are claiming her as one of ours.
  • How we got lost driving to our cabin… twice, on the same night.
  • All the new and old friends
  • Happy hours after Friday’s ride sponsored by the Ashville Diversity Society
  • Big cycling brother named “Road Block”
  • And hours of talking S
8 Is he: A - Saying Grace; B - Texting

Yvette, always good seeing you, Charles, looking good brother. Vern, we gotta hang more.  Butch thanks for saving the day, Superman, Nadia, and Jeff really enjoyed finally hanging with you guys, you are a fun couple.  Paris wishes we talked more but I’m sure there will be other opportunities.

9 Another view from the deck