Trail Blazing with Rudy Napolitano

Climbing to new heights

1 more week until the dreaded 100 mile Assault on Mt. Mitchell “event” in S/N Carolina. I knew I had to kick my ass this weekend so I’d have a fighting chance to get to the top of Mt. Mitchell the next. This ride was sort of a last-minute decision, so I couldn’t find any buddies down to pedal next to me on the trek. Just me and my iPod jamming the workout playlist. The route is estimated at 7,000′ in 23 miles. Starting at the bottom where Hwy 39 splits (West Fork) and ending at Dawson Saddle (the highest elevation point on the Angeles Crest Hwy). You can literally start at the top, and not have to pedal at all until the very bottom. Very little flat or downhill sections on the way up. PAIN!
The best part is the road is very old, and closed to traffic for 95% of the route. GREAT for riding, but a little dicey if you have an emergency. Excuse the quality of my camera phone, it may have some sweat on the lens.


The first section (~mile 13), looking down into the valley, and the road just traveled.


I don’t think this road has been maintenanced for a few dozen years.


Alllllll alone, no cars allowed on this road.


Eerie solitude, but beautiful.


The top! 23 mile ride in 3hrs lol, avg. 7.6mph…. whew! Riding back down is much quicker 😉
My old Giant ’08 TCR looking sexy. The carbon fiber TCR is en route to South Carolina for Mt. Mitchell as I type.

After getting back to the car I guzzled down gallons of Gatorade and powerbars haha, then followed that with a delicious burrito at Chipotle… mmmmmmmmmm. And oh yea, DON’T FORGET TO WEAR SUNBLOCK! ouch 🙁