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Assault On Mount Mitchell 2010-A Virtual Tour

Updated on June 15, 2010

I bought this rig just to carry my bicycle and tofu. My driver, Dave, drove us down to Spartanburg, SC where the Assault On Mount Mitchell starts. These semis actually make great SAG wagons. You can carry all of your friends' bikes in there.

The dealer who sold me this rig customized it for me right down to the square inch. He said there would never be another mural on the side of a truck like mine.

It was actually supposed to read, "The Silver Meteor" after a train that ran really fast decades ago. When the truck was delivered the "moniker" had been changed.

We found a good deal staying at this Comfort Inn right off I-85 at Boiling Springs. We were a few miles from Spartanburg. It is so much better than sleeping in the back seat of my Caddy at a rest stop on I-85 as I did last year.

Well, I was strolling around the parking lot and just look!

Travis Tritt has copied my design! I paid extra for a one-of-a-kind truck!

Just look!

Pink Floyd. Fearless

But first- I like to start off on the Assault On Mount Mitchell with stopping by to see Mrs. Clary over in Gaffney, SC. Mrs. Clary is 87 this year.

She is the mother of a friend named Kent, who died 12 years ago.

Mrs. Clary still keeps Kent's bicycle where he left it the last time he rode it. Kent rode the Assault On Mitchell 18 times. It was his favorite ride.

It's on her "patio" right off from the den. She can see it plainly every day.

These are some Seyboro cycling brethren. Dave, on my left, was beat up pretty bad from an incident with a motorized vehicle. We are so lucky to have him. He has some titanium parts. I need some and sealed cartridge bearings in my shoulders.

We walk down from the parking lot to the Spartanburg Auditorium's lower level where we will register. A bike repair service is to the left of course and there are rental trucks. One goes on up to the top of Mount Mitchell with bags for the riders. One truck stops in Marion at Ben Johnson's Campground for the Assault on Marion riders. The bags are pre-packed by the riders. They should contain at least warm clothing for the very top of the tallest mountain east of the Rockies. - just wait around. It will get cold and wet. If it is not cold or wet on top of Mitchell

The Assault on Mitchell is 102.5 miles and 12,000 feet of accumulated elevation gain.

The Assault on Marion is 72 miles. The Assault On Marion gets your "name in the hat" to be eligible for the Assault On Mount Mitchell the following year.

Both ride follow the same route to Marion.

All riders must take a bus down from Mitchell. Cars for "personal SAGS are not permitted.

Most riders will take a bus to Spartanburg too. The bikes are carried by rental trucks down to Marion or Spartanburg.

Immediately inside the Auditorium there will be vendors selling clothing, bicycles, art, nutrition, memorabilia, and could be anything.

In this sectioned off area is the rider packet pick-up and registration.

Jeremy (on the right)- 2nd in his age group -5 hours 39 minutes
Jeremy (on the right)- 2nd in his age group -5 hours 39 minutes

Here is Jeremy Walthrop with is brother-in-law and parents. Jeremy has finished first on Grandfather Mountain's Bridge to Bridge Ride (with George Myers).

Here's Katie Malone, the ride director and dang good one too!

Mount Mitchell SWAG can be found here on the left.

Here's a young girl from the Carolina Tarwheels where I hail from now.

This gentleman was selling small heavy duty zip-lock bags for phones or anything you could fit in there to hold and protect. It's good for keeping your "spent" gel packets too. These little gems are called JerseyBins. - Very pleasant fellow! Her gave me two at no charge because of my 30th Assault.

There held a pre-ride meal here between 5:30 PM and 8:30 PM. There was also a program.

Re-cycle Jewelry has candle holders made from bike parts! I had to get one! The base of mine is a sprocket and Sturmey-Archer three speed hub casing. Mr. Sturmey and Mr. Archer were employees for the Raleigh Bicycle Company and invented their three speed hub. It has been the best.

Here's brother Dave and brother Bob.

Scofield will knock the ride out in 6 hours and 6 minutes. Bob was the first finisher over the age of 60 (and excellent for any age group).

Eddie Gwaltney is on the left with Nick Dolby on the right. Nick has 29 Assaults On Mitchell under his Chamois! Eddie is 70 years young and finished in 8 hours and 44 minutes. That's a great finish for any age! He's strong as an ox!

Early on ride day Dave puts my bag on the "Mitchell" truck.

The ride leaves at 6:30. It's almost time.

We have to have a number on our jersey and bicycle.

Diana Krall, Elvis Costello & Willie Nelson - Crazy

Xavier Ruppe-13 years old!
Xavier Ruppe-13 years old!

Xavier's cousin, Ashley Ruppe, worked for me about 25 years ago. Xavier is wearing one of the most popular designs of the "Pro-Bike" jerseys. The jersey is about 25 years old!

And isn't he a rock! He exudes "this is a done deal"!

God bless you Xavier!

Xavier is on the left and is the present and future.

Nick Dolby has 29 Assaults behind him and maybe 29 more.

A sea of riders is ahead of us. I can't see the front.

This is one happy couple!

If anyone would want their photo that I have here I can send them the "big" picture if they email me or "comment" down below!

I have some "magnesia" or something- I can't remember this lad's name. He is in the Army. He's done two or more stints in Afghanistan where my grand nephew is now. This fellow was very kind. I like his tattoo a lot. I hope he emails me about the origin again. A pirate was hanged and spliced and there was a woman involved. It's a legend around St. Augustine, Florida. (Maybe)

And we're off!

There are about a thousand people who are "OFF" today. If not now - later!

There will be a bunch of photos like this one. The camera didn't have time to focus - maybe. Often I will take a shot to the front and then hold my camera over my shoulder in a smooth movement to get a rear shot of faces.


I'm very sorry this picture didn't come out. This young lady is one of the most pleasant people I can see on the bicycle or running. She's a great athlete! She's also a Tarwheeler!

Here's my Army buddy with the great tattoo!

There's that tat again!

Here are some brothers and sisters from Marion, NC,

Yo Eddy!
Yo Eddy!

I love the Army jerseys. There is one that is mostly black with yellow writing that says "ArmyStrong"!

So I took another pic from his front - below.

Everyone is feeling great!

(right now)

I love it when the cyclists see I'm taking a picture and they get a little animated.

This is the first "rest stop". These are at least every 15 miles more and even more frequent.

I believe this is called Green Creek. The course comes onto Hwy. 9 for about a block and veer right onto Cox's Road.

The hills are still moderate at 25 miles and more.

We see more and more of the mountains.

This view is toward Tryon and Hogback Mountain. I've ridden mountain bikes over that.

There was one lady in a pink or red jersey (kit) who pulled into the wind and pulled the big peloton apart. There were about 7 of us at one point. I was fine just sucking wheel and spinning at the back.

Hit the road Jack!

One spot where it was particularly fast was Pea Ridge. Cox turned into Pea Ridge.

There were many women today who could climb and ride the flats.

Sometimes I take a picture of where I'm getting dropped.

I would catch most of my "droppings" by descending faster than all I was around.

Many fast ladies riding hard and they weren't going to wait for a man to pull.

Rest stop here!

Years ago a rider came up from behind at about 45 mph and locked handlebars with me. We did a little break-dancing on the highway and I broke the left clavicle. This happened about a mile beyond this rest-stop. It took a trip to the hospital, a new bike, clothes, and helmet but I finished that Assault too.

We're out on Highway 64 for a few miles before turning on Bills Creek Road.

This is Micky Dee getting dropped on Bills Hill.

The top of Bills Hill and a rest-stop is below.

We are now on Sugar HIll Road.

I love the beauty of a long paceline!

This corner and every left turn or questionable turn was marshaled.

I was dropped again. I was dropped by the same people over and over again. Some riders would pull off at these rest-stops, eat, drink, smoke, and then chase me down and drop me again.

I tried to get this barn into a picture.

Cycling- Descending Old NC 10-Assault On Mitchell 2010

Tom Johnson's Campground and MARION! 70 miles done.

Lake Tahoma on Lake Tahoma Road (Hwy. 80).

This is always a very friendly bloke here. We chatted a bit climbing 80 today and before.

It's getting harder as we approach Haynes Eyebrow.

This is a hard grade.

The legs ache right here. The road goes up hard!

Passing this rest-stop was a mistake for me. I don't like to stop at all. For decades I never stopped. Today I screwed up a bit by not stopping here.

The grade eases some - but the damage is done. It doesn't ease up enough either.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is just ahead. There's a rest-stop too! I'm fried!

I didn't spend a long time here maybe - but it was long for me. I drank like crazy. Water first. Then Gator-Ade! My back was killing me! The legs are enough problems!

Rolling again! These are the "Twin Tunnels". This is the 1st tunnel.

As we get on the Parkway immediately there are two tunnels together.

This is coming out of the second tunnel.

Leaving the rest-stop and getting on the Parkway, I'm cold and my knees ache.

I take pictures where I can. It's sprinkling.

I contemplate putting my camera in my seat bag.

It's coming down now! There was "El Diablo" at this "pullover". A cyclist had dressed up as the devil for the benefit of the riders. I missed the best shot.

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Have you ever seen the rain?

I feed the squirrels and birds back home and I try to shoo the crows away because they have that annoying sound and eat too much. As I was climbing this God-awful grade, I envisioned a crow racing me on foot and winning. I almost put my camera on video mode to record the event! Anyway, I took this to be an omen that I would die a thousand deaths on this mountain or I needed to share some seeds with the crows back at home. I still died a thousand deaths!

This is the last but very treacherous climb. after 98 miles it is excruciating!

This is very steep for 2.5 miles.

The grade is going to ease up considerably right up here!


This pretty girl befriended me because I told her how the rest of the ride went.

I was just lucky to catch the sign okay but I was aiming for the lady and a view of the distant mountains.

This is the last "stop" before the very summit!

There are spectacular views off to the south or west here.

Yep- I knew everyone would want to see the top-tube of my bicycle and my right leg and some pavement!

Just around the curve! I can't stand it!

Through the cones and we're done!

I am too fried for words! Everything hurts. My back, neck, shoulders, legs, hair- yes my hair hurts!

These are our bags that were brought to the top for us. Warm clothes! Dry clothes!

Hot soup and soft drinks are right over here.

Trucks are loaded with bikes and will be heading to Marion and Spartanburg!

I stop and and speak with Rusty the Chief Park Ranger on Mitchell.

Dave and other folks took one of these buses to the top of Mitchell to see the finishes. Now we take a bus back to Marion.

The parade of cyclists will continue until 6:30 PM.

Riders who did not get to the Parkway by 3:30 (I think) will be sent back to Marion as, "mathematically", they cannot finish.

I am on the back of the bus and cannot speak correctly. My voice is weak. Something temporarily happens often with my voice when I torture myself with a bicycle.

We did manage to talk with the riders on the bus. The general consensus is- the Assault on Mount Mitchell is the hardest single day event east of the Rockies. Riding the Assault On Mount Mitchell is harder than a marathon.

The last few hours and more are just straight up and full of pain.

This lasted me 8 hours and 11 minutes.

I wasn't pleased with the time but at least it wasn't 8 hours and 12 minutes!!!

Boy- that is one goofy dude on the right here!
Boy- that is one goofy dude on the right here!

AND- I got to have dinner with my daughter Josie.

that was so cool!

She will be graduating from Appalachian State University soon if the courses are available.

She made all "As" this last semester!

Other Assaults On Mitchell!


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    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      God bless nicomp!

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Wow! Fantastic! Thank YOU!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Yo Ray- you can send an email to me from my "profile page". Thank you Sir!

    • profile image

      Ray Rupert 

      8 years ago

      yes I am in Yukon Pa. Will deliver message to Elaine. Write to me on regular email. Will send you some pictures. Take care, Ray

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Hey Ray!!! Long time no see! God bless you Sir! Tell Elaine to email me. Are you in Pennsylvania?

    • profile image

      Ray Rupert 

      8 years ago

      Hi Mike, You have come a long way. Elaine sent me your web site. take care,and enjoyed the sagging i did with you. Ray

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Thank you very much Maita! You take my Dear!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      8 years ago from US

      I enjoyed the share, and so sweet of you to drop by and see the mom of your deceased friend, she is 87. HMM< exciting and you have a good group plus the rig is very useful to you, Take care when assaulting hehe, err when biking,

      The images specially that bird is beautiful!


    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Thank you Ron!!!

    • zzron profile image


      8 years ago from Houston, TX.

      Great hub, love the pictures. Dont forget to post your hubpages profile link here where is says discussions.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Hey Habee! You've been to the Hogback around Tryon, NC? Cool beans Habee! Thank you Dear!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Thank you for coming along Tatjana-Mihaela! I do love your Croatia!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Sounds like a great group. Love the pics! I've been to Hogback Mtn!

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image


      8 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Wow...this was real adventure and really excellent Hub. I was also all the time with you, riding virtual bike (but without real effort)

      Thank you for adventure.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Pollyannalana- you are such a dear! You do great work Polly and you're always nice! Thank you Dear! My daughter is smart and pretty isn't she! I love her so much!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Hey there Akirchner! You be careful and stay upright! It's gets to be a good memory but there is a bunch of discomfort involved! Thank you Ma'am!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Yo Prasetio! If you ever get near North Carolina I will certainly ride with you! Thank you as always friend!

    • Pollyannalana profile image


      8 years ago from US

      Micky I never know quite what to say to you, it looks like crazy fun you have all the time and I can't understand the meaning of any of it but knowing you no longer than I have you have been an inspiration to me somehow, I don't need to look for a name when I see that bike, and I consider you a kindred spirit of which I don't often find. Also you have a very pretty daughter and I have only known one other female named Josie, surprised at first but knowing her for years now it fits so well. Micky could be a female's name..I will ponder this awhile and go write a poem. J/K... Happy trails to you and your many friends.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      8 years ago from Washington

      I feel like I just got in my exercise for the day watching all that - do you think it is transferrable? Wow is all I can say....I'd have to ride in someone's side bucket at this time as I've been banned from my mountain bike and the scooter - and everything moving but it sure looks AWESOME!

    • prasetio30 profile image


      8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Unbelievable, you did it again, Micky. You friend. I still wait your invitation to riding bike together. Great hubs.... peace. Thumbs up for you.


    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Thank you Katiem! God bless you Dear!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Thank you Nell! That was very painful! I cannot remember the pain! That's why I will probably do it again. Thank you Nell! You are so COOL!

    • katiem2 profile image

      Katie McMurray 

      8 years ago from Westerville

      Great hub, photos and video, Great topic, I enjoyed reading your hub. Bravo! Thanks and Peace :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      HI, Mickey, well done! heyyy! I feel that I have done the ride with you. how the hell do you do it? I am knackered just riding my bike down the town! It looks fantastic, and the pictures were awesome. on the video I thought, oh my God that is so fast! the only time I have gone that fast on my bike is when my brakes failed going down hill! lol great story and well done. nell

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Thank you Defed!

    • defed profile image


      8 years ago

      Great event! Support!Good!!!!!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Yo Billy! We can do your truck just like that with your picture on it too!

    • billyaustindillon profile image


      8 years ago

      Micky - the Micky signage on your 'touring truck' is awesome!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Yo Herbivore! Can you believe it?! Well I tried to be nice about it and even tried to play his videos but Travis may not like his videos played. I do like his music. I may not get over his stealing my truck design until I drink some coffee at least!!!

    • theherbivorehippi profile image


      8 years ago from Holly, MI

      Dang Micky...that sucks Travis copied your rig design! lol Another great tour!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Yo Sa`ge! It was a struggle. Today is Wednesday so a lot of the pain of Monday is forgotten. If we could take a pill to feel so badly, we'd also want the "pain reliever" pretty quickly! My daughter is the prize! Thank you Sa'ge!

    • Sa`ge profile image


      8 years ago from Barefoot Island

      wow, a daughter with beauty and a great mind, you are so lucky. Am happy she got to share this event in your life with you. what a way to end the day. ~aloha~

      oh PS: i don't think you would have been pleased no matter what the time was, LOL you always want to do better LOL :)

    • Sa`ge profile image


      8 years ago from Barefoot Island

      oh my such great shots of that run. You took some beautiful pictures. Sounds like a grueling run that was, glad you made it, then again, was there any doubt, LOL i think naught. Gratz and my hat of to you. when I lived in Paia, on Maui, I sat every year to watch cyclist ride past my house as they those who never tested any part first of, were speeding to get a reasonable head start, not knowing what what was ahead. I smiled as I knew they would soon learn the folly of their strategy.

      Whether you think so or not, you had a good time there, was a good trek

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Yo Pete It is so cool to see you here. Let's do that "Assault thing" next year too. Enjoy the pictures and - God bless!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Hey Always Exploring! This is a very hard ride and rocks your marrow! Isn't my daughter wonderful! Yes Ma'am I love Willie and Ray. I had Travis Tritt on all the video spots but they didn't play- so I opted for some other good stuff anyway. Thank you Always Exploring!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Micky, thanks for the pics... you got the back of my head on the bus... Must have followed you all day! Finished at 8:26. Enjoyed the stories on the ride down the mountain. Was my first and hope to do many more! God bless.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      8 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Great hub Micky,

      I don,t know you do it? My legs hurt just watching the ride,

      but i know it,s a good life, having friends and family is a wonderful thing. your daughter is beautiful, Willie and Ray are two of my favorites.

      God Spees

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Thank you Dusty. I thought I'd include Travis since his "truck driver" stayed at this hotel/motel. Oh well. I'll get something else in there. Thank you Brother 50 Caliber!

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      Mic, you rock! I gotta have my hawg hall my ass down hill! Too bad the youtuber nuked the tunes, edit him out ang get another! Glad to see you pull off your 30th, Love and Peace, 50

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Yo Blackreign! I do have a nice "rig" don't I? Oh - you're talking about the truck! Thank you Blackreign! God bless!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      I'm sorry Myownworld. I'm an OK guy but I'm a chronic liar! I don't really own that "rig". I'm sorry and will never exaggerate on one of my hubs again. Well- I - might - stretch - the - truth - a - little! Thank you Dear! You are always so charming! Thank you!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      You are so right Healthy Living. Let's be safer out there though. Thank you!

    • blackreign2012 profile image


      8 years ago

      You have a zest for life that is amazing to witness. I love your spirit Micky ~hugs~ great hub and your daughter is stunning you guys look really close. And nice rig! lol

    • myownworld profile image


      8 years ago from uk

      Wow, you actually own that rig?! Your hubs are like an adventure ride themselves, almost like virtually being on that bike with you! Loved it! And your daughter is lovely.... :) Take care my friend, x

    • Healthy Living Is profile image

      Healthy Living Is 

      8 years ago from allergies, people, flowers. health, diet, art, medicine, mental health

      Wow, it sounds pretty interesting. Riding bikes is so healthy for all of us.


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