Beech Mountain, North Carolina: A Challenging Ride On a Bicycle

During the 1990’s:  The Tour du Pont finshed two stages at the top of Beech Mountain, with Lance Armstrong winning one of them.  Lance would win the Tour du Pont on two occasions.  This was before his cancer diagnosis, while riding for Motorola.  

Beech is the highest incorporated town east of the Mississippi at 5500 feet, and not very far from Boone, North Carolina.

After his cancer treatments,  he came back to the mountains of North Carolina in 1998 to train, in an attempt to revive his cycling career.  

Lance shares his training, in particular, Beech Mountain in his book “It’s Not About The Bike: My Journey Back to Life.”    

I’ve ridden my bike to the top of Beech at least fifteen or more times over the years.  The last time was 2010 with my good friend and cycling partner Mike Keeley.  It was on an October day, and the weather changed suddenly before reaching the top.  It became cloudy, cold and windy, however, we were fortunate to get to the top and back down without encountering rain.

I was disappointed that my other good friend, Mike Ribadeneyra and also cycling partner was unable to go. There will be other opportunities, however, selecting a day to climb Beech Mountain can be difficult, especially this late in the year.  It can become cloudy within minutes, and rain or snow can begin fall just as fast.   (Supplemental: October 20th 2011 @ 7:41 PM – It snowed today on Beech, and the forecast is for snow showers tonight).  It can be tough indeed….in many ways.

If you are a cyclist, and in the area, be sure to climb Beech Mountain, especially if you enjoy a good cycling challenge, and a bit of pain…  roger

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