The Blood, Sweat and Gears is a challenging to strenuous full English century - 100 mile loop ride starting and ending at the Valle Crucis Elementary School, approximately 5 miles south of Boone, North Carolina. The route roughly circles Boone through the outskirts of Watauga County, the heart of North Carolina's High Country. The terrain is constantly changing with hills of all lengths and curves too numerous to count. The cumulative climbing elevation is 8,800 feet (as measured by a Garmin Edge 500...thanks to Dave Wright), with the climb up to the gap at Snake Mountain, milepoint 63, reaching an 18-20% grade near the top.
Blood, Sweat and Gears offers a demanding route, which showcases the mountain communities of Watauga County, North Carolina; highlights of the route include a 21 mile section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, a strenuous climb over the 4,500 foot gap at Snake Mountain, and a 10 mile "flat" on old US 421.
A 50 mile, 4,200 feet elevation, "Half Century" is available for those who prefer the sanity of a challenging but shorter route. Both rides are fully supported with aide stations and SAG support.