Today was Reddish Knob day. No matter what, Reddish Knob always holds a certain 'prestige' among the climbs we do in Harrisonburg (or anywhere for that matter, really) because it combines the two things that make climbing the hardest: grade and length. Reddish Knob has a lot of both.
The total climb is between 11-12 miles, the first 3-4 of which are a false flat at a fairly easy grade that nonetheless saps your strength in preparation for the true beginning of the mountain. You then go about another mile or two and get to 'the dam,' where the climb really begins in earnest. The rest of the way it averages about 6-8% with a couple of sections kicking it up a notch. For me, it meant 39x25 the entire way. We took off some of our gear before making our way up, knowing that it would get hot during the 45 minute steep section of the climb. With about 3 miles to go it started getting really cold, and snow began to appear on the road in spots. Well, the snow had already been there obviously, but we were just getting to it. With 2 to go the road was almost constantly covered in snow. It would certainly be a sketchy descent. Once we got to the top we tried to take a picture but it was so cold and the camera wasn't being cooperative that we just decided to head on down. The descent itself took about 30-35 minutes because we had to go so slow for the first two miles because of the snow. All in all, an epic climb. Reddish always seems to be that way.
Got in a little over 50 miles today in 3:30.