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The Assault on Mount Mitchell 2024

May 20

cyclists at assault on mount mitchell

The Assault on Mount Mitchell is a 102.7-mile self-paced ride from downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, to the summit at Mount Mitchell State Park in North Carolina—a total vertical ascent of more than 10,000 feet.  The “Beast of the East,” as it’s known, began in 1976 and is one of the most intense, premier cycling experiences in the country – it was picked by Strambecco as one of the Best Road Cycling Events in the Southeast and North Carolina.

Event & Course Info

The event draws a full field of nearly 850 cyclists worldwide each year. The scenic mountainous course crosses two states and is as challenging as it is breathtaking, but experienced cyclists return yearly to best previous personal records.  You can refill, refuel, and make mechanical adjustments at any of the ten rest stops along the way, and there will be SAG and tech support as well. Friends and family can support you along the course by finding the best cheering spots recommended by the Spectator Guide.

Area Accommodations & Things to Do

After completing the ride, riders will have access to food, beverages, and changing stations. Buses will be available to transport riders from the mountain to the Tom Johnson Campground, where you can enjoy post-ride festivities and explore additional transportation options to reach their final destination. Due to the race being from point A to point B and ending on a mountaintop, an added layer of logistical planning is required. The Marriott Spartanburg is the official lodging sponsor of the Assaults, however if you’re looking for a more unique experience, there are a plethora of vacation rentals both in Spartanburg and Marion.

Related Events

A sister event, The Assault on Mount Marion, offers a shorter version and separates the event altogether from the massive Mount Mitchell event. Also picked as one of the Best Road Cycling Events in the Southeast, it is still a large ride at 74 miles but has nowhere near the vertical gain of the Assault on Mount Mitchell. If completed in proper time, this smaller version gives you a slot for The Assault on Mount Mitchell. Both events are organized by The Freewheelers Club, and part of the proceeds support other local community service organizations.

The Gran Fondo Asheville is a jewel in North Carolina’s cycling crown and part of the prestigious Gran Fondo National Seriesa series of 10+ Road Events taking place across the US, all qualifier events for the USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship held in the Fall at Gran Fondo Maryland.  Combining the thrill of competition with the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this event attracts cyclists from across the nation. Participants can choose from varying route lengths, each offering a different level of challenge and breathtaking scenery.

Also in Asheville, the Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) has made its mark on the cycling world, and the Asheville edition is no exception. Known for its challenging course and unique blend of road and gravel sections, the BWR Asheville promises an unforgettable experience for cyclists seeking a taste of adventure and a dash of the extraordinary.  BWR Asheville is part of the prestigious Belgian Waffle Ride Series, a North American series offering some of the world’s most highly respected and well-organized gravel events/races.  The idea of the Series was conceived initially with the advent of “the most unique cycling event in the country,” the Belgian Waffle Ride California (San Diego). BWR California is well known among cycling enthusiasts and pros as one of the most difficult bicycle races in the US at 146 miles, 40 of which are off-road sectors.  BWR events are unique because they are classic, long bicycle races that feature various off-road sectors emulating the pave or cobblestones of Europe, making the varied terrain a challenge for riders’ technical skills, equipment, endurance, luck, and versatility.


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