If someone were to give you a puzzle or test to solve at school or work, but failed to provide any instructions on how to complete it, chances are you would probably figure it out eventually. It sure would be easier and a more efficient problem solve if you had some directions. Well, attempting to complete a challenge with the magnitude of The Assault on Mt. Mitchell without some instructions is a very similar situation. You could probably show up and take off riding, and eventually end up at the top of Mt. Mitchell, but you will get there much easier and more efficiently with a proper game plan. Your game plan needs to be designed by you, for you. Some will set goals of finishing under a certain time limit, some will attempt to ride at a certain pace, some will want to simply finish, others will have other goals. It's important to determine your goal and prepare properly for it, with some disregard to what others plan for.
With nearly two months to go before The Assault ride, it's not too late to develop your game plan. Your game plan should include (but not be limited to) training, nutrition, travel, proper rest, and so on... In regards to training, it will be difficult to duplicate the amount of climbing that will be waiting for us at the foot of Mt. Mitchell, but it is a good idea to get the distance in a couple times and try to incorporate routes that have some significant climbs. Make a nutrition plan and test it on several long rides leading up to the day of The Assault, therefore you can make changes as needed. Plan your travel to and from the event to allow minimal stress. We all know how important it is to get good rest before a tough physical challenge, so get in early, get fueled up properly and get rested for an early start.
Plan to have clothing for riding in various weather conditions. The weather can be an event all by itself. It may affect your experience, but it doesn't have to compromise your ride. Riding in wet weather in temps in the fifties or sixties is a huge difference from hot, humid, and in the eighties or nineties. Be prepared for both, then check it carefully the day before and you will be confident in how to dress. Proper rest also should include riding leading up to the Assault. Good common sense will tell you how much to ride in the weeks just before the event, just don't overdo it. Be rested, fresh, and strong when you roll up to the start line.
Maybe the best advice I can offer is to write your plan down. If you put it in writing and physically look at it every day, it will be easier to stay on track. In the final week, as you prepare to travel, have a check list and check things off as they are completed. My game plan goal, since this is my first Assault on Mt. Mitchell, is simple: finish strong! I have designed my plan with an ultimate goal of completing the challenge. I am sure I will be tired at the end, but I do intend to finish strong with some left in the tank. Maybe next time I will shoot for a time limit, but that will be a whole different game plan. So what ultimate goal is your game plan designed for?