Started the Presidential Traverse at 7:15am from Appalachia TH. Conditions were good : humid, but overcast and cool with a light wind, and dry rocks on the ridge with a little standing water in the trail. Used the spigots at Madison Hut and Lake of the Clouds Hut. Ran down from Pierce, hitting Rt 302 at 11:23am for a run time of 4:08:41. My goal of getting done with the run and transitioning into the bike ride in under 2 minutes was a nice dream, but I was a bit dizzy and need a little re-centering, so I drank some drank, ate some fruit gummies, pulled on some bike shorts, and hopped on the bike for a total of a 6 minute transition. I have cage pedals so I didn't need to change shoes. Started the Bike at 11:29am and enjoyed the downhill start. Construction on a bridge right near the turn for the Cog Railway had traffic slightly backed due to a one-way lane with a traffic light, but I only lost maybe 40 seconds there. Right after that bridge was a gas station the I rolled into and pulled up to a spigot and filled my water bottle without dismounting the bike. Legs were toasted and I doubt I ever put out much more than 200watts at anytime. My legs were still cramping, so when I saw another gas station, I stopped and dismounted the bike and cramped in doing so, then hobbled up the stairs and inside to get a couple little salt packets which did help a bit, but the key to not cramping was really just easing up a bit and breathing well. The last climb on the bike was challenging for me with my dead legs and rad old bike, but the final 4 miles were gloriously fast. The road was great on Rt303 and Rt15 with the exception of some cracked shoulders with grass growing through on some parts of Rt115. Rt2 was terrible, the narrow, decrepit shoulder not being an option for the first 4 or 5 miles, but then it opens up and improves at you get in the final stretch heading back towards the Appalachia TH. Biked up to and touched the TH sign at 12:59pm for a total time of 5:43: ...Not 100% sure of the seconds, but I managed to get my phone out and get a photo of my watch at 12:59pm, so I'll enter 5:45:00.
Pier, the previous fkt holder, had mentioned a potentially quicker, more aesthetic way of going about the Presidential Picnic in the future. This idea takes the seasonal road from the parking lot across from the Highland Center which heads north immediately, passes by the Cog Station, and spits out on Rt2 further east than the Rt115-Rt2 junction. This option is shorter with more climbing, but seems more rugged and like a nicer backcountry experience. If I had a gravel bike I would've opted for it. I'd be curious to see someone go for the Picnic using the seasonal road on the return trip, but will leave that up to the next person to go for it.
Gear : Naked Sports Innovations fuel belt. Hydrapak Handheld bottles, one with 7oz of maple syrup mixed with water and one with 7g of an amino acid/electrolyte mix. Two packs of welches fruit gummies for the run and a bottle of water/beet juice/crushed 100mg caffiene pill waiting on the bike. VJ Maxx shoes. An old Miyata 12 speed tri-bike.