I decided to head out to Bent Creek on a whim and started at the Hardtimes trailhead at about 6:30pm. It was a warm late spring day, maybe even 80*. Sophie was my only ride companion and that was a lot of fun. She was being a good dog for most of the day, except for two times when she r-u-n-o-f-t. The route for the day was my usual afterwork loop, so nothing really to say about that except I need to clean Sleepy Gap going up the next time I do it. I wussed out after my back wheel spun out this time…. next time…. I’ll make it. I guess the real memory of the day was the abundance of thoughts rolling through my head. I especially thought on the fact that so much in life is temporary. So little is forever. This beautiful dog I had running with me will be gone one day. It’s sad to think about it, but on the other hand, it would be a much more sad scenerio if , some day, I was the one that was gone for her. No matter who goes first, it’s all temporary. The trail could be here for decades, even centuries after I stop using them, or, they could be logged tomorrow. The bike I ride could be the one that ends up being eventually retired and hung above the mantle, or it could snap underneith me. I thought about my health, my family, my job, the land… and how precious life really is. I was on my bike for 90 minutes, and it was a great, great day. I love mountain-biking!
First, a picture of Ian in the act of destroying (remodeling) the bathroom:
Project after project, 2007 has been a busy year. Erinna and I got in a great little ride today, despite the pressures to work at work, work at home, and even work to play. We knocked out the inner-loop in just abut 2 hours.
For now, here are a few photos. Here’s Erinna crossing a creek/waterfall:
No, that’s not a stick, it’s the non-business end of a three foot rattlesnake that was in the trail:
and another shot after he started to slither away. His middle section was as fat as a Fosters beercan. It makes my skin crawl thinking of what this monster could do to us:
After that encounter EVERY stick across the trail looked just like that thing.
We wouldn’t have confused THIS stick for a rattlesnake, but we didn’t see him anyway. This picture is from PMBAR, not yesterdays ride.
Heh… Anyway, it was a beautiful day. The woods are finally green green green! The April freeze definately set everything back a few weeks. Here’s Erinna crossing a log bridge on Pilot Cove trail:
and at rest at the turn:
We met this guy, Trent from Ohio. He was kind enough to share a mojo bar with us since we left all our solid food in the Jeep. We talked for a little while about all sorts of things. He was most impressed by the fact that we rode our bikes to this point. That and the fact that in this big wide world, Erinna and I sure are lucky we found each other. That I would have to agree with.
So we had him take a picture of us:
and two more for now: the rhodos are in full bloom:
and a shot of Erinna back down at the bottom, right near the end of the ride:
Erinna and I went on a super-fun ride today. We started at Glouscester Gap, Went up the gated road to 140A, up to Farlow, grabbed the Checkpoint, then down Pilot Mountain Rd. back to the Jeep.
It was a beautiful day in the 70’s with a bright bright blue sky. When we got to the gap there was a freakin’ tour bus trying to do an 80 point turn. That was a strange sight. We parked at the gate and after just a few minutes were on the bikes starting the climb up to 140A. Warm-up wasn’t bad at all today for me but when I asked Erinna how the pace was, she said TOOFAST! so I slowed it down a little. We didn’t take a break until the fork that goes down down down the wrong way where I saw this beautiful sight:
I’m pretty sure it’s some sort of azalea. Anyway, it was awesome, and bright orange. My eye was drawn to it immediately. We took a quick break so Erinna could catch her breath and for me to take photos then were on the bikes and hammering. We really took off good at that point and after a fun fast doubletrack descent, quicker than I could imagine, the turn onto 140A was upon us. I had never climbed backside before but after today, I’ll be back. It’s surely the XC way to Farlow. Up Up Up almost the entire way. I commented once that it felt alot like Old Toll, backintheday, before it was smoothed over. The climbs on 140A are a bit more tough, the terrain is a bit more tough, but it’s double-track wide so, it’s kinda like Old Toll… Anyway, Erinna and I were having a great time the entire way up. laughing at how steep the trail was around that turn, cussing the derailleur eating sticks (no derailleurs were harmed in the making of this ride), and saying things like ‘Are we here yet?’
Does the stubble make my chin look big?
Right about the time Erinna was getting serious and asked ‘Have we even passed Kisiee Creek yet?’ We reached the big S turn that signifies we were, indeed, there. Next landmark was a huge switchback and the home stretch to Farlow was next. Almost immediately after arriving we heard voices coming from the woods above us and a group of riders arrived. The had done a baaaaaaaad thing but by the look of shock when I told them, I’m sure they had no idea. When they pulled out the map it had been printed in like, 1932. The OK/Not OK trails were pretty ambiguous. Next for them was Farlow, next for us was Pilot Mountain Road. First was a little more doubletrack to the gate:
Then a 3-4 mile STEEP fire road descent back to the Jeep. The pictures I took didn’t do the scene justice but what we saw from Farlow to Pilot Mtn. Road was incredible. There were thousands of pink flowers, like the orange ones, e v e r y w h e r e. Erinna told me that when she was up there during PMBAR that the fog was so thick that the only color you could make out was the pink of the flowers. That must have been surreal. Anyway, I probably hit 40mph on the way down Pilot Mtn. Rd. so, just like that, we were done. The tour bus was still parked at the gap and we had a 45 minute drive back to A’ville ahead of us. We grabbed the CP gear from Sycamore Cycles (they manned the Laurel CP) and were at Sunnypoint Cafe’ in West Asheville soon after that. What an awesome day with my sweetie!
Sarah and I had a blast on Friday afternoon setting three checkpoints for PMBAR. We started at the Turkey Pen parking lot with packs and a rear rack on my bike full of checkpoint gear. We went to the S. Mills River CP location just past Mullinax first, then rode up Mullinax to the Squirrel/Laurel intersection. We dropped all the gear for one checkpoint there and headed out with the rest to the top of Cantrell on Squirrel. We doubled back to Laurel, picked up the gear, and rode down to the Laurel/Bradley intersection and dropped the third CP there. It had taken much longer than expected to do all that so rather than heading back up Laurel Creek we took Bradley/Pea/Bradley back to 66 jumps. During one of the creek crossings my feet slipped out from under me and I ended up on my butt in the creek! Damn! I was OK, but my camera wasn’t so lucky.. it got dunked.
Here are a few photos from the day… Sarah at the Squirrel/Cantrell CP:
Yes, she’s eating Clif recover drink in powder form…. We ran out of solid food pretty quick… did I mention the ride took longer than expected?
If you ever wondered how the checkpoints got out there, well wonder no more… rear racks and big back packs:
Here’s Sarah on Squirrel Gap trail:
and crossing the creek at Laurel/Bradley:
It had been far too long since the last time Sarah and I had been on a ride together. Almost a year? Don’t be a stranger Sarah! It looks like you had a great time, too! HIGH FIVE!
Mike R. and I got together for a fun ride last Wednesday. We met at Bradley Creek and did the inner loop counter-clockwise, and went out to the rock. Mike was out for a much larger ride but somehow we were still able to meet up and make this ride work out. It was a beautiful, even hot, day. Perfect temp to start seeing things like this in the forest:
Mike let me lead up to the turn at the cairns but had more in his legs than me after that. We got to the rock in good time and took our first real rest and took in the view. The view from the rock was awesome!
The descent off the rock was fast fast fast. It was the first ride on my new XTR brakes and I really put them to the test. I did a few reach adjustments to get them dialed in, but other than that, they worked flawlessly. We got to the bottom of the hill pretty quickly and mike took a right, heading to 5018/Turkey Pen area, I took a left and cruised back to the Jeep. Great ride! Thanks for letting me tag along for a while on your otherwise solo epic Mike!
Hey everybody! Well the 2007 Pisgah MTB Adventure is behind us. 75 teams signed up, 63 started, and 44 finished. Not bad! I’ve gotten a couple of rides in during the past week but haven’t had time to do write-ups yet. This post is about something different though…. VOTE FOR TEAM 283!!! My friends Rebecca and Bill are trying to win the Race Face UXC for Trans-Germany. That’s right, your vote may be the one that sends my friends to Germany to race their bikes on someone else’s dime. Please vote! Just >>>click the link<<<, click on Trans-Germany, click on ‘The Videos’, enter your email address, check your email and follow the link, watch the videos, then vote! Please! It’ll take you five minutes and may really help these two out. Come on! Just do it!