Mike B., Varorie N., Steve D., and I met up this morning a little after 10 for a day of riding and trailwork on Squirrel Gap trail. The route for the day: 66 jumps->S.Mills->Mullinax->Squirrel->O&B to Horse Cove->Cantrell Creek->S.Mills->66 jumps.
Thanks for the pic Valorie!
Trail work done:
Big hole near Mullinax: Rocks were very hard to come by, new benchcut, rock armoring, covered with soil.
Inside turn Wash: Drainage cleared, BIG log moved, rock armoring.
Big Tree down across trail: Now= Pyramid of logs.
Plus scouting to Squirrel at Horse: The USFS needs to get a 36″ chainsaw certified technican out there….
Fun ride everyone. I was happy to finally get out there for a trailday. 4 folks with mountainbikes, 3 sierra saws, 3 folding shovels, and a few hours to be in the woods sure can get a lot done.
Erinna and I went riding with Ian last Wednesday evening. He picked us up around 6PM and we drove to the first gate on FS5000 then did Spencer->Trace.
Thanks for coming out Ian!
No pictures so, a brief description: We parked on 5000 and as we started to get ready we realized the truck was parked on top of (or very near) a yellow jacket nest so we hopped back into Ian’s bigasstruck and tried again lower on the hill. Te climb up 5000 went by quickly, as always, and Ian cleaned the little move at the gate. The climb to the steep hill was just enough of a warm-up for me and I attacked all the way to the downed tree. Sweet! I haven’t cleaned that in a long time! Erinna dabbed at the bottom (so did Ian) but made it all the way to the log also (so did Ian). I was feeling good at that point and Erinna and I took off pretty fast, regrouping twice with the Pony, and everyone had a great run of the off camber rootballs and we were at Trace likity-split. The little hell hill got me pretty good ( I cleaned it but was WAY out of breath at the top). The fastest descent in all of Pisgah was next and it was great having Ian aboard. We hauled ass and it was a treat having him say all the funny silly stupid shit he comes up with while riding. Get that man on a bike and a special switch geys thrown. Anyway, the descent was, well, there were no crashes, the sunset was nice, high speeds were attained, new ruts were rammed through or bunnyhopped and well, then we were at the Trace Ridge parkinglot with big smiles. Quick descent to 5000 then about 2 miles of mild climbing back to the Jeep. 7.5 miles, 1 hour ride time, 1:15 away from the Jeep. Fun, Fast ride with great friends. (one of which hasn’t been on his mountain bike since…. he almost stroked out on heartbreaker….)
Erinna and I went on a fun, fast sub 2 hour ride today. We started at the intersection of the BRP and Black Balsam Rd->up to the parking lot->Ivestor Gap out to the Wilderness Area boundary and back->Flat Laurel Creek->NC215->BRP back to the Jeep.
For now, pictures.
The view from the end of the line on Ivestor Gap trail:
Erinna and the Shining Rock Wilderness Boundary:
and headed back on the out-and-back:
The Green Machine at the Falls on Flat Laurel Creek:
and Erinna on the bridge:
and finally, the Jeep, packed up and ready for the ride back down the hill to Asheville:
Where in the world is Jody Santiago?……. (a.k.a. Labor Day ‘07 on Heartbreaker)
Erinna and I just got in from a killer ride, HEARTBREAK RIDGE!. The group was loosly organized through emails and when it took shape this morning, we had a total of nine riders. Erinna and I were joined by Jeremy A., Valorie N., J.K., Mike R., Jonathon L., Jody F., and David C. We met up at 7:30 at the Kitsuma trailhead and were on the bikes by 8:00. It was down-right chilly to start but by the final climb of the day we would see nearly 80*, storm clouds, and bright sunshine. Jeremy knows his way around Pisgah better than just about anybody. He decided, to start, he’d take us up through the town of Montreat and up some wide singletrack that eventually ran into Toll Road. I had done that route once before but it had been years so, I didn’t know the trail at all. It was a fun change from Ridgecrest->Rattlesnake, that’s for sure. It was a lot like an overgrown tollroad rather than the super steep pitch up the other way. It added about 5 miles or so to the overall ride too. Next was Old Toll all the way to Heartbreak. We stopped at every turn to make sure everyone was going the right way and that made for a ton of changes in the cue of riders. I’d be riding with Erinna, we’d stop, we’d get going again and I was riding with Jonathon.
Here’s a shot of Erinna and Valorie during one of the regroup/check-up/don’t get lost stops:
Erinna and I went to a cookout last night and it made for a full feeling belly, even late in the ride today. I didn’t eat much power food or electrolyte replacement or anything until it was almost too late. Everyone was passing me and I had to take a break. I was getting the first twinges of cramping and UUGH… no power…. Luckily as soon as I rounded the next corner I saw we had made it to the overlook (already? hell yeah!) and it was time for a rest and to force some food down.
The view from the overlook rest stop:
Erinna had made me a tasty sandwich so after one bite, there was no forcing about it. Pictures were taken. Food was eaten. It was a nice long breather at a beautiful spot. The trail pitches upward considerably after the overlook and I was feeling better after the rest.
Here’s a shot of all the bikes at rest before the final big climb:F to R, R to L, Karate Monkey, 5 spot, Waltworks, Specialized?, Waltworks, WTB by Potts, Monocog, Jabberwoky, Rig:
Erinna took off like a bat-out-of-hell chasing the fast boys. I took up the rear with… everyone else…. but I felt good and made pretty good time to the trailers at the top. Erinna was actually the first to the top of the hill. Way to Go Sweetie!!!! Another breather at the trailers then… the descent…. well, not the long one, but the steep one. Jeremy led out, I followed, Mike was behind me. Jeremy pulled over for a mechanical and I passed then let it all hang out. Mike was right on my tail the whole way and witnessed an awesome 4-6′ nosewheely/rock toss that made me thankful I was on a 29er. I’m sure if that had happened on one of those old school kiddy bikes I would have ended up on my face. Anyway, into the field, regroup, ‘everyone know about the right turn?’ and we were off. This time it was Jeremy, Mike, me, then David. Jeremy was gone in an instant. Mike… it took him a minute or so to drop me. My brakes were acting up and David caught me at the first switchback as I was shaking out my hands, he passed and was instantly G O N E. We regrouped at the first uphill on Heartbreaker and after rounds of ‘good run man!’s and ‘F yeah!’s we realized there had been a disturbance in the force…. Jody was missing. Long story short, he had found the Pisgah Bermuda Triangle and spacewarped around a mountain to the wrong place (and time?) and even though when we heard him yell and it sounded like he was waaaaaaaay down in the valley… he was actually…. still way up on the hill. (cue spooky music) 30-45 minutes later a search party went after him, he had not been in voice contact for 15 minutes…. and….. they found him! After a good deal of razzing we were off and descending again. My hands were hurting pretty bad so everyone from before, plus Tomato, went ahead for the next downhill run. Jonathon let me by about half way down and I had a great run of the switchbacks and the final luge plunge into the campsite at the bottom. Regroup then down the gravel and over the tracks, onto pavement then onto Mill Creek Rd. When I got there I had no legs left. J.K. was feling the same way and we rode together up up up and under the railroad, then when we got to the switchbacks going up up up up to Old 70, I lost ‘em. He fell off the back. Up the pavement and back to the cars where Jonathan’s Dad was hanging out, reading a book and drinking a beer, after hiking Kitsuma all the way to Old Fort and back. Sweet. Great ride everyone. David, Valorie, Jeremy, we’ve got to get out there together more often. J.K., great meeting you man, I hope we hook up again soon. Next time we’ll cripple ‘em! Everyone else… we ride together all the time…. let’s keep it that way!
Oh, ride totals were pretty ambiguous: 30-31ish miles, elevation unknown.