Saturday, December 12, 2009

Laurel->Pilot->Ani->Moe->Mule

Laurel->Pilot->NoName->Slate->1206 from Yellow Gap. Today's cast included: Scott from Indy, DjD, and myself. Starting temp: 28* We saw two other brave souls out there on bikes but that was it for human contact, well, except for a couple camps and 100 empty hunter's trucks on 1206.

After the ride I rushed to the Asheville Civic Center to do some volunteer work for the Warren Haynes X-Mas Jam. Then Erinna and I had the best seats in the house for the show, ran into Scott again there, saw Ben P limping around, Kris and Arianne K at the Habitat for Humanity booth, Kelly and Widespread from Biltmore, and passed by/smiled/waved at tons of other Asheville folk as well...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I just walked in from the first real winter ride of the 09/10 season.
DjD and I rallied at my house at 10am with temps in the 20's and gray skies. We drove to Yellow Gap in the Jeep and I proposed a different route than we had originally planned. After some discussion about food and clothes supplies Dennis was in for the longer ride. The route for the day: From the Laurel Mountain trailhead->1206->Slate Rock/Pilot Cove->No Name->Pilot Rock(up)->Laurel Mountain back to the Jeep.
The 1206 start down to Bradley was cold as hell and the turn into the loop was welcomed since it started the first climb of the day.


Dennis asked early on if this trail was steeper than Laurel up and I said No, but wondered to myself if that was the truth. The climb is pure Pisgah singletrack: Courdaroy, Steep ups, Rocks, Roots, and water ! water! water! The water has truely returned to Pisgah.


Anyway, over the creek and up to the turn to the rock overlook was next and I started to feel great on the tech climbs. We took a quick breather at the turn, and next was our first real descent of the day, down Slate/Pilot to NoName to Pilot Rock. I was hauling ass on NoName and had one of the harder crashes that I've had in recent memory. I came across a log hop/step down to flat and on the landing my underair'd fork squished to bottom-out. I'll just say that I didn't expect the sudden... change in geometry and I slammed into the saddle, highsided on the rebound, and after landing off the bike, off the trail, and on my right elbow, shoulder, and errrr lobe I was down and well, it took a few moments for me to get up and out of the mud.



Next was Pilot Rock up. It was DjD's first time on this route and I told him at the bottom: 45 minutes if you stay on the bike. Well, I rode absolutely as much as I thought was possible, Dennis walked faster than the average bear, and we were at the HumVee/FirstOverlook/SecondOverlook/FalseTop/Top much faster than either of us had expected. 30 minutes? We saw our first other humans just before the top and just before the snow. Snow covered the entire connector trail and down the $2000 descent.
I've been down Laurel probably 50-100 times. Dennis had never done it before. It was awesome to hear descriptions of the trail, conditions, equipment, everything from that perspective. I would point out a landmark, or we would regroup after a super fast descent,


or with the camera out I'd witness him pulling moves that most second year mtbrs shouldn't dare


and adjectives rolled off his tounge like Awesome. Fantastic. Spectacular...


and other exclamations flowed as well like Holy Shit! Wooooo! and this is my favorite trail! Needless to say, the descent back to the Jeep was filled with high speeds, tech moves, big views, and big eyed wonder. I love Pisgah.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pisgah 36 registration now open!!!


Hey everybody! Just a bit of Pisgah Productions promotion here.... Registration is open for our February race, formerly known as 'The Most Horrible Thing Ever'. Teams of 1 or 2 riders will race to complete 6 mountain bike stages. Racers can reach up to 6 checkpoints per stage and the team with the most checkpoints wins. Teams should expect about 150 miles of riding starting at midnight Fri/Sat and finishing before noon on Sunday (Feb 20-21 2010)

You can register here:
http://www.active.com/cycling/pisgah-forest-nc/pisgah-36-2010

And find more information, rules, photos, and results from past events here:
pisgahproductions.com

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Chicken Biscuit


Raspberry->Greentown->Beahive->Hedley's with Mike B., Rich D., John C, and Tim K.












Thanksgiving 09

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hush Hush the Pisgah99....

For me it was the Pisgah44 but...what was all the non-hoopla about? Clay figured out a route, about a dozen people tried to follow the route. That's it.



I left White Pines at 4:15 or so AM, about 15 minutes behind Broussard. I had slept in my riding gear so was ready to go the second time my alarm went off. The climb up Clawhammer was horrible for me. Hot, cold, hot, hungry, cold, nauseous,hot... and I stopped more than a couple times to adjust gear and get my head wrapped around what was ahead. On the way up clawhammer a beauiful 18-24" tall owl dove towards me then perched up in a tree, never taking its eyes off me. Right onto Black and up the switchbacks went by quickly. When I got to the second overlook I stopped and turned out my lights and well I'll be damned I could already see lights climbing Clawhammer behind me.

I stopped for a good long breather at Turkey Pen and fired off a text to Erinna : Moving slow. Feeling great. Then flew into the depths of Turkey. The sunrise on Turkey Pen made me come to a stop more than once just to soak in the beauty of it all.

I really was feeling great and felt like I was picking up the pace until a front flat caused an unscheduled dismount. Rob, Brad K, Fusco, and Dicky were all there before I was rolling again.
Fusco and I went to the campsite to filter water and the rest of the guys took off to Mullinax. I fired off another text to Erinna: On Mullinax. then started to get into a good climbing groove. Fusco passed me after fixing his own flat tire:
then I saw Clay behind on the trail a little further along. To my surprise Mike B got to me before Clay, passed me, then was waiting for me around the next corner. 'I'm going to ride with you' he said. Sweeeeeeeeeet. My pace picked up considerably with the company and we yo-yo'd with Clay, then Cissy and Clay all the way to the Pink Beds parking lot.


I got into the Pisgah Rangin' groove on Squirrel and we were at Laurel Creek, Pounding Mill, and Cantrell quickly. What happened next has been bothering me though, we passed through Horse Cove and don't recall it at all. When we were in the ups and downs heading to SMills I was confused.... this part of the trail is..... after? Horse? before? no... after....errrrr??

Then we ran into LeAnne and John! Thanks for the photo guys.
I decided to get water there rather than risking not being able to get any at the top and while refilling Rich sauntered into the parking lot, defeated... meh.... and was unable to be convinced to head back up 276 a second time. Cissy was an easy sell though and as soon as we hit the pavement Clay (on a SS), Mike, and Cissy left me in the dust. My legs were not having any part of it. I was tired. My legs were starting to cramp. I was in granny gear. I walked. on pavement. I had a motorcyclist stop next to me and ask if my equipment was in working order and all I could muster was a thumbs up. From that point on I would hop on whenever a car would approach, so they wouldn't stop, and made it to the Parkway about 10 minutes after Clay and Cissy had started towards Big Creek.
Mike was waiting for me and playing with his new GPS. He was entertaining himself well enough that I didn't even feel bad about making him wait.
Next was three miles of parkway climbing to Mount Pisgah then the turn to Big Creek. That trail descends something like 1800' in less than two miles and my brakes were boiling by the bottom. At the bottom I knew we were in the home stretch, four or five wet feet crossings and a gravel road climb later we were at the Trace parking lot, saw Caroline and Ben, then finished the ride passing a huge group of parents and 4-5-6-7-8-? year old kids, then Fisherman's, and to the Subaru which Erinna and I had planted in the woods the day before. Right after Mike and I said 'Cheers!' Ohio Rob, Matt F., and David C rode through the campground and were happy to take the tools and water we had to offer. That actually made me feel great about my overall performance because I was only Fletcher->Spencer->Trace (plus my morning head start) behind the FAST guys.
Anyway, even at half of the proposed route it was very very very tough day in the woods.
44 miles, 8800 feet of climbing, 4:15am to 2:50pm. ouch.



What ended up happening with the route? Brad Kee finished the entire thing in 22 hours. He was the only one to finish but..... David Cook was out there a long time, too. Surprise surprise.
Thanks Clay for renting the camp and proposing a route that was impossible for everyone except for Brad to finish. That made for a fun weekend.
Oh, when Mike and I got back to White Pines we were hanging out with the Saturday-night-camping crew and we saw a WHITE SQUIRREL in the woods just above the campsite. Awesome
I'm finishing this writeup on Monday night just after Wode drove me back out to Brevard to retrieve the Subaru. Floyd came along for the ride.
Thanks for the ride Wode!

Monday, November 9, 2009

fun fast fixed bent creek ride with Gabe

I met up with Gabe at the Smokehouse this afternoon for a solid 90+ minutes of Bent Creek.
Neighborhood->Rice Pinnacle-> Ingles Field->Sidehill->Hickory Top->Ingles Field->Rice Pinnacle->Neighborhood.
We climbed fast. I descended at the very knifes edge of control. We talked equipment and building a new stem for the silver WW (dropbar 29er here I come...) and got back to the Smokehouse with minutes to spare, the schoolbus rounded the corner before my bike was even in the back of the Jeep.
Oh, of note, I'm really happy with the way the fixe is setup right now. Thudbuster is key. high pressure/low knob tire in the rear is key. Super fattyfat squishy tire in the front.... key. Oh, and a rediculous 32x22 on a 29" tire makes for fast climbing, easy rear 'braking', and silly silly SILLY fast downhill spinning....





Sunday, November 8, 2009

plans made, changed, cxl'd, and remade

Today I drove out to the Coontree trailhead and rode the Original Big Nasty. Marty at Pro-Bikes told me to try this route about two or three months after I moved to Asheville. I said to her 'I've done Laurel/Pilot 15 times and Laurel/Big Creek 5 times in the last xx number of days. What should I do next?' and she said from Coontree parking lot->Coontree->Bennett->477->Clawhammer->Maxwell->Black->Buckwheat->Bennett->Coontree.




Monday, October 26, 2009

Trace Ridge with....

the Pony.





What else is there to say?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Well, that was fun. Rich came up to Pisgah this AM with a new group and Mike & Kassi B., and I (plus Avery and Maximiliandogs) met them out at the Fish Hatchery at 11:00. The route for the day ended up being an excellent tour of the best known fish hatchery area trails: Davidson River->Cove Creek->Yellow Connector->225->Daniel Ridge counterclockwise->475->5095?->Long Branch->475->471-> 471D->Butter->Long Branch->Cat Gap.
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The ride started with a warm-up pace to Cove Creek then Mike, Rich, and I picked it up. Rich didn't sweat a drop though and talked about a million things in a row that I cannot recall right now. That made for quick-bike-ride to the connector and up to 225. MB broke his chain just before the top and I realized that one of the new guys had decided to ride the whole day in big/big. Ummm.... good chance you'll be the next one with a broken chain if you keep that up fella.... The climb to Daniel went by quickly, we ran into Youngblood and Amy along the way, and Mike, Dicky, and I dove in and railed all the way to the bottom of Farlow with aplomb. A quick regroup and the train continued to the bottom of Daniel. Mike was in the lead and took great lines all the way, I was on his wheel with Dicky less than 5 seconds behind. Badass Dicky. The movie-fork seems to be working out for you.
The group moved quickly too, and up, the gravel road to Long Branch. Kassi then took off down the hill with the dogs and the rest of us went up towards Gloucester Gap.

What happened next? Stay tuned! Will I continue or not? Talk about running into 'tiny shoes' Jody F.? An old male stripper and his 'little dog'? new guys with downhill skillz? Flat tires? An IF with a 97 Marzocchi? Waterfalls? Tutus? Lightsaber fights???? Tune in.... Maybe I will.... Probably... I won't...







Oh, one thing non-ride related, my old old old OLD school friend Mark M. and I got to hang out this past Wednesday and eat a sushi lunch at Wasabi, drink some evening beers at ABC, and talk about current life and the like the entire day... Then Ian L., Erinna, and I watched in awe as he rocked the Orange Peel. Here he his on guitar later in the evening.... You're a f'ing badass Mark..... badass.

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