Saturday, July 25, 2009

Two screws short of a full deck...

Destination: Wilson's... and we ran the exact same loop as the last time I was up there. Raspberry->Greentown->Beehive->Sinkhole. 5 of us camped near the bottom of sinkhole on Friday night and another 4 arrived in the morning. The rollcall: Jut Rut, Jody F., Tomato, J, Zach 'H8' B., Joe P., Mike B., Mike R., and myself. Small turnout but a perfect sized group for traveling fairly efficiently through the woods. ZB left camp early and climbed 181 to the start. The rest of us shuttled...

Raspberry is a super fun descent and a great way to start the day, at 100 miles per hour. Jut and I took up the number 1 and 2 spots in line for the descent, as it would go for most of the day.

Here's Jut hitting the berm/kicker at the bottom of Raspberry:

(HINT: hit PLAY then PAUSE and let the videos load all the way before watching.)

Jut Rut on Raspberry from pisgahproductions on Vimeo.

and if you listen carefully you'll hear me casing the rock launch after the log drop:

Oooph! from pisgahproductions on Vimeo.

When the first climb came, back up to 181, I was feeling great and kept the pack in sight until just about the very top. We took an extended break at 181 then next was Greentown, the trail I've probably done more than any other in Wilsons. Jut and I took off ahead and were moving fast, we regrouped about halfway down, and then hauled ass to the creek. The climb up to Beehive was hot hot hot but went by pretty quickly. We ate lunch at the little waterfall along the way....

photo by Jut Rut:

but otherwise everyone kept up a great pace on that 'old toll like' trail. Following Jut down beehive made it much easier than the last time I was out there and we flowed down at breakneck speeds. There is zero room for error on beehive yet Jut was hitting every kicker he came across. It made for a very entertaining descent. We took a 2 minute break at the camp,

ZB was done, and 8 of us continued onto Sinkhole. By the time we got to the top of the fireroad climb I was drenched in sweat.

It was now very hot hot hot and the turn into the woods and the shade it provided was a welcome change. Once on the sinkhole descent I couldn't hold Jut anymore. In a flash he was 25, 50, 100 feet ahead of me. Another regroup at the sinkhole then down to the knife-edge benchcut descent finished our day. The time out was just about the same as the other weekend but with more than double the people. Not bad. I'd go so far as to say, it was a fast group. I was near the back (but not OFF the back) for the climbs, and I was hauling ass going down. Excellent day. Excellent people. Excellent trails.

Big Rocks, Mike B took a shortcut, I smashed my head on a low hanging tree. Lower Sinkhole:

rocks mike b headsmack from pisgahproductions on Vimeo.

Following Jut down Raspberry:

Untitled from pisgahproductions on Vimeo.

Here's a vid following Jut down the Sinkhole chute and into the benchcut:

Untitled from pisgahproductions on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Usually I'd start at the beginning.....

but today I have to start at the end:

On the way down Black Mountain trail from Club Gap to the shelter Ben P. got in a freak accident and broke his ankle? leg? If he's lucky it'll just be a really bad sprain.... but everyone doubts it. (UPDATE: his tibia is broken just above the ankle) His foot was set back from his shin by almost an inch, he almost passed-out from the pain, Mike and Ian had to carry him out, and as you can see the rescue squad opened the gate at the bottom of Clawhammer road and came and got him. Mountain biking can be dangerous. Especially when you obtain speeds like Ben does, or that I do for that matter.

Today's ride: From Black Mountain trailhead->276->475->5095->Long Branch->475->5003->140A->Farlow Gap->Daniel Ridge->225 Connector->225->475B->276->477->Club Gap->Black Mountain->Ben's accident->Clawhammer->276.

46.2 miles, 8440' climbing. Pisgah Rangin'!

Mike B. was at my house at 830am and we were in the Jeep to meet Ben P., Kris K., and Ian B. at Black Mountain trailhead by 900. We started with pavement to the Fish Hatchery and Mike led out with a nice easy pace the entire way. Davidson River was our first singletrack and my first view of what I'd see again and again today, the bio-train leaving the station. We regrouped at 475 then again at 5095. We took our first break at Long Branch, just less than an hour into the ride.

I once again dropped into fifth place in line and granny gear for the climb up Long Branch. I was a bit behind the fast guys on the climb so I didn't even catch them on the descent in the middle. Kris had something interesting to say about that that I won't repeat here. After Long Branch was the quick climb to Gloucester Gap than onto 5003. Mike held back with me for that roller-coaster mostly buff doubletrack climb to 140A. We took our next break there, almost an hour had once again passed.
The bio-train took off after the break and I didn't see them again until Farlow Gap. The climb up 140A was frustrating for me until I decided I didn't care about how fast those guys were going and I turned up the music in one ear. I realized 'I've got a bike, a water filter, food, ipod, and my own vehicle at the start/finish. I'm allllll goooooood.'
Battles, Phish, Pretty Lights, Pink Floyd, Medeski Martin and Wood.... the Ipizzle chose perfect random outer-space music for me as I spaced out and let the time and miles and elevation gain pass. I ran out of water about 20 minutes from the top (without a water source to be found)and by the time I got to Farlow I was about ten minutes behind the fast moving pack, parched, and in great spirits.

Ben took the lead for the Farlow descent with me on his tail. I have not followed such a clean line down the steep in a very long time. Ben and I cleaned EVERYTHING all the way to the first creek crossing. Awesome. I led out for the off-camber bench-cut steep part of Farlow and the pace was high all the way to the waterfall. We walked down to below the falls and took our next long break there. It was 3.5 hours into the ride at this point and my legs were getting rather fatigued. After the climb through the campsite I experienced some of the best descending I've been a part of in a while. I was number four in a train of five downhilling in Pisgah. The sight was incredible, watching the lead react to the trail then the next react then the next then I'd react then I'd hear the bike behind me lip off the jump, rail through the roots, whatever we were all reacting to. We finished Farlow and took Daniel to the 225 connector. Then 225 to 475B to 276.

The climb up 475B had me wondering if I was going to be able to finish the ride or if I needed to bail back to the Jeep. 276 to 477 to Club Gap was tough as my inner thighs were screaming and felt ready to cramp. We took another break after the new section of Club and I watched as my calves wiggled and squirmed like there were worms living in them.... uhh ohh.... but surprisingly after an emergen-c and a gel I was on the bike and climbing to the gap. I let everyone know I was in for the whole ride and we continued on Black towards the shelter. Ben's accident came as we were just starting the second descent. The crash itself wasn't very dramatic, he didn't fly off the edge or spin through the air, he just came to an abrupt stop and was laying on the ground. 'Aaaahhhh!!!! It's broke' were the words I heard and were the signal that the riding portion of the day was done.

It was a scary situation. Kris and I shuttled the bikes out as Mike and Ian carried Ben down from about a half mile above the shelter. My crackberry got a signal and before we started we called 911. It took both Mike and Ian 35 minutes to get Ben to the shelter and for Brevard Rescue to get to Buckhorn Gap via Clawhammer road. They drove a 6 wheeler to the shelter for the extraction then put him in the back of a pickup for the ride to the ambulance at the horse stables.

All things considered, we're lucky that the day didn't turn out much differently.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The 29er saved my ass today.

Super Fantastic ride today with Wode.....
We started a little after 11AM at Hard Times trailhead ->South Ridge->Sleepy Gap ->Explorer ->??? ->Gravel to ->Lower Sidehill ->Gravel to->Sidehill ->Little Hickory ->Ingles Field Connector -> Ingles Field ->Gravel to ->??? ->Hardtimes Connector.

Where did the 29er save my ass? Well, on the way down Ingles Field there are a series of old-school dirt berm waterbars that are ever so easy to get a little air off of. Well, when I landed after one of those waterbars my 'extreme sweep' handlebars turned downward leaving my hands gripping a bar that was nearly vertical. It took quite the heavy landing on the front end to accomplish this, BTW. I believe that if I was on a 26er I would have just shot right over the bars. I grabbed as much brake as I could and as Wode described it, I was in and out of control for a good 50 feet before I brought it to a stop. Excellent. I had just told a n00b at the trailhead, before the ride, that if you don't go down everyonceinawhile, you're not trying very hard.... I didn't quite go down but... I think you get the picture.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Ride Log Location

Hey everybody! Welcome to the new location for my ride log. Please check back often as I'm still working out the wrinkles in the switchover......

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bent Creek with Mike B. and a wild pack of family dogs

12.5 miles, 1634' climbing, 1:40 on the bike.

BC with my Swee-T

Erinna and I went to Bent Creek this afternoon for a fun 90 minutes of riding. We started with the idea of hitting all doubletrack but by the end of the ride we had gotten a good few miles of singletrack in, too.

Here's Erinna on Little Hickory Top (16 weeks!)

Erinna was ready for much more when we were in the position to go further or head back to the Jeep. I suggested the Jeep though, all things considered, and once we made it home she was glad we left when we did. The rain was just starting as we arrived at home and we were already making plans for the next ride.

It was a hot and muggy summer day today in Asheville. Here's Erinna during a quick natural snack break:

Thanks for coming out Sweetie! That was fun!

We're all just a bunch of shuttlecocks....

Wilson's with Eric C., Mike R., and Tomato.

22.58 miles, 4189' climbing, and 6416' descending.

Monday, July 13, 2009

July 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Mike R. and I hit Kitsuma this evening starting just after 6PM.

After showing off the new rig we were on the bikes and headed up the switchbacks. Mike took off and I spun along behind trying my best to clean everything I could. One dab and one complete stop later I was at the peak. Mike had made it there about a minute before me and with just one dab. He sent me out front for the downhill since I had been there just a few days before. The weather was interesting today, hot and sunny in Asheville but as we drove up to Kitsuma a rainstorm had just passed through. Even though I had just been there the trail was completely different. It was slick and slimy over the roots, there were a couple standing puddles, and there was no way I was hitting the jumps today. The texture of the trail was, shall we say, inconsistent. Who knows what your tires would (or would not) grip on to upon landing. Anyway, despite the conditions we kept the speeds far above safe. We just kep

t two wheels on the ground…. but…. we did cover the ground very very quickly. Big wheels+Big tires+Big fork= a fast bike in any conditions. It was Mike’s first time on the repaved old 70 and we kept the pace high, chatted about life and the like, stopped at the overlook for just a quick second, then continued to keep the pace high all the way back to the vehicles.
Thanks for coming out Mike. It had been too long.

Posted by Eric Wever / Pisgah Productions at 01:13:19 | Permalink | No Comments »

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pisgah Ranging… (Big Turkey Pen figure 8)

I got out this AM for a little solo Pisgah Ranging…. From Turkey Pen->SMR->Mullinax->Squirrel->SMR->5018->Horse Cove->Cantrell->SMR->66 jumps.

This ride started like so many solo rides, I told Erinna I'd be starting at Turkey Pen but that I didn't exactly know where I was headed after that. There are so many options once you hit South Mills River trail, there are probably 100 different ways to con nect everything down there. Anyway, I first started with Mullinax to Squirrel. I knew I was headed to Cantrell, at least. I passed Cantrell and decide to check up with myself again at Horse. At Horse I was feeling GREAT and put the hammer down and headed to the other end of SMR. I took my first real break at the big camp at Wolf Ford and had to decide if I wanted to take Turkey Pen Gap trail back to the Jeep or head another way. I decided to head towards SMR Road because I could still either eventually head up Pilot/down Laurel orrrrr as I did decide to do, head up 5018 and back towards the side of the forest I had to get back to soone r rather than later. I sure am glad I made that decision because I will never forget the next part of this ride. 5018 climbs to Horse Cove with quite a few descents/false flats along the way. I was just riding along, rocking out with the ipod in one ear, pushing h ard on one of the flats, when all of a sudden out of the other ear I heard a quick thtiktiktik and saw a rattlesnake strike at my front wheel. As my leg passed by I saw the snake still recoiling, standing up on the end of its tail exactly like you'd expect a viper to do. I had startled it. It scared the everliving piss out of me. I screamed, not like a little girl, like a 37 year old man that had just been struck-at by a poisonous monster miles and miles and miles away from civilization with no help at all close by. Adrenaline kicked in and I flew up the hill to Horse. I didn't stop at the top, I just headed right back into the woods. Crossed Squirrel and continued on Horse all the way to the bottom of Cantrell. I had been watching the clock and knew I was making good time so once I was back on SMR I tried my best to really put the hammer down to make good time back to the Jeep. Up the one mile climb that is 66 jumps to finish and I was done. Solo riding in Pisgah is always an adventure.

25.5 miles, 3625 climbing, just over 3.5 hours out on the bike.

Posted by Eric Wever / Pisgah Productions at 18:55:27 | Permalink | No Comments »

Friday, July 3, 2009

2 flats 1 tube

I got out this afternoon for what turned into a memorable ride….

There is a picture missing here. The one I missed of the guys that drove me back to the Jeep. Oh well. I remember them. They were kind.

OK, so real quick I’ll describe this ride. DjD and I were supposed to get out but… having very similar jobs, I understand why he had to bail. I got to the Spencer trailhead a little ofter 5pm and was quickly ascending to Trace. Gears are great. I pounded the less tech sections and didn’t quite clear the techs. Without a break I went for the hell hill (again didn’t quite clean it) and on to the Trace downhill was next.
So, I don’t mention it here often but I say a lot of prayers on the trail. Not just ‘Please God let me not kill myself’ but a lot of ‘Thanks for my health… Thanks for letting me be here…. Thanks for….’ but this time I asked directly for a non-injury and INSTANTLY I heard and felt the pssssssssffffffffffffffffttttt from the rear. Damn? I fixed the flat, pumped the tire 175 strokes, got going, and the very next tech section it happened again, another flat. I knew right away that I didn’t have another tube. I didn’t have a patch kit either. Fuck. I was halfway down Trace…. so decided the only thing to do was to keep the heartrate up and run to the Trace parking lot and hope for a ride back to Spencer. Well, you couldn’t have scripted it any better. Three guys (inlcuding a 12 year old) were just finishing up fly fishing and were happy to drive me up the hill back to the Jeep. Thanks Guys!

After the ride I met Erinna out for a Michelle’s surprise B-Day party. Wooooo!!! Birthday Girl!!!

Posted by Eric Wever / Pisgah Productions at 02:08:10 | Permalink | No Comments »

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


DJD and I got out for a 90ish minute ride today, the second ride on the PR2.0,… KITSUMA.

We met at 4pm and were on the bikes slowly. Up the switchbacks by 20 after or so was first. The front end still felt a little tall despite yesterday’s swappage but I still had a respectable run at the switchbacks. Dennis did, too. We stopped very briefly at the overlook then up to Kitsuma peak. There were a bunch of Boy Scouts at the top and as I peddled into the first descent I had stragglers on my mind. I saw them out of the corner of my eye as I lanched off the first of the series of hucks Kitsuma has become known for. Long gone is the Kitsuma of past, a straight away as fast as Trace, now it’s full of rooty tech balls and log drops and built launches. Up the middle climb was easier than the first climb, maybe because I was warmed up, maybe because I was learning the bike, and the second descent was upon us. DjD had an unscheduled dismount during one of the switchbacks going down and I taught how to wrench a chain out from between the spokes and cassette. We both hit the first log jump with great success then on to the final singletrack climb/descent of the day. Mike B had told me that all the jumps were ridable now but as I ran across the final one I didn’t believe him. I scoped it, saw the landing, and went for it before I could second guess myself. I landed short but without harm. I ran back up the hill for a another try and nailed the second attempt.

We were in the campground waving at a picnic of 60 y.o.’s moments later and on to the climb up Old 70.
Old 70 was almost as much fun as Kitsuma. No, seriously! It was my first fast climb with gears in three or four months and I felt great. DjD and I would spinspinspinspinspin then one or the other would give up and fall behind. Then I would stand up, upshift, and crank it out. By the time I was done I was 50 yards ahead of D. He’d catch up and I’d do it again. Needless to say we were done with old 70 very…very quickly….

Thanks for getting out on a Tuesday Dennis!!!!

Posted by Eric Wever / Pisgah Productions at 01:29:05 | Permalink | No Comments »