Wode and I got out yesterday for an excellent ride. Clawhammer->Black->Buckwheat->Bennett. We met at Mr. Pete’s at 10am and were on the bikes around 10:30/11:00. The climb up Clawhammer was very tough, I had a hard time warming up and knocking the cobwebs out of my legs. I must have ridden up that road 100 times now and the landmark just kept clicking by, despite the feeling of a lack of power. We made it to the top together and without a break moved on to the shelter. Wode on the way up Clawhammer:
Oh, on the way up a group of old guys were headed down the mountain. It was a great motivator, seeing guys in their 50’s and 60’s rocking on a Saturday morning. Yes, that will be me someday. Anyway, another group was leaving the shelter right as we arrived. Wode and I rested for a good 10 minutes or so before climbing the rest of the way towards Club Gap. The Smoke bike is really feeling great these days and I flew down the descents. Even though Wode took a good digger heading to Club the decision was made to do Buckwheat->Bennett and I’m glad we did. Wode and a BIG tree down on Buckwheat:
I kocked out both the Q-bert rock and, for the first time since I broke my helmet, the thread the needle. The trails were in great shape and the day had turned beautiful, 50*, no wind, crystal clear blue skies.
Well, the trail gave way to the freeze/thaw cycle and was a soup-pit at the very bottom of Bennett, but otherwise was in great shape. We caught up with the group of girls that had been at the shelter right as we hit 477 and we were back at the Jeep moments later. Great ride Wode! Thanks for making the trip up from the upstate! One more photo of…. well….I don’t know what sort of plantlife this is…but it’s cool looking:
I got out again today! This time with Dennis D. at Laurel Mountain. We started at Yellow Gap at about 10:30 under bright blue skies and temps in the upper 30’s/low40’s. It was Dennis’ first time on Laurel and actually, his longest ride to date. The lower part of Laurel, before Good Enough Gap, was thick with mud from freeze/thaw and the technical sections were wet. I went for a few of the tech moves though and Dennis was never far behind. After the meeting log the ground was frozen and we were even greeted by a fresh half inch of snow a bit further up.
Even with the first tracks in new snow we kept the pace comfortably high and made our way to Pilot with hardly a break. Upper Pilot was also snow covered but by the time we hit the quadswitchback the ground was surprisingly dry. Dennis was doing great, trying every switchback and technical move on the way down. He even went back and tried a steep step down a second time and came out of it with success and a big smile. We stopped at the overlooks and I got Dennis to shoot a vid of me running the humvee section. Is it the 5″ travel fork or has someone sanitized the rockgarden on Pilot????? It was too easy today.
I got a flat after humvee and the route was taking a little longer than expected. I could tell Dennis was a little tired, and frankly, after yesterdays DuPont ride so was I. Rather than just taking no-name to Pilot Cove I gave Dennis the option. Like a trooper he chose the extended singletrack route rather than bail to the road. Along the way he had a bit of a cramp that an emergen-c took care of. Turn onto Pilot Cove, descend to 1206, descend to Bradley Creek….. then the final grunt back to the Jeep…. The final climb to Yellow Gap is never easy. Sometimes it’s faster than others, but it’s never easy. After that mile or so…. we were done. Great job Dennis! Thanks for coming out!
Mike B and I made plans last night to ride today at DuPont. The noon rally time arrived with Ian B. at my house as well. Ian drove (he has the best racks) and as soon as we got to the trailhead Otto was there just getting ready to head out. I thought to myself ‘Aw hell…. Last night I didn’t sign up for a fast guy ride’ but, I need to get into shape and there’s no better way to do that than ride with folks faster than you. The route for the day: from guion parking->hickory mtn rd.->ridgeline->jim branch->issac heath->buck shoals rd->staton rd->pinetree->rock quarry rd.->micajah->wilke->corn mills shoals rd->upper burnt mtn->burnt mtn->big rock->cedar rock->little river->corn mill shoals->laurel ridge->mine mountain->reasonover->julia rd->conservation rd.->buck shoals back to the parking lot.
I hit the Biltmore trails today, my first ride in a couple of weeks. I’ve got a ton of excuses as to why I haven’t been out but it really boils down to the fact that my back has been jacked since the Icycle downhill and I’ve had a good case of the lazies. Oh, Erinna and I hosted a race this past weekend, too. That usually means a weekend off the bike. Anyway, after a few invites for evening/night rides and a call back into work I decided to just hit the trails that are right at the back of the parking lot that I drive to almost every day. There’s only about an hours worth of trails out there total but, while I was riding, I kept thinking ‘This is as good as any city park I’ve been to’ and ‘I’ve got no excuse for being out of shape.’ and ‘I’m a dummy for not using this resource.’. Anyway, I’m going to try to hit it again tomorrow, GPS in tow. I’ve got no good excuse not to!
*edit* The Biltmore Estate is private property. You need a ticket/pass to get in. Guests/Passholders/Employees/Contractors need to contact the Outdoor Center regarding access to the trails. Seriously.
Thanks Brad for the invite, J for the ‘yougottabethereman’ phone call, and Mike R. for the ride and the awesome photo above. I had a great weekend of riding and hanging out with friends. I rode to the top of the downhill course 3 or 4 times, sketched up the hill on Bill G.’s truck once,: (photo from mtbr)
and rode the boxtruck up the hill at least 6 or 7 times after that. Here are a few photos from the truck ride up to the start of the downhill. Michael M. was there. Can you spot his bike?
The other (safe) end of the truck:
Ok, the lost write up talked about a big party, mud-breakdancing, rental cabins, mullets, night riding, and the like. But….all I’ve got in terms of photos of the party is this. Man, it was a funking party! Whooo!!! Broussard nomnomnom’n on some spagettio’s. Don’t ask why he’s naked.