Title quote from Dennis D. Dennis D, Sophiedog, and I got out yesterday for an excellent ride: starting at the Fish Hatchery->Cat->Butter->Long Branch->475->140A->5003->Farlow Gap->Daniel Ridge->Davidson River trail->475
21.2 miles with 4120′ climbing….. Dennis’ longest mountain bike ride to date.
Wow! What a perfect weekend of riding. Long Branch->Butter with Wode yesterday and Mike B., Kassi D., Maximum Capacity the dog, and I went on an excellent ride today. From the horse stables-> 477->Avery->Buckhorn->Clawhammer->Black->Buckwheat->Bennett.
Here’s Mike at the first breather, checking out the base of a 150′ Hemlock growing out of a huge rock:
and climbing out of a creek…. that he fell 3+ feet into….. off the bridge to the left…. in spectacular fashion….
We had a great time today. The ride was super-chill since Mike was heading on, after Kassi and I finished, for another 3 or 4 hours of riding. Once we got to Clawhammer we checked out a field where I was told here is an old settlers graveyard. We didn’t find it….
Here’s a shot of Mr. and Mrs. B. heading back to the bikes:
Again today the weather was beautiful. Warmer than yesterday by 10*, bright blue skies, a slight breeze…. spring has sprung….
thanks for the photos Kassi!!! Oh, but the gnats were out in FULL-FORCE. It was the first ride of the year that we had to employ the ‘pisgah salute’, one hand over your head whenever stopped. The gnats go to the highest point… to your hand and out of your face.
I should have shot made an image of the salute.
Anyway, I felt great all day. The singlespeed wasn’t as intimidating as yesterday.
The climbs were fast and, as is expected when riding with Mike B., the descents were right on the edge of not safe and downright dangerous.
I just got in from a great ride with Wode. We met up at Mr. Pete’s at 1:30 and were on the bikes sometime after 2pm at the Fish Hatchery. Our route for the day: Cat->Butter->Long Branch->475->471->471D->Butter->Cat back to the Jeep. The weather was beautiful, on this, the first day of Spring. Temps in the high 50’s, bright blue sunny skies, with next to zero humidity or wind. This was my first ride on the Single Speed in months and months. I started out rather intimidated by the fact that I hadn’t been SS’n in months but the first climb went by quickly and I was amazed by the speed I was carrying up the hill.
Here’s a shot of Wode right after he endo’d into a creek crossing 68 seconds into the ride:
and the bikes at rest at Butter/Long Branch: We passed a huge camp in Piklesimer Fields and continued straight up Long Branch, past the gravel, and up to 475. Next was the climb to Gloucester Gap and up Cathy’s Creek Road. I really let loose on the gravel descent to 471D, trying my best to not use my brakes at all. Left turn then up to Butter Gap. That climb gets the heartrate back up quickly but shouldn’t have hurt as bad as it did. We stopped for an extended breather at the Gap then took off like bats outa hell down butter. I had a great run of the first drop. Wode actually asked if I had a rocket strapped under my ass! There were a ton of folks out on Butter enjoying the beautiful day.
Yeah! Spring is here! There were soooo many signs of such. A little plantlife springing from the fall leaves:
We passed multiple groups of hikers and a few bikes on our way down Butter. Next was the right to close the loop and the descent to the parking lot. I had a great time launching everything I could find (while keeping an eye out for pedestrians) and tried to coax Wode into riding the rock drop at the end, but he wasn’t feeling it. We helped a boyscout troop leader with his map (the scounts came tromping down from exactly where he had hoped to see them coming from) and then we were back at the Jeep in a little over two hours. Thanks for coming up from the Upstate Wode!
I just got in from a memorable ride for sure. Ian B., Mike B., Wes M., and Cory W. rallied at my house at 9:30AM new time and we met up with Matt F. and ? at Mr. Pete’s at 10. The plan for the day was to start at Black Mountain trailhead->276->475->Davidson River->475->??? gravel->Long Branch->475->5003->140A->Farlow->Daniel->225->475B->276->477->Club->Black all the way back to the car. Well, things got a little turned around before all that transpired. The five miles of pavement went by quickly to start. We were at the gravel headed to Long Branch when we took our first break and I realized his was the perfect group to be out with. The mood was light, no-one was unhappy with taking a nice long breather this early in. We turned on LB and took anouther breather at 475. Up upupupupup 5003 was next and Matt, Cory, and I took the last few spots in line and were greatly enjoying the day. I have to admit I was suffering a little but I wasn’t the last in line so I felt OK about my performance. Right onto 140A and the real climbing began. The group checked up a few times and we took a breather about every 45 minutes. Then, as I was crossing a tributary type creek, I wheely dropped into the bottom and my bike made a sound like my fork bottomed out…. I immediately knew it wasn’t good…. it was the broken spirit of the Smoke bike being released: After about 20 minutes of walking I reached the waiting crew and after a few rounds of ‘aw man, that sucks’ I had splinted the break with a pump, a bunch of zip ties, and about a yard of duct tape.
We then made plans. They went that way, I went the other way. if they got there first they’d come get me. If I got there first I’d put a stick under the wiper and continue to the bike transport vehicle. When I got to the bike transport vehicle the human transport vehicle got there at the same exact moment. Couldn’t have aasked for a better end to the problem.
Oh, I’ve realized when the break happened. It wasn’t today. Yesterday when Erinna and I were riding I was flying down Butter/Cat. I hopped a couple of the water bar gaps with great success…. and I cased the last one H A R D. the bike/fork made the same noise I heard today during the creek crossing. A bottom out/cry for mercy/frame breaking noise…. I’m sooooooo thankful I didn’y get hurt……
Erinna, Sophiedog, and I got in a little while ago from a super-fun ride. It was Erinna’s first time on the mountain bike in months! She’s been playing the role of ultra-committed-student so it was a treat to see her away from the books on this beautiful day. The sun was bright, the skies were clear blue, and the temps were hovering in the 70’s. Spring is on it’s way! The route for the day: From the Fish Hatchery->Davidson River->Cove Creek->Yellow Blaze Connector->225-> (R)Daniel Ridge->475->???Gravel->Long Branch->Butter->back to the Fish Hatchery.
Erinna rockin’ with the big wheels:
Erinna after dipping her feet in the ccccccold early March creek water: