Sunday, May 30, 2010

and now..... for the rest of the ride.

Sophiedog the Brave and I just walked in from a day playing in the woods with Mike B., Maximum Overdrive, Scott from Indy and his two pals Paul and the red lantern finisher from PMBAR '10 whose name is eluding me right now. After an excruciatingly painful departure Mike, the dogs, and I arrived at Yellow Gap surprisingly only five minutes after the Indy crew. Mike and I were ready in moments and the plan for the day was established: Mike and I were headed for Outer->Inner while the rest were doing a longer variation of the same ride. Mike and I decided that the longer route had too much gravel for the dogs.

Oh, I'd never seen this before: as we started there was a 4x4 up in the camp off the road at Laurel Mountain. We told the guys ' you better get that truck out of there before the Ranger comes through, the ticket is like, $150.' The driver said 'No, it's $225'. The Ranger had just been there.
We started up Laurel just like 100+ rides in my past have. The usual climb was as beautiful, challenging, and as fun as every time before. You can bury me on Laurel Mountain trail when the time comes. There are trails like Laurel, but no trails better than Laurel.

The climb went like this: Scott out front, Mike and I trading places, Red Lantern next, Paul a bit off the back. When I noticed this order Scott was quick to say 'Paul might not be the fastest, but he's a diesel.' Fair enough. We climbed through all the familiar gaps with all the unfamiliar damage left over from this past winter, we all got into a great climbing groove, I cleaned more of the $2000 than in years, and we were at the descent in just over three hours. Oh yeah, it must be Grouse season on Laurel right now. We heard the deep subwoofer-like thumpthumpthump the male grouse make, a female take flight diverting our attention from a nest, and three tiny grouse babies shoot out of a nest in fear for their lives. We weren't there to hurt them of course, we were in awe of what we saw.
As we took another breather at Pilot I reinstalled my helmet camera and Mike asked who should go first. I told him he should go first and to go fast 'cause the camera needed a subject to shoot.

Pilot Rock Trail ~ Pisgah National Forest ~ May 30, 2010 from pisgahproductions on Vimeo.

The first run concluded with Mike hitting the ground hard while negotiating one of the quad-switchbacks. We regrouped at the first overlook, took yet another breather there, then continued to rail down Pilot Rock. Max taught Sophie how to cut switchbacks along the way. That was fun as Max had been popping out of the woods in front of me all day and when Sophie started to do it too she seemed a bit confused. She'd hit the trail and look at me like 'wait, I don't want to be ahead of you!' Anyway, Mike and I were really flying down the hill and Mike had a spectacular high-speed crash right in front of me. He tried to gap a big here-to-there but as soon as his front wheel landed the whole bike seemed to fold in half. Mike has spit off the bike and did a 360 through the air before landing. He hopped up in an instant and was fine. His bike, on the otherhand, was not. We quickly realized that his rear derailleur had taken the brunt of the blow and was refusing to work any longer.

After some bending of steel and aluminum Mike was able to get the bike running again as a three speed (down from 27) and we continued the ride by taking noname to Slate. We said goodbye there to the Indy folks as they went down to 1206 and we went up towards the rock intersection. I had told everybody that I could hear my baby crying and it was time for me to get home so Mike and I pushed a little harder once we were on our own and we were back at 1206 right as the Indy crew was starting the second portion of their ride. We made ride plans for tomorrow then Mike and I headed up the gravel (after a quick water break at Bradley Creek) as fast as the dogs could handle. We were back at the car in just over 5 hours. Not the fastest day on the bike but that's not what always matters. What always matters is having accomplished one thing and one thing only : Having fun playing in the woods using the bicycle as both the literal and figurative vehicle for having that fun.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Heartbreak Ridge Video

Here's a video I made from yesterday's Heartbreak Ridge ride with DjD. That's right, a four hour ride condensed down to a 10 minute video.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Heartbreaker. . .

DjD and I played hooky today and went riding.

Heartbreak Ridge starting from the Kitsuma parking lot in 4:02 total time out.

vid soon.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The unprecidented FOUR ride post.

Ride #4 You're doing it wrong.

Well, I sure have been slacking lately when it comes to riding my bike and updating this here ride log. I've gotten in four rides in the past couple of weeks and will try my best to recall them now. Let's start with yesterday's ride: Jody F. had invited a huge crew out to White Pines for his 40th birthday celebration weekend and after a night of whooping it up (drinking Mike B's keg beer and watching the most serious game of corn-hole I've ever witnessed) the morning broke and a ride plan was conceived. Jody F., Mike B., Jonathan L., Justin M., Park B., and myself finally got rolling around 11:30 am for Avery->Black.

Avery Creek to Black Mountain from pisgahproductions on Vimeo.

It took only about two hours to figure out how to create that rough vid in iMovie. This mac beats the crap out of any PC I've used.

I had never ridden UP Avery and now I know why. The climb was relentless and there are easier and more enjoyable ways to make it to Club Gap. Along the way we lost and found Tomato, watched Park drag a tube change out for 45 minutes (hardly exaggerating) only to have it go flat again 5 minutes later, and bid ado to Park who was then questioning our sanity for continuing to the ridge despite the rumbles of thunder and cracks of lightning that surrounded us. It was a hot and muggy day and all I could wish for was the sky to open up, which amazingly it did not do until the last half hour of the ride.

The thunder surrounded us for the entire ride. Around to the shelter followed Club and the lack of water consumption (and the abundance of beer consumption) was catching up with me. I was having a rough go at it by the time we reached the shelter and thought of dropping clawhammer back to the camp but pressed onward to Clawhammer and Black mountains. My legs were then starting to cramp and I had consumed 100oz of water and just before the Black peak I declared that I had indeed reached that point of no return, I was bonking. I watched as everyone pulled away on the descents, passed a broken down Jody who mumbled something that I didn't register until Spencer Gap, and was inbetween the rest of the riders that had continued on Black and Jody behind. I realized Jody said 'broken chain' as I had passed, I waited for about 10 minutes, the rain started, I knew we were behind our three hour goal, and I decided to bail down Maxwell to finish the ride. I got back to camp and explained the situation and about ten minutes later the ahead crew arrived, sans Jody. In the end Jody made it back about 20 minutes after everyone else... he had more mechanicals along the way. No problem though, nothing like an introspective walk by yourself in the rain on your 40th, right? Thanks for having a birthday Jody. It sure is better than the alternative! Oh, and here's a photo from later of Mike B and Sohiedog enjoying the day:

Ride #3 Vampires, Ninjas, and Fairies, oh my!

Zoe and I arrived at White Pines on Friday evening and waited for Erinna to finish her 38 mile 4900' climbing pavement/gravel ride from West Asheville to White Pines. Mike B., Jonathan L., and myself then decided it would be a good idea to get a bit of low-land night riding in before the keg beer began to flow too liberally. I've got to say that what came next was the best night ride I've been on in ages. We climbed 477 to lower Buckhorn to lower Avery then took Avery to 477 then back to the camp. We stopped for a minute at the top of the gravel climb to take a quick breather then hit the singletrack with huge smiles. Mike and I decided to ride without lights as much as possible in the near pitch black darkness.
(there's a reason this photo is funny that I'm not going to mention)
The sight of our shadows dancing off the trees ahead, being illuminated by Jonathan's low powered light, was a beautiful thing. Watching as Mike and I outran the light was downright trippy. We would use the power of vampire vision (which tomatoes obviously lack) to negotiate the twists and turns of lower Avery and pull away from Jonathan until we were riding like stealthy ninjas. Silent. Invisible. There was nothing guiding us but the Force. I took an unsurprising spill near the end of the single track but other than that there were no other unscheduled dismounts. On the way back to camp we were laughing, already trying to remember quotes from the ride, and again riding without lights. What we saw next will hopefully stick with me forever: Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of tiny specs of light floating just above the surface of the earth all the way up the hill as far as you could see. They outlined the curvature of the terrain, a thousand points of light. Fairies dancing in the still of a warm Spring night.

Ride #2 This is why I write this stuff down.
A week had passed since PMBAR and I had yet to get on my bike. I had sourced out the pickup of the last checkpoint and was otherwise feeling overwhelmed with the enormity of the tasks ahead of me. Everything needed to be aired out, the garage needed cleaning before PMBAR could return to it's storage for the year ahead, the house was a hot-mess, the basement needed more attention than the garage, and I needed to get a quick ride in or I just might have cracked. Saturday afternoon I got out to Bent Creek for a ride with Sophiedog. My route: from the new parking lot->gravel->Ingles Field->Tony Michaels->Greenslick->Sidehill->Little Hickory->Ingles Field->Hardtimes connector->back to the Jeep. It was about 12 miles of fast fast fast moving. Maybe even a little too fast for Sophie. I didn't have my camera along but I did have my new GPS. Unfortunately the GPS would not communicate with my computer afterwards so there is no visual representations of this ride. Out of the four rides I'm writing the details of this are already slipping my mind. I need to write this stuff down as soon as I get home.

Ride #1 PMBAR Checkpoint setup ride

DjD, Sophiedog, and I got out a couple of days before PMBAR with a mission other than having fun on the bikes: Setup two PMBAR checkpoints.
The CPs weigh about 20 or so pounds each and as we suited up in the Turkey Pen parking lot I could see the concern in Dennis' face. He had never ridden with such a heavy load and was commenting of how his tires and fork felt squishy under the increased load. We took the singletrack down to the bridge to test the pack's hold on the gear then headed S.Mills to the bottom of Cantrell. Our route for the day: SMills->Cantrell->Squirrel->Laurel Creek->Bradley Creek->66 jumps back to the parking lot. The climb up Cantrell went by much more quickly than either of us expected as we chatted the entire way up the hill. The CP setup also went very quickly and with half the load on each of our backs it felt like I had wings and flew down Squirrel to Laurel. Down Laurel to Bradly where we setup the second CP (photo of the 1st CP)

and after the slightest breather we were headed back to the Jeep on Bradley. Again, many of the fine details of this ride have slipped into my overall consciousness of Pisgah riding. Stuff happened. Fun was had.
We got back to the Jeep in great time and high-fived in the parking lot saying YEAH! that was a good time. Mission accomplished.

OK, that was an epic one-draft post, I'll do better in the future about not getting behind.

One more! Erinna just finished her first iMovie project. Behold, the cuteness that is our baby:

Zoe's first months. from pisgahproductions on Vimeo

One more one more thing.... At 2:38 in the morning....

Ever wish you had one of these?

Sunday, May 2, 2010


To the racers, volunteers, U.S. Forest Service, and especially to my beautiful wife, THANK YOU for making the 2010 Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race the best one yet.

To finish teams needed to reach 4 out of 5 checkpoints including two mandatory points. Teams that reached all 5 checkpoints received a three hour time bonus.

Without further ado, Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2010 PMBAR finishers:

1st ~ Sam Koerber / Bob Koerber / 5CP / 8hr 17min.
Please note: Sam and Bob were the first finishers AND they got all 5 checkpoints. Wow.
2nd ~ Dave Simpson / Tal Ingram / 5CP / 9hr 14min.
3rd ~ Matt Rice / Ben Poss / 5CP / 9hr 23min.

4 ~ Ross Clark / Bruce Steinfurth / 5CP/ 9hr 48min.
5 ~ Dave Anderson / Charlie Roberts / 5CP / 9hr 57min.
6 ~ Chris Bennett / Derek Gentry / 5CP / 9hr 58min.
7 ~ Ryan Allen / Alex Ransom / 5CP / 10hr 11min
8 ~ David Cook / Yuri Eliashevsky / 5CP / 10hr 26min.
9 ~ Clay Faine / Toby Porter / 5CP / 10hr 34min.
10 ~ Brent Leister / Greg Leister / 5CP / 10hr 41min.
11 ~ Rich Dillen / Thad Hoffman / 5CP/ 11hr 14min.
12 ~ Brad Welch / Steve Bennet / 4CP / 8hr 26min.
13 ~ Rob Roberts / Michael Kanning / 5CP / 11hr 34min.
14 ~ Ryan Bell / Nathan Helms / 5CP / 12hr 6min.
15 ~ Eddie Odea / Namrita Odea / 4CP / 9hr 6min.
16 ~ Kip Clyburn / Paul Stahlschmidt / 5CP / 12hr 11 min
17 ~ Ed Moreadith / Rob Kranz / 4CP / 9hr 26min.
18 ~ Zack H8 Broussard / Dennis ****z / 4CP / 9hr 40min.
19 ~ Joe Pelton / Jonathan LeRoy / 4CP / 9hr 46min.
20 ~ Jim Stranix / David Parsons-Foresi / 4CP / 9hr 53min.
21 ~ JD Powers / Ben Swadley / 4CP / 10hr 1min.
22 ~ Bruce Dale / Innes Wright / 4CP / 10hr 6min.
23 ~ Kelly Bond / Chad Banner / 4CP / 10hr 7min.
24 ~ Kelly Klett / Jeff Dennison / 4CP / 10hr 9min.
25 ~ Eric Christian / Mike Rischitelli / 5CP / 13hr 23 min.
26 ~ Daniel Wren / Chris Young / 4CP / 10hr 40min.
27 ~ Ed Merritt / Brandon Merritt / 4CP / 10hr 48min.
28 ~ Richard Stem / Marshall Thompson / 4CP / 10hr 50min.
29 ~ Mike Brown / Ian Baldwin / 4CP / 10hr 50min.
30 ~ Luther Papenfus (solo unofficial) / 4CP / 10hr 54min
30 ~ Tom Hartenstein / Jeff Williams / 4CP / 11hr 2min.
31 ~ Patrick McMahon / Michael Bucking / 4CP / 11hr 4min.
32 ~ Ben Appleby / Bob Lambertson / 4CP / 11hr 6min.
33 ~ James Carlisle / James Johnson / 4CP / 11hr 10min.
34 ~ Cissy Fowler / Jennifer Rinderle / 4CP / 11hr 13min.
35 ~ Denise Sauerbrey / Rob Keener / 4CP / 11hr 15min.
36 ~ Richard Auerwick / Rob Gosline / 4CP / 11hr 18min.
37 ~ Camye Womble / Tim Bedard / 4CP / 11hr 26min.
38 ~ Mike Brown / Asa MArshall / 4CP / 11hr 28min.
39 ~ James Haskins / Jay Lundi / 4CP / 11hr 36min.
40 ~ Andy Etters / Mert Dunne / 4CP / 11hr 43min.
41 ~ Randy King / Randy Lewis / 4CP / 11hr 52min.
42 ~ LeAnne McCann / Jon Carmack / 4CP / 11hr 54min.
43 ~ Paul Diemer / Gordon Jenks / 4CP/ 11hr 55min.
44 ~ Luis Calderon / Karlos Rodriguez / 4CP / 12hr 2min.
45 ~ LG Porter / Erik Caldwell / 4CP / 12hr 17min.
46 ~ Shanna Powell / Laura Goetz / 4CP /12hr 22min.
47 ~ Curtis Burge / Robert Peerson / 4CP / 12hr 25min
48 ~ Cameron Frasier / Francis Corbin / 4CP / 12hr 27min.
49 ~ Rob Coulter / Rich Davis / 4CP / 12hr 34min.
50 ~ Emily Brock / Amanda Wisell / 4CP 12hr 57min.
51 ~ Beau Bethel / Clifton Schmitt / 4CP / 13hr 3 min.
52 ~ Anne Bringuier / Randal Tuttel / 4CP / 13hr 10min.
53 ~ Eric Bannan / Tim Julian / 4CP / 13hr 23min.
54 ~ Eric Gadlage / Bryon Horn / 4CP / 13hr 42min
55 ~ Samual Props / Chris Hansen / 4CP / 13hr 47 min.