Sunday, October 24, 2010

from the PMBAR start/finish->477 to the Horse Stables->Clawhammer->Black Mountain.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sunrise on the Singlespeed

I got out for a quick little ride this A.M. on the singlespeed. Wode wasn't quite able to make it so it was a solo sprint. The Green Machine is feeling fast as hell right now but it needs some love: front wheel bearings, fork overhaul, and rear brake bleed.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Run Club

Fast 30 minutes with Michael M. and Sophie.
I checked the temp. as soon as I got home because I hardly even broke a sweat. 36*.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Run Club

Colder Further Faster Darker
40 min. with Michael M. and Sophiedog the Brave starting at 0600.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Well, once we all found our center of gravity everything was.... AWESOME! A couple mechanicals, a couple unscheduled dismounts, and 22 miles / 4 hours later my day was done but Mike B. and Ian B. (unrelated) kept on keepin' on and were off for Laurel /Pilot. What? You guys have a race to train for or something? Maximilian thedog was along also and headed home when I did: after From Yellow Gap->1206->Horsecamp Connector->Gauging Station->South Mills->Squirrel->Laurel Creek->5015.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Legs like salt cured hams

Yesterday I had the bright idea of starting at North Mills River Campground for a super-huge gravel/pavement loop but moments after I started I was wondering if I was going to be able to finish. My legs were dead and not waking up. The climb up FS5000 started the ride and by the top I had already eaten my snickers and half a ProBar. Hmmm, maybe the calories would wake up those unresponsive appendages?

I turned onto the parkway headed South towards Mt.Pisgah and points beyond. Well, no-go, it was all I could do to keep out of the granniest of gears and push forward. It was a gorgeous evening with temps in the high 60's and blindingly clear skies. The trees are all just starting to turn and there was high volume of traffic to accompany the views. I wondered if drivers could even see my rear blinkie since I was riding directly into the setting sun. As the overlooks started to click by I stopped at nearly every one for a rest and photo

and took a look at the time just often enough to know I was WAY behind my normal pace for climbing the parkway. I stopped probably a dozen times before finally arriving at Buck Springs where my decision was made, I was heading back to the Jeep the way I came. I was done climbing.

If I dropped 276 to 1206 I would have probably been walking to Yellow Gap. I took a nice long breather then put 'ole orange multibeast into high-gear for the 12? mile descent. The relatively effortless downhill momentum was a relief beyond description. Through the tunnels, past every landmark I had passed much slower going the other way, and in no time at all I was at Bent Creek Gap. Down 5000 was even tough as fatigue had gotten the best of me. I could hardly hold the beast in a straight line much less apply enough braking force to really slow down. The tiny uphill towards the end let me know my decision was the right one, it felt like a mountain, Bradley to Yellow would have been like climbing Everest, and a quick pavement descent later I was at the Jeep and loading up. I didn't even feel that hungry but I ate two ProBars at the Jeep, stopped at McDs on the way home 'Yes, I'll take a crispy chicken sandwich meal, supersized, please', and ate two bowls of cereal AND a huge bowl of ice cream before passing out on the couch. I guess I was hungry. In the end it was not the ride I had planned but.... I was on my bike and I caught sunset at Mt Pisgah after getting there under my own power. Not a bad way to spend an evening if you ask me!
26.5 miles, 5300' of climbing

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Yesterday I doubled up and both ran with Michael M. in the morning and went on a hard road ride after dark.

The run was about 20 minutes long and the ride took just under three hours with an extended break at the parkway overlook. The ride was uneventful except for forgetting how tough Elk Mountain Scenic Highway is to climb (I HAD to take an unscheduled stop at the top) and for the break to take in the spectacular view from the parkway. The Milky Way! Shooting stars! It was all 3D and like, psychedelic, maaaaan. Oh, and I've got to mention the descent back into town. There is nothing like railing that last turn before the bridge over the interstate, in full aero tuck, at 40mph, at midnight.

Monday, October 4, 2010

They're gonna Toon the Moon!

Or to translate from Fehrese: China is about to crash a space module into the moon in an attempt to learn more about the viability of turning it into an interstellar gas station. Then of course they will need housing for the workers, and roads, and infrastructure, and Schotzkey's! and Starbucks! Oh the irony, a Starbucks on the moon. Oh, and the bees! Wi-Fi is f'n with the bees and the bees pollinate our crops so in turn Wi-Fi is going to create a worldwide famine! Where else can ideas roll off the tongue with such fehrvor and belief without the slightest hint of smugness even when saying 'I-told-you-so-three-years-ago-and-tomorrow-I'll-send-you-the-link' than on a ride with great friends at Wilson's creek? I'd say the places are few and far between.

Scott from Indy arrived at my house at 7AM yesterday and we were on the road a few minutes later to caravan with Johnson and JutRut from exit 59 to the concrete bridge where our vehicles rendezvoused with the dirty box from Charlotte with Dicky, Big Worm, Stabby, and Bubba. Our plan: The Raspberry->Greentown->Raider's->Sinkhole shuttle.

The shuttle went smoothly and we lined up for Raspberry: Jut, Johnson, and I in front Dicky following, then Stabby, then the rest. We checked up at the 1st turn then railed to the dirt field. Just as Jut, Johnson, and I were recovering from the whoops and hollers and high fives induced by the killer way to start the day Stabby arrived to let us know Dicky had eaten dirt. The handlebar of the brand-new Highboy i.e. Eric catcher had snagged a rhodo and tossed him head over heels into the rock strewn overgrowth.
video swiped from Dicky's bloggy.

When Dicky finally arrived his ankle was already swelling to multiples of it's normal size and he was moaning while just standing there. That's not a great way to start the day, Rich.

With my helmet camera on the ride (video later this week) we continued despite Rich's obvious pain. Jut and Johnson cleared the creek jump,

Press the arrows button to make the video larger

Jut on Raspberry from pisgahproductions on Vimeo.

and we all settled in for the first climb of the day, back to 181/Greentown. I hung back with Stabby and Bubba to not wear myself down during the warm up and we all arrived in good time.

Jut, Johnson, and I took the lead for Greentown and it must have been one of the faster descents off that hill that I've pulled off in a long time. I felt right on the edge of control as I held Jut's wheel and watched as both riders ahead launched off every waterbar, pile of rocks, invisible to me source of springboard all the way to the creek. Again, I was feeling on-fire and the tech at the bottom felt easier than ever. It may have just been that I was following those guy's lines, maybe my vampire eyes were just tuned in.

The group of 8 crossed the creek and were headed up the old-toll-esque climb that follows Greentown. The group splintered at that point with Big 'SS' worm setting the pace. I was pleased to round the corner just near the top of the climb to find Jut, Johnson, and Scott from Indy climbing down to the waterfall for a quick breather/lunch break. I had passed by that beautiful spot the last few times and it was nice to take a break there. There aren't many views on this ride, why not take them all in?

shortly after this photo I broke my chain. It was an easy fix.

We regrouped and were onward to Raider's next. Again, with the camera rolling I followed Johnson and Jut down the descent. The top of Raider's is just about as fast and smooth as a trail can get. I was reminded of Trace maybe? and we stopped at the spur to the Harper's Creek overlook... or this the old road to NW Wataguga County? We didn't want to take the chance, even though Stabby (who hadn't been there in a couple of years) was confident it was the right way. When we got to the lower spur, however, he knew exactly where we were, and considering at least two of the group had not seen the overlook, and you know, why not take them all in? We rode in and took a quick break at the view of Harper's Creek Falls.

we shared the view with three high-spirited grey-haired hikers

Lower Raider's is not like upper. Lower becomes a rutted out, rocky, chute filled, treacherous, fun-filled mountain biking dream land. Big moves abounded as the group make it's way to the second creek crossing of the day. Bees attacked the group and that got the lead out, we were all FLYING to the parking lot. Jut and Johnson even cleaned 'the steps' which actually are not steps at all but a death-to-the-right move I was unable to attempt. If you hesitate, don't go for it.

We regrouped then took in the cultural experience that is the Wilson's Creek Trading Post before starting the climb to Sinkhole saddle.

Here is Stabby enjoying a sundrop and moonpie while being protected by his new best friend at the Trading Post

After about two miles of climbing I was spit off the back of the 'A' group and wallowed in no-man's-land between them and the 'B' group.

I was probably a minute back and Stabby and Bubba arrived two or three minutes after me. Up to Sinkhole took longer than I remembered and we stopped to take in the sad sights associated with a brand new logging project.

Big Worm and I took the lead to the top and everyone arrived they looked good and ready for the final descent of the day: Sinkhole. Oh by this point we had another rider along, Dicky's ankle. It had taken on a life of it's own and was the only one complaining.

Sinkhole undulated up and down along the ridge before taking a dramatic drop. Jut and Johnson soared off the log drop with me in tow and Stabby just behind. That was a brand new technical trail feature for him and I heard the surprise in his voice as the ground dropped away from his wheels. Well that must have woken up a special part of his brain dedicated to big moves because he was ready to jump the sinkhole once we were there.
(I missed Stabby but did catch Johnson and Jut)

Jut and Johnson Sinkhole from pisgahproductions on Vimeo.

Down the chute then with no regroup Johnson, Jut, and I hammered through the knife's edge lower sections of Sinkhole all the way to the road.

A hundred yards later we were at the shuttle and saying our good-byes and loading up for our return trips to Charlotte, Asheville, and Indianapolis. What a great way to spend the day. Thanks for coming out everybody. Let's do it again soon.