Saturday, November 27, 2010

Yes, I'll take an order of the Medium Nasty please.

Looking Glass Rock from Bennett Gap Trail 27Nov10

Mike B was at my house right at 7:30 this morning and we met up with Scott from Indy on FS477. We were on the bikes at 8:30 headed for 477->Buckhorn Gap->Clawhammer->Black Mountain->Buckwheat Knob->Bennett Gap.
We went up 477 to Buckhorn Gap to start the day. We decided to take a break and hike in to check out Twin Falls and I'm happy we did . It must have been at least 5 years since I was back there. Once we were climbing again Mike broke his chain and had forgotten his toolkit/spare links but no problem, Scott and I had him covered. We took the hike-a-bike up to Clawhammer and then put the hammer down.
Mike B. on Clawhammer

We were at Buckhorn Gap in minutes. I was feeling great and had just broken a sweat as we arrived.

Scott from Indy. The only out-of-towner that knows Pisgah better than the locals.

We took another break there and that was enough rest to do my legs good because I was able to clean the entire climbs up Black Mountain/Buckwheat Knob. Along the way I led out for the downhills and had an exciting unscheduled dismount when I came around a corner absolutely flying to find a large/tall tree branch across the trail. After a loud scream and a fast runout I was mounting the bike again without anything but my feet hitting the ground. Whew!

Mike B on Soapstone Ridge / Rich Mountain

It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be in the woods. Bright blue skies, temps in the 40's, zero humidity, and the recent rains left the trail feeling grippy.

Anyone know what kind of plant this is? Buckwheat Knob

It was hard to make the tire spin or slide out even if you had tried. Anyway, Scott was starting to slowdown once we were on Buckwheat but was at the top moments after Mike and I arrived. Mike led for Buckwheat and even after a rudder through the steep chose perfect lines and we made it to 477 quickly to say the least.

Scott I. on Buckwheat at FS477

Bennett Gap was next and would finish the day for us. Mike and I attempted both the Q-Bert rock and the thread the needle but didn't make either. Mike actually landed on his head after the Q-Bert, which wasn't very confidence inspiring, but I went for it anyway.

Hey look! A photo of me! (oh and I guess I should mention Mike B. and Looking Glass Rock)

After the hike-a-bike after Perry Mike was finally in the downhill groove and it was all I could do to not let him get away from me. We both bunnyhopped all the downed trees, skimmed the surface of the rootballs, and zigged when we should have zigged and zagged when we should have zagged. We made it to the bottom of Bennett/477 with a max speed of just over 20mph but it felt much faster than that. Of note my bike was working splendidly and the descent seemed much easier than a few weeks ago. The fork was working great. The brakes were working great. (even though I did zero maintainence between now and then....) I had no arm-pump, I hopped the logs with ease, never felt totally out of control... Excellent ride guys. Thanks for going early enough to get me home by my curfew!

OT: I received this teaser photo from Walt of my new bike the other day. Sweet. It's at powder now (guess the color!) and I should have it built-up in two weeks or so....