Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jody F arrived at my house promptly at 6PM this evening for a night ride even though that's about as far ahead as we had planned. A route was discussed on the way and at the last possible moment we were headed to Bent Creek Gap. We actually started at Spencer and the warm-up was a bit over my head. I had to ask Jody to stop a couple of times but we were at the gap very quickly. We talked about the route a bit more then started the descent of Spencer Branch. We rode that section of trail as fast as I've ever ridden it before. We were borderline dangerous but made it the NER unscathed, with huge smiles, and whooping and laughing like we had just gotten away with murder (or our lives). Up NER to Middle Fork->Big Creek followed. Swoopy fun. Once we made it to the reservoir the route was again up for discussion and Jody suggested an out and back on Fletcher. I was game, I hadn't seen the new work yet, so we climbed all the way back up to the NER. Jody's lights were signaling their eminent demise so we decided the fastest way back to the Jeep would be, rather than descending Fletcher to the res rd and back up 5000.... You guessed it, we climbed back up Spencer Branch to the gap then descended Spencer Gap to 5000 (above the Jeep). The climb up Spencer went by much more quickly than I had anticipated and was punctuated by some sort of HUGE yellow jacket type thing that was harassing me. Right as it (they?) were getting aggressive I decided to just turn out the lights. It worked, they left me alone, and I continued to granny gear/hike all the way back to the gap. The descent to 5000 was again right on the edge of dangerous and really dangerous and Jody was able to keep a 50' lead all the way down to the road. Great ride Jody, thanks for getting out there.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Enka?!?!? How the F did we end up in ENKA?!?!?

It was all the gnomes fault. I met up with Jody F. and Ben W. this morning for a ride that was not to be. The plan was to park at Bent Creek, grab the gnome, head over to Trace/Middle Fork/Big Creek area then make it home by 12:30 so all three of us could relieve those in charge of childcare duties. Well, we got the gnome then decided to try to navigate Tony Michaels to the Parkway. We followed the past Greenslick, past Betty, past Mo', and beyond following the blue blazes. We made a navigational decision and continued on Blue but soon the blazes were gone and we were nearly bushwacking. We were following the forest boundary, made it to a peak, then had the most hairball descent I've been on in a loooong time. When we reached a T intersection with a doubletrack it was Jody that mentioned, I think we're headed to Candler. I pulled out the phone, checked the GPS and yes, we were. More later.

View 2011-08-27 08:15 in a larger map

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I can hear Coach Jamie now....

Pffftttt. A REAL man would have climbed it twice.
or.... 18 minutes? You could have done it in 13 if you didn't stop and take all those pansy-ass photos...
Thanks Jamie. That sucked. Next time I'll do it faster.... and twice.
Oh, it was a beautiful day to be on the bike today. Temps in the low 80's and the threat of storms at any minute. My route for the day: Clingman->Kimberly->Beaverdam->Wolfe Cove->Bartram's Walk->Town Mountain->Webb Cove->Beaverdam->WT Weaver->Riverside->Waynesville. 23.4 mi, 2937' gain, 14mph avg moving, 37 max, 1:39 moving, 1:55 total time out. I got out at 4:30PM after 2/3 of the visitors were on their way home.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Quick light test

I got out this evening for a quick little ride around town. 13.8 mi 1138' climbing 37mph max 13mph avg moving. My real goals were to get just a bit passed warmed-up so tomorrow's ride won't be painful due to lack of work and to test the new lights Jay at Amoeba sent. I didn't really have a plan but my front tire took me down Clingman and over to Kennilworth. I missed my turn a couple times and ended up on Tunnel Rd so I took the automobile way over to Beaucatcher. I was feeling that warmed up feeling I was looking for then and the sun was just about set so I turned the lights on, too. I wound through the neighborhoods and again, with no plan, ended up in Montford and then by the Bywater. Up Waynesville and back home in just over an hour. How did the lights perform? They are bright but too floody for the road. Without my triclops on I could outrun the new mega. Oh well. Let's see what Jay comes up with next.

Monday, August 15, 2011


TIL that you can get from here:

to here:
to HERE:

13.2 miles, 2815' climbing, 2:10 total time out, 1:41 moving, 7.8mph avg moving.

Inner Loop with The Pony

Last night Ian L. and I got out for an excellent ride, Slate Rock/Pilot Cove loop.

We started at Bradley Creek at 7:30 with different physical maladies, Ian had not been on the bike since PMBAR and my legs were tight and the rest of me was dehydrated from riding just the night before. We took it easy up the gravel and took our time warming up on the singletrack. I was warmed up about 5 minutes before Ian and was starting to wonder what kind of pace he was going to be able to manage. Well, Ian answered in the steep technical climbing, the pace was to be as high as I wanted.
I kept it comfortably quick and Ian held my wheel all the way to the turn. I could drop him when the trail really pitched upward but that was it. It had turned into a beautiful evening, too. Temps in the low 70's/high60's and humidity at 200%. The sky was blue with thunderheads all around but the sun was setting fast. We had to really boogy if we wanted to make it to the overlook by sundown. We both made a heroic effort to make it but we missed sundown by 20 minutes or so.

We took an extended breather/photoshoot/eating break at the rock then with lights full-on headed down the nasty back to the gravel. This was Ian's first night ride in YEARS and he nailed it. I would wait up after every serious tech downhill move and he was there in seconds every time.

The downhill was over in a flash and the gravel road descent was all that separated us from the Jeep. Ian wanted to see how fast he had to go to outrun the Amoeba light he was borrowing and found that speed just before we closed our loop. We reached almost 30 mph in those final stretches as we raced each other back to the Jeep. We arrived just over 2 hours after we started, not a bad time at all. Great ride Ian, thanks for getting out there.

Untitled from pisgahproductions on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

That was painful.

I just got in from a little ass kicker of a ride. Starting at 7:30PM Clingman->Hilliard->Biltmore->College->Town Mountain->Blue Ridge Parkway->Elk Mountain->Beaverdam->Merrimon->WTWeaver->Riverside->Craven->Waynesville
There are just a few things I want to note about this ride. I had zero motivation going into it after a day of Zoe care, I saw a very cheerful Michael M. as I started the ride, downtown was packed,
The first plateau on Town Mountain was where I finally warmed up,
The rising moon on the parkway was incredible,

Buzzard Rock was packed,

and the Elk Mountain descent was crazy fun. I chased a car through the switchbacks and slowly reeled him in. He knew I was on his tail and kept going faster and faster, taking more and more risks. His tires were squealing around the corners and he would punch it in the straights. I latched on as he blew right through the stop sign and I held his draft all the way to Beaverdam. When the car came to a stop at the bottom I rolled up and it was a teenage girl behind the wheel. Her boyfriend in the passenger seat and they both had on the biggest shit-eating grins. 'You were hauling ass!' she said. 'Thanks for the draft' I told them. 'I hope I wasn't holding you up' ' No, we must have been going what? 40?' The boyfriend replied, no, closer to 50.' Awesome.

View 2011-08-13 19:25 in a larger map

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hanging out at the V and Dime.

Last night I got out for one hell of a good ride. Erinna dropped me off at Rt215 at the Blue Ridge Parkway then I rode home via 215->Indian Creek->Shoal Creek->475->Davidson River->475->475B->276->1206->5000->479->Campground Connector->Bent Creek Rd->191->Greenway->State->Hanover. 55 miles (the vast majority being gravel) 6450' climbing, 7910' descending!!!! starting at 8PM.

View 2011-08-07 19:52 in a larger map

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Riding with a gnome on my back

I got out EARLY this morning for an interesting ride, to say the least. The Pisgah picture game is going strong and there's an added feature now, a 3+ pound 12" tall garden gnome. Well, of course, I had to go get that gnome. I started early with Clawhammer first.

View 2011-08-06 06:17 in a larger map

It was just first light when I left. If I had started 15 minutes earlier I would have needed a light. The right turn for Maxwell came soooo much quicker than expected that I just hammered around the corner and headed to Pressley Gap. On the way up I noticed a few things: The woods are completely silent at first light. The bloodsucking flies come out about 20 minutes after first light. Flying insects of all sorts were out and about buzzing along. I kept the tempo high and blew right past the chimney, I didn't even see it, even though I was looking to stop there for my first break of the day. I was at Pressley, again, before I thought I was due, so I turned onto Black without a break.
The climb up Black will surely either have made me stronger or taken years off my life, I'm not sure which. The deer/horse flies were unbearable. I got bit on my arms, head, face, ankle, and calf within minutes. Welts that pulsed with dull sting all over. I was not going to be discouraged though, that gnome was fucking MINE!!!! and I ran every time I was off the bike during the hikes and hammering like mad every time I was on. I also found that if I was running with my bike in one hand and violently swinging my helmet with the other hand I could fend them off. I must have been quite the sight. When I found the gnome hidden a few yards down Turkey Pen trail I snapped a few photos,
got bit by more horseflies, strapped the thing to my back, and was out of there. Immediately I started to feel a bit of a bonk coming on so I slowed the pace a little and relaxed during the descent. If I can't come to a stop and rest because of the flies, I gotta catch my breath somewhere.... I took it easy on the tech switchbacks, didn't stop at the overlooks (there was nothing to see but thick fog anyway) and was headed to the shelter quicker than I could have imagined. My planned route was to head to Avery Creek but that wasn't going to happen. Even though I felt a little hungry and I was starting to itch from the bites my legs felt strong. I was standing and hammering to the shelter. What happened then? As I was passing the shelter two spokes broke in my rear wheel
and whenever I put pressure down the tire would rub the frame. Oh, and I didn't have a spoke wrench. So the gnome's new home was now going to be behind the shelter. It was an easy decision. I took a few photos for the game,
stashed the gnome,
ate, and otherwise took a long breather before coasting back down Black to the gap, then down Clawhammer all the way back to the Jeep. Funny enough, just as I got there I ran into BrouSSard. Guess what he was up to. Yup, out to get that gnome! I told him where it was now and we parted ways. Thanks for coming up with the game Maida! Thanks for adding that heavy as hell gnome The Hub!