Sunday, October 2, 2011

Big Ivy / Coleman Boundary!

Jody F. and I got out for another excellent ride last night. When I say excellent and Jody in the same sentence it usually means one of a few things: 1. We went on some sort of adventure where we were on the verge of being totally lost  2. There was a mechanical failure. 3. Speeds WAY beyond safe were attained. Well, last night had all three.
One of the only views
We started with the 8 mile mostly climb on the road to Douglas Falls. Along the way I was having a hard warm-up but Jody was happy to hang back with me and talk about all sorts of god knows what.
Jody, wait until I get the camera out so I can catch you falling!

When we hit 7.8 miles we found ourselves at a left turn and we didn't know for sure if we were on course so I broke out the Droid and called Jut Rut. He had the info we needed and a bit of a warning : 'You're going to navigate Big Ivy at night? Be careful, there are big trees down and the trail is a mess. Good luck finding the next Left.' and with the sun steadily setting we were off and climbing that grassy road of death.
Water Fall along the way

The correct turn
It had been over 5 years since I had been back there and a similar amount of time for Jody. The area was starting to look familiar though and I was keeping an eye out for the Left. We rounded a corner after a few miles and there it was, an unmarked Left that dropped straight off the mountain we had been working so hard to climb. Jody was unconvinced though. He thought the turn was much more defined. After a bit of hemming and hawing we continued on the grassy road of death until Jody just stopped and declared we should go back and check out the first Left again. We backtracked, found an orange blaze on the Left, committed, and rolled it.
Grassy Road of Death

The top of the descent was fun but nerve wracking. The trail had a super fun flow and it was easy to get going WAY too fast. Following Jody is a blast. The mechanical showed up right then though, my rear brake line must have air in it as I had to set the lever ALL the way out so it wouldn't hit the bar when applied. Not having enough brakes was not the way I wanted to run one of the biggest fastest descents in Pisgah (if we were even on it). The worst part was not knowing if we were going the right way or not. It was pitch black and windy with the temp steadily falling. The weather channel said to expect a low of 36* and the last thing I wanted to do was cuddle with Jody until sun up.
Jody arrived at a landmark he recognized from the Enduro and let out a huge 'Whoop!'. I was 50 yards back and knew by the sound of his voice we were on the right track.
The jump from the Enduro
We took a long breather once the anxiety had faded away then railed into the real reason to go to Big Ivy / Coleman Boundary, Bear Pen to Stair Creek. That descent is like two Farlow Gaps in a row. Stomach on the saddle, just on the edge of control, big fun. Stair Creek drops out just above the parking lot so the ride was done. 10 miles of climbing for 3 miles of descent. That right there probably sums it up the best. Great ride Jody. Thanks for getting out!


  1. You forgot the 4th component of our rides together, spectacular crashes! We avoided that this time though. Always a good time in the woods with you. Sorry you couldn't fully enjoy the perfect conditions on such a great DH.

  2. Sounds like a good adventure. Two questions: 1) what trail is the first descent (the "nerve wracking" one)? and 2) is BP/SC really like 2 Farlows, in terms of tech? Thx.

  3. Anon#2
    1. I think it was also Bear Pen. There was no sign.
    2. With no back brakes and at night yes, it felt a lot like two Farlows in a row to me. The top is super fast and flowy, then it gets steep and rocky for a loooong time. There are no waterfalls or rock gardens quite like Farlow though so... maybe that's just a bit of an exaggeration.