Monday, March 19, 2012


This afternoon I had to head out to the Ranger Station to drop off some paperwork and decided to get a quick ride in while I was out there. The All-Road bike has been fun lately so I grabbed that and had a couple routes in mind. The visit with the Ranger took longer than expected so I decided on the shorter route: 477->276->475b->475->276->477.
 A few quick notes: The warm up on 477 was much MUCH easier than a couple of weekends ago during TMHTE. I was at the top with very little suffering. The descent to 276->475b was exhilarating and I caught a nice little bit of air by nose popping off a rock that is set in the road way. I was feeling great during the climb past Case Camp on 475b and the turn to 225 came upon me quickly. The descent to the Fish Hatchery was balls-to-the-wall wide-open spinning-out the 53/12 and I had to repeatedly remind myself to not cut corners because a vehicle could be hiding around any of those blind turns. Finally, the pavement back to 477 flew by. I was standing and hammering and feeling absolutely great. What a great afternoon on the bike. Temps in the mid to high 70's, a few minor threats of thunderstorms, and the roads almost completely to myself. 20 miles even, 3428' climbing, 12.3 mph avg, 41.5mph max.

Friday, March 16, 2012

I'm at the top. My sweat tastes like medicine. I hope I don't get struck by lightning.

was the text I sent Erinna at the halfway point of tonight's ride. I started with the imminent threat of heavy storms and went for the West Asheville towers. Along the way I saw Marty and she yelled something to the effect that I was crazy, I WAS caught in a violent thunderstorm, and I pushed through and made it all the way up the gravel to the towers. Then I turned around and hauled ass back home. Funny how it goes when you're descending gravel and pavement for the first time and that first time is at night and just after two inches of rain fall. The turns came fast and furiously and I had to sit on my rear rack and get on the brakes pretty hard a few times. The stats at the end: 9.8 mi, 1621', 9.6mph avg, 42mph max.
                            Here's a shot of right after I had climbed out of the storm/it had passed
and a few feet up the road, with the same camera setting, but with a lightning strike behind me:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

pip pop pipppppp pop

Mike B., Maximus Supremus the dog, and I got out for exactly what I needed this first-day-of-daylight-savings-time morning: Laurel->Pilot at a slow pace.
 I know I've said it before but Laurel Mountain is mountain biking at it's very best. The trail is a Pisgah classic. Technical climbing punctuated with slimy roots, rock gardens, and tech sections that bring out the trials rider in those that want to give it a go.
Today I was not wanting to give it a go. I felt weak from time off the bike, antibiotics, and too much fun with my beautiful wife last night. Speaking of, my curfew for the day was 12:30 because Erinna and The Pony were meeting for their own ride then. Mike was at my house just after 7:30 (it felt like 6:30) and we had a very VERY chill day on the bikes so... we didn't even complete the intended route of Outer->Inner but... we did have great fun.
We stopped often, we took photos,
 we even hiked in to the bottom of Pilot Rock to check it out.
 Did I mention it was a chill slow pace ride? Well, it was, and again, exactly what I needed. We didn't see one other bike on this absolutely gorgeous late winter day (we started with temps in the low 30's but it was easily over 50* by the time we finished) but we did see many groups of hikers.  Oh, and Max treated himself to more than one breakfast. Thanks for getting out there so early Mike.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

More Enduro. Less Lounge.

Jody F., Zach B., Dennis K., Than W., Mike B., Mike R., Eric C., and me. From the Fish Hatchery->Cove Creek->225->Daniel->475->471->Kathy's Kreek->471D->Butter->Cat.
Last night I got out for another of the weekly Tuesday Night Dinner Club rides. I arrived at the Fish Hatchery right at 7PM and after waiting for the others to arrive and pulling ourselves away from just hanging out in a parking lot we were on the bikes right at 8.
We started with Davidson River to Cove Creek and the pace was steady and fast right to start. Than, Mike R., and I were off the back but only by a minute or so by the time we rendezvoused with the others at the short cut. I suggested taking that over to 225 partly to shorted the route a touch and partly to stay off the gravel, the temps were falling very quickly.
The climb up 225 went on longer than I had remembered it should but my mind was wandering and I was thinking mostly about a ride I did a year or so ago with a friend that is now gone.
We took a nice long breather at the Daniel connector
and after the decision was made to go RIGHT onto Daniel we were off like we were racing or something. With Mr Goggles in the lead and Mike R and me in tow we made quick work of the trail all the way to the steps. Mr Goggles was on fire though and made us work to keep him in sight. Mike B and I had a good laugh about a ride we were both on YEARS ago once we were on the flats and we were all at the bridge in great time.
My hands were painfully cold at that point but luckily for me Mike B was well over prepared and had an extra set of gloves for me. That sealed my fate for the night, I was headed up to Gloucester with everyone else. I had contemplated turning back there partly because of the cold and partly because I've been pretty ill lately. The antibiotics were making me a bit nauseous. Well, the climb up to Gloucester wasn't bad at all. Dennis and Zach were off the front but otherwise the other 6 of us moseyed up with lights off and mouths running.
It was a beautiful night to be on the bike. Cold, but beautiful. The moon was nearly full, the sky was clear, and the temp had fallen to the high 30's. After another break at the Gap we turned onto Cathy's Creek road and made our way to 471D. Along the way we were sucked into a wormhole and spit out the other side, right at the turn. I'll never forget that experience and that's all I'll say about that.
To end the ride we had the climb up 471D then the descent down Butter. Butter is outrageously fun, especially when chasing Mr Goggles. I tried my hardest to hold his wheel, even cussing along the way 'Muthafucka you WILL not drop me' and I nearly ate trail a couple of times but as we came cruising into the intersection at the bottom it was all I could do to contain myself. THAT was mountain biking at it's very finest. Great company, great trails, great weather, great machines, great night. Thanks for getting out there everyone.