Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Not feeling it? No, I'm just a big puss...

Last night I met Mike R., Clint S., Jody F., and Eric C. for a bit of classic Pisgah night riding. I had been feeling under-the-weather and stiff as a board all day long and I figured a bit of a spin would loosen things up. The planned route: Laurel->Cairns->Slate->Pilot->Laurel. By the time we got to the Cairns I was done. The spinning wasn't doing anything good and considering it was already closing in on 10pm I figured it was time to get out of the woods.
The climb up Laurel was tough last night. Mike 'The Rocket' R. and Jody were up front, Eric and I were in the way back, and Clint was in no-man's-land in between. We took a long rest at Rich Gap, discussed who named the various social trails, and then continued to climb. Technically I was feeling great. The bike was sticking to everything I tried to roll over but my body was complaining. Sore back, sore knee, sore neck..... Gah! When we arrived at the Cairns I knew I wasn't in for the whole ride, that I was going to bail at the creek crossing.
It had been years since I had been down that descent and it was as much of a religious experience as ever. In other words, there is a bit of prayer for forgiveness and pleas of pulling through that goes through everyone's mind as you rocket into the steep sections and plenty of giving of thanks as each rider makes it to the bottom.
Eric was ready to get out of the woods at the bottom also so we rolled out down to 1206 together. It was pleasant having company at that time of day (night) and that deep in the woods. I thing the rest of the guys that continued on were happy to know I wasn't by myself all alone after we parted ways.
The descent to 1206 was great fun and the bike was working perfectly. The climb back to Yellow Gap was painful and over in minutes. Oh, and it was a beautiful, cold, late Fall night. Temps in the high 30's, clear skies, and a crescent moon. The trails were in EXCELLENT shape after yesterday's rain, too. Traction to spare.
Thanks for getting out TNDC guys! Sorry I had to puss out and head back.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Bruce D. and I met up at Motion Makers at 9am and we met up with Joe M. at Bent Creek Gap. We were on the bikes by 10am. It was an absolutely beautiful day to be out in the woods. We started with temps in the low 40's but by the time we were at the bottom it was nearly 60*. Bright blue skies all day, too. Three hours, 16 miles, and 2600' later we were back at the vehicles. An excellent day on the bikes, even with climbing 5000 twice!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bruce Dickman = Hard to Kill.

There is so much to say about this ride and I'll try to get a few words written down in the morning.
53 miles, 5659' climbing.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I love my WaltWorks All-Road bike!

Every once in a while I just have to say it. Walt really nailed this bike. About 5 years ago Walt built a road bike with disc brakes for Erinna and about 2 years ago I had one built for myself. I guess you can say we were ahead of the curve again. Back in '04 I had Walt build me my first 29er and everyone was telling me it was a waste of money. There would be no tire or wheel or fork options as soon as that funny looking fad was gone, they said. Ha! Now, 9 years later there is hardly a 26er being sold to anyone over 5' tall. My guess? There will be hardly a single road bike being sold in 5 years from now without disc brakes. We'll see!
Anyway, yesterday I got out for a quick ride around town and up and down the local gravel roads. My route for the day: from West Asheville->Clingman->Biltmore->Charlotte->Macon->Old Toll->Sunset->Patton Mountain->Town Mountain->Webb Cove->Beaverdam->Merrimon->Weaver->Riverside->Craven->Waynesville.

Can anyone give me a Strava tip? I created a segment a while back (from the top of Town Mountain to the bottom of Webb Cove) but whenever I do that section it does not show up on my achievements. Any help?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Good thing it's elastic!

Erinna and Zoe went to a friend's house last night and I found myself with the opportunity to ride. I thought of North Mills and a few other options but decided to stop by the BioWheels closing party then onward to Kitsuma. Jody F was at BW and I convinced him to leave and hit the trails with me. After a surprisingly quick derailleur swap at his house we were back in the Jeep and headed to Kitsuma and beyond.

We started at the gate at Mills Creek with lights off. It took a while to get used to but we rode without lights all the way to where the singletrack pitches upward.

The climb up Kitsuma was painful but over quickly. It took a few minutes to get my head in the game for the descent but once I was on the bike I was able to hold Jody's wheel for minutes at a time.
At the bottom we surveyed our options and decided on climbing Heartbreaker to Star Gap as an out-and-back. The climb up to the railroad was harder than it should have been but the switchbacks afterwards were more fun than they should have been. We almost cleaned every one between the two of us. Somewhere along the way Jody lost control and was over the edge. It was a pretty good wreck, I guess, because he rung his bell pretty well.

Despite that we were at Star Gap in pretty good time and took an extended breather there.

I led out for a while on the descent but it was obvious that I was holding up Jody so I let him by. The switchbacks were just as much fun going down as they were going up and we were quickly back at the tracks and then Mill Creek.

It was lights-off for the entirety of Mill Creek which was a blast. It's not the fastest way to go but it was a great way to make an otherwise mundane gravel road climb a bit more fun. Thanks for getting out Jody! I'm glad I was able to pull you away from the party.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Boy, Man.

Fast. Fast. Fast. Today I felt Fast. Spencer up? Fast. Trace down? Fast. 5001 up? I am mortal, but Fast. Bear Branch down? Super Fast. 5000 up? Well, let's just say I was in the big ring for a while. Fast. Am I as Fast as you? probably not. Was that ride Fast for me? Fuck yeah.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The hardest 14 miles in Pisgah

First I called Mike R. and asked if he would be into getting on the bike early on Sunday morning and he was game. Then Mike B said he was in, too. 0730 at Mr. Pete's for the classic Big Nasty. Mike B was at my house a couple minutes after 7 and we were actually on time to meet up with not only Mike R but Kris K and Ben P, too. Little did I know that Matt R was going to meet us at Smoker's Cove too.
Our route for the day: Black->Buckwheat->Bennett->*walk*Pressley Gap->Black back to the cars.
More later.