I just got in from a great run. I took it REAL easy to start. Every 10 minutes I’d walk for 2 for the first hour. Total time out: 1:50. Oh, and by starting out slow I fellt like I could run forever. My knee didn’t hurt a bit! Run Club Run, here I come!
Erinna and I just got in from a trail run. Actually, the same exact loop as I did yesterday. Not much to say really except trail is more fun than road, running with Erinna is more fun than not soooooooo, running on trail with Erinna is 1000% more fun than running on the road by myself. I felt like a puss today, my knee had me walking every 15 minutes or so and my stomach was burning from the delicious greasy potato breakfast I made for us earlier in the day…. I’ll need to take a day off after this, but it sure felt great accomplishing two great runs in two days.
Well I went on m first ever trail run today. As I type this my hands are hardly working they are so cold. It was 18 degrees and sunny, some snow onn the ground, a perfect day to be in the woods…. running.
I did the black diamond and blue square trails at Biltmore, probably about 7 miles total, in 1 hour. About 45 minutes in I was starting to feel that pinching feeling in my knee so I had to walk a little bit after that. If I’m going to the Dicky Run Club thing I need to get my ass out there more often, get my knees used to 10+ miles, and learn to pace myself early on in the run. The trail was sooooo much better than the road. Why would it be any different for me? I much prefer to ride my bike in the woods than on the road…. it makes since that running would be the same!
Anyway, It felt great getting out there at all, Iam very happy that I kept it up for a whole hour in this weather….oh, especially considering Erinna and I had a pretty late evening attending a KILLER costume party last night. Thanks Thad!
If today’s ride was any more chill, someone would have taken a nap. We stopped and regrouped, ate, took a breather here and there, stopped and looked at the views, made jokes, talked, and oh yeah, as a group of skilled tech riders, railed every nasty root and rock infested descent we could get our tires on. Big moves were made, big smiles and laughs were abundant. What a great way to spend a Saturday in January. Mike B.and Wes M. arrived at my house around 8:30 and we met up with Mike R. and Eric C. at the PMBAR start/finish at a bit past 9AM. The idea for the day was simply to BE in the woods for as many hours as we could stand it, and that’s exactly what we did.
The route: Black->Club->477->276->475B->225->Daniel->475->Davidson->276 back to the cars
The first trail of the day was Black Mountain. Here is the only photo I took today. (The rest are by Mike B.) Mike R hoofin’ it in the steeps. As always, the picture doesn’t do the terrain justice.
Black starts out as doubletrack that climbs at a reasonable rate. Perfect for a warm-up for a day in Pisgah. soon you realize Black is no kiddie trail…. it gets steeper, and narrowerer, and steeper again. Soon the trail gives way to rocks and waterbars that knock even the best riders off their line. THEN, the trail does it again, gets steeper and more tech once again and after a few miles of being rather warm, the top appears. There are numerous super technical moves, once on the ridge, to be had. I was on FIRE and went for almos every one. Mike B went ahead in the top huge switchbacks with me on his back wheel. He stumbled a little taking the high line and I made the most ballsy pass I’ve attempted in a loooong time by taking the even steeper inside line. I got a chorus of whoops and hollers for that one. Then I almost cleared the ‘Freestyle move’, a 180* turn threading the front wheel through small fins of solid rock… I got it with one quick dab, and after Mike’s prompting even lined up for the skateboard drop…. but chickened out. I still haven’t hit that on the hardtail. Next was the climb over Clawhammer Mountain. After a bit of walking I was out front again for the downhill. I put my foot down twice but otherwise c-l-e-a-n-e-d the tight switchbacks heading into Buckhorn Gap. On to the climb past the shelter… we didn’t regroup until after the notch log drop. Mike B. was aware enough to realize the photo potential and got a couple good shots. I saw him ready and got ‘camera courage’ and bunnyhopped at the top of the drop. I *flew* through the air, landed a little harsh but with a big smile. Here’s Wes at that drop:
The short but annoying climb before Club had us all off our bikes and the descent into Club was one to remember. Mike B. and Wes went ahead and as the rest of us were talking about how great it was to be where we were and how absolutely beautiful the weather was…
we heard a yell from down the trail that made us smile. It was one of those uncontrollable vocal bursts of joy that only mountainbiking can produce. Everything was fine. I took off, made a bit of a sideways jump from here-to-there and found Mike B off the trail… was everything fine? and his front tire completely off the rim. The stans had blown and he was left with a tire that should have had a tube in it…. without. Lucky for him kept it under control and came to a stop unharmed…but not before his front rim was filled with mud. Needless to say, we were going to be there for a little while. We decided it was a perfect time for some lunch.
Another ride, another chance to use adjectives like ‘great’, ‘awesome’, ‘challenging’, and ‘incredible’. The rally time was 8AM at my house and Kris K., Jody F., Mike B, and I hit the trail at 9:15. The route for the day: From Yellow Gap->Laurel->Pilot->1206->S. Mills River Rd->5018->Horse Cove->Squirrel Gap->Laurel Creek->Bradley Creek->5015 back to Yellow Gap.
Time out: 6 freaking hours. Distance: 25.4 miles. Gain: 6711′.
In case those numbers don’t add up for you, We were on very very technical trails…. and never ending gravel/grassy roads of uphill death.
For now a bunch of photos:
Wet and slick tech section on Laurel…. best to walk it today:
Kris on Pilot:
Winter in Pisgah:
Mike B in a Rhodo tunnel:
There is very little color out there right now other than mosses and evergreens:
More Winter in Pisgah:
Everyone ‘rocked’ the HumVee section:
Thanks for coming out / getting me out guys! Great ride!