Friday, August 30, 2013

'It would be less humid if it was raining'

I got out this morning with Mike B. for an out and back on Heartbreak Ridge. The weather was not the best... Mid 80's with humidity that made it feel like the earth was actively steaming. It was like riding in a sauna.
I led out the climb and was feeling excellent until Star Gap. My heartrate had gone through the roof, I was too hot, and I guess I am still dehydrated and had gone out too hard. Mike was ready to pass at the gap, took off, and I could not respond.
The climb after Star was memorable because we ascended into a cloud. The lower overlook was a foggy whiteout. The short descent reminded me to not be careless regarding sight distance. It was pea soup thick with visibility at way less than 100 feet. We picked our way up the super technical sections and I would catch glimpses of Mike just as he was rounding the next corner.. and I could feel a bit of fatigue setting in.
When we had gained enough elevation the cloud that was settled on top of us finally let go of its rain and the cooling effect was an excellent boost... but by the time we made it to the upper overlook I was ready to turn back around. It was then very wet. My skin was cold but my core was still very hot. I was not looking for another 20 minutes of very hard climbing right then.
Mike took the lead for the descent with Maximus Supremous following. I wish I had a video of what came next. High speed descending on Heartbreak following Mike and Max the dog. Mike was feeling good and the little white dog was so fast it was absolutely amazing. He just hung onto Mike's wheel. He would bank around the corners and, to my eyes, it looked like the dog was nearly horizontal to the ground in the turns. So fast. So awesome.
It took just under 90 minutes (including stops) to get to the top and less than 30 minutes to get back down. There really are only a handful of things that I think are better than a good ride in Pisgah and today, we managed to have a good ride in Pisgah.
Thanks for getting out on a Friday, Mike!

Just before the start: BANG! Stansposion! I need a new pressure gauge on my floor pump.

Huh. I had always wondered why they were called 'copper'heads. Now I know. I hadn't noticed before.

Maximus Supremous the Amazing High-Speed Wonderdog

Mike B. at the bottom of Heartbreak. I had just realized I hadn't taken a single ride shot. This will do.

We stopped at the creek and cooled off, cleaned off, and relaxed for just long enough, afterwards.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

the Pisgah Plunge double shuttle

 The cast of characters: Clint S., Trent B., Jody F., Mike R., Chad M., Shanna P., and myself.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Savage Cross 2013: chronicles of suffering, vomiting on my shoes, and a relaxing, restorative car ride home.

 I am almost ready to relive the experience and pain of the 2013 Savage Cross...

but not quite yet.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Is this training?

Perfect for the gravel today. Worst possible for the pavement. 60*s, fresh rain.
...Brand new conditions...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Set the gearshift for the highgear of your WOOO!

Super-fast feeling quick all-road ride this afternoon. Erinna is headed out camping so I have Zoe all weekend, this was my last chance for a ride until next week and I made good work of it. From West Asheville->Helen's Bridge->Tunnel->Chunns->Vance Gap->Town Mtn->Patton Mtn->Old Toll->Town Mtn-> back to West Asheville.

I had a very scary moment coming down Patton Mtn. I was 'gettin my Strava on' was really hammering hard, slammed into the big ring while standing, and threw the chain. The cranks ceased rotating and my back wheel came off the ground. I got my foot off the pedal, the back wheel down, and I smashed into the ditch. I came out of it OK but.... damn.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


This morning I met up with Jody F., Dawn C., and Ben W for an out-and-back on Heartbreak Ridge. We started at the geyser and were on the bikes at 10:25. The pace was very strong all day. Jody led out for the start of the climb and cleaned every switchback. I took over setting the pace after a quick break at Star Gap and after a while it was just Dawn and I out front. I let her by and by the time we were nearing the field it was everything I could do to keep her in sight.
We took a nice long breather at the field, looked for game cameras, and talked about how Fall was in there air. Then we turned around and went back down the way we had just climbed.
The descent was absolutely spectacular. The trail conditions were perfect today and the work BRA did before last month's race cleared a corridor like I've never seen up there before. Jody told me to lead the descent so I took it. I was feeling a little apprehensive at the top but got into the groove once we were into the meat of the downhill. The GPS says max 24 mph on trail, so, that's not bad. The biggest surprise of the day for me was Dawn's descending skills. I thought it was Jody behind me for a while but no, Dawn was keeping up even after a few warp speed moments where I had to tell myself to pull it back in a little bit, I was going far too fast for a Thursday day ride where I was playing hookey from work.
We regrouped at the bottom, rode back to the cars, then parted ways as it seemed we all had things to attend to, seeing that it was a Thursday afternoon....
Thanks for getting out there Jody, Dawn, and Ben! That was awesome. WOOOO!!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Patton Mtn. KOM (again).

I was off work early today and decided a ride was in order. I didn't have much time and my legs having been feeling extremely fatigued after Friday night's effort and Saturday and Sunday's manual labor around the house. So, it was decided, a quick spin around town, including two of the urban gravel roads.

From West Asheville I went downtown past city/county plaza, up College to Helen's Bridge, down through Kennilworth to Tunnel to Chunn's Cove, Up Vance Gap, Up Town Mountain, Down Patton Mtn, Sunset, Down Old Toll, Macon, back through downtown, got the green at Clingman, over the bridge and up Waynesville and I could have been done but.... was not. I took Haywood to 191 to the transfer station and to Hominy Creek Greenway, then State, Hanover, and back home. 23.1/1922'/1:46.

Oh, and I got back the strava King of the Mountain on Patton Mountain Road from Ian B. I was gunning for it but did not think I had it at the bottom. Conditions: mid 80*'s, sunny, lowish humidity, and the gravel roads were dry but not quite dusty.

Saturday, August 3, 2013