Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 3 - Slate Rock Creek Trail to Pilots Cove

Monday was supposed to be another day of big riding, planned on doing 2 rides of about 7 miles. I woke up a bit later than originally intended, but as a vacation, an extended lie-in in my comfy cot was approved by me.

Good breakfast later I gathered my gear loaded the car up and headed up the mountain. The ride down FS 1206 was a bit longer than I realized but after going to far I found a suitable parking spot and headed out back down the road.

Making the right I started the next 4 miles ascending, most of it very ridable except for down trees. Even made several tricky climbs that I was pleasantly surprised about. Crossed 2 amazing waterfalls. And then I went North. Missing a left turn, up some VERY steep trails. Pushing again. Lovely. Eventually after 2 miles of pushing on and off I got back on rideable trails heading south. Taking some cool photo's. Descending some wicked stuff. Stop to take more pictures, huh. No camera. Camera bag is upside down and unzipped. Back up the trail I go on foot so as to not miss the damn thing. 1/2 a mile back I find it laying sadly on the trail. Descending a bit further I hit Slate Rock.

Slate Rock and the views descending from there are truly impressive and the switchbacks scary. The first few have cliffs on the outside. Rolled a REALLY nice granite outcrop that you hit by skipping 1 switchback. Then down and down I go. 14 Switchbacks. Somehow ended up off the trail again after that adding another mile back west. After a slight misroute going the wrong way up the forest road I was super happy to see my car. A slow drive back out and I was cooked. Was going to hit Sliding Rock on 276 heading back down but my arms were scratched up and I was tired. Back to camp, change into my suite and I rode up to the river. Cold water and anti-poison ivy soap and a beer. Ahhh. Relaxation.

Finished the day with not so great bagged dinner, just add water. Points for easy, but A LOT of salt and not so great flavor. Oh well. Live and learn. Enjoyed some more beer, the Old Leghumper Porter was still under impressive. The Old Speakeasy IPA was still my favorite.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Photo's for Day 3 thru 5 now up

Photo's from Day's 3, 4 and 5 are now up on flickr.


Day 3 - Slate Rock Creek-Pilot Cove Trails in Pisgah
Day 4 - Dupont State Forest Self Epic
Day 5 - Dupont SF - Return for the rock and new trail.

Day Blog to come.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pisgah 2011 - Day 1 and 2

Day 1 was as previously noted driving from the DC area down towards lovely Asheville, NC. A late start and rain on I-66 and too much soda kept me from making it fully to Asheville this night. I blame the cornucopia of crap available at Sheetz. I'm a sucker for make your own shakes. And coffee drinks. Almost got some great sunset pics just was a bit late and they didn't turn out, but I did get a few good ones at various stopping points and a few while driving. Not a terrible drive at all. The hotel (my high school job alma matter, Days Inn) kinda blew but at that point I didn't care. I was run down.

Day 1 Photo's HERE!.

Day 2 - Get up, eat a minimal craptacular free breakfast of cereal and head back out. With minimal fuss and muss I make it safely and sane around Asheville around 9 AM and head south to Pisgah Forest and follow my GPS directly to the Davidson Recreation Area/Campground. My home base till Friday. A quick check in and I'm rolling to my new home, spot #103 on Poplar Loop. No generators on this loop! Good thing I left mine at home, oh well no compressor then either to air up mattresses and tyres.

Open the back of the truck up and start unloading. A quick dance of weirdness and I manage to setup the tent again by myself, thanks to El Hefe (Stoner) for warning me that it takes practice. It's technically a 2 person job to setup and is much easier with 4 hands for sure. Get everything snugged down and time to haul in gear.

New camp bed is awesome but takes up ton of room! Wow! Gear does fit nicely underneath though! +1 Setup cooler and cooking area and it's time to be off. A quick change into gear, water in camelback, tires checked, book packed (Off the Beaten Path, Western NC, Pisgah!) and I'm off. Decide to roll from the campground as I'm planning on doing shorter/easier loop of Pressley Gap, 9.3 Miles total from campground entrance.

I blast away and start the climb up 477 towards the Horse Stables towards Clawhammer Rd. At the horse stables I miss that the turn off it hidden in the back of the parking lot and continue about a mile to far up 477. WHOOPS! Book confirms I've done something wrong, back down I go to the horse stables! Wheee, that was fast as hell!

A quick look shows my error and I'm off to grinding again. 1.1 Miles now till the turn off for Maxwell Cove Rd. 3 Miles later I realize, oops another mistake, guess I'll stick with it and end up doing Clawhammer, a 10 miler from the Horse Stables! Jeez this 5-6 mile climb BLOWS! I BLOW! BIKING BLOWS! Argh. Level out and meet a rider that passed me a while back, he's smartly resting. We chat a bit and he points out a few neat areas to check out and says the trail ahead is pretty good but technical.

By technical he must have meant everyone pushes it with it's repetitive foot to two foot high water bars and hairpin turns along with some down trees. UGH. PUSHING BLOWS! And to make things perfect, thats thunder I now hear in the distance. PUSH FASTER DAMN IT!
Eventually I reach the first summit and I've a beautiful view to the north and see the storm is off at the next range. Probably 10-20 miles away. I've got some time, but not a ton. Start riding again, challenging but not impossible. ARGH who put this rock here a nice scramble up about 8 feet of rock face and I finally make the final peak! YAH! Awesome view to south but storm is coming in/getting louder now damn it and I'm on the wrong side of the mountain. Didn't even stop there for pictures, hones it was a super HAZY day as you can see from the photo's I'll link to below.

Start rolling DOWN. Some serious downs. Time to drop the saddle downs. No QR on the seatpost clamp blows. Tools out, seat lowered. Rumbles in the background - DOWN We GO! Wheee! OH SHIT!!!! Wheee! Maybe FS makes sense here, the other guy had a nice Santa Cruz! Whee! And I'm back on the REAL south side of the mountain heading south, some burly descents thru some very eroded trails. Lots of growth too, my legs are already itchy/stinging. Ugh. Hit a crazy intersection. Book time! AHHH this is Maxwell Cove RD! More Rd/Trail down, WHEE!!!! Gotta really watch your speed. Left on Clawhammer and continue on! Wheee! Just Over 2 hours back to the Horse Pen! That makes me an advanced Pusher! WOW!

And back on down and back to camp. 17 Miles, 2:05 Moving, 3:13 Total Time. 2600 FT estimated climbing. Garmin Connect Link HERE!

And to the creek to rinse of itchy bad stuff, ahh the joys of 55 degree water after crazy hard riding. For me thats epic, 1000 ft in a day is a big days, sometimes in 3 hours at Wake-o-Tink I end with 800 feet. In 20 miles.

An awesome dinner, a couple good beers (Bells Porter and Old Speakeasy IPA!) and I'm sacked out at 9:30 or 10PM. Tomorrow's gonna be another great day!

Day 2 Photo's HERE!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Trip-Timeline - Who needs a TARDIS?

So more almost for my own notes, I present my timeline for my trip in rough outline form so when I write each days worth of notes, my beer dulled memory can fill in the gaps with most excellent made up tales! Hooray BEER!

Saturday 11th - Late start almost 4pm by the time the truck was loaded, beer was iced, and gas was filled. Horrendous rainstorm as I drove thru Man-ass-ass. Due to hunger and pitstops I ended up stopping just before midnight near Mars Hill, NC, north of Asheville.

Sunday 12th - Drove the rest of the way and setup Camp at the Davidson River Campground, rolled out a bit after noon for the first ride, intending to do an easier one ended up doing Clawhammer. 17 miles total.

Monday 13th - Pilot Cove and Slate Rock - Ended up with 10 miles. Not sure how on a 7 mile loop.

Tuesday 14th - Dupont Epic - 22+ Miles of fun and waterfalls.

Wednesday 15th - Dupont Part Duex - Rerode Cedar Rock and New Trail plus a few others - 10 Miles.

Thursday 16th - Asheville and Biltmore - Very cool town, friendly people, good beer at the Wedge!

Friday 17th - Blue Ridge Parkway Drive - Camp Breakdown - Green Lantern - Back to Mars Hill in prep for Big Ivy/Coleman Boundary Ride

Saturday - Big Ivy Ride - Mainly Fireroad as I had no map :( GPS also finally had battery death - Near 10 miles.

Will be adding to the Flickr stream tonight a few good ones up for now that should be visible in the side bar.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Asheville is Good, Pisgah is Awesome, DSF is Awesome

Title says it all. The area is in general really cool, with damn friendly people and some AMAZING Riding. Those are some mountains there. 10K climbing in 1 week. 3X my previous best week. Accounting for GPS distance loss probably 75 miles of riding.

Pisgah is challenging as hell, dupont has some amazing trails and the length of ride you can put together makes it challenging as hell! Next time I am gonna hit Tsali which is supposed to be like Dupont but less service/fireroad.

A Full Suspension bike might be advisable. Even with 4-5 inches of travel. Of the few riders I saw out I only saw 1 other hardtail and no single speeds.

More on the trails/etc as I decompress and process photo's.

A LOT of pushing for me also, less next time is a major goal.

Asheville is a great town with awesome people and amazing Beer Culture.

Monday, June 06, 2011


Tapering a bit in prep for the big week next week down at Pisgah/Western NC.

Currently plan is to leave Saturday after work and drive till I'm tired. Hoping to make it most of the way so I can hit an early epic on Sunday doing probably Big Ivy that day I think. MOnday will be 2 shorter rides or 1 maybe then a bit ride on Tuesday and so forth.

Rode Lake Fairfax last week and it was good till the tubeless upfront blew on a piddle rock.

Wakefield and Accotink with casual barely gets my heart rate up anymore. In 2 hours i burned 2/3'rds of what 40 minutes of chasing Jason and Camp at Lk Fairfax.

Good day at Cabin John yesterday me and 3 helpers built a new bridge on the Tuckerman Rd to Goya section leaving 1 final crossing to fix, however due to its potential length we can't build the bridge due to county rules, so in the near future we are going to do some armoring/shaping I suppose.

Today I practice tent setup work.

Then maybe bottle beer tomorrow. Got new bottles just need to run them in the dishwasher on the sanitize setting. New b33r kits should be here today!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

IPA Notes

Mt. Hood Bittering
AA 6.1%
1 Oz

Mt. Hood Aroma
AA 6.1%
1/2 oz

Cascade Dry
AA 5.0%
2 Oz

Not sure if I posted this before so I am now.