Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Missed the window... missed the turn

Thursday morning I was heading out to meet up with Sean for our mountain adventures.  As I was about to get on 277 I realized I left the garmins by the computer!! YIKES!  So I busted a quick turn and back to the house.  No biggie (I thought) as there was nary a car in sight.  Run in, grab the computer and back on the road... to hit every light and battle traffic.  Apparently when I left (the first time) I was in the sweet spot before commuter traffic.  With the turn around and re-start I was in commuter traffic.


Got up to Sean's a little later than I had anticipated, but really no big deal because we weren't on any hard set schedule.  On the ride out things weren't looking as nice as the weathermen had promised.  It wasn't raining, but it looked like it could.  I kept reassuring Sean (and myself) that it was merely misting and everything would be fine.  It never did rain for real, but it indeed did "mist" a bit while riding (and had apparently rained earlier, thus the slick roots and mud) - maybe I should be a weatherman?

On the ride out it was also determined that this was a pretty easy drive and many more (frequent) trips will need to be had.  At the conclusion of our trip it was vowed that (at least for the NC boys) we would at least be back out quarterly.  I'm thinking we can do better than that as it is close enough (at least for Sean and I) to hit it up for even just a day trip.

Sean and I were the first to hit the area so we hit up Pisgah.  As I mentioned earlier, I did some internetal investigations and found us a ride.  As we were driving through Brevard on the way to the trailhead we passed a bike shop - do we need to stop in for anything?  Nah.  I had directions for what trails to take - we should be all good.  Ok, first rule of riding Pisgah - have a map.  This being a weekend of dick and fart jokes, camp fires, beers and the Kraken there were no rules... so we hit the trails with no map (and of course no cell service to retrieve a map if needed).

For the most part it wasn't hard to follow the route.  BUT, there were two turns that did prove confusing.  The first was when the mileage listed didn't seem to align with our mileage ridden... took a little backtracking and logic to determine what to do, but we prevailed without too much trouble.

"mother f***en waterfall" we passed after finding our way back on trail

The second came towards the end of the ride when the directions indicated a left turn around a gate onto an unnamed fire road....  as we were bombing down a service road we did see a gate and fire road around the mileage our turn should be, but this one was labeled 471D (all other turns on our list were labeled as unnamed or indicated their trail name/number) so we figured this couldn't be our turn.

Instead we enjoyed the downhill speeds and actually saw a black coyote on the trail.  Upon first glance it appeared to be a German Shepherd, but as I got closer I realized it was no dog.  It looked up and ran off around the bend, and as I cleared the corner it started off again away from us - eventually ditching the trail into the bush.  The other wildlife we saw was a Wild Turkey.  After it jumped off trail we came upon a hunter just up the trail so I pointed him in the right direction and about a quarter of a mile later gun shots ran out.  I thought about heading back to claim a wing for pointing him toward the bird.

Eventually we realized we are WAY past where the turn should have been and we resign to climbing back up (after already ignoring my first suggestion that we stop and turn around).  The climb back up wasn't that bad and we decided to try out 471D to see if it was in fact our turn... it was.

that little dangle-down on our loop was that damn miss on 471D

Even with the extra climbing it was still a blast.  The singletrack was amazing.  And we only scratched the surface.  Definitely a lot of fun to be had... and a lot of suffering I'm sure.  But beautiful scenery, lot's of climbing, and great trails - can't ask for anything more!

What a GREAT way to start the weekend!!  We headed to camp, cracked a beer, set up camp, showered and got the fire going.  From there others arrived, the Kraken was let loose and eventually sleep was had.  The adventures continue tomorrow - stay tuned.


  1. The Pisgah national forest has hundreds of miles of singletrack in it. Not necessary here in Texas, but a Garmin is probably essential in the North Carolina woods. I had a chance to visit Asheville this year and did the Rough Creek Watershed in Canton on my mountain bike, even saw a black bear!

    Sometimes I'll forget silly little things like that on my rides as well. Unfortunately for me I usually have an hour or two to ride so I have to make due with what my time allows. Great story, happy trails!

  2. Sounds like you had a good time in your visit out to Asheville... def a ton of trails out around there. Thanks for stopping by!! Keep on hitting those trails!