Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The riding

Saturday the plan was to hit DuPont.  As we gathered in the practically empty parking lot (which was completely incomprehensible that more people wouldn't be out in such a perfect day) talks about the route started.  One route was mentioned and everyone seemed happy to jump on board with it so we hit the trails as one big group.  We had done the same route on a previous trip, so I was pretty familiar with where we were going.  The trails were great, if not a little dry.  We stopped to check out the water falls and cemetery and whatnot.  But I was bummed that my butterflies - although visiting with us as we rode, were not out en masse to great me like last time.

Perhaps they were frightened the legend of my capture of their king on my last visit?

Thanks to TheMutt for putting his life in danger to capture this epic battle National Geographic style.

While out on that very same rock a singular blue butterfly did come out from the trees and landed on my arm.  Unfortunately I did not have my phone with me to document some actual Butterfly Kingness.  We continued on and finished down Ridgeline - where everyone had a blast!!

The groups broke up here.  Some headed into town to grab some lunch, while others were itching to ride some more.  A bunch of riders headed to the other side of DuPont to get some more riding in, and a small group of us decided Ridgeline needed another go.  We climbed up Jim Branch where Good Guy Greg nearly cleaned the bottom rock section twice.  Ending, again, on Ridgeline is about the best way to cap off a ride out there.

Sunday Tom Tom was headed out to meet some fast guys, I immediately excluded myself from that group as I only brought a 20 out for the weekend - great for DuPont, not so great (depending) on your route in Pisgah.  PLUS I was fully rigid, which can also suck depending on your descent in Pisgah.  Even the route that TheMutt was talking about had me wondering if I would skip the ride and hit up a trail on the way home myself.  I finally just sucked it up and joined the clawhammer/black mountain/thrift cove ride.  I figured I'd be ok on the climbing, it was fast descending over rocky roots goodness that would have my hands and arms screaming.  

I kinda enjoyed the climbing, although I'm sure much of the group did not enjoy the fact that I had to push the pace a little bit in order to stay comfortably on top of my gearing.  We stopped at the crest of every climb (pr at intersections) to regroup anyway.  We weren't out there for speed, but for fun.  But it was a good group of riders so we kept things going pretty well.  We climbed for a long time... over 6 miles by the time we got to the very top.  

Little Miss Sunshine finishing the last bit of climbing before it was all mostly downhill from there.

The first section of Black was filled with rocks, roots, and drops.  So that part actually wasn't too bad on me as speeds weren't excessive.  I did have to walk a couple as this was my first time on this decent and I didn't want to get in over my head on some of the drops without suspension.  But I enjoyed the technical challenge of picking lines and trying to ride as much as I could.  We regrouped briefly and Good Guy Greg asked me how my arms were doing.  I explained that I was feeling good, but when things are fast and rocky/rooty (Like Heartbreak is), that is when the chatter starts getting to me - so thankfully the trail wasn't like.  And... I seemingly spoke to early, the next section of Black was exactly that - fast.  Luckily it wasn't covered with leaved like Heartbreak had been when I rode it, so I could actually see and prepare for the rocks and roots I'd be hitting.  But I was thankful to hit the intersection with Thrift Cove.  Thrift cove would be a wide open and faster decent than continuing on with Black.  We enjoyed the speeds, but had to be mindful to check around blind corners as we had met two groups of riders climbing the trail towards the top.  

TheMutt was leading the way and I heard his bell ringing as we came around a corner.  Good Guy Greg was splitting a couple so I slowed up as much as I could without skidding out (we were flying).  The guy was on the left side of the trail facing the rock wall (peeing I presumed) the woman had left their yellow bag in the very middle of the trail, and she was standing on the right side of the trail eating trail mix it seemed.  A very odd scene indeed.  I said "how are you?" as I passed and let back off the brakes to try to catch back up.  The rest of the trail was uneventful - if you consider nice kickers, berms, and speed uneventful!!  It was a blast.  

Again, a great way to end a ride - and another perfect example of the magic of mountain biking.  Even after climbing for over 6 miles but the time we were back down I had forgotten all about the climbing and was ready for more!!  (clearer heads prevailed and we did not further torture our legs that day)

As we regrouped at the bottom, the rest of the crew informed us by the time they passed the couple the guy was full on squatting... VERY interested spot to choose to poop.  I'd say OFF the trail in some brush might just be a better choice for all involved, but hey, that's just me!

Great day indeed!!  We hit up a local Mexican place to eat and then we disbanded back to Charlotte.  I would also like to mention that breakfast and dinner was provided for us by the Trailblazers on Saturday, and breakfast again on Sunday.  I managed to snake a turkey and cheese sammich from TheMutt at DuPont (I had planned on a gummy worm/clif bar and beer lunch myself) so food wise I was pretty much set all weekend!  

If you are local, I'd strongly recommend that you consider joining us on our next camping trip - it was a great time all around!  



  1. What do you think of Pisgah? Is it pretty amazing? How would you compare it to CT/MA riding?

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  2. Pisgah is awesome! Great views and trails that will keep you honest. More elevation than CT/MA and similar (possibly more) in terms of rootiness/rockiness.