Saturday, June 30, 2007

Enough rain for a good soaking on a MTB ride but not enough for Wilson Creek to run!

Glen Alpine Epic Adventures
Parked at lower Upper Creek, changed a tube, and started climbing. I had to stop for the view on the way. Fought the bugs and it was pretty muggy up on the knob.
The rain held out while I did the big O but it started to come down heavy when I was riding up Craig creek Rd. It really cooled things down. After the rain died down, I got some shots of the creek on the way up.
They are almost finished with the road but its still closed for motorized traffic.I had fun taking pics of this fellow. Climbed back up to the knob to see it closer to dusk. I wasnt dissapointed with the view and it had cooled off significantly. Back at the ranch: Some pre 4th sparkler activities.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Curtis Creek / Newberry Creek climbs

Glen Alpine Epic Adventures
Good training ride this evening. I got to Curtis Creek and almost turned around due to the light rain and a few puddles of water on the road. Luckily I met Beth who pointed out that it should cool the temperature down and that the rain might just pass over. She was right on both accounts. Thanks to her for the "good call", it motivated me to ride. I parked at the campsite right before the bridge that crosses Newberry Creek. The climb up Curtis Creek road to the Parkway was long as usual but it was good to have some company to talk to and pass the climb. We actually saw a baby bear on the climb up. I saw the mama bear jump in the woods and then the baby popped out and looked a little confused - I had left the camera at the car due to the rain so I didnt get a picture - next time...
After we made it to the Parkway, Beth had an appointment to make and so decided to bomb back down Curtis Creek Rd. I decided to keep climbing up the parkway for a few miles. There was one view that I saw and it deserved a picture but since I didnt have the camera I'll just try to describe it with the help of a picture I took at the same overlook when Steven and I were riding up there in early May. This is the view point.
The mountain tops were clear and majestic as always but the valleys were full of a lake of low laying clouds. It was beautiful. Sorry I can only describe it.
After a few miles on the Parkway, I finally got to Noyb trail that runs along Brier Ridge and decided to take that back down. I still cant believe that my tires didnt go flat - there is a good reason it is called Brier Ridge. I had only one extra tube and had depleted my patch kit of patches yesterday when I salvaged about 4 old tubes, one of which was in my back tire (it would have been a good idea to pack a couple of those salvaged tubes but I didnt). I did pick my bike up and carry it through a few areas that were full of briers - a little due diligence. By the time I dropped back down close to my parking place, I decided I should climb some more. I had enough light in the sky, air in my tires and some energy left so I started up Newberry Creek Rd. I climbed all the way up the forest service road, past the gate, up, up, up and to the point that it turns into single track. Sweet climb and much improved from early spring when the gravel and dirt they added was still loose - it is nice and packed down now. It got more and more grassy as I made it closer to the top but still a good climb. Then I just bombed back down. A good evening ride.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom! Big Saturday Ride.

Brotha Man Bob and I did an ORAMM lite training ride. We started at the Old Fort Park instead of down town Old Fort and we didnt ride Kitsuma at the end. Otherwise we rode the same course as the race. We put in about 52 miles.
This was our "big stop" after Kitsuma, Mill Creek up to Star Gap, Curtis Creek climb, cross the parkway and down the forest road then a little ways up the climb on the other side.
Like I've said before, sometimes da feets just gots to breathe.
Back on track up and onto Heartbreak Ridge. It was good to be on the Ridge.
Bob representing for Alabama!
Couple of snake viewings. This one had some cool curves and was laying on Old Hwy 70.The next snake was on the trail right before you breakout onto Curtis Creek. If you zoom in on this shot you can see his forked tongue = cool.Back at the Old Fort picnic area. 52 miles, thousands of feet of climbing and descending, four flats (two each - I noticed my last one when I unloaded my bike at the house), and lots of fun.Here is a shot of Johnny Calhoun out at the Great Divide race. Keep it goin Chapel Hill/Hillbilly, we're rootin' for you.

I got the picture from a link off of MTBreviews GDR post in the Endurance Racing forum.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Ridin' with Brotha Man

Bob is in town and that means its time to get down to business for some serious fun. AKA put the hammer down!
We rode all up in there and then some.We started late but knocked out the 20 mile figure 8. View from the knob. You can see the smoke from the new forest fire along the ridge line left of table rock. This is about the fourth significant forest fire in the area already this year. Hopefully we'll get a good drenching rain soon to moisten things up.Didnt stop for many photos due to our late start but I got this one showin' Brotha Man smoothin' it on SH. One note that I am very proud of: I made it up the steep single track climb on Sinkhole that follows the big tree ride down hill section - my first time making that climb but hopefully not my last.
Tomorrow: early morning bike shop visit to figure out this "ghost shifting" issue that keeps plaguing me then BIG ride to get ready for ORAMM. Another note: fixed the shifting issue myself Saturday morning by cleaning chain and taking each link and flexing - shifting excellent since then.

Thursday: Double helping of Kitsuma

Kitsuma was in sweet shape. The only thing missing was a hot meal waiting for us in the picnic area at the end of the ride. I thought G had called ahead and worked something out.
The views as always were spectacular, although a bit lush this time of year.
The gate at the top of old Hwy 70 had been painted, extended, and had some text added. The strange thing was that there was nothing posted from the bottom, just this at the top. We figured it was legal to ride up from the bottom, just not down from the top.
G fixed that. Note that bikes are allowed in this shot:
Some shots from the trail: G on one of the last pitches up to the top.At the bottom of the steep stuff.What a fun trail. Ridge line riding.A little Rhody bloomage going off.
Gaston and Layla will have to id this wild flower for me when they return from Alaska. It was growing on the side of the road on the way up old Hwy 70.

What a nice after work double.

Wednesday afterwork 181 ride with Chris and Susan

Glen Alpine Epic Adventures
Fun shuttle ride with Chris and Susan. Sorry I forgot the camera! I missed some excellent opportunities for some nice pics.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday in Wilson Creek Wilderness

Another excellent day in the Wilson Creek Wilderness Area. I met up with Josh for a 7:00 a.m. roll out from Upper Creek. Great time to start a ride. Since I finally bit the bullet and registered for the Off Road Assault on Mt Mitchell a few minutes ago I guess I better start training. One training regimen I'm going to attempt is to do at least one ride each weekend starting at 7:00 a.m. Another is to do bigger rides: 50+ milers. They finally posted the Captain Thurmond race results here:

Good news from the Forest service guy blocking the road at Gingercake Acres. They are getting control of the fires and he is opening the road this evening at 6:00 p.m.

Now onto todays ride. It turned out to be a 40+ miler. Some good pictures of a couple of salamanders pushed it over the top for me. Thanks for pointing them out Josh!

What incredible colors. Here is her brother.
Josh on berm #2 Raspberry Ridge.
Me on berm #2. I love this shot. It has a psychedelic effect.
Josh at the falls:

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Deuce on DuPont

DuPont Slick Rock Rattler
It took me about 1 hour and 40 minutes to get to DuPont from Glen Alpine. I must admit it was well worth the drive. Only my second time out there. Bob, Sara and I had an awesome Saturday ride. Thanks for leading the way Brotha Man Bob. You mapped out an excellent course.
There is a lot to take pictures of at Dupont and I got a lot of good pictures, if you like that sorta thing. Bob & Sara, sorry for subjecting you two to so many photos, I couldnt help myself.
Bridal Veil Falls series:
Creek crossing. This guy was right in the middle of the trail. I had jumped off of my bike about 20 feet before getting to him to take a picture of Sara riding the slick rock and the scenery in the background and I didnt even see him until Sara rode up and pointed him out.We gave him a wide berth.I managed to persuade him to move off the trail and we warned the hikers sunbathing about 50 yards down the trail.
DuPont is a good time. Trails are in great shape, slick rock, views, technical riding, its all good!
Climbin' slick rock.
We made it to the top of Big Rock!
The weather was getting a little bit iffy but it held out for the three of us. We took a little bit of down time and had a snack up on top of the Big Rock.
Bob and Sara had to go get ready for a show this evening but Bob gave me some suggestions of some more sweet riding. I got in maybe 6 more solo miles but then the bottom fell out and a few thunder claps felt like they were pretty close so I busted a move back to the parking lot. I'll be back fo sho'.