Sunday, October 26, 2014

Parked at Curtis Creek, climb to the Parkway, onto Buncombe Horse Range, climb back to the parkway, Heartbreak Ridge and Jared's Creek Road. Big MTB day for me, good to be back!

10/25/14 Starla and I toured Lenoir, Blowing Rock and 221 to 181. Awesome day in the High Country.

After Starla and I stopped by Luna Cycles and Shawn readjusted my bike, we walked around down town Lenoir and checked out the "lay of the land". We both liked the quaint small town vibe. We wanted to eat at the City Cafe but they had closed at noon. We have a coupon and think we'll be back to have breakfast there. 
I found out I really like Lenoir and the bike shop. From the north side of Morganton, Lenoir is only about 15 miles away. Over the last 16 years I've passed through the town on my way to MerleFest,  or the Brushy Mountain trails at either Kerr Scott Lake, Over Mountain Victory Trail, and Warrior Creek (in that order) but never stopped in Lenoir more than to gas up or buy some motor oil at the car parts store. I don't think I had ever been to the downtown section before last week. Now that I've found a cool bike shop that I can make it to after work, I'm sure I'll be spending more time in Lenoir. 

We stopped on the way up hwy 321 for a few photos. Table Rock, Chimneys, and Hawksbill off in the distance and reversed from our normal view in Burke County.
 First stop after Lenoir was downtown Blowing Rock. It was a zoo. They were getting ready for a Halloween parade and chaos ensued. We stopped in about 20 little shops and each one thought very highly of their merchandise, that much was obvious by the numbers on the little tags.
We made the most of it and walked from one end of downtown to the other, dodging through the throng of people. When we finally left town we headed out on Hwy 221 towards the parkway and an area that I am much more familiar with. Nice views via Parkway and highways 221 and 181 all the way back to Morganton.

View from 221, peaking thru the trees

Blue Ridge Parkway Linn Cove Viaduct

Saturday, October 25, 2014

10/24/14 Afterwork Kitsuma with Johnny Calhoun. Shakedown Ride after having Luna Cycles install a new drive train on the Superlight.

 New cassette, Crank/bottom bracket, chain, back wheel and cables. This was my shakedown ride after Luna Cycles in Lenoir got my bike hooked up. Everything was shifting well and I was extremely happy with the job performed but had a technical right before the park at the bottom of the single track. My front derailleur cable had come loose and I could not shift out of the small ring on the crank. No biggie, JC had a allen wrench set (left mine in my road bike seat pouch-not where I needed it today) and we made the necessary adjustments to get me back up Old 70 with no further issues. Back to Lenoir for a little fine tuning today - great guys, I am sure that they will not let me down. Other than the allen screw coming loose (these things happen - it is MTBing afterall), a GREAT job by Luna Cycles.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Road Bike Rides

I've been doing a few road bike rides recently. Mostly the 30 mile loop starting from my house and going around Lake James. Not epic but some great views.

10/14: Kayak Wilson Creek, 10/18: MTB to Harper Creek and technical difficulties

I got a low flow but fun run as it was on the rise. Paddled with Russ and Sven who I had seen around but never paddled with before.

Saturday I decided to do an after work mountain bike ride out in Wilson Creek Wilderness Area but ended up with a severely out of round wheel. I hike-a-biked  out of the woods and rode the last few miles on the dirt road to my van. I got back just as dark set in. There were 3 sketchy drunk dudes hanging out in front of my vehicle but right after I got back they stopped their arguing and headed out. Not sure that my van would not have been broken into if I had gotten there 10 minutes later.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Heartbreak Ridge with Johnny Calhoun

 We parked at Curtis Creek, took a left and climbed over 3,000' up to the Parkway and onto the top of Heartbreak Ridge which is about 5,000' above sea level. Big climb then a lot of down hill fun: