Been here a week. Got a good thing going for living as I am sleeping in the dirt parking lot of the Hub and a secret handshake shower. Added in is their own on site tavern that attracts and hold way beer drinkers like mtn bikers doing nutrition recovery. Gathers lots of mtn bikers. Weather is unusually warm like some low 80s, today it was 70s and forecast is for more of same. Dry, way behind form the year for precip. Dry trails. Brown ice is starting to form, that’s caused by fall fallen brown leaves that make the trail slippery and hide the little things that make a difference. The Hub almost shares the property line of the Pisgah National Forest, the first and only one that was created by buying the land. Land of waterfalls, wet slimey roots, elevation changes, deciduous forest becoming bald, lots of traffic on roads, warm friends, and more.
Friday AM I was requested to be at the Sprinter repair shop. I woke to the alarm and turned to to do the bfast thing and get on the road forth e 30 min drive in morning commute traffic. I made it 2 mins late but the shop didnt’ start functioning until 8:30. I started the repair work on their good foot. Todd is picking me up at 9 for a ride in Mills River drainage.
Todd builds trail as Long Cane, the dirt is our canvas, and promotes mtn bike races including the Pisgah Stage Race. I met him back in 2010 at the IMBA Summit in Augusta. He’s a good buddy. I put my bike in his Suburban and sat in the passenger seat watching whatever. Our ride was Spencer Branch a recently rebuilt trail, and lower Trace mtn mixed in w/ resource extraction road climbing. Some humps. Todd let me lead some climbs as he prolly looked at the colors as I am slower than he.He still marvels at my performance and says I should race the nationals as he sees the competition. I still say no, I am not interested as it is too much work and discipline such that it would really harsh my odyssey. Todd lead on the downhills and this time I was able to stay pretty close, neat because I saw him ride stuff that created the mental image for me and I made most of them. Spencer Branch in many places has been sustainably rebuilt, not uber tough Pisgah but now a trail that would deteriorate. My bike built is pretty stout which translates to going where i want to while resisting an alternative line. Big dirt road climb to enjoyable downhill back. Our ridew as pretty much pedal to the metal.
On our descent we encountered 2 riders riding up. They asked if we had seen their dog. No. Gave us dog info. They started over at Bent Creek a good ways away. Back at the rig we spied a hound dog such as was the missing one. Once she was captured Todd read her tag, yes it’s Suzzie and a phone number on the tag. We turned around w/ her in the rig. We stopped at the XG host’s site who was back in a moment no show. I tied her to the golf cart and wrote we were calling the owner. May she be back at home.
Todd took us to this incredible architectural and natural setting Sierra Nevada brew facility. Was a bunch of higher drawers than a brew pub.
He dropped me off at van repair. $924 to buy and replace a crank case vent valve and some leaking O rings. The turbo checked out OK, they think it is a leaking exhaust gas. On Wed when he told me the turbo was going out I made research calls. Service at closest sprinter repair in Greenville said turbos hardly ever go out, check the connecting hoses which passed muster.
I drove back to Brevard.And the PIsgah Tavern. I ate dinner at Duggins an Irish Pub downtown. Sports bar, lots of TVs. World Series game on. The guy a stool away i learned played ball and I peppered him with questions learning about the game inside the game. I slept in the parking lot again.
My requirements for a living spot is it is legal and level or capable of making level. Little or no noise is a bonus. Lights don’t bother me too much. Gravel is better as my sink water drains to the ground. I live inside for privacy.
Sat I made ride plans with Logan and Virginia for a pick up late morning. Logan chose Cove Branch ride. Started w/ big road climb. ST down was pleasant Pisgah. Logan rides a mid fat tire that just slays the downhills, he’s way faster than me. Virginia rides a 29er and she allows gravity to pull her quickly downhill. The parking lot at the fish hatchery, the trail head was slammed. We did encounter a few riders w /no conflicts. I seem to coast while riders in front pedal. Hmm. When we jumped out onto the pavement I stage a coast off. I won wheels ahead. From the start my bike rocketed ahead. As the pitch started to flatten out Logan started gaining because of weight. They dropped me off back at the Hub.
Along w / loose stool I had abdominal pain. Sat it became I should not ignore it any more. I drove to the urgent Care where I had visited years before. No waiting line. PA diagnosed need colonoscopy to see what’s hidden up there. He suggested more laxatives.
I drove out to the Reeb ranch, Oscar Blues, to attend the inaugural Pisgah Mtn bike festival compliments of Cashion and Eva. I9 had a booth. Dave who set me up on my wheels 2 years prior greeted me by name. I again thanked him for setting me up with my wheels. At the trek booth a full on mtn bike pedal assist bike was leaned up against their table. I put my hands on it then attempted to lift it. I put serious effort to lift it. I managed to get it up a couple of inches. Shit, it was heavy.
More socializing and beer consumption at the Hub. I drove down to Dugans for another series game. Halloween costumes. Interesting conversation w/ a guy at the bar. Back at the Hub for the night. Just 2 laxative pills on my pillow.
Sat night was Heather’s reception. i plugged the address into the gps to learn it was 45 mins away. I bailed and stayed in Brevard.
Today was all about me. The laxatives sent me to a nearby big box grocery store. Suffice it to say action happened. I planned on returning to the fish hatchery. I planned riding the Cove ride again then up to Daniels Ridge then up to Longbranch and Butter gap back to the hatchery, I arrived early to score a parking spot then geared up. Same route, big road climb. I continue to be impressed by the Absolute Black oval chain ring, it allows a much smoother and powerful stroke. At the bottom of Cove I turned uphill and up river to the Daniel ridge trail. Oh, I am wearing my white short sleeved shirt with a full Windsor electric green tie.Bits of hike a bike nasty. I started thinking about riding an electric assist bike on this trail. Epiphany: they only go forward when pedaled. I couldn’t imagine a rider pedaling up this chunky stuff. Then I came to this monster step up:
I think the terrain will kill what e bikes can ride.
Colorful leaves free flowing clean water
I am continually amazed at this bike’s performance. I am riding faster under more control. I am learning how well it accelerates up step ups. Going down I drop the seat and sink lower over the bottom bracket, bend my elbows and look way ahead. Smoking. Today at the start of Long branch 3 shaved legs guys rode up. They went first with me on the last guys wheel keeping mys peed in check as my bike was faster. The lead rider stumbled on a step up and I was allowed tog o by. Last they saw of me. I still have something.
The PA’s treatment suggestion is more days of laxatives to clean me out. He said it’s possible my pain is caused by blockage that still allows the loose stuff to pass. Later today I felt the pain change locations hopefully further down stream. He said he will ask his office to find a gastro doc. I’m thinking nothing unwanted is growing inside me.I might allow a colonoscopy. I am thinking about staying here for that appointment or maybe even coming back from Bentonville.
I learned that leaf color in AL is brown as the leaves died from lack of water. Colors are here. I have been thinking about staying here in the SE well passed T-day.
World series game on XM.
I might leave here Tuesday AM.