February 27th, 2009
Dateline: USFS land Jake Mtn TH near dahlonega, ga
Comfortable night: no heater nor doubled blanket. First rain drops were the harbingers to come. Slight pitter pat for less than a minute. Silence for me to doze off and then a slightly louder & longer drum solo. Its 7:30 and time to catch tail end of PBS on XM, The Takeaway and following, The Bob Edwards show. And the main event lets loose. No rain record was threatened. The XG site and the road are graveled from previous logging hauling which eliminated the concern of getting stuck in mud.
Today the USPS will deliver the brake part. Rain and wet trails means no ride today anyway. Leisurely start to town. Drive by shop and it hasn’t opened. GPS does not find needed Mcds but I found it visually. Searched for fuel locations. Doesn’t specify gas or diesel. I picked one outside town up canyon. Diesel pump was out in open pouring rain. Drove back to town & grocery shopped again @ Walmart because it was the better of 2 choices. So white bread and lacking abundance of healthy choices. No Dannon yogurt.
Call Jon @ Wheelworks to learn no arrival w/ daily mail. parked in Post Office parking lot above the shop in the rain and tracked the tracking number. No tracking data, learned that PO only has to scan bar code @ delivery. Not much good w/ that. So, no part again and another night.
I spend some time hanging @ Wheelworks telling & listening to stories from Jon. And there is the ‘shine in the cooler.
Found this letter answer in Bike Magazine:
Writer asks magazine why there is no monthly female model.
mag answer “So what I think you’re asking for is a pin-up girl of the month straddling a mountain bike? Should we include tear-out tissue inserts as well?
I think not. We stand for the manly pastimes of sexually frustrated men with grizzled beards and bad breath searching for fulfillment in the woods, ignoring the existence of the fairer sex. The moment our readers realize that women are as fun to ride as bikes, we are doomed.”
Friday night out in wet woods warm dry van, listening to XM Bluesville. No movies just me, the computer, and the reader.
Bought a danish to share w/ bike shop because among others if not shared I would eat it in 1 day. Didn’t make shop but I saved half for tomorrow.
Jon said the vine, kudzu, sprouts almost immediately and takes over. He said that truck could have been covered like that in just a few years. No natural consumer, imported for landscape.
February 26th, 2009
dateline: dahlonega, nevermore than 12 miles from downtown.
Jon from Dahlonega Wheelworks gave me a ride for tomorrow and I drove out into the woods out of internet access last night. Visited @ his shop for a little while but left the shine in the mason jar as I was not feeling well so much so that I made Wed a rest day.
His ride was from the N end of greater Bull mtn locale. I primitive camped along side a small babling stream about 1 mile from 5th rangers Army base. Cleaned up campsite area. Walked some roads, knee felling no pain.
Black bean burritos w/ salsa, cheddar cheese, pineapple, & tomato basil tortillas; one of my standard dinners.
Weather forecast was for rain later in the week but several times during the night rain splattered on my roof. The bike cover was on before the first drops.
Warm night, no heater on. Laid in bed waiting to see what daylight would look like: should I get up because the weather is rideable or crawl back under covers because it was a non riding day? I make no far reaching prognostication based on bed action. The control panel for the fridge is almost @ eye level when I’m in bed and shines a green led lamp showing its operation. I realized that the light was off and I hadn’t heard the piezo strike or burner ignite. I stopped for propane earlier Wed and turned the fridge off for refill and forgot to turn it back on. Temp raised to 40 degrees; the chicken had to go.
Headed out on ride navigating by map and making whats on the ground match the paper. No freeze thaw mud because of low elevation and warm spring temps, just normal rain wetted red dirt turns to slippery sticky mud. Darn stuff clings to tires after ride is over. 12.44 miles on mostly old overgrown logging roads, these are the real old logging roads
Run ' her until she quits
using these small old trucks. Suspect the roads were cut w/ cats w/ cables & pulleys years b4 the D9 of today’s roads. Jim Thorpe has its American Standard trail because someone littered an American Standard toilet. Bull mtn could assume another name like ’39 International?
Drove back to bike shop hoping brake part would have arrived on day 2 of 2 to 3 day priority mail. No luck. Enjoyed sips of ‘shine again. Left muddy bike hoping that late mail would arrive and I left for a shower @ local health club and buy groceries. Cleaned and stocked up but no part. Loaded bike up. Jon gave me a ride for tomorrow @ S end of Bull mtn but joins Turner Creek from today’s northern ride. Forecast is for serious rain & thunderstorms.
Camped @ Jake mtn horse camp where I stayed 2 days prior. All alone. Some camp sites are newly formed. I followed a reclaimed logging road into a clear cut landing which explained the new campsites. Nothing regrowing on bared land. A skidder road fall line dropped into a small drainage & climbed even steeper uphill.
What an idea: Build single track mtn bike trails in forests disturbed by logging. The land has already been abused per the logging & road building specs such that even a machine cut trail would do little extra harm to recovering land. The FS would benefit because people would see the forest recovering after the logging and think that logging wasn’t all that bad because look at these great trails were are riding. It would be like walking in a corn maize as the corn grows up. Our constructed trails would not be like the steep angle eroding skidder road.
Cool evening, kept the slider door open throughout dinner, chilly but enjoyable for an open door. Killed my first fly 2 days ago. Tonight several other insects are inside around the light. Bug season has arrived.
So it be.
February 24th, 2009
Dateline: Hiker hostel, dahlonega, ga
Chilly AM. XG by myself & horse leftovers. Drove out of xg about 200 yds and there was the TH for the long route to Bull mtn. I could have riden from camp. Waited awhile soaking up the sun and rising temps that will thaw the frozen mud. red GA clay greasey stuff, adds a thick patina to the Turner.
Rode up nice ST to bike TH where I rode from frst time. a truck was in parking lot. Headed up. Using spin every now & then. Works well on flats & slight uphill but once angle steepens the legs just slow down. Up higher the ground was still frozen & several ice puddles. Rider passed me going down during my climb. Some slippery spots. Downhill zoom. Front brake sqealed on uphill but once started using on downhill the squeal died, the brake performed well except for squal that appears to be because the pads won’t retract from the rotor far enough. The new part might be here Thurs so this problem can be put behind me. Down on lower section the freeze thaw was more bothersome.
Hung in sunshine @ TH and worked on bike a bit even degreasing the chain.
Stopped @ Dahlonega Wheelworks for visit & another taste of the shine. I believe that it smells like Tequila, more like Mescal. Jon gave me a ride for tomorrow.
Off to Hiker Hostel for shower & sleep in parking lot.
Obama is on. Leaving.