May 23rd, 2010
Today was a Pisgah ride lead by Todd & attended by several other riders. The Pisgah single tracks are rooty w/ step ups & roll overs. 83 degrees and 60% humidity & some climbing. Rode thru rhododendron tunnels. Today the lead rider cleared a rattlesnake along trail. The second rider stopped as did the rest of us and we checked out the snake. Big guy, about 4′long & just smaller than my clenched fist. Paul & Emily are moving to Puget Sound shortly, their own road trip.
My Turner DW Spot is just super on these trails… but my engine peters out on uphills. I came off a water bar going downhill and got a little sideways. I stuck the landing w/ the bike laid over and turned. Impressed Shrimper who was right behind me. Not my intention, just happened. Compliments to bike & build up.
Parked @ computer place here @ cedar Mtn sucking off his wireless internet as do various others upon occasion.
So catch up.
Yesterday I awoke in my van parked on a side street near Bruce’s. Today there is a street festival on the other side of his house’s intersection. Local neighborhood. Local crafts & women in their summer dresses. I visited a chiro booth staffed by owner Robin. I learned that she is a competitive cyclist and works on extremities using that spring tool. She sold me; we have an appointment on Monday. The other booth person was Kyley who is a mtn bike racer. She raced against Grace who beat her. Kyley was miffed that an older woman just rode away from her.
I saw this mound of whipped cream & melted chocolate on some kind of a baked thing. I learned it is Funnel Cake. I was given a sample. Pure fat. Later I saw the booth selling them to see the size. They covered a regular size paper plate. Huge.
Earlier Bruce & rode out bikes downtown to another market. Bruce lives almost downtown in old residential section. Great old houses. He and several other guys were crashing in a $600,000 old house that just sold and they are booted out. Gorilla riding on my squishy bike, no helmet and just my street shoes pedaling thru stop signs. Asheville is sprawling hilly. After the market tour we did an urban ride up a treed hillside enjoying a paved uphill w/ no traffic. A spectacle of expensive house, enough to notice that many are for sale. We checked out Grove Park Inn partway up on hillside, very posh. We are walking around in our sweaty street clothes, completely out of place.
Sat night I needed to get back to Todd & Heather’s for the night and to plan for today’s ride. I have been parking in the Faith memorial chapel in the one spot that is level. The parking spots are denoted by railroad ties held by rebar that sticks above the tie. Last night I stepped out of my van and ran my left shin down one. Long gouge first aided w/ neosporin & 2 large patches.
Friday night in Asheville I scored a used pair of Time ATAC composite pedals @ a bike shop. Better than the aluminum ones sent to Dad’s. I installed them after patching my wound. Very positive sound when clicking in but requiresw a pretty good foot twist to release. Little bit of practice for Sunday ride. I rode them today w/ great satisfaction. Alas, I think I can part w/ CrankBrothers pedals.
Spent evening w/ Todd & Heather. Invited to dinner tonight, need to leave soon.
Today after our ride I crashed the Hub bike shop. I didn’t want a beer. As I was gathering up myself for my exit I noticed a guy w/ young child & wife walk towards my van unsure if he knew me but thinks he does. I invited him over and he told me he saw my picture in the BikeMag article. He said he is hoping to do an adventrue someday. In the store another rider approached me and asked if I was the guy in the article. Yes. They are from FL where I rode several of their trails.
Off to dinner. Someday maybe I will recount my Friday in Asheville. Hung w/ Bruce, owner of Pisgah Works, seller of my wool jersey. From Cleveland, OH area.
May 21st, 2010
I have been staying out @ Todd’s @ Cedar mtn and out of internet access and then I spend access time visiting & not posting. Today i am in my van in a parking lot near the Biltmore estate in Asheville staying out of rain. Have an evening meeting w/ Bruce to experience an Asheville street scene.
2 days ago I drove out to where Todd is building new trail on Falling Creek ranch. I saw the trail from pin flag to ready to ride, and I rode the finished trail. Machine cut trails when done well as in this case are charms to ride. These trails are made for mtn bikers. Much emphasis is on “flow”, just how you pedal and ride a trail. Are the turns natural, can you go from turn to turn naturally? How steep are the climbs? Of course everything is about getting the h2o off the trail which eliminates erosion damage. Todd uses a Ditchwitch walk behind tracked machine. He is an artist w/ it. The lve land here is thick w/ rhody thickets and last winter’s ice damage. Creating the trail is very difficult because of said vegetation. He flags the proposed trail keeping around a 5% grade. Next is to clear a corridor using a chain saw. Next is to clear the ground of debris using a power blower. Then the machine moves the dirt. Finish work cuts out roots by hand. last is to blow the leaf litter back onto trail hiding the scars, and a single pass down trail to establish a line. Trail was fun to ride, again, focusing on line and not worrying about what’s on the ground.
Plan was to watch trail building then drive west to meet Shrimper for a ride @ Panthertown @ 3:00, do his ride, then drive back to Todd’s for dinner. I finally hooked up w/ Shrimper as his directions were lacking. He drove thru Lake Toxaway’s posh neighborhoods to TH. Roads were quite steep: 1st gear in his Outback. Our route was from the east and missed the high alpine forests a little further west. We encountered ice storm damage that tested our bush bashing tolerance and time. Shrimper called our effort off after about 25 mins as he felt that the rest of our ride was going to be like this and that we might not finish before dark. Worked for me. We each left a bit of blood. Ice storm damage was common to certain exposure and we were in it. I suffered a cut on my left arm and the blood ran down towards my hand a stopped @ my handcrafted bracelet and created a dried blood bracelet. Looked like a bad cut but the small one just bled a bit. I accused Shrimper of checking me out for possible dinner up in the mountains.
Made it back to Todd’s for late dinner.
Yesterday was a date w/ Sycamore Cycles to replace my Maxxis Ardent tires w/ Specialized Purgatory 2.2 2bliss tires to match local conditions. Wes said he had Ardents but they didn’t sell, he gave last one away to get it out of shop. Tires on I headed to DuPont forest on Corn mill Shoals trail to test tires and wired on grips. Tires roll much easier. I tested the traction and learned that these are better tires for these conditions. I agressively carved turns and rode steep cross sections of granite slick rock w/ complete confidence. I checked out the nasty section on Burnt mtn. I hike -a- bike up it checking out the downhill. My bike rolled the drops so i should be able to ride it, it is a question of nerves. I looped back on Burnt mtn so i could ride the downhill. I rode to the steep roll overs and chickened out. I can ride it.
Last night I fixed my waldorf salad for Todd & Heather. Todd is organizing a ride on Sunday w/ his buds and I am invited. Cool. Enjoying my visit w/ Todd & Heather.
Today is Ashville and return to Brevard on Sat.
Cudos: PricePoint is giving me a bike stand. Squirt is giving me chain lube.
Riding Pisgah greenery
Bruce pedaling in Rhody thicket on Black Mtn
May 18th, 2010
Ride plan today was to meet Bruce from Pisgah works @ Black mtn the near RS. Bit of a shower last night.
Drove to RS to seek out Pamela who last year was expressing her desire to ride her road bike across the US. I wanted to find out her status and offer encouragement. We spoke briefly then I needed to leave to meet Bruce @ TH.
Found Bruce & friend (spaced out her name). Bruce has a trail route for the Pisgah Badass ride and he wanted to ride it today w/ us 2. We started by riding then pushing and riding & pushing up Black Mtn. real energy sucker. Trail is really beaten by h2o runoff, some trees snapped from ice storm last winter. Way hard way to start, something like 1 hr 30 mins to ride 5.3 miles to Buckhorn gap, climbed 1900′. Bruce and friend ride fully rigid bikes. Last night I installed new grips by spraying hair spray inside the grip which when dry locks the grips on the bar. Today the spray had not dried so my grips were loose and could not be used. I removed them and rode on bare bars til BuckHorn. Bruce forced them on dry and they stuck. Bike rides way better w/ grips. We decided that the ride course is better served by riders in better shape than us. Still, it was a bruising day of 13.87 miles in 2:49 hrs, climbed 3669′. Rooty w/ a few rocks mixed in. Rain destroyed trails which are mostly old hiking trails that are not sustainable. Liking my almost 6″ of squish and not the body hammering from the rigid bike.
This Am as I was putting on my wet bike shoes I discovered that a piece of the lugged sole was peeling off. New shoes falling apart. Fortunately I have another pair of Specialized shoes to ride in. Back in Brevard i stopped @ Sycamore. a Specialized dealer, to seek warranty replacement. Shoes here later this week. Also i set aside a pair of Specialized Purgatory 2.2 tires for install as I need to decrease my rolling resistance.
Bought some cold smoked salmon to add to my brown rice & pea glop. Much more moist than hot smoked.
Outside computer store @ Cedar mtn for internet access.
Tomorrow I get to watch Todd do some trail building and then drive to Panthertown west of here to ride w/ Shrimper.
My left quad has a serious mucscle issue. years earlier I tore a rectus muscle and i am hoping this is not a problem as it hurts to pedal, walk, or sit still. I will call a PT who worked on me last time for help if I make time in my schedule.
I plan on leaving Brevard / Ashville area on Monday. I need to be in Ohio before June 19.
I have access to pictures from BikeMag article, contact me and I will steer you to right place.
Bruce took lots of pictures today w/ my camera, will look @ them later.
Gotta go visit w/ Todd & Heather.
A guy from Squirt chain lube tracked me down electronically and will send me product to evaluate.
Big Ed from old Spokane days found me on Facebook.