What sticks from the last 5 days is a recall effort.
Fri I drove in to Cartecay bike shop in Ellijay to ride w/ Mike. The forecast called for rain in AM when we were to ride, clearing in PM. Rain performed per forecast. We didn’t ride.
Mike walked me over to the local newspaper I never learned of. An interview was arranged @ the bike shop. The reporter arrived and interviewed me at the store counter. Every writer has a spin to put into the story and use interview bits to support point. What was his point I will learn.
Hung around town too wet to ride in PM. Jim, a shop wrench, drove us out to a friends house to pick up some plants. The evening was also a good bye party for Laurie and her husband who own this neat creative home in the trees. They live an alternative lifestyle as did their guests, grown up hippies who stayed the cause.
Ellijay has a First friday event in the town square which is a 6 point rotary. I learned about how to make real boiled peanuts. I sampled a few from the vendor but still can’t get my taste buds to jump for satiation.
Mike invited me to stay @ his house for the night. I accepted. He lives w/ wife Terry, kinda back in the hills on a small farm. No cell service. They own Cartecay bikes Mike was a top notch BMXer and road rider back in his days.
Sat is a trail work project on part of the Aska trail system, meeting at the Deep Gap side of end of Stanley ridge. I followed Terry in their Sprinter. Thing about mountainous N GA is just that, the road has to go over them. It is like Maine’s you can’t get there from here. Crow fly distance is minutes but the drive around is way more.
Our shared project w/ the local USFS was to install selected trail signs attached to 4X4 8′ treated posts. I helped install the one post 3 of us were assigned to about 1 mile uphill from the parking lot. Robert, a USFS temp helped carry the post because Todd could not attach it to his BOB type trailer. GA mountains equals rocks in the ground. Three holes were finally post hole dug, the third being just deep enough to wedge the post into.
Afterwards 5 of us went for a ride starting on the other side of the gap from where I previously rode. This way I got to ride almost all of the trails. Mostly beginner stuff. Robert and I rode Flat Creek in addition.
The hemlocks are dying from the adigilads (sp????). Soon all will perish.
Terry invited me to their house again. I needed to get dinner beer in Blue Ridge. I attempted to GPS locate their Pisgah road address as we left in the AM. I failed. I needed GPS to find their house. I called the shop and fortunately caught Mike. He gave me their street address that I input into the GPS and took of. First attempt sent me down a road that had been decommissioned years ago. Next go went up into the hills, first pavement then into single lane good gravel. Scattered homes . Route took me right to their driveway.
Sunday Terry guided me on their river trails outside of Ellijay on the Cartecay. Their club works on these trails that are on a GA State wildlife plot. Only section of local river access is still public. We chatted about trail advocacy. She showed me a drinking water spring back in Ellijay. I filled jugs and bid Terry good bye.
Next stop is Bull and Jake Mtn outside of Dahlonaga. Jon’s shop is extinct. I camped on the side of the FS road leading to a Bull mtn TH. I stayed on the spot previously. This is the 3rd year visit to Bull. Robert told me of new trails that were well mapped and signed. I decided to give them a go to experience the trail effort. Sunday. I parked where a trail crossed the road allowing users to pass right by. 6 bikers and 2 horse riders. Comfortable solar shower.
Forecast called for rain during the night. I went to bed w/ the bikes uncovered. Lightning flashes and thunder claps woke me as rain drops splattered on the roof. Leave dry comfort for dark, chill, and wet to cover the bikes by headlamp. Scattered sprinkles fell thru the early AM allowing too wet conditions to ride in. I picked 10:00 AM for go no go decision. Rain quit before. I walked a short section of trail to learn of trail tread. Trail is horse ridden down to good ol hard packed GA red dirt.
I headed out. I mapped a ride out. The tread was all machine cut and well designed. Trail with stands the impact of horses. Small mud puddles and soft sections did exist including a strongly flowing almost knee deep creek crossing. My navigation skills were called to question again as the map, compass, and me disagreed. I couldn’t make my position agree w/ the former 2 items so i retraced my route till the loop trail junction I planned on riding. This trail was rougher worn old trail steeper and laced w/ exposed tree roots. My 5SPot DW suspension allows the rear tire to grab the roots for traction. Superior. Machine cut trails are fun for a change, not a steady diet, a taste of something sinful. It’s like riding a moped, lots of fun but you don’t want your friends to see you doing it.
More time passed than i planned on as next move was to drive to Brevard for the night. I needed to wash my bike b4 my Tues. AM service appointment in Asheville, and take a shower, and fix dinner.
More N GA roads which are great to drive in a sporty rig. Me, I manage my kleenex box on a roller skate countering wind gusts staying on my side of the yellow line when the approaching driver required. I did not use the GPS for a route as I read the map and figured a route. I ended up in Greenville, SC approaching Brevard from Henderson, not the way I imagined my route to be. I asked the GPS to display a route which back tracked me to where I imagined the route to be. Error free I arrived in Brevard just b4 9PM. I chose to pay to camp @ Davidson River USFS XG using my forever pass to pay half price of $20 for a camp spot and shower. I made bed late around midnight. Tree canopy sheltered me from the sky. Forecast was for rain, again, I did not cover the bikes, again a T-storm awakened me to perform the same task.
Tues. I slept in, too late to wash my bike @ the XG. I drove to Asheville to Youngblood bikes, a Turner dealer to have my bushings serviced. I expected the shop to work on my bike first thing so I drove my schedule accordingly although I arrived 30 mins late w/ a dirty bike. I tree sprayer washed my bike in the parking lot. David wiggled the rear end of a dripping wet but “clean” bike. he said the bushings were played. I emailed new bushing need to Turner while the shop called. Bushings weren’t sent but would be sent today. Not how I envisioned my repair to be. Made another appointment for next Wed after the bushings arrive. Bushings are part of the journal bearings used @ the rear suspension points. When they wear play occurs usually noticed by a creaking under load.
I called Bruce, the owner of Pisgah Works were I bought my well worn Pisgah jersey I wear as an off the bike sweater. The rest of the day and night became a social event. Culmination was an open mike musician evening @ a local bar. Unknowingly we encountered and got involved w a woman guitar singer who would be performing. We taxied her around to arrive @ the venue. We stayed till closed mike @ 12:00.
Local Asheville culture.
Slept on street across from Bruce’s first floor apartment in a large house converted to apartments.
Bfast on the street.
Yesterday while putting my socks on I leaned the wrong way and “threw” out my back. I can’t stand straight up, I am bent over like an old man. I saved the business card of a chiro here in Asheville and placed a call. Earliest is 2:15 this afternoon. I am only comfortable sitting in a backed chair. I lowered my bed w/ more movements to work around lack of mobility. I dreaded the morning lifting it back up. I struggled but succeeded in hinging the bed to its travel mode. After my back treatment I will drive back down to Brevard.
parked on a north side Asheville street lined w/ old houses, tree covered, blue jays squawking, squirrels traveling on the overhead electric lines, people walking on the sidewalk going to their end.