When I look back on my Pisgah memories, a few trails always stick in my mind… Squirrel Gap, Laurel Mountain, Pilot Rock, Farlow Gap, etc. Today we did the first three. Granted there was a bit of double track at beginning and in the middle but the majority of time was spent negotiating bench cut knar. Roots, rocks–repeat.
The stage began with some downhillish fireroad and I managed to stick the front group. Oddly I had told Jeff I didn’t plan to ride until Laurel (more than halfway through) but now it was game on a mile into the race. I found a group on the long traverse to Horse Cove and sat in a bit to recover from the mad dash at the start. I am not sure what the tactic garnered but over the years I’ve gotten a sense of how to surf the sharp end of a race and so it was today. Read more »
This morning I woke up cold. Apparently spending 6 hours in the rain yesterday finally caught up and I was dragging. My body felt fine but my mind was in a different place. It was still raining and I could only imagine the suffering that was about to renew. On a whim, I decided to check the chain length of the new setup on my bike and sure enough it was too short at full suspension compressi0n. Shoot, back to the repair stand. Read more »
After suffering a some chain skipping issues during stage one, I took it upon myself to refit most of the drivetrain on my Ripley XX1 single speed and little did I know that I was opening pandora’s box of drivetrain demons. None of us realized that we would need snorkles and personal floatation devices either… Read more »
We listened to the rain fall most of the night and it was still pitter-pattering when I awoke this morning. Soon it had stopped but the ground was saturated and the creeks swollen as we drove to the start. Lucky for me, my housemates were kind enough to shuttle me and my bike out into the woods. After a near mishap fording a stream in Jeff’s Mazda, we arrived and I continued the process of preparing my bike for today’s stage. Read more »
The “null stage” has gone well. When faced with a $500 airline ticket from SeaTac to Greenville, I did what all great riders do–looked for a better line. In that case it meant booking two direct flights–one to Midway, staying the night and continuing on to Greenville today. With a recent Southwest fair sale, each ticket was just over a hundred bucks and both flights were non-stop–winning! Of course checking free of charge in with my venerable Ibis Ripley smartly tucked in its Ritchey Breakaway case is always a bonus! Ultimately, I was going to have to book at least one hotel room along the cross-country journey and a few extra hours of rest never hurts on the front end of a five day stage race! Read more »
Less than a week to go and I will be rolling up to the start line of the (in)famous PISGAH Stage Race in North Carolina. It wasn’t many posts ago that I was crashed out of this event last fall so when I heard that Todd and his awesome crew at Blue Ridge Adventures were moving the event spring I wasn’t sure I could swing it. We had planned to do our annual MOAB trip but work got in the way opening the door to another trip to one of my favorite mountain biking destinations on the planet!
This year I plan to race single speed and throw a little twist into the normal routine. Since it will be my fourth attempt at this race, I look forward to mixing it up with one gear and seeing how I competitive I can be! With business booming at Ridge Cyclesport, it is tough to break away but honestly I can’t wait to get back to Brevard and see just how awesome spring can be in that neck of the woods! I also can’t wait to catch up with all my friends both inside and outside the tape as mountain bike racing has been such a blessing over the years and any chance to pedal a bike on RAD trails and in good company in not one to miss!
Peace–see you next week!