The Big 'un!

The Big ‘un!

Where the trail ended early–for me.

Pisgah day four was the big momma. The stage I have been waiting for all week. While I would like to say I was saving energy for it earlier in the week that would wouldn’t be true. Sure, I didn’t completely empty myself on the earlier stages but there were many times I was at my limit so I wasn’t sure how well I would respond to the longest hardest stage.

We took off with the usual manic gusto but this time I was hanging in at the front. Even after climbing most of Club Gap I could still see most of the leading group ahead and was comfortable so I let off a little and took my time knowing it would be easy to catch back on once the grade flattened. Soon I was riding back through a few of the early chargers as we traced the ridge line before the descent down to Clawhammer.  Read more »

Hump Day!

Hump Day!

No miracles… instead the NEW status quo!

After the awards ceremony and stage briefing last night the skies opened and a gentle rain set in. I didn’t stay up to see how much it carried on since I have endured enough rain in my life to not lose sleep over it. I was a little relieved though because the bluebird weather we have had all week here in NC had me thinking the “streak” was over. When I say “streak” I refer to every race I’ve ever done east of the Mississippi River has involved rain and mud in some capacity. Oddly the Pacific NW has this reputation for being rainy when in fact in rarely if ever rains during the summer. This is apparently never the case out east! Read more »

White Squirrel Loop

White Squirrel Loop

Go deep–pay the piper…

Regardless of how hard I tried to stay in the green zone yesterday, I knew there were too many times that the rugged Pisgah trails demanded more. In a single day event or on the first day of a stage race it is easy to go deep–sometimes without knowing it. Over the last five years of battling CFS I have gotten really good a managing my pace and maximizing my recovery so I knew that it was going to take a miracle to feel good today. Read more »

Pisgah 1, Riders 0

Pisgah 1, Riders 0

A re-introduction to rocks, roots, and Pisgah gnarly-ness!

We began the day under mostly clear skies and temps in the low 50s. Surprisingly I wasn’t shivering too badly despite a fast highway transfer to Turkey Pen. There we began a gravel road climb but it is important to note the most of the “roads” accessing the Forest are primitive and rough. The “gravel could be sand or 3″ minus or a lot of both. There are ruts and larger in-bedded rocks too just to make it impossible to ride a smooth rhythm.  Read more »

It's ON!

It’s ON!

I’ve spent the last two days just getting to Brevard, NC. This time I took a little more time in hope of arriving more rested than weary. It has been a beautiful and relatively smooth trip. I flew into Greenville, SC stayed the night, and drove up this morning. I had forgotten how beautiful the Blue Ridge is and it is awesome being back in one of my favorite places on planet earth! Read more »

High in above Lake Chelan

High in above Lake Chelan

As I have mentioned in several earlier posts, I am going to break out of my five year downward spiral of racing ambitions and have a go at the Pisgah Stage Race in Brevard, NC next week. I haven’t participated in a stage race since the last time I visited Pisgah so it seems like the logical place to give multi-day mountain bike racing another shot. Actually I believe that the PSR is the BEST of these type of races I’ve ever done–totally awesome trails second to none, great fall weather, awesome community support, and just the right amount of suffering to stretch one’s spirit without damaging their soul. However, this time I have no other ambitions than simply riding smooth and finishing strong–after all, this IS the “unplugged” version! Read more »

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