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.

Then there was the course–it looked like a saw blade on paper and despite talk about it being an “easier” stage, I had a suspicion that it could be the hardest day for me. While it wasn’t super technical by Pisgah standard the climbs started early and continued relentlessly. They were the steep, punchy, always changing gradient type over loose and varied surfaces that made it difficult to be steady. Then there was the part up Black Mountain…

Fortunately I am a quick study and I was riding much more proficiently in the techy stuff. I was riding sections both up and down much more smoothly and quickly than yesterday. It almost paid off as I was able to ride up to fourth place after a horrid start in a scrum of slower riders. I briefly ccaught up with my buddy James from Portland on Buckhorn Gap, but he was climbing off the hook and I knew he would be gone again on the next climb. This time I never saw him again despite going relatively well on the #enduro section down Avery Creek.

In fact, I never saw another rider for the last 15 miles of the race as I slogged back up to the top of Black Mountain for the final descent. I was considerably faster than yesterday and got my grin-mace on most of the way. My Ripley is killing the descents and the stiff carbon wheels just add that extra level of grip when pinned down rooty rocky side slope singletrack.

In the end, I finished fourth in the open category for the day but I lost all my advantage and then some dropping to 4th overall, too. I also managed to miss the #enduro podium by two seconds. The good news is that I continue to take significant time on the downhill sections so hopefully today was a bad day for me or just an exceptional day for James and the fella in second. Thomas Turner is in a different time zone and winning the race overall and has won both stages. Tomorrow looks like a completely different day so I look forward for a better result!

Comments are closed.


  • Xpedo Logo Neu
  • Kali Protect
  • Squirt Lube
  • RIDGE Logo Final
  • Squirt Rotate
  • Rotor Systems Rotate
  • Ritchey Rotate
  • Ridgeline Rotate
  • Ridge Rotate
  • Magura Rotate
  • Kmc Rotate
  • Kali Rotate
  • Ibis Rotate
  • Garmin Rotate
  • ESI Rotate
  • Diadora Rotate
  • Brl Rotate

Recent Posts


Follow Me