Pisgah 2015 Stage One VenueWe 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.Apparently I am out of practices as a number of items needed minor tweaks but we had plenty of time. The rain had stopped and while still overcast the air was warm enough that many were wearing short sleeves as we rolled out. The stage began with a bit of a bottle neck at the same creek that almost took out the Plasmido mobile but quickly sorted out on the long climb as first we ascended gravel then singletrack to the top of Daniel Ridge for the first ENDURO segment of the week.

Stage One MenuI stopped to pull up my knee pads not wanting to take any risks but giving another singlespeeder Josh a good headstart. Fortunately I caught up by the bottom but didn’t really need the dropper post or the kneepads! No good deed goes unpunished as my bike had began to skip and make hideous grinding noises. Apparently my XX1 chain tensioner had moved slightly and was no longer aligned with the cog. Knowing the tools on hand would likely only waste time, I decided to pedal gently and try to stay in the hunt.

My bad leg was blowing up as Josh pedaled by and I estimated that he would have about a minute gap on the ensuing climb. With two more climbs to go I guessed I would lose somewhere between 2-3 minutes if I could keep my drivetrain working at least as well as it was. I hoped for some fast and rough downhills but the terrain never really presented itself and the soggy conditions made it risky to really push hard into any corners.

PMBSR2015 Stage 1 SS PodiumAs I rolled across the line, I was happy to have salvaged second place on the day knowing that the issues at hand could be easily fixed. We stopped by Sycomore Cycles on the way home and my good buddy Wes hooked me up with  the 4mm nut I needed to bomb proof my drivetrain experiment. After a bikewash I made the necessary upgrades and also installed a new, longer chain to mimic the set-up I had orginally mocked up. With the new mods installed I look forward to a trouble free ride tomorrow. I even managed to crack the top ten in the ENDURO competition so tomorrow I will shoot for better there too!


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