Pilot RockPMBSR stage four is a beast–back down Squirrel Gap the other way via Horse Cove, through the river and up to Laurel Mountain then down Pilot Rock. Plenty of climbing, hinged in–bench cut single track with all manner of roots and rocks, and of course some of the most rowdy downhills anywhere.

I got another great start and was almost able to hold onto the front group. Instead, I tailed off a bit but started to make up ground on the single track. By the time we began climbing toward Laurel Mountain, I was in fourth place overall and stayed there all the way until the finish when a geared rider chased me down and nipped me seconds from the line.

I put major time into the single speed category again so my only objectives were cementing fourth place overall and trying for a decent ride in the enduro. Pilot Rock is the roughest, fastest and most dangerous segment of the week and I love the challenge of that trail. Unfortunately luck was not on my side when my chain came off my narrow-wide ring forcing me to stop and put it back on.

I would have easily cracked the top five without that silliness and still had a few other off-trail escapades to improve on as well. The bottom line was I went relatively fast, had fun, and best of all, stayed off the ground another day!

Tomorrow serves up the finish with an appetizer of Farlow Gap which is by any definition, heinous to say the least. Things get more mellow from there finishing with a rip down the Bracken Mountain Trail. Right now, I’m looking to improve on my sleep situation while dreaming of rocks, roots, and some southern comfort at the finish!

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