I woke up late Saturday morning and as I rushed to get my stuff together the radio told me that it was going to be warm and sunny so it sounded like a perfect day for a little mountain biking. At the last second I threw a jacket and tights in my pack in case it didn't warm up right away. As I drove to Mills River I was undecided what I wanted to do - watch some of the stage race or just ride my bike? Decisions, decisions...
I parked at Fisherman's and as I started riding up 1206 I decided to try and beat the racers to the rock garden on Pilot Rock. Beth, my Double Dare partner from 2007, pulled up next to me as I started the climb and we chatted for a minute before she pulled ahead. Some quick mental calculations had me thinking that I would have to hustle if I wanted to catch the lead riders on Pilot so hustle is what I did. I made it to Yellow Gap in record time - 20 minutes flat - but racers were already on their way up Laurel so I kept going down 1206 and then up Pilot Rock. I made it to the rock garden just in time to see the lead riders go by. It was cold out and starting to snow and I was glad I made the last minute decision to take a jacket. I watched a few skilled riders go through:
After a few minutes Team Dicky and Eric Wever showed up with a crew of guys to watch the action as well. Before we knew it there was a full on party going on right in the middle of the trail. We cheered and jeered as the riders rode and walked past. We listened to their tales of heroics in the blizzard that was raging just up the trail and complimented them on their lefty forks and criticized those who did not have a lefty. Of all the riders that went past only one took us up on the offer of beer. A singlespeeder, of course:
It was cold and wet so we rallied as a group and built a fire just inches from the trail:
After a couple of hours most of the pack had gone by and I was feeling alright so I bid everyone good bye and headed on up the trail. The break had done me well and other than a few brief dismounts I actually managed to ride most of the way to the top where there was indeed snow:
I passed the sweep rider on his way down and decided to just head down Laurel as I was getting cold again. I greatly prefer riding up Laurel to down it and wasn't particularly having fun though it was fun to look at the snow and colorful leaves. When I got to Rich Gap I spotted a big piece of plastic that has been there for a few years and has always bothered me. The used to be an abandoned shoe and some bottles as well but someone else carried them out a few months ago. With only a little way to go to get back to my truck I decided to suck it up and take the trash out:
It was big and awkward but I managed to get it tied to my pack and took off down the trail. We all have our own ways of taking care of the trails we love so much and though I'm not too fond of organized trail work days I'm a sucker for carrying out others trash so that is what I did. I'm glad I got it out of there!
Sunday morning I had promised Duma a walk and thought that a quick little hike to the top of Mt. Pisgah would fit the bill. I called the parkway hot line and it indicated though most of the BRP was closed due to snow the stretch between 151 and 276 was open. I thought that was strange but perhaps they needed to keep access to the campground and inn open so I headed up 151. When I got to the top of the road the gate was closed and I was bummed. Oh, well, we were up there and there was snow so we set off up the Shut In and did the final stretch of it. It is was very cold and very windy and we had a great time playing in the snow in October:
Today it is sunny and should be warming up soon and I have new light I need to test so there might just be a little North Slope action in my future!
59 minutes ago