Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jocassee Gorges Gravel Grinder

I met up with Jonathon yesterday afternoon for a gravel grinder in the Jocasse Gorges. I'd never been to the area and it was the perfect opportunity to test the new bike away from the snow and ice and gave me a chance to use my neglected 785 map:


Jonathon had been there before in his car and claimed to know his way around but there were still a couple of map checks:


The gravel was big, the size of a fist, and loose and the roads were steep. We would go straight up to the top of a gorge and then straight down to the bottom. And then back up again. It was hard to maintain traction on a singlespeed in the loose big gravel and I was glad when we finally reached the lookout we were headed for. We hung out for a few minutes and gazed out over three states as the sun burned out across the lake:


It is the middle of winter yet the sun had been burning bright and warm and I day dreamed of the warm weather to come and all the fun that could be had down on that lake.


The return trip was more of the same except the climbs seemed to be steeper and the gravel bigger and looser. The bike felt great and I gave it all I had on the climbs and ridge runs. By the time we made it back to the start I was tired and done. Four hours of hard gravel riding will do that to you. Jonathon was headed for home and a Mexican dinner and I was faced with a long drive home and no easy way to get there. I opted to go up 178 to Rosman instead of back across SC 11. By the time I got to Brevard I was starving and trying to think of what I could cook when I got home. I saw Pescados, slammed on the brakes and pulled into the parking lot. Fifteen minutes later I had an enormous burrito and PBR in me and felt much better.

I'd say our route looked something like this but that can't possibly be right. It HAD to have been more than 20 miles and 6000' vertical. Had to have been.


It is warm out and Pisgah is hopefully melting so today I'll dust off the road bike and tomorrow I'll break out the new trail running shoes.

1 comment:

  1. Twenty miles sounds right but I am thinking more like 12,000 feet of elevation. . .