Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gear Check

With the Pisgah 36 only a week away it is time to start getting everything I'll need for the race together again. Back in February when the race was indefinitely I was already ready. My gear was together, my food sorted, bike tested and tuned and I was ready to go. That was a long time ago and a lot has changed since then so it is time once again to sort through it all.

One good thing about having a big event only a week away is that I get to rest. There is no need for big rides and hikes this week. Taking it easy, eating and sleeping will do me more good than spending 10 hours tromping through Pisgah. But I can't just sit around and do nothing so Friday after work I headed to Jone's Gap with Jonathon and we did the Overlook Loop that we have done so many times before. Jonathon's 'record' for the loop was an hour and half and I had limited time so I proposed that we try and beat that record. So, we ran. I managed to actually run most of the climb and even with stopping for a few breaks we managed to beat the 1.5 hour time by several minutes!

Saturday came and meant Pisgah. Not wanting to ride too much and being very curious about the trails in Turkey Pen I met Jonathon at 8:30 and we headed straight for Squirrel with our saws. I had the bike and pack loaded up with all my race gear and felt surprisingly good as we climbed our way up Mullinax and Squirrel. Shortly after Cantrell we found where the previous groups had stopped clearing the trail and got to work. I had a lot of things on my mind and was very preoccupied and not having the best of times. I've put a lot of time and effort into clearing the trails and am frankly tired of it. When we got within 100 yards of Horse Cove Gap I decided to carry my bike to the gap through the dead fall and then work my way back. In the process of trying to get through I slipped and fell down the side hill. My bike was on the wrong side and I landed on a pedal and the rest of the bike and slid down the hill with it. This resulted in a few bruised ribs - just what I needed!

I was very curious about the state of the trails and did some scouting up and down from Horse Cove Gap before deciding to part ways with Jonathon who was heading back on Squirrel. I chose to walk down Horse Cove through the dead fall and then on to Cantrell and South Mills. I learned a few important things about the trails and I'm glad I took that route.

Jonathon at the log ride just before Cantrell:



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