Monday, May 31, 2010

big ride bailout

Yesterday my intention was to ride up Laurel, run up to the top of Mt. Pisgah and then ride down Big Creek. But when I pulled up to the North Mills Recreation Area and got out of the truck I groaned in pain and realized my legs really hurt. A big ride really didn't sound like fun so I took the running shoes and bike lock out of my pack and revised my route to something a little more reasonable:

1206 > 5000 > Bear Branch > 5001 > Bear Branch > 5000 > Spencer Gap > Spencer Branch > Never Ending Rd. > Fletcher Creek > Hendersonville Reservoir Rd. > North Mills River > Yellow Gap > 5051 > 1206


I ran into Adam Penny as I started up 5000 and we rode Bear Branch together. I like to go up the trail, take the first left to 5001 and then go to the top of trail. It makes for a nice little loop but I somehow managed to get us momentarily lost while trying to put it together. That's how tired I was - I got lost on Bear Branch.

Spencer Gap seemed different somehow and I managed to clean the climb through the field but by the time I got to Trace Ridge I had to just sit there and take a half hour lunch break before taking the technical downhill to the Never Ending Rd. The break had me feeling better and the steep downhill was a lot of fun. Fletcher Creek is a great trail that really has it all: buff cruising, wide open fields with just a ribbon of singletrack, stream crossings, a steep climb, a steep downhill, rocks and roots. It is Pisgah at its best. North Mills River is like a mini South Mills River. You cross the river a half dozen or more times in very rapid succession. Yellow Gap starts with a hike a bike before mellowing out a little. Both North Mills River and Yellow Gap seem to be rarely used by bikers but are a very popular horse route.


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