Friday, November 15, 2013

double dare 2013

After eight years of doing the Double Dare I have done it in any number of different ways. The first year we were in it with hopes of only surviving, which we did, however barely. In subsequent years I steadily got more ambitious and then eventually found myself racing with the intention of winning. That didn't happen but Zak and I came very close one year and then the next year we failed spectacularly coming in hours after the midnight Saturday cutoff. These days I am barely riding and winning was the furthest thing from my mind going into this year's race with Yuri. Instead my goals were to: finish and have fun. Which we, or at least I, managed to do.

With little need for speed I decided not to put the gears on the bike for the race for the first time since Toby and I last raced together in 2009. Yuri decided to join me in my single speed quest and swapped the gears for a single cog and chain ring on his custom 44 bike.

This year's race started with a 25 mile time trial all the way across the forest to Bent Creek Gap which seemed to rattle some of the racers. I got a flat less than a minute into the race and then two more in the dark towards the end. A broken light meant we skipped the Mt. Pisgah hike and got to ride Buckwheat, Bennett and Coontree instead.

Day 2 comes early after a late night of drinking beer and swapping war stories but I woke up fresh and strong and ready to play all day. Yuri's hangover was a little more stout than mine but we managed to rally and got more checkpoints than we had planned on.

One of my favorite things about the race is the sense of camaraderie shared by the racers. I had a very pleasant trip up Laurel Mtn. - a trail I often hate - with some single speeders whose names I didn't manage to catch. At the Pink Beds on day two we met Jim from Knoxville and his partner, two nice guys who I was glad to see dig deep and go big and beat us. Jared and Andrew, Matt and Brad, Mark and Adam, too many people to name them all.

Day 1:


Cove Creek > 225 > 475B > 276 > 1206 > 5000 > Spencer Gap > 5000 > 5001 > Bear Branch > 5000 > 1206 > Laurel Mtn. > Pilot Rock > 1206 > 276 > 477 > Club Gap > Buckwheat Knob > Bennett Gap > Coontree Gap > 276 > 475

Day 2:


475 > 229 > Art Loeb > 229 > 471 > 471D > Butter Gap > Cat Gap > 475 > 276 > Pink Beds > South Mills River > Buckhorn Gap > Black Mtn. > Clawhammer > Maxwell Cove > Clawhammer > 477 > Bennett Gap > Coontree Gap > 276 > 475 > Davidson River > 475

Spencer Gap:


Bear Branch:


Turkey Spring Gap:


Club Gap:


Saddle Gap:


Farlow Gap:


Butter Gap:


Long Branch:


Pink Beds:



Buckhorn Gap:


Pressley Gap:


Coontree Gap:


1 comment:

  1. Great meeting you and yuri.
    Super strong rides on SS!
    I didn't realize that you had like 5 flats on Saturday.
    We'll ride again.
    Jim Rivers