Wednesday, May 11, 2022

2022 Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race

Compared to last year's surprise epic rendition that had us squeaking in just seconds before the cutoff, this year's version of the Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race was rather uneventful.

When David and I got the passport at the start the surprises turned out to be there was no silly prologue loop and no mandatory checkpoint. Without a mandatory we were forced to decide at the start if we wanted to go ahead and skip Cantrell or if wanted to leave the opportunity open for all five CPs. We chose the option for all five and headed counterclockwise across Squirrel to Bradley Creek. Squirrel Gap saw us in the thick of the middle of the pack where many teams seemed to not know how to pass or racing ethics which was frustrating but representative of the new breed of mountain bikers. We rolled straight through the CP while a dozen teams that had been in such a hurry to get by minutes before milled about doing who knows what. I remarked to David we would be seeing most of them finish after us and that turned out to be true. 

Anyway, on to Bradley Creek we went where we quickly passed more teams and where I wasn't expecting to be caught but a voice came up behind me and when I looked it was Team Dicky.

'Dicky, what are you doing here? You should be way up front.'

'We made an error.'

'You can make it up,' I said, 'Go Dicky, go!'

Rich and I are the longest running PMBAR competitors and knowing he was looking for the big W, I was geniunly bummed for him and was hoping they could indeed make it up.

Down to Mills River and then right back out again we went. On the climb back up to Yellow Gap we chatted with Chris N. and Joe about the best route to Slate Rock Creek and then when forced to make the call for ourselves we perhaps fumbled it by going out and back on the cove side instead of up the creek. I also started to get dehydrated and was having stomach issues through this stretch and relinquished my pack to Cook but we made it to #5 and then back to the road and the home stretch.

Our final descision was at Buckhorn Gap. Do we go down the road or over the top? We weren't winning and climbing Maxwell didn't sound fun so over the top we went. If we were to have made a mistake during the race this was it - I know the road is a lot faster but we took the trail anyway.

After 63 miles and 9500' of climbing we finished my 16th PMBAR in just under 11 hours. Another great day in the woods with a friend.

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