05 April, 2009

Vacation Time.....

So after a 9 week blitz of work, I'm enjoying two weeks off. And its going to fucking snow in North Carolina. Thanks God, all those years in my life I wasted believing in you, remember, those years before I could tie my own shoes, and this is the thanks I get. I'll remember that.
I guess you did give us this. 400 years ago. Good job. And along the way you gave us the Tomato. He and Joe were pointing out some of the trails across the valley, and when asked to recreate the pose for a shot, he gave us this...Good work buddy. That'll help everyone out. We enjoyed a beautiful Sunday or riding. It had rained on and off all week (I hear) and also on Saturday when I got in from Seattle. Sunday was a sunny spring day. I met Jonathon and the South Carolina crew of Joe, Jim and Dennis at the Black Mountain parking lot in brisk temps. We rode Sycamore Cove, a first for me. What a great trail. The days of parking at Black Mountain and killing myself out of the gate up Black are done for. Sycamore is a nice couple mile loop that serves as a great warm up, and its technical enough (at least when wet) to wake you up early in the morning. We followed it up with a seasonal lap on North Slope again. That damn root hole almost got me again, as did the stairs. Another fun loop that I'm going to miss in a few weeks when it goes back to non bike status.

The main event was the climb up Black. We had all kinds of plans involving trails on the otherside of Clawhammer, but never really made it. South Carolina, the little sister of North Carolina, apparently lacks the elevation change of the bigger brawny North Carolina. In their defense, climbing Black isn't an easy task. I felt really strong on it. I'd climb till I couldn't any more, grab a tree, grab some breath, and continue. I got the new GX2 grips from Ergon, and am digging the little bar ends. Something about turning your forearm 90 degrees and getting a little forward of the front axle seems to give a lot more power for SS climbing. As we gained some elevation, the sun came out, and the trail dried out. Really a perfect day on bikes.

We played around on all the technical stuff along ridge. I actually made all the switchbacks until the sharp right with the rock gap, and then after that it was hit or miss until I pussed out on the rock step thing that girls ride. Our gender is under attack....or maybe my riding abilities shouldn't be used as an example of "man" riding. After play and crash time, we enjoyed the radiant warmth of the rocky outcroppings, and then just decided to reward our efforts with an extended downhill back to the car. I've actually never ridden down Black, and it was long over due. It was even drier now in the afternoon and was a lot of fun. The bottom gets faster, but unfortunately wetter on this day, and we eventually ended the day mud covered and thirst quenched with a car-warmed Yeungling in the parking lot, and some mexican food in Brevard.

Yeah Spring.

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