I've been sick. Or am just getting sick. I still can't tell because it gets worse everyday. A byproduct of a successful surprise birthday party for Kara in Durham. Good news is that Durham days means rest days (unless you count the 6 mile MTB ride I did at Harris "completely forgettable" Lake).
Sniffle. Cold. Today's forecast in the low 40s most of the day. No sun to be seen.
Let's go ride 151 and see what kind of shape it, and we, are in.
Approaching via Black Oak Cove, you can see the ominous, and snow covered, North Face of Mount Pisgah. Just a few BRP miles shy of that is our destination. It looked cold and snowy up there.
But the beginning of 151 wasn't too bad. I figured the top gate was closed, so there'd be no traffic for the entire climb.
I came up with the idea of doing the whole thing seated, and in the big ring. Not the most impossible thing ever, just wanted to work on the muscles and power a bit for doing the whole SS MTB thing. I was a much "faster" rider back when I rode a 49 x 16 around town all day, so I want to start forcing that system to get stronger and build on the past few years of steady-as-she-goes-cuz-she's-gotta-go-a-long-way fitness.
151 started to deteriorate quickly. A few head down efforts almost had me smack dab in the business end of some deadfall.
And then there was snow. AHHH yes that most highly revered form precipitation can take, and it still won't leave us alone.
The BRP was a ghost town, and looked like it was missing it's Viggo Mortenson, but it was car free. Not exactly a mindless decent though. At best you had one lane to work with, and there was a lot of snow, and running water that made you think twice about pedaling through a corner.
And beware the tunnels. I swear I almost hit Marjory Trash Heap in one of them,
but my flash revealed a deep blue tunnel glacier. That thing might be there a while.
Not in any rush, and wasn't going that fast anyway because of all the debris, so I stopped to take some photos at Mills River Overlook.
Looks peaceful out there today. Rumor has it there may be some mountain biking down there. By May.
This is just a side note. Last time Ed and I were up here, the BRP was open for business except for a half mile section where a landslide had occurred. Then, maybe 5 months ago, we wondered what all the hub bub was about, the "slide" had barely encroached on the medium, and it seemed a little over cautious to close the parkway down.
This is why I don't work as a civil engineer. That damn thing is busting through walls, kicking ass and taking names. We probably have a craggy style closure on our hands.
All in all, 46 miles, 4700 feet of up-edness, and just under 3 hours, which is by far the fastest I've done this loop, but the new starting point may have something to do with that.
Garmin Connect - Activity Details for 151 Loop