05 April, 2010

Too Hot for April

Or at least too hot for a planned week of activity. A long list of things have fallen through for the week (new bike, and Cicli Polito training camp) but the dog days of April have filled themselves right up.

Saturday I got the typical last minute call from Doug. Doug's an old climbing bum turned engineer, who is currently trapped in Peoria, IL. When Doug gets a whim, he jumps in his 350,000 mile young Ford Ranger and heads down here, calls me from the Tennessee border, and asks if I wanna go climbing. Last time we did this we got stormed off The Nose, on Looking Glass. Our third pitch turned into a Zen fountain, and we made a somewhat safe, but really just more laughable rappel, 25 degrees colder than we started, and miserably got back to the car.

Establish Rule #1. Don't break all my climbing rules (weather, start time, season, grade...) just to climb with Doug.
Erin, the highest she's ever been off the ground, halfway through Pitch 1
April 3rd. Break Rule #1. Start 4 pitch climb at 3pm, and add an enthusiastic single pitch sport climber to the mix.
Doug helping through the top of Pitch 1
I wanna say we moved as efficiently as possible, with both seconds climbing together, one never more than 5 or 6 feet away from our girl. It was safe. It just wasn't all that fast. The sun set behind Farlow to our west as Erin and I hung on a 3 piece anchor, with Doug scampering around the vertical world above us. Pitch 4 was supposed to reach anchors. Doug couldn't find any. After 20 minutes, I checked my tone and asked him to politely build a goddamn anchor so we could do a short 5th pitch of 5.1 climbing and get off the cliff. He concurred.
Erin got up, I got up. In kind of a huff, I grabbed the trail rope, and ran it out to the top, stopping to sling a tree and get to the summit. Dark. Bring the guys up, and because we were worried about Erin rappelling in the dark, opted for the safer, longer, and oft overlooked "walk-off & hitch hike" approach. Saturday over.

Sunday was a Bent Creek ride. While waiting in the parking lot, a lost but fast looking girl from Milwaukee was pleading for directions. The afterwork crowd was detailing every turn of the stupid Ledford maze, and my heart went out to her. I'm not local in a lot of cities I show up to. If I spent 10 minutes memorizing turns to later find out I had just been given the rosetta stone to a 4 mile loop, I'd be pissed.

"If you wait 5 minutes you can come ride with my friend and I"

Ed was late, but it worked out well enough. Did our normal loop, and then Katy and I took the long slow way back up to 5 points to take another whack at Ingles Field.

Bent Creek Loop GPS

Just a quick reminder. If you are newer to biking (an inaccurate statement in this instance, SLOW being a better one), you are definitely allowed to ride at Bent Creek. But if a party of three has been behind you for 10 minutes, and you know they are there, and if you are nearly stopping at every turn, or climb, and they say "when you have a chance there's three of us that would like to get by," the response is not;
"Well you're gonna god damn wait this time"
Jesus would be so disappointed Mr. Carolina Fatz Jersey guy. It's Easter afterall.

Monday Funday. The Wisconsoners, now Katy and and Team Pegasus team mate Chris (Chris needs a Bio), were looking for a road ride. Something 3.5 to 4 hours. I chose the 151 Loop. They may hate me.
Yeah, we're at the top.

And we're only half way, 26 more miles to go!

But they did it. We crawled into the Biltmore McDonalds for a round of milkshakes to celebrate what Chris called "the hardest thing he's done on a bike."

Katy could've sworn it was that tandem reach-around.

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