Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Paris at Night

The Eifel Tower is just so beautiful all lit up. . .

I couldn’t resist. I wasn’t really in Paris France last night. However, if you ride a mountain bike in Greenville and you weren’t at Paris Mountain last night, you were definitely out of the norm. When we got back to the parking lot around 8:00 last night, every single parking spot was filled up. I would have never thought it would be that busy.

Rick, Lou, Jeff and I rode all the trails last night. We left from the bottom of the mountain and slowly worked our way to the top parking lot. There were some new introductions so chatting was at a high. We took the fire tower loop at the top. I tried to keep the pace slow in the beginning because I know what the end entails. Jeff was right on my back wheel during the climb. He was talking about how much the park had changed since he had last been there. The dirt road that we were climbing used to be the only “trail” open to bikes. Now there is approximately 18 miles of trail with six miles being added.

We quickly arrived at the top of the fire tower trail. The next section of fire tower is littered with rocks. It has one steep climb and then a semi-steep but fast downhill.

I was feeling really good on the trail considering I finally had my lighting system working to my advantage. It took a little Mcguyvering to get my bar mount to work properly this year since I am mounting it to curved riser bars. The ultimate solution seems to be using pieces of old tubes to help secure it. It also helped that everyone that I was with last night had lower wattages than me so I didn’t get any shadowing effects from the lights behind me.

After the grueling uphill on fire tower, we start cruising downhill. This is a section of trail that has bitten me a couple times before. So I was trying to stay in chaotic control when my back wheel caught a root and my seat slammed me in the butt. My left foot immediately came unclipped and started flailing around my left ear. I managed to keep my balance and hold onto the trial with only one foot clipped in. I made it about fifteen feet to a flat spot, clipped my left foot back in and kept cruising. It was a “sweaty” moment.

We cruised down the rest of fire tower and then made a left headed down toward the lake. Cruised the lake trail and made the climb out. I had Jeff tailing me pretty good coming out again so we pushed it hard and passed some folks on the way back up.

We made a left down Brissy Ridge, my favorite downhill. I found myself at the bottom waiting to see when the next light was coming. Soon we were all there and we took the road back to the top of the mountain. Close to the top, I asked who was down with going down the top of Sulphur Springs. Rick the only person there with six inches of travel front and back started whimpering. Luckily Lou (who I had never met before) chimed in that he would like to conquer that section. That was all I needed to hear.

The top of Sulphur Springs is very Pisgahesque. It is very steep, rocky and rooty. I exclaimed that I hadn’t taken the rigid fork down it yet. So why not do it the first time at night? It was great fun. Again I found myself at the bottom watching the lights pick there way through the trees. From here it was an easy cruise back to the car. It is also my favorite section of trail. It is super fast and twisty with a couple drops and some great jumps mixed in. Jeff was right on my wheel the entire time and he saw me “really feeling it” when I crossed the log bridge at the end. Another great night of mountain biking.

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