Monday, April 30, 2007

Which Came First?

Both were spotted on rides this weekend. The chicken was guarding our bikes out at Lynch’s woods while the snake was hooraying our progress on Sunday.

Saturday was a great day at Lynch's, PS, Brian, Clint and I did two hard laps and called it quits.

Here is Palmetto Solo dropping into one of the tricky creek crossings. It is steep and rocky on both sides. PS cleaned it the first time this weekend. Nice work!

Saturday wasn't too eventful. The trails were clean for the most part and I still happened to kick up a spoke killing stick. Little jingly sounds are great around Christmas time, not so great out on the trails.

On Sunday it was just PS and I out hitting up Manchester State Forest. PS had decided to "fool around" with his single speed and there ended up being a lot of this:

No problemo though because I wasn't looking for a hard day. Big rides are coming soon and there is no reason to get torn down at this point.

We cruised up by the facny gazeebo for a break:

See the fence off in the distance with the small gate in-between? That is where a short rutted sandy downhill starts. I took the lead into the descent and ended up taking a nice sand digger. It was one of those you could see coming a mile away and I set the bike and myself down softly enough.

Here is PS rolling some single on K3:

The signage at Manchester hits close to "way cheesy" status.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Don't Fret

Here a couple pictures from yesterday's ride at Dupont:

Play on Playa, Playa's
Friday's Zen, yes that is a real advertisement:
Have a great weekend

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Beat Down

Last night completed my second week in a row riding Saturday through Wednesday. On Tuesday at The Queen I felt awesome. Last night, I felt like a big pile of crap. It is what I wanted to prepare for the PMBAR next week. I wanted to break myself down before the event one more time but I wanted it to be earlier than this weekend. I accomplished that full stride.

Last night we had Jared, Jeremy, Wooglin, BrouSSard, Blair and myself all show up for our weekly ride at Dupont.

We started off on a short loop because we thought D-Kuntz should be showing up. As we rolled down the first descent Jeremy pulled over with a flat. I hit my brake to slow down and heard pssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss, I pulled over with a flat too.

I am going to have to have a free tube stand set up in my car from now on because I have borrowed so many the past few days. Luckily I am surrounded by friends who carry tubes for me personally.

I knew we were close to the car so I pumped the rear tire back up to about 17 PSI and twinkle toed down to the car for some floor pump action.

No D-Kuntz so we rolled on. The rest of the ride was fast downs, slow ups (for me) and great single track. After coming down Jim Branch Blair (who was a Dupont virgin up until last night) declared “It doesn’t get any better than that.” I’d have to agree.

No pictures as I was too tired to even worry about the camera today.

There is crazy news on the horizon for the PMBAR. There is a chance that I could have a unique situation and I can’t wait! I can’t disclose the details until they are final.

Oh yah, if you are doing the PMBAR or just want some general entertainment. Check out Brado’s smack talking thread. It had me laughing hard!


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

MTBR Ride at The Queen

Wooglin started a thread that he was headed to Greenville and wanted to ride. So began the MTBR ride. Wooglin, UpstateSC-rider, 4000PSI, Wrtaylo and ExtrmTao all met up for a ride through “The Queen.”

Wrtaylo being the Queen’s master led us through most of the Doyle bottom loop and a bunch of stuff that I can’t name. I really need to learn that place so that I can guide through there but there are so many trails that go in so many directions. I just need to go get lost a few times instead of blindly following and going weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee this is fun.

Just as we started to get going I noticed my front tire was a little squishy, so I put some air in it and hoped for the best. Next thing you know, less than four miles into the ride my back tire goes flat after I rolled a log. I took the tire off to see a huge thorn sticking out of it.

When I pulled my last spare tube out of the bag, it had lost the presta valve, whoops. Luckily two other folk were rolling 29’ers and I borrowed a tube from 4000PSI, thanks! Yes, I realize I can use 26" tubes but I need durability.

I have had a barrage of thorn related flats, just as I have done well with lost contacts. Hopefully, I am getting all of this out of my system.

I felt really good last night as we rolled mostly single track. My new gearing 32X21 works really well out there. It was a great night to be had by all.

If this book didn’t have pictures . . .

Rick rollin' with his mind on Doyle Bottom and Doyle Bottom on his mind.
A side of Wooglin we don't normally see. . .
4000PSI showing us how all his PSI powers him through the whoop de doo.
The Drunken Monkey says "Hello UpstateSC-rider."
There is literally 0 signage at "The Queen," sometimes you get street signs.
UpstateSC-rider flowing it through the creek de doo:

Eleven Days Until Death

Announcement: It is on, tonight at Issaqueena and tomorrow at Dupont. 5:30 both days and Corn Mill Shoal's lot tomorrow.

So the first race of the year is quickly approaching. It should probably be called a “survival festival” more than a race. Considering only half the teams registered last year actually finished.

The only expectation I have for this Survival Festival, Adventure Race, Death March, call it as you like, is to finish with enough of my faculties in tact, so that I can lift a beer to my lips at the post race festivities. If I don’t accomplish this goal, could one of you please pour one in my mouth? I would greatly appreciate it.

So in my quest, I have put some pretty long days in leading up to now. At this point, there isn’t much more you can do in the way of “training.” To put it philosophically “What is, is and what was, was.”

So I put in a couple extra miles yesterday at Paris. I started off nice and slow hoping to ramp up to the rides today and tomorrow but I felt strong in the end yesterday which was nice.

PMBAR will be the first big test to see if I can nourish myself properly during a race this year. This always seems to be a tough spot for me but I have to figure it out before my big races this year.

I really hadn’t though much about the PMBAR before writing this and I think I will keep it that way until 11 days from now.

Did you know there is a team attempting this thing on fully ridged fixed bikes this year? Not only are they racing fixies, but they are their own creations. That’s right they roll there own. Yah, they are a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs but I wish them fixie speed.

Thanks to BradOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO for the nice pictures. This is the way we roll:

Monday, April 23, 2007

Happy Trails, Happy Dogs

Saturday morning I was awakened by the sun coming in through our tent. Somehow I had been transported through space and time to a place where mountain bikes and tents reigned.

The magnetic metal sound of the tent opening and the next thing I know, I am dropping blueberries into pancake mix on the griddle. Meals always taste better in the woods.

Quickly a fast paced ride commenced. Mike R. Mike B. Eric and myself all took off with furious vengeance against our one and only nemesis, time. Halfway up Cove Creek to the connector. Mike B. did not allow us to rest for fear that the beast of time might be lingering.

Eric shooting out of a creek on Cove Creek:

Mike B. showing us that Pisgah has roots:

Mike R. in the same spot:

Down Daniel ridge everything is flowing until Mike R.’s tube is bitten by a snake. No matter, after a quick change we are rolling again.

Completing the route and back out to the campground we float. Eric needed to leave for more important matters as Mike R. and I continued on up to Long Branch to complete our riding day.

It was a nice addition to the day. Then after a looooooooooooong party, we awoke Sunday to a BIG group ride.

The same route as Saturday on Daniel and then four of us broke off and headed past G. Gap and on to Butter Gap. I finally had some flow on Butter and felt good coming down. Back up Long Branch to complete the weekend.

Sunday’s group ride had some trail dogs tagging along. One good boy in particular was very good with bikes. As soon as you would come up on his tail he would jump off the side of the trail and watch you fly by before continuing on. It made me smile.

I don't remember this pup's name but here is his three shot sequence.

Now he says "I'm a happy dog and I'm ok."

Now he says "I got a stick, I got a stick, I got a stick."
And lastly "Hey fool! why did ya hit the brakes?"

Altogether not a lot of mileage, however they were some of the best miles a mountain biker can ask for. Peace

Friday, April 20, 2007

Root Canal Syndrome

Lately I have been experiencing this forsaken syndrome. What’s that, you haven’t heard of RCS? Well let me explain it to you.

Think about the most mundane tasks that you do everyday. Walk the dog, brush your teeth, apply some Afro Sheen in your hair or whatever. Now imagine that every time you do one of those things it feels like you are getting a root canal, sans Novocain. That is what RCS feels like.

I have been experiencing RCS way too frequently. I won't tell you where I have been experiencing these freak occurences because that is too boring. However, I can tell you to be on the look out.

So if you have been experiencing RCS lately, I have empathy for you my brothers and sisters. Have a great weekend!

Friday’s moment of Zen:

Peace like “ride your bike peace.” Not Peace like “peace out” peace.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Do You Take Your Own Advice?

I don’t. Yesterday, I said that Wednesday was going to be a rest day. Well until, I looked at the local Doppler radar and decided a ride at The Queen should commence.

I called the master of The Queen himself, Rick and we met up for an easy twenty twin twin twin miles.

We started off down the normal loopa we do and then Rick took me down a new section I hadn’t been on before. He mentioned something about a creek but I wasn’t paying attention, I was just riding my bicycle and smiling.
There was a little drop of moisture hear and there and the sky was overcast. It was nice as it calmed down the dust.

Once we made it to the creek, we crossed even though we had no idea where it led. Rick decided to get his feet wet with this move:
We cruised around for a bit and made our way to the pig horse trail:
Rick climbing climbing climbing:
Hey look, there's no snow but a double black.

I can't imagine why they put that there. . .
Rick railing a berm:
Rick dropping in:

Me going to town:

I wish I would have stayed at home and rested. . . NOT.
I forgot:
My hat goes off to the boys at the Clemson Freeride Club for making this happen. YOU GUYS *&%$#@ ROCK!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I Wasn’t Ready For That

Last night I headed out to Paris Mountain with a new little surprise in my hand. I received my 21 tooth cog from Endless Cog’s last night. So I was excited to put it on and see how it felt dropping a tooth on our local mountain.

Earlier in the day I had spied a thread on MTBR started by a friend of mine. I posted up that I was riding if anyone wanted to come out. SingleMinded1 posted up that he would be out there at 6:00. So I figured that would give me enough time to throw one of my Nevegal’s on the front tire, change my chain and gear.

I had never met SingleMinded1 but I looked up a picture of his bike and it was a single speed On One. Not too many cats roll with that kind of style around here so I figured I could spot him.

I got all my fooling around done and it was 5:30 so I headed up the left side of the mountain with plans to meet SingleMinded1 on my way back down the main trail everyone comes up. I had a nice fun easy climb up and was really grooving on the way down passing people going up here and there when I passed somebody on an On One. I yelled back for him to hold up and I introduced my self. As planned I had found SM1.

We turned around and started up Sulphur Springs. HOLY CRAP, this guy took off like a bat out of hell up the trail. I figured he was running some insane ratio and after a minute of killing myself to hang on, I just let him do his own thing. I was working on my fourth night in a row riding and I didn’t need to be doing that.

Eventually the trail flattens for a second and he had slowed down enough that I caught back up before the two steep ups. He killed it up the steeps again and all the way up to the paved road section. We started rolling up the tarmac when I asked him what he was running, 32X18. Are you friggin kidding me? In the mountains, on a 29’er running 32X18, that’s what I call “KILLING IT.” I asked him what his background was, BMX racing, 10 years of Mountain Bike Racing, a long hiatus, then in the past few years he started riding dirt again. Well that explains it.

He had to walk, thank the heavens, for a second going up the steep section on the road. Then I struggled to hold onto his wheel the rest of the day until we split up at the top of Firetower.

Things were uneventful for me. I dropped the chain twice because I always do that a couple times when I change the gear until I get it just right. I completed a circuit and I think tonight is going to be a restful evening. I need it.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Curves of Life

I recently bought a spare chain so I could make one the length I need for my 32X15 gearing and keep the other chain the length I need for my 32X19 – 22. During my whim of setting up my two different systems, I decided to make an adventure out of our usual walk around the Congaree Swamp on Monday.

I gazed at the map for a few minutes and then headed out on the Drunken Monkey to spin my ass off to the Congaree National Swamp. It was a flat uneventful ride for the most part but it was a gorgeous day.

I took all back roads and only had to ride the grass next to Bluff road for less than a ¼ mile before I was back on Old Bluff Road and headed to the swamp. It took me about an hour to get there from Kristin’s house.

Kristin met me over in the parking lot so we could take a quick walk. After I had spent most of the day on Sunday removing debris from the trails out at Manchester I figured there might be some carnage at the swamp but we were able to witness the loss of a monster.

As we rounded the last of our hike through the swamp, I smelled Christmas in the air. Then I looked to my left and there she was, a massive pine had fallen during the recent storms and winds. Due to the nature of where the tree fell we couldn’t really tell how tall the massive tree was but it was HUGE. There were a couple other trees that had been taken out in the fall as well. The boardwalk was lucky this time, it was right at the edge of the massacre. You could still feel the energy of the tree all around as we walked and looked for the beginning and end of the beast.

I took some pictures of the Pine tree lying there awaiting its untimely death but I would rather not post them as they don’t do the tree justice. So instead we will relish the trees that withstood the storm. Old growth is amazing.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Blue Man Catastrophes

This ride, things started going wrong long before we even knew we were riding. I paid a visit to my eye doctor last week. Instead of letting me stick with my tried and true contacts, he gave me the “latest and greatest.” When I put the new “all silicon” contacts in, I could tell they were weird but I went with them anyway.

I pulled into the Harbison State Forest’s front parking lot, pulled off my back wheel and struggled with my chain whip and adjustable wrench trying to loosen the gear. I wanted to put the cross country gear on and I just couldn’t get enough leverage to make it budge.

Barret arrived shortly thereafter and I asked him if he would help. I was holding the wrench while Barret leveraged the chain whip when all the sudden the pin holding the chain on the whip broke. There was a loud “ching” and I prayed that neither of us lost a finger but the gear still wasn’t loose.

I made the short drive to Harrell’s Bicycle World and showed Paul what had happened since he was the muscle behind the gear as I had him work on the bike the day before. Of course, he was able to easily remove the gear with one slight tug.

That was the start of the poltergeist ride at Harbison. Monty, Joe, Barret and I were all there to witness the beast at work. After I was able to subtract a couple teeth from my ratio, we were headed off down the trail.

A short warm up loop commenced, as Barret and I just let Joe and Monty do their thing in front of us. We were headed around the outer loop when I decided to cut everybody off and take the lead on my favorite Harbison downhill. We were flying down the trail negotiating one of the last turns on the downhill when I blinked. Both of my new contacts shot out of my eyes when I blinked. All of the sudden I could only see as far as my handlebars, I veered off the trail into the woods as I could feel my right contact on my cheek. So as I braked with my left hand, I grabbed the contact with my right. I was able to save the right one and I had another backup in my pack.

Yes, that is three Saturday’s in a row now. At least this time it wasn’t a stick in my eye. So I will let the doctor know that silicon is for breast implants and not contacts. I was able to work both contacts back in my eyes and off we rolled.

I had a secret mission for the day. I wanted to try and clean all 3.5 miles of Spider Woman’s hellish singletrack. I had never done it on the Drunken Monkey before. I wasn’t really feeling all that great as Barret and I dropped in and I said “This is going to hurt.”

The first mile and a half is fast and fun with lots of tight corners and couple quick ups to keep you honest. Then you come to the inner loop. The inner loop basically goes straight back up the hill in less than ¾ of a mile. The end of the climb is super steep and I gave it everything I had to get to the top. I was still struggling to get my breath as I rolled down the short flat section on Inner Woman. Bombing back down the inner loop, I knew I had to give it my all on the rock garden to conquer the Spindly Woman that day. I took it slow on the ramp up to the rock garden and then I started bouncing my way around her rocky upward sloping switchbacks. I made a three second track stand twice in two of the switchbacks but somehow pulled it out to the top. I was elated when I got to the top. All I had was about a half mile with one steep section left.

I came out of Spider Woman a new man. Sure I was sweating like I had just got done running the Badlands 100 mile marathon and my legs felt destroyed but I was happy. I put my bike down and started doing my “happy dance” in the middle of the trail. Right in the middle of my dance, I looked down the trail to see a Father and his young daughter walking up the trail. I sat down in the woods slightly embarrassed from my antics while Monty laughed hysterically at me. Then Barret said something to the effect “Doesn't anybody realize what is happening in my life right now?”

Barret had been bitten by the poltergeist as well. When we took off from the parking lot, his saddle bag was un-zippered by the beast. Then the dragon like beast managed to steal every possession out of the bag along with his car key and place them at random spots around the park. To make an even longer story shorter, we finished our ride with another outer loop and after many phone calls and a couple exorsism's through the woods by Barret, he found his key on the trail. The beast was only teasing him this day.

It was a sweet thirty miles and thanks to Mr. P for the after ride beverages.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday's Are Cool Mmmmmmmmkaaaaaayyyyyyy

Friday's moment of Zen. That was forty miles in on the Goat ride Saturday.

Manchester or Lynch's on Saturday and a long slow ride at Harbison on Sunday if you want to join in on the fun, drop me a line.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

You Should Listen

Not to me, that would be silly but when Warren Miller speaks, you should listen.

I remember when I was a wee little boy, not that I am a man yet but that is another conversation altogether. My Father was hip enough to buy Warren Miller’s Steep and Deep. That was my introduction to Scott Schmidt and “Extreme Skiing.” Warren’s captivating narration combined with the coolest skier’s of their time captured my attention like no other. In fact, sometimes I am surprised that I don’t live in a shack on a mountain somewhere out west, living out the ski bum’s dream.

Recently one of my good friends bought me Warren Miller’s “Higher Ground.” I watched in it’s entirety last night. What a fantastic movie! Warren still provides his witty humor to the movie but he doesn’t narrate the entire thing like in the years past. The movie combines some todays pioneer’s of snow sports along with an excellent sound track. I get the chills every time I watch one of his movies. In fact, if it is a year that I most likely won’t go skiing. I won’t watch any of his movies for fear of depression.

Warren is getting up there in age. He probably won’t be narrating his movies for much longer but hopefully his legacy will live on. It would be a sad, sad world without him. Thank you Warren and thanks to my Pops for showing me a passion that I hold close to my heart.

I am still waiting for that sort of passion to come from a Mountain Bike Movie. The Collective get’s very close. I believe over time, we will see more from the mountain bike community as a whole. After all, mountain biking is really still in its infancy compared to most of today’s popular sports.

The greenway information session went over very well last night. Andrew Meeker explained things quite thoroughly and it appears as though the city’s plan is right on track. The ultimate plan would be to interlink surrounding communities, hospitals, schools and parks with a interconnected greenway and bike paths.

As Andrew explained, many times signage is the number one priority over actually building new trails. Sometimes people need to be educated that they can get from place to place without using highways. I think it is very exciting for the city. If the plan panned out, it looks as though I could even commute to work using mostly trails and greenways. How awesome is that even though I most likely won’t be living where I am today when it is complete.

I saw all the local blogger’s out, good job representing people!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

It’s Not All Fun and Games

As our fitness progresses into something that actually resembles the word “fit” we must remember that many times races have a deeper meaning. I especially enjoy races that benefit a good cause. The Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race is just that. It benefits the Asheville Humane Society and you don’t have to be a racer to help support.

Eric is hosting a raffle and some awesome folks have donated items for the raffle. Here is a short list:

White Brothers Rock Solid Carbon 29er fork...
Waltworks steel 29er fork...
F&R Hayes mechanical disc brakes...
DeFeet Socks...
Tifosi glasses...
and much much much more!

All the proceeds will go to the Humane Society to help little poopers. Well I guess some of the big ones might be helped too. So if you are going to the race, bring some dollar bills for the raffle. If you are not going to the raffle consider visiting the thread on MTBR and help out.

Oh yah, and if you are going to the PMBAR and you haven’t paid your half of the monies to your partner yet, you owe three beers interest at this point in time. I really am one of the funniest people I know.

The rain is rolling in today. I think Mother Nature is telling us to go to our local advocacy meetings instead of riding. So do it.

BrouSSard and I got in a good spin at Paris last night. The weather is mighty fine these days. I am in no hurry to see the weather warm up. That just means I have to carry extra water for my sweaty butt.

It was determined that the Drunken Monkey needs some spa time. I am thinking laser removal of all hair, mud pack, frontirecure and reartirecure. Maybe even some liposuction.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Attention Greenvillians; Support Your Community

I don’t get into a lot of advocacy topics on this Blog but sometimes it is warranted.

Tomorrow 4-11-2007 From 4- 8 PM at the Palmetto Expo Center; You can come support Greenville’s initiative to create more greenways, rails to trails, downtown bike paths and trails.

We have a unique opportunity in Greenville, many of our higher officials and city council people support these initiatives. So please do your part and come out to represent the public’s opinion on these matters. Unless you don’t support a healthier, cleaner more advanced city of Greenville, then you should move far away.

I have an eye appointment this afternoon. I am sure the Doctor Nigh will make some sort of snide comment such as “Have you been poking sticks in your eye son?” To this, I will have to answer yes.

Just in case you didn’t see what my constructive time by the fire can do:
Thanks Clint!


Monday, April 09, 2007

April Snow Ride, Goat Style

As I drove up 25 Saturday morning, I started noticing cars with quite a bit of snow on them. Huh, southern snow in April I thought. That should make for an interesting day in the mountains. Jeremy had gathered some nutballs for the Goat ride.

Slowly our group amassed to 9 riders. It was a brisk morning, but nothing as cold as the last time we attempted a ride of this magnitude. During the week prior, I had convinced myself that I was going to give my legs a stress test on this day.

After a lot of chit chat about the cold, we headed toward North Slope, our route for the day would be:

North Slope, Black Mountain, Maxwell Cove, Clawhammer, Black Mountain, Club Gap, 276, 475B, 225A, Cove Creek, 225A, Daniel Ridge, 475, Cathy’s Creek, Butter Gap, Club Gap, 475, 276 to the cars.

I was right behind Mike B. on the first climb of the day when I heard a stick rustling over the top of his helmet. I looked up just in time to see a stick whip lashing into my eye. Struck in the face, I slam my bike down to the ground and grab my eye. I regained my composure to realize that I had lost my left contact for the second time two Saturday’s in a row. I tried to walk fast to let somebody know I would have to get my spare out. I caught up to a couple people waiting for me, whipped out my spare contact and on we went. The sting from the branch was immense, I couldn’t hold my left eye open for longer than a second without having to shut it. I was hoping that the sting would eventually go away so I could hold my eye open.

Going down snowy North Slope was a challenge. Wooden water bars were ice and snow covered and they gave me the jitters as I negotiated them like a one eyed captain negotiates the ice fields of the sea, very slowly. I made it down slowly without mishap, I was even able to negotiate the steps at the bottom.

We cruised back by the cars and waited as a couple people messed with minor mechanicals. Next up was up Black Mountain. Going up Black was not nearly as tough as it seemed earlier in the year. I was able to ride most of the steeper pitches with my gear and when I was walking, most of the gearies were walking.

When the trail kicked down for the last little bit, I slowly made my way down again as the trail was super slick with snow. About that time I was able to finally hold both eyes open but my left eye was pretty blurry. We cruised down Maxwell Cove.

Again I felt pretty good going up Clawhammer and as I turned the last switchback, I looked up and saw Mike in front of me. If I was keeping pace with Mike, either he felt bad or I felt good. We chilled for a minute at the gap and then made our way to Club.

I had never gone down Club Gap before, only up. So I looked forward to jumping in line and that is what I did. I was in front of Broussard and Dave as I cruised down. I was feeling good when I looked up and saw a large branch lying in the middle of the trail. I navigated my front wheel and left pedal by the branch when I heard WHAM! Next thing I knew I was catapulted through the air, shoulder hip and back check the ground and I slide to a stop. My back wheel just barely caught the branch. I ate the dirt hard, really hard. Luckily I came to a stop just before the big bone breaking rocks.

I collected myself, checked out the bike. Nothing broken on either but my hands were now frozen from being drug through the snow. I had to take it real slow the rest of the way down the short downhill.

As we climbed up 475 headed to Cove, I warmed back up and felt good again. We started cruising down Cove and soon thereafter Mike flatted. Close to the same spot I flatted on Cove eight days before.

We took the short cut back up to 225 and over to Daniel. Coming down the rocky section of Daniel I heard some ringing in my spokes. I had broken one off.

Over the old washed out bridge and on up to Gloucester Gap. I was still feeling pretty good on this climb and pushed it hard. We stopped at the Gap for a rest and then pushed the rest of the way up to Butter. I thought about the last time I had ridden Butter, during the SWANK. I took up residence, second to last going down Butter, I needed to go slow.

Once we made it out to the Fish Hatchery, the call was made to head back to the cars. It was a long day on the bike with around 45 (remember, Pisgah miles are like dog years) miles in the end.