Thursday, July 19, 2007

Do Not Seek The Treasure

Last night’s ride was one of those ones where everything goes right and everything goes wrong. When we got to the parking lot there was a plethora of high school runners in the lot. They were there to run for running camp. A quick thunderstorm halted our ride for a few minutes. Just as the rain let up D-Kuntz came rolling up. He was late because of a wreck on 276 coming from Brevard.

We had Dennis, Dave Rock Mover Cook, David George, Jeremy and Zach out for the ride.

We started out the ride climbing some of the hardest stuff in Dupont. Out of the parking lot we went from a resting rate to redlined going up Mine Mountain. From there we went up the ever so subtle, do you sense any sarcasm Cart Trail. From there we went across the river and up the steep technical side of Cedar Rock. I watched Zach zigzag up some of the steepest terrain I have ever seen a single speeder ride.

As we came down Big Rock I was interested to see the finishing touches that the Trails Dynamic’s team put on all of our hard work from Saturday. WOW, is all I can say. The rock armoring came out fantastic and will only look better with time. The trail is a little more tame but at the same time its sustainability has moved up off the charts.

Our group started breaking up at this point, Rock Mover Dave and Zach took off toward the cars. The rest of us took off up Longside and up to the Rock Quarry. We were headed to the Canon Creek out and back for the second time this week.

Last night was the first time in awhile that I felt really strong on the bike. I was climbing hard and really railing the corners. After we made the climb to the highest point on Canon Creek, I stopped and waited for Jeremy, David G and Dennis. This section of the trail sits on top of a huge slab of slick rock.

When everyone arrived I was ready to rail the downhill. I took off down the short 50 yard slick rock section when halfway through I tapped the back brake and felt my back end swing way out like a ballerina dancer. The slick rock gods decided to let me live on this day and after I was 90 degrees off the line I was originally on, I was able to pull it together and ride a safe line down into the woods way off the trail. Yeeeeesh, beware the black ice slick rock on Canon Creek.

The sweetest moment of the day was here, slicing and dancing through the trees on Canon Creek is indescribable. My words only take away from the experience that this trail provides. I think I am in love.
Coming back to the slick rock in the middle of Canon Creek, I watched Dennis slip out trying to climb the same rock that I had done pirouettes down earlier. Then came David G, and he was able to pull out the climb after he pulled four pedal stokes in virtually the same spot with his wheel spinning like Jeff Gordon’s after a Daytona win. Ok it was more like skkkkkk, skkkkkkk, skkkkkkkk, skkkkkkkkkkkkkkk, but the first explanation is way more dramatic.

Jeremy took off from the group making a beeline for the cars as his wife is expecting soon and he had business to take care of. David G got to the top of the climb and exclaimed that he had nothing left. I asked him if he needed anything and he responded with “If I can’t make it out of the woods, I deserve to die here.” Fair enough Dennis and I continued on our journey up Buck Ridge headed to Micajah and Wilikie.

At the top of Micajah, Dennis was in the lead and when we got down to the slick rock on Wilikie he was still in the lead. The trail here turns to sections of slick rock filled in with big boulders and baby heads. I saw Dennis slow way down so I started to shoot past him on the left figuring he was nervous about the slick rock coming up when I heard the word “Bear” come out of his mouth. I looked up but I was too late. We went down to the spot where he had seen the black bear and Dennis said it was the biggest one he has seen to date and this guy lives in Pisgah! I can’t believe I didn’t see it, that’s what I get for passing.

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