Cooking in my car, I made my way toward the mountains. As though an Angel had cloaked me in her wings, when I got to the Cliffs going up 25 the temperature dropped about 25 degrees from a recent rain storm. It made me smile and sing in my car.
When I arrived at the lot Brado was there getting ready for a ride. He said when he left his house in Greenville the temp read 104 and now it was 75 at the Fawn Lake parking lot.
BradO took off on his own and left David George, Jody, D. Cook, BrouSSard, D-Kuntz and I to tackle whatever we were going to tackle.
(In this picture Zach is apprently saying "Look at his leg's man, no way can I keep up with him. Me, well that is how I prepare.)
I gave the guys some route choices in the form of pick 1, 2 or 3 and they had picked the single track sampler but when we got to the intersection of Turkey and Reasonover, Cook spoke up and said he wanted to do the Tour De Dupont and go down Johanna. Ouch, this is going to hurt. Our ultimate route:
Fawn Lake Loop -> Reasonover -> Turkey -> Poplar Loop -> -> Turkey -> Pinnacle Mountain Road -> Johanna Road -> Grassy Meadows -> Johanna Road -> Grassy Creek -> Sandy Trail -> Tarklin Branch Road -> Flatwoods Trail -> Shoal Creek Trail -> Rifle Trail -> Guion Trail -> Hickory Mountain Road -> Hickory Mountain Loop -> Ridgeline -> Hooker Creek Trail -> White Pine Trail -> Buck Forest Road -> Jim Branch -> Lake Imaging Road -> Hilltop Loop -> Staton Road -> Sheep Mountain Trail -> ??? -> Buck Forest Road -> Cascade Lake Road -> Corn Mill Shoals -> Shoals -> Mine Mountain -> Airstrip -> Fawn Lake Loop
28 miles = After-Work Death March
I don’t have time to type up all that was one of the best rides we have ever had at Dupont but I will try to hit the highlights.
For some reason, I was finally able to keep up with the group decently well and it was a blast. BrouSSard had the fire in his eyes so I let him lead up down the rocky beast that is Johanna Road, I was following with I don’t know who behind me.
I really have to be “feeling it” to pull a fast line down Johanna as it is a crazy old road bed with gigantic rocks littering the trail everywhere. I was pulling a fast enough pace to be scared out of my rigid mind but I couldn’t keep pace with the Curtlo. When the trail turns from rocky to insanely freakishly rocky I heard somebody’s suspension rattling behind me so I sucked my sphincter into my stomach, let go of the brakes and held onto the grips as though I were a bull dog holding onto a tug-of-war rope.
BrouSSard was still bee bopping to his music when I rolled up and told him to hit the Grassy Meadows trail. Fun fun fun!!!!!
David Cook took us down Shoal Creek Trail which I have never been down and it was a hoot. Super fast cruising trail was a welcome site after rattling down the rocks.
The other highlight of the evening as always was coming down Hooker Creek Trail from Ridgeline. My god this trail is one of the best I have ever had the pleasure to set rubber on. Let me explain, the trail goes from super fast little rolling jumps and whoop-de-doos to tight slightly rocky mountain laurel tunnels with turns that tease you into letting go of the brakes and just hearing the ta-ta-tatatatatatata of the laurel leaves whipping by your arms.
BrouSSard was in front of me again but I wasn’t about to let him out of my sights on HCT, it is my trail. I held on the best I could with David Cook burning it right up my back wheel. After a couple hair raising turns, there is a set of roots and rock that I lauched off of, as I flew through the air I knew I wasn’t going to clear the last rock so I yanked the front then up to fly the front wheel over and then transferred all my weight forward to hover the back wheel over the rock. I made it clean and heard Cook screaming behind me “Holy $%^& that was awesome!” I was laughing and smiling like a giddy underwear gnome. I can hear my heart rate go up just typing about it.
After that there was more fun, pain and the end of the ride almost took me to a bonk. I couldn’t ask for more.
Photos courtesy of Brado.