I was ready for a brisk morning on Saturday but it ended up being pretty mild. It was a beautiful drive through Flat Rock as the trees seemed to be peaking in North Carolina this weekend. It was nice to take the long way and stare at the vast amounts of forests that exist around the border of North and South Carolina. If I haven’t said it lately, I LOVE FALL!
We had an excellent group of me, Sam, Eric, Jody and Dennis show up for a semi-long ride. Our ultimate route would be:
Grassy Roads --> Sycamore Cove --> North Slope --> 276 --> 477 --> Bennett --> 477 --> ClawHammer --> Maxwell Cove --> Black Mounatin
The warm-up up Grassy Roads was nice and we stopped just before the second turn to Sycamore for a quick air up of some tires and then we were off. I took the lead up the steep section of Sycamore with Jody breathing right behind me. As soon as the trail started shooting down, I was grooving pretty good, Sycamore is such a great ride. After the little steep step down, Dennis jumped up and took the lead. I took off after him and I had my first ear to ear smile kicking as we both carved our way to the bottom.
Next up was North Slope for the first time this year!! What a great little trail! When we got to the top I told Eric that he looked like he wanted to go fast. He said “I don’t know the trail.” I responded with “You don’t have too.” Well, if he didn’t know the trail, no one would have ever known it. I fell in behind Eric and we pounded our way down the trail as fast as our bikes would take us. The small natural berms on North Slope keep you on the trail and you can carry all of your speed into and back out of the corners. We were having such a great time and flying that we both burned the turn down the steps and went riding into the woods laughing. I noted that if we would have hit the steps at that speed it would be quite the bronco ride.
After North Slope Jody and Eric debated whether they had time for the proposed route up Clawhammer. Yes they did, no they didn’t, yes they did. . . Eventually they didn’t so we climbed up 477. This was the first time I had ever climbed 477 and it was a good burner.
Once we got to the top of Bennett, I knew my leading skills were done. However, Eric wanted me to go first. I took the lead knowing I would have to let Eric by soon. The first little tech stair drop I had to bail and both Eric and Dennis cleaned it.
On down to the Devil’s Stair case and Eric nailed it. The rest of us humbly walked. Once down Bennett, Jody and Eric bid us adieu and Dennis, Sam and I continued to finish the loop up Maxwell to Black.
Great day in the woods!