So I got a route recommendation from brado for a nice loop to hit Laurel Mtn. I took FS 1206 and parked at Pilot Cove, as recommended. From there I took 1206 up to Laurel Mountain Trail to Laurel Mountain Connector to Pilot Rock Trail to 1206 then back to the Heep. Apparently brado thought I was in better shape than I was. It was only ~12 miles, but that's about equivalent to a 40 mile ride in Cincy. This loop gave me a swift kick in the ass, but it was a blast. It started off with FS road climbing, then rocky singletrack climbing and hike-a-bike sections. Once you got past this, there was some really nice, flowy contoured ridge riding. Really nice trails. Then, of course, there would be a huge field of rocks to navigate (walk) through/over/under. There was one demoralizing hike-a-bike section just before hitting the connector trail, and then there was Pilot Rock Trail. Insane downhill. Steep, rocky, loose, switchbacky (I just made that up) terrain that went on and on. It was a ton of fun even though I wimped out on a few spots. This downhill really beat me up on my rigid, but I definitely noticed today how much better the big wheels roll over rocks. Anyway, fun loop that I will hit again, fo sho. True Pisgah and the reason I moved here.
On a small side note, every route suggestion I've received here has ended with "And if you have anything left after that..." I love that. There is just so much good riding here, that you can add on more loops if you feel up to it. Of course, I haven't had anything left after that yet. In time.