Heather's parents came up to see our new house this weekend, so Friday and Saturday we hung out with them. Before we met up with them on Saturday morning, though, we walked down the street and watched the roadies from the Assault on the Carolinas zip by.
I believe there were 700-800 riders this year, and it was more of a festival atmosphere than in years past. They had a band playing, vendor booths, and food and drink booths. Hopefully a precursor to a mountain bike festival in the near future? If you rode in the race, I might have a pic of you if you go to my Flickr page.
Sunday, we met the pseudo in-laws for breakfast before they headed home, and then I went to Pisgah for a longer ride. I started off climbing up Clawhammer, and immediately regretted eating french toast right before the ride. I felt better by the time I hit the top though, and continued down Buckhorn Gap to South Mills River. That was my first time down that way, and I really enjoyed it.
From S. Mills, I took Pink Beds. I really wanted to do Squirrel, but I had no way to get more water, having left my filter at home. Once I got up to the Pink Beds lot, I refilled my water and headed down 276 to 477, and up Club Gap. Club Gap is rough and straight up, but thankfully short. I then sat down in whatever shade I could find for a quick break at the intersection.
I was thinking about going down Avery, but felt like I had a little more in the tank, so I headed up Black instead. On a downhill section, I came around a corner a little too hot, and my front wheel slid out. Everything went in slow motion for a second, and down I went. I landed hard on my left side and just stayed still for a minute. Once I realized that nothing was broken (bike or body), I got up and noticed the major knot in the side of my calf. I tried to work it out, but it wasn't helping, so on I went.
Once I got down to Buckhorn Gap, I was really wishing I had just gone down Avery, and in fact, I still wanted to go down Avery, but how should I get over there? Well I decided I wasn't beat up enough, so I thought some exploring would be in order. I had noticed an unimproved road on the map that connected Clawhammer to Avery (5057), and wanted to check it out. I headed down the somewhat overgrown path, and all was well for a bit, but then I ran into sections that were totally overgrown with thorn bushes. I was glad I had just filled my tires with some fresh Stan's, but wished I had worn long pants and long sleeves.
I eventually made it over to Avery, and the trip down was a blast, and uneventful. It was a great, and long day in Pisgah. This place is like nothing else. I only rode 25-30 miles, but I was in the forest for 5+ hours. The miles here are tough and slow-going.