Monday, November 21, 2011


So I haven't really done much that was post-worthy since Single Dare.  A little bit of hiking and a little bit of riding, but the camera hasn't come out at all.  I started a new job about a month ago, and although it's great to be working full-time hours, it sucks to be working full-time hours.  I haven't been nearly as motivated to do much in the woods, let alone post on here.  Hopefully that'll change soon, though, as I get in more of a routine.  The job is great, btw, thanks for asking.

This past weekend, I received a couple of reminders of how great it is to live in Brevard.  On Saturday, Heather and I were tooling around town, and a yellow pickup truck drove by with a dummy dressed up as a hunter strapped to the hood.  The driver and passenger were both dressed up as deer, and as they drove by they yelled "We got one!"  That was hilarious to me, and it's the quirky little things like that that make me love Brevard more and more.

On Sunday, I was reminded (like I needed it) of just how great the riding is around Brevard, because I made my first ever trip up to Bent Creek.  I see no need to ever go back there.  Every parking lot was full, and the trails were pretty boring.  I rode the higher trails including Wolf something, Ingles something, and the famous Greens Lick, and then back the way I came.  I guess I'm just spoiled living here or something.  A few years ago, I probably would have loved the trails at Bent Creek, and I think it is probably a great trail system for newer riders, roadies that want to ride their mountain bikes the same way they ride their road bikes, and folks who live in Asheville and don't feel like traveling to Mills River, Brevard, or Cedar Mountain.  I'm definitely blessed to live where I do.

I'll post some pretty pictures again soon.  I promise.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Single Dare

It was a great Single Dare experience this, my first year racing. We got to the group camp around 11, with just enough time to set up camp and get ready. The race started at noon, and Eric, Mr. Pisgah Productions, told us we had to start and finish on Cove Creek Trail, get the mandatory checkpoint, and be back before midnight in order to officially finish Single Dare.

We got our passport and headed up the trail at a slow and steady pace. Once to the top of Cove Creek, we started the long gravel grind to 276, then to 477, and up Club Gap Trail to our first CP at Club Gap. My partner had some heavy legs early in the ride, but I was confident he'd work out the kinks. From Club Gap, we decided that instead of just going back the way we came to get to Pilot, we'd take the more fun route and head over Black to Buckhorn Gap, to S. Mills, 476, 1206, and then Pilot. Surprisingly, the Black hike-a-biking did not help work the kinks out. And then we got to Pilot.

The mandatory CP was at the junction of Laurel Mountain Trail, and the Laurel/Pilot Connector Trail. The fastest way to get up there is to push your bike straight up Pilot for about 2.5 miles. It is a steep and loose climb, and just when you think you're almost there, you're not even friggin close. We finally made it up to the mandatory, and we both had dead legs. It was probably in the 20s up there, and we hung out at the volunteers' campfire for a while and drank a beer. I attempted the bonus challenge, which was hitting a plastic pumpkin with a slingshot from a pretty good distance. I was damn close with every shot, but was ultimately unlucky.

From there, we pushed our bikes back up the connector trail, and then rode down Pilot very wussily carefully. Somewhere along the way down, or up, or somewhere else, we decided that we were done. We made it to the bottom, and started the long gravel ride back to the top of Cove Creek. We stopped at the gravel road that leads to Cove Creek in order to turn on our lights, but somehow my fully charged battery became fully uncharged, and my light wouldn't work. Thankfully, the Single Dare rules require a backup light. Unthankfully, my backup light is a 40 lumen Petzl Tikka. Not so good for riding a bike at night. It sorta worked, though, and we finally made it back to the group camp to the sound of cold people cheering our amazing Single Dare accomplishment.

Photo by brado1

It was finally time to be a little less serious and hang out by the fire with some beers. More racers came in and the crowd around the fire got bigger and bigger, but then it got smaller and smaller as people hit the rack. A small group of us stayed and enjoyed the milieu, and then all of a sudden, some guy came out with a cowbell to wake people up for something called Double Dare. It was all too much for me to comprehend, so I snuck off into the darkness to get some sleep.

Photo by brado1

All in all, it was a great Single Dare. We only got two CPs, but we finished, and we drank a lot, and that's really what it's all about. I may have to look into that Double Dare thing for next year, or maybe not.