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
|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.