Wednesday, October 31, 2012

At Home In The Forest

I wonder if they are making cookies in there.

DuPont was so awesome, and I didn’t want to go home.  That may also explain why I’m still talking about it for a third day, but whatever.

Next stop, Triple Falls.

This is yet another gorgeous view of water falling over rocks of course, and once again we took our asses down to the bottom to check it out.  It was nice, but there were way too many people around.

We didn’t stay there too long because there were so many folk wandering around talking about stupid shit, so we high tailed it over to the last set of falls for the day…

Hooker Falls.

No, there weren’t any prostitutes there (fortunately for us.)  Since the coast was clear (i.e not that many people), we parked our bike to hang out for a while.

And I got a pretty good shot of the falls.  It was one of the few photos I got that day without any people in it.

Since I was taking photos, I got one that shows the colors of Autumn pretty well.

Ahhh, fall.  The leaves are a chaingin’.  That means Old Man Winter will be here soon.  Shit.

With our day in the forest coming to a close, we rode outta there and headed back to my truck.  It was a fine day for bike riding and waterfall viewing, and it was just what I needed to combat a bad case of burnout.  No racing, training, or any of that other bullshit…

Just a nice ride with folks who wanna be outside enjoying the fact that they’re outside.  I needed that.

No trip to Western NC is complete (for me anyway) without a trip to one of the coolest bike shops around…

With beer on tap and a great selection of bike stuff, it was a nice way to end our day.  Of course it didn’t end there though, because we were hungry.  Even though there were plenty of places to eat nearby, we opted to drive up to Asheville to my favorite, Papas & Beer.  They have great Mexican food and of course, beer specials.

Riding all day around waterfalls, drinking beer, and blogging about it for three days?

That’s what I do.

It’s also exactly what I needed to cure the funk I was in.

I feel much better now.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

All The Way Up

After leaving Bridal Veil Falls, we had to climb.  It was on a fire road, so it wasn’t too bad.  Still, it was steep, but I knew the reward was good.  We told TomTom that he will be sufficiently rewarded for this climb with stellar views and a nice descent on some fun singletrack.  I’m talking about our ride to the top of the AirStrip.

The airstrip is pretty cool, and I’ve heard several stories of what it used to be.  Basically, it’s an old airfield complete with a hangar (shown above.)  It may or may not be used for airplanes anymore, but that doesn’t matter.  We enjoyed riding on it, and really loved the view. 

Lunchbox hurried to the end so he could take it in.

And the view was good for sure.

Since we climbed all the way to the top of that thing, it was time for a picnic.

Or a snack.

There is a trail coming off the airstrip (called the Airstrip Trail for some reason), and it’s one of the best rides out there.  Mostly downhill, it has bermed turns, a few rocks, and you can haul ass.  We went down it so fast that I didn’t get any photos of it.  I suck.

We caught a connector trail that led us back to the road, and climbed another gravel road to the next destination…

High Falls.


There’s a covered bridge at the top, and it was really cool.

While taking that photograph, I learned something about an old saying:

You can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink.

This area is pretty crowded with tourists trying to see locations used in the movie The Hunger Games.  Since it is only a short walk from another parking lot there were all kinds of people there.

Like this idiot that “captured” the home of some stinging insects.

After leaving the crowd, we rode some trails up and then back down to get to the bottom of High Falls.  The view was once again awesome.

And once again, I’m cutting this off.  Lots of photos and fewer words make a better blog post, mostly because I’m a shitty storyteller.  See y’all tomorrow for what could possibly be the last installment of our DuPont ride.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Left The City Behind

And headed towards the mountains…

You already know (if you read it on Friday) that we took off to DuPont State Forest, and I couldn’t get outta town fast enough.  TomTom showed up bright and early Saturday morning, and he piled into the truck with Lunchbox and I to hit the road.  It would turn out to be a great day.

When we got there, we got ready to ride.  It was only slightly chilly outside, so I opted for my DeFeet arm warmers, base layer, and knee warmers.  It was a beautiful day, and we couldn’t wait to hit the trail.  We climbed for a bit, descended for a bit, and after a short while we ended up at a creek crossing. 

Lunchbox knew the water was cold, and he dreaded wading through it.

We ran it to the Total Cyclist crew out on a training ride, and they had safely made it across the river without getting frostbite. 

While we contemplated the chilly water crossing, we looked around to enjoy the real reason we were out there…

The scenery:

We couldn’t sit there all day, so we took off our shoes and made the journey across the small stream.

After getting across, we climbed up for a little while, enjoying the cool mountain air.  After making a fast descent, we made it to our next destination.

And we parked our bikes to check it out.

Bridal Veil Falls was freaking awesome as usual.

Lunchbox took a moment to contemplate the beauty of it all.

Then we walked up to the top to get a closer view of the falls.

We felt like we were on top of the world.

We didn’t want to stop there though, so we went back behind the falls.

TomTom had never been here before, so he was in awe.

Lunchbox was digging it.

I freaking love this place.

Since I posted up a shitload of photos today, I’m cutting it off here.  We were out there for a long time, so it’s perfectly acceptable to drag this out over several days.

That’s what I do anyway, so you should be used to it.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, October 26, 2012

I’m Outta Here

This weekend is gonna be a good one.  Lunchbox, TomTom, and I are taking off bright and early tomorrow morning and heading westward.  Our destination? 

The Land of Waterfalls. 

That’s right folks, we’re heading over to Dupont State Forest for a ride.  I’d like to tell you that I got the idea from Eastwood since he was just there, but I didn’t.  We’ve been planning this trip for a little over a month now, and it’s finally time.  TomTom is rocking his new squishy bike and Lunchbox has a new 29er (as do I), so we wanna take them out for a day trip of singletrack goodness, waterfall viewing, and general “getting the hell out of Dodge” time.  I need this for sure, especially after a long season of driving all over the place to “race.”  This time we drive for fun, to ride for fun. 

Does that make sense?  Hell yes it does.

In other news, I just became a little more awesome.  The fine folks over at Backcountry Research sent me a care package and I’m all giddy about it (I love getting stuff in the mail.) 

First up, a surprise in the form of the latest beer temperature regulating technology.

You can never have too many coozies, and I’m happy to add this one to the collection.

Next, is an upgrade for my geared bike. 

Although I’ve been rocking the Awesome Strap Race on my single speed for a while now, I was doing the old school thing on the geared bike.  It was time to upgrade, and now it’s called the Race II.  It will hold everything I need, and I can’t wait to test it out. 

If “everything I need” isn’t enough, I have some more options to carry my shit with me.  Check these out:

The Mütherload will hold all that and a bag of chips, and the Tube Tourniquet will keep an extra tube on my bike in case of serious trouble. 

So now, I can carry tons of emergency supplies when I’m out riding.  I dig that.

But wait, there’s more.

The Fönbag was something that I didn’t think I needed, but after holding one in my grubby little hands I realized that I probably won’t be able to live without it.  When I’m riding (not racing), I like to bring my phone with me just in case.  You know for things like maps, emergency phone calls, Twitter updates, etc.  The Fönbag looks like it will do a great job keeping my phone safe out on the trail.

Of course, I’ll test all these things out and get back to you pretty soon.  Big thanks to Backcountry Research for the cool stuff, which makes me that much cooler.  I’m like the other side of the pillow now.

Yeah, I’ll see y’all next week.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Just Beer

Last night had nothing to do with bicycles. 

Nothing at all.

Instead, I drank a shitload of these:

After a shitty day at work and getting home later than usual, all I wanted to do was relax.  Having a beer was plenty relaxing, so I figured that more than one would be utter bliss.  I was right (as usual), and I started feeling good.  I still had one thing to do though, which involved playing with sharp knives.

Yeah, it’s close to Halloween, so we here at B-43 like to get our pumpkin carving on.  It was fun and all that, and actually added to my relaxation.  I managed not to cut off any of my fingers, so that’s a plus.

So, with nothing bike-related going on last night, there’s nothing bike-related going on here today.  Well, until later, when I head out for an after work ride at my new favorite spot.

This time in the dark.

And now, I’ll just sit here and wait for the sun to go down.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Unique Ride

I rode with the Dirt Divas last night, but I didn’t take any photos.  It was fun, and I even got to do a little night riding.  I dig that.

The unique ride I’m talking about was my trip out to the BYT.  Yes, I’m still talking about it, and yes, you can close this window if you don’t want to read it.

You’re still here?


Anyway, have I mentioned how much that trail freakin’ rocks?  Some people around here have mentioned it as a replacement for Poplar Tent, but I wouldn’t go that far.  Nothing can replace that fine gem of a trail, but BYT is certainly the next best thing. 

There’s even trailside scenery.

It was the most unique trail experience I’ve had outside of the mountains (that I can recall anyway.)  The trail was smooth, rooty, rocky, and fast…all at the same time.  It’s been around for many, many years, so it has “character.” 

Tired of the same old boring ride at your local “racetrack”? 

Go ride BYT. 

Tired of wandering aimlessly through some boring, short trail as your mind focuses on things not related to bikes? 

Go ride BYT.

Riding along at BYT, you never know what kind of shit you will see.  Like this section of trail that somehow ended up in a drainage ditch…

That part made me want to go home and grab my skateboard, and ride it all Animal Chin style.

You know, like those guys at Wallows:

The neat shit didn’t stop there though.  Check out the man made features:

Riding there was just what I needed, and I didn’t even know it.  It wasn’t the long race schedule, bike choices, or anything like that that made me feel burned out.  It was the lack of fun that was bringing me down, and I’ve seemed to have found the cure.  I can’t believe I waited so long to go back.  You can bet your ass that it won’t happen again.  BYT will be on my regular rotation of local trails, and it will probably keep finding its way back to the top fairly often. 

In fact, I may go back out there tonight.