I saw a small opening in my calendar for last weekend. I knew right away what I needed to do, so I made contact with the shuttle pilot to see if there was a chance to hitch a ride to Brevard. It seems the stars aligned for me and with the weather and some other things working out, the call was made to tell me what time the shuttle was going to pass over.
My bike was not fairing too well after last weekends ride in the mud. I didn’t think it was that bad, but my bike sure looked like it was. I made sure to wash it off when I got home, but time was tight and I did not have time to lube everything up and make sure everything was working. Turns out it would have been a good idea to do that a little sooner. With the planned crossing of paths to be on Thursday, I better get a move on. I had things going on every night and had to change some other plans around to make this trip work. At first glance the bike was not going to be good, but after lots of oil things started moving again and I could get it in fair working condition for the trip.
Thursday was quickly upon me and before I knew what was going on I was headed east to cross paths with the shuttle. I met up with Scott at Moe’s for some grub. We swapped my stuff over and headed to the parking spot. Shortly after that it was south bound. With the rock slide on 40 the trip is an extra hour longer. This is not good for a trip that is plenty long already, but eventually we rolled on to 1206 and looked for a spot to land the shuttle.
Friday morning started out a little cold and we didn’t get things started real early. The good thing with sleeping in is that it was nice and warm when we started riding. With the route planned for the day, this meant we needed to pack the lights to make sure we could find our way back. With short and short sleeve jerseys on, we headed down 1206 to the gauging station and on to the trail. Now I am not the most knowledgeable for the area. I can get by with a map, but I am not sure of all the names. I think we were on South Mills to start. From there we headed up to the stairs intersection. From there the trip headed us down Black for all the fun hike-a-bike sections of Black. It seems like just as things get going it was time to turn on to Turkey Pen. Turkey was a blast to ride and with all the leaves down it kept me on my toes just trying to see what I was riding over.
From the Turkey lot, I think we headed down another section of South Mills road headed toward Squirrel Gap. We did not make it threw Squirrel before it was time to put on lights on. If you want to ride something interesting, try riding Squirrel Gap in the dark with thick piles of leaves everywhere and with one HID light. The ride was going well and then I kind of slid out and not fully over the bars. It woke me up and I figured that I better keep my eyes open. Well I must not listen to myself very well, because I did not wreck one more time after that, but I flipped over the bars two times in 10 minutes. I could not believe it when it happened the third time. That one also hurt the most and left several marks on me and some that are still showing up. Well I decided to take it a little easier after that point and didn’t have any more unexpected trips for the rest of the ride. I did have a back tire that was loosing air and I had to stop and air it up 3 times. I should have just changed it, but I was not sure it needed it. The back tire has been loosing some air over a few days. It was since Wed. at lunch that I put any air in and the trip down in the cold might have made it a little softer. Well, after the second time I put air in it, I knew it was not just the cold air, but we were getting fairly close to the van and I just wanted to make it back. At this point I had put my arm warmers on, but was starting to get real cold. I should have put my jacket on, but it seemed like it was too much work to dig it out. I sure wish I took that extra time! Just when we make it back to the start of 1206 I was feeling good about the ride. Then I remembered how far up the road we parked. That was not a fun climb to the van, but it was sure a happy sight to see when my lights finally spotted home base.
After I changed in to some warm clothes and we chowed down some pasta I was done. We were trying to find something on TV and ended up putting in a DVD. I don’t remember much of that. All I remember is waking myself up with my snoring. After doing this a few times I gave in and hit the sack. I needed some good sleep to mend my wounds and tired body. We have another full day to ride on Saturday and a partial ride on Sunday.
I hope to have the rest of the weekend up tomorrow.