This weekend was the Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race. I have grown to really liking this event, but the event has not liked me as much in return. It has been full of hard times, but fun times and lots of hours on the bike in my favorite place to ride. This year did not disappoint, but I think it was more like the Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Ride. I went in to this weekend knowing that no matter what happened, there was a good chance that it would just be a big, fun day on the bike.
We loaded up and headed south on Friday. We made fairly good time getting down there and checked in. It was too early to sign in and too late to get a good ride in. So, what else does one do? They head to the Pisgah Tavern. My team mate, aka Fat Cog, had not been to the tavern yet. So, we signed up and preceded to sit down for a few cold ones. We also made a trip to Poppies to stock up on a few beers and water before heading over to the mexican place next to Sycamore Cycles. Eventually we made it over to the lot and got checked in and signed up.
We crashed out fairly early and was packed up and ready to go. We were running a little late in the morning, but being already signed in, it was not a big deal. We loaded up and headed to the venue. The parking lot was full and we ended up with a spot just on the other side of a big mud puddle. We finished getting geared up and headed over to the start area where the crowd was already gathering. It seems like Eric started his speech a little early, but I was there just in time to go pick up our packet. We re-grouped together and when Eric said go, we started reading.
It was said to make sure and read all of the directions, but I am not good at following directions, so I just kind of skimmed them looking for the stuff that was going to be missed. I saw rule #13 right away and figured that was the kicker. Rule #13 cost several racers the 2 hour time penalty. This rule was not the only things that needed to be read. I actually didn’t even open the map. I looked at the check points and had an idea of the direction. I had planned ahead of time to avoid Turkey Pen and going all the way up Black. So, I knew it was going to be Maxwell no matter what. Heading up Black I am glad that I ran in to someone that I knew as it seemed that they made a wrong turn and I was told that we had to take Thrift Cove. I guess I missed that part, oops. I waited on Fat Cog to come along so he knew what direction I went.
Some where up Thrift or Black, I decided to take a little break and look at the map. I was going to wait until Pressley Gap, but it just seemed like time to check it out. This got me in the mode that we were going to Pilot Rock first then try to get the other 3 check points from there. It was slow going up the hill and I figured when we hit Maxwell/Clawhammer the legs would wake up and the moving would go a little better. This was just not the case. We were moving slow, but still having a good time.
The long haul up Pilot Rock was not treating the Fat Cog very well. I heard lots of cussing and bitching. I actually liked going up Pilot and down Laurel. I had planned ahead of time to go up Pilot since Laurel kicked my ass so bad last year, but with the no out and back rule in play, it made for a great ride down Laurel. At the Laurel check point we had to make some decisions. Here we were with our first check point 6 hours in to the day. The Fat Cog’s front fork was messing up on Black and at this point it was locked out for the rest of the day. It was no longer looking like 4 was an option. When we hit the bottom of Laurel it was evident that we were no longer heading for the other 2 check points that would give us a total of 3. We kept running in to a father and son duo of the Hugh’s family. They were ahead of us by one check point, but was joking about having the wife come pick them up.
We took off toward home and not too long down the road, here came his wife’s car. Not too long after that, the car passed us again, but this time had the 2 riders in it. It sounded like a good plan, but there was no room for us. We headed back to Buckhorn and were going down Claw Hammer with this guy. They were planning on taking it all the way to the stables and take 276 back to the lot. My arm was twisted and we followed. This section seemed all down hill and before I knew it, we were back at the car. I made sure and tell the table that we were done and picked up some of those tasty burritos. We loaded up and made our way to Big Mike’s for some pizza and returned to the room to pass out.
So, with this years event in the books not all is lost. We did not put checks in all of the boxes listing our goals, but we did put some checks in there. We had a big day in the woods and put in some good riding. The numbers ended up something similar to this: 11 hours out, 45 miles, 5450 feet of elevation gain and 1 check point. Not exactly all the numbers that I would have liked, but the number of smiles for the weekend was found in plenty. I will be back next year and hope to be a finisher once again.
Thanks to Pisgah Productions and all the volunteers that spent a lot of time to make this event happen. It was good to talk to several people that I just don’t see enough.