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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Carvin's Cove Gamut Stage 2 Day 2

Wow, what a way to get in this trail system!  And was I mistaken that stage two was anything like stage 1.  I thought that I would finish stage 2 and get in more of stage 1.  Even without my detour, stage 2 would have been much longer, with more climbing.  I was so glad I chose the geared bike for stage 2.  Both stages together make up an endurance event called the Gamut, held back in July.

The Gauntlet was definitely better as a DH.  I loved old school feel of the Lakeside trail.  Araminta really needed to be ridden in.  Short and sweet, Comet started a little gnarly, but ended more flowy.  Both the old and new parts of the Gorges trail were fun and flowy, switch backing in and out of the coves.  A lot of work has been done to armor the trails against erosion and the newer section had some great berms built into it.

Basically, this system , has everything a mountain biker could want.  Bermy trails, flowy trails, blasting and/or gnarly DHs, plenty of climbing if you want and plenty in the valley, if you don't, put it all together for great endurance ride.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Wilkes 100 at Kerr Scott 2014

Well I finally got all the video edited.  It was a busy video week with the Couch Potato and Swank the next weekend.  We got a late start, leaving New Jersey, but really wanted to get to Kerr Scott, to support our guys, being as it was in the direction we were heading. We did kind of compress our time in Roanoke (Carvin's Cove Trails).  But my Bulldog teammates and friends Tom Kruse and Ryan Heerschap were coming down to North Carolina for Wilkes 100k endurance event on October 25th.  Luckily, Bandit's Roost had one spot that could accommodate us and what  a great spot it was, allowing us to cheer on our guys and get some video.

I rode along for their pre-race tune up ride on friday evening and we went out to dinner for the prerequisite carbo loading.  I ordered the large calzone and was glad to have help finishing that monster, after all I was not the one doing this long event!  Along with the carbs, we strategerized, the start and where to jump to get good position going into the single track.  Mission accomplished as they came through 2nd and 3rd.  I got video of the first single track, the start of Lower Berry and sections after Dark Mountain, heading back through the Overmountain Victory trail to Bandit's roost, as well as a Post Race Interview and shenanigans with the guys.  Both made into the top 20 over all out of 140 finishers.  5:06:40 brought Ryan in at 6th place of 47 in the Open category and 11th over all.  With a time of 5:15:54 TK managed 3rd podium step out of 48 in the 40+ category and 19th over all.  Go Bulldogs!   You can see all the results and more info at the Bushy Mountain Cyclist Club web sight


I set out to ride the course the next day on my Lynskey Single Speed,  Proving I am not in race shape, I started close to 1 pm and did not quite do the entire course, before dark.  No neutral roll out and I skipped the last 2 miles of single track leading to the finish.  55 miles at 6:16 rolling, but 7:06 total time.  The Warrior Creek section seemed to go on for freaking ever!

Friday, November 14, 2014

2014 Swank

The Course changed from last year.  Turns out the well established short connector between FS225 and the top of Daniels ridge does not have the official blessing of the Forest Service.  The Forest Service also changed there mind, last minute on up to 200 riders going down Cove Creek twice, two days in a row.  Blue Ridge Adventures was forced to do two reroutes, very close to race day.  What they came up with was arguably even better.  Just enough fireroad to string out the pack, before the clockwise assault up Daniel Ridge.  The gradual old narrow FS road, still allowed plenty of opportunities for passing, until the right, where the bridge is gone.  From there the race is on, up a super gnarly climb, to the top of Daniel Ridge, past the connector, and down what was the timed enduro section of the previous days Couch Potato.  Completing the Daniel Ridge loop.  Taking a right back on 475, a long FS road climb up to Gloucester gap.  Then a left on to 471 for a little more climbing, before descending to the climb up to the Butter gap DH, up Long Branch, utilizing a little FS road to avoid the rutted part of Long Branch.  Where the Couch Potato. takes a right back on 475, the Swank, turns back up hill to the rest stop at Gloucester gap, before really pointing uphill on 229 towards the Farlow gap/Daniel Ridge enduro section, going down the initial climb of the event,  Left back on 475 (Couch Potato is the same from here), to the left up the Headwater rd (475B) climb to 225, and down Cove Creek to the finish.

I worked the gate so I started my video there, about a quarter mile from the start.  Then some video at the hairpin coming down Daniel the first time, Wes gives some cornering tips on that video.  Before heading to the finish, I got the top 9 descending the last of the gnar on the Enduro section on Daniels ridge and several others on my way back down.  They were so spread out I missed the top 5 at the finish, but got nearly everybody else.  Everybody that rode the Swank, is on the playlist somewhere, though, several times.



Thursday, November 6, 2014

2014 Couch Potato


I really dug last years event, so when I got into Brevard, I had to contact Blue Ridge Adventures, just the week before their final weekend of the year!  It started off with the Couch Potato.  Since my shoulder has only been amiable to mountain biking for a couple weeks, helping out the seemed wiser than racing.  Todd, Heather and crew, really foster a fun an festive atmosphere! From Tyler announcing every racer by name as they cross the line, furnished from BRA's crack timing staff and system, to the choice of either a pulled pork sandwich

 or chicken and rice, served with kale, along with recovery beverages, to Nightrider and Industry Nine showing there cool toys.

I arrived at 7:30 am to snow accumulating on the grassy slope, that serves as parking for the cars.  As you could imagine it made getting everyone parked safely, a little tricky at times, but we got it done without any mishaps.

I brought my GoPro, incase I had some opportunities to record.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Carvin's Cove SS Ride

It felt great to get back on the SingleSpeed again.  In regards to MTBing, I have had fits and starts after I damaged my shoulder.  So it felt great to get back on the SingleSpeed again.   After Sunday's ride at Stephen's, on my geared bike, I was stoked.  I was able to float through the rock gardens again and not want to cry when every my rear tire spun out on a climb.  My plan was to follow the Gamut course.  The Gamut has many loops that make it easy to get back the TH, making taking the SS a low risk situation.  If the shoulder wasn't having it, I could switch to my geared bike.  The first hour or so, was fine and I kept thinking I could have gone from the 22 to a 21 or 20t rear cog, mated up to my 34t Rotor ring and been a little bit happier on the inbetweens and still make the climbs.  That is until I started up Tuck-A-Way, still a 21t would be fine.  But Climbing Jacob's Drop was another story.  I had to get off and walk every so often.  Then once on Bushy MT you just keep climbing, but at a manageable grade.  Down the Trough and up the Gauntlet, led to a few short walks too.

Once you start going up or down, expect to be doing that for a while, here.

Carvin's is kind a like Douthat minus the Pisgah like portions.  I would have sworn that I was on the switchbacks of Buck Hollow in Douthat as I scampered down the switchbacks on Hi De Ho!

Being my first SS ride in a while, I figured that 21 miles was enough given the 3500 feet.  I will bring the geared bike back tomorrow.

Carter turned me on to VES website that has a great map and GPX files for the Gamut.




















Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Stopping off at Carvin's Cove

Carvin's Cove is just north of Roanoke Virginia.  I heard about it from Carter, well over a year ago, when he came up to Douthat to ride there with me.  It sounded great then, with like 20 miles of trails. They keep on adding and I am looking forward to 30 miles.  Unfortunately I am squeezing in two week day rides, between a rather late departure form NJ and rooting for my teammates at a race at Kerr Scott.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Strava Live Tracker

Strava finally says they are working in a Live Tracker, I am stoked!

See the Support thread:

https://strava.zendesk.com/entries/23882755-Live-Tracking-Feature?page=1#post_23022250

Me Too! it and add a comment to keep them stoked as well.