Ok – let’s talk mountain biking! So, I’m not exactly a natural at it. I mean, I was TERRIFIED of my bike the first time I got on it. There I was floating way up in the air on my 29’er (especially compared to my little 51 Cervelo) and I wouldn’t even take my hands off the handlebars. It was really really really bad. Then on top of it, I asked Dwight to take me to a trail out at Pisgah that I ran once. I mean, it seemed benign enough then, but I was completely wrong. So, after telling Dwight to go on without me, I walked the bike back to the car and it wasn’t really looking all that promising. Granted, it was Pisgah but anywho – when Dwight got back to the car he was all “just sell the bike” and my stubborn ass was all “give me some time to get used to it asshole”. Then we sat in silence on the way to drink beer at Oskar Blues and then beer made it all better – so, yay 🙂
Alright, back on mountain biking track! Let’s just say it’s been a long road with a lot of set backs getting me to where I am today. Which is basically the ability to ride Bent and DuPont without any fear. I would walk down easy trails because there were rocks on it. Yup – I was THAT much of a chicken shit. So asking Dwight to take me to Pisgah a couple times recently was kinda a big deal for me.
I surprisingly enough didn’t do too bad on the trails that Dwight took me on. I pretty much held my own the first venture out. They were hard, but it wasn’t overly defeating. I wasn’t even dead last on Strava. I was feeling pretty good about my mountain biking. THEN I asked him to take me to a Pisgah section in Mills River. It was supposed to be easier and all….. Some of it, yes. Some of it, no. We did a loop that included Laurel Mountain -> Sassafras Gap -> No Name trail -> Slate rock -> Pilot Cove.
In all honesty, it was definitely above my skill grade, but not by a giant leap or anything. There were some sections that I think the majority of people would hike-a-bike. There were a TON of downed trees. The trails had been cut off for most of the winter and trail maintenance hasn’t made it up there yet to cut them. It got somewhat annoying having to get off a lot but not the end of the world. Then there was the no name trail that was a fun walk down 😉 Really though, the pay off at the top was totally worth it!
Luckily some guys were up there and warned us about Rattlesnakes. They were warned by the people before them. The slope is sun facing and has lots of little crevices which these little buggers want to hang out in.
So here is your PSA: If you make it up to Pilot, check for snakes.
It was a fun day and I’m clearly in need of skill work and power work on the bike…. But that’s ok. You gotta start somewhere right? I’ll just continue to ride and hike and get better. I’ll also remember to always stop and smell the flowers when I’m out there!