Monday, October 19

Non Stage Non Race Non Report

Saturday I went on one of the most interesting, dynamic rides I've been on in a long time. Eric "PMBAR Honcho" Wever talked Big Worm, Skidaladophy, and I into getting up before 5:00 am in order to catch the start of stage three of the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race before we headed out on our head-on collision of a route. We got there with fifteen minutes to spare and mingled with some of cycling's greatest.

The most distinguished rider in the bunch had to be Captain Morgan. He's just got that... that... well, maybe he's not that distinguished, but I think he was the only one to take the beer handup later in the day. If I was looking at the SS podium picture I saw on Facebook correctly Captain Morgan took the top step. Huzzah for the Captain!!!

Garth "Sideshow" Prosser was in the house, but I expect to see him at every race I go to, so I was hardly in awe at his attendance.

Bruce Dickman (The Mouth of the Dirty South) was there making noise and such. He looks quite dashing in an orange vest, let me tell you. I see a future for him at GDOT.

Carey Lowery had an interesting piece of technical gear. Perhaps she was blocking the vents in order to be more aero on the long paved leadout on Saturday's stage.

Here's the nervous peleton as they are minutes away from heading out into the Pisgah Nasty:

From left to right you'll see the likes of Sam Koerber, Cheryl Sorenson, Sue Haywood's butt, Geoffrey Bergmark, Wild Bill, and then the rest of the people there were just a bunch of riders on Lefty's (I think).

Ergon BD2 locked and loaded for the day's adventure. Beer really reduces the carrying capacity, but there was still room for a couple burritos.

So anyways we had some riding to do after the racers headed out on their way. We (Eric, Big Worm, Skidaladophy) drove over to the horse stables, parked our fossil fuel burning transport devices, and readied ourselves for the ride. We were waiting on a group of "others" to show up before we got underway, but a phone call seven minutes past our ETD confirmed that our posse (Blair, Rob C., and Tim) were still on the way. We circled the lot impatiently, and before they were ready Big Worm and Eric headed up Clawhammer alone at a slow pace. When Skiddaladophy and I saw that packs were being readied we left the parking lot as well.

On the way up I realized it made no sense to wait at the top of the climb since we were all headed over over the gap and going the same way. The plan was modified en route sans communique hoping that those at the rear would understand that the goal was to catch all the racers coming down Pilot Rock trail and to see them ALL as we pushed up. We carried on like a wayward son being beckoned by the musings of Kansas.

On the course at 1206, but still not on Pilot Rock... yet.

Once we got onto the bottom of Pilot Rock not even ten minutes went by before the first rider (Jeremiah Bisquick) went by. He was followed by local Sam Koerber, and then a few other guys came straggling along. One of them had a flat, and upon further inspection I noticed that he was on Stan's tires.

This is the last tire I would ever want on a very wet Pilot Rock descent, but then again this guy woulda been kicking my ass even on these tires, so what do I know?

We finally made it to the HumVee section, and there was a photographer there, so we took off our packs, broke out the beers, and hunkered down. Not too much later the posse rolled up, and we had ourselves a packed grandstand. We saw carnage, we saw courage, we saw smiles, and eventually when things got cold, we saw fire.

Who carries fire starters in Pisgah? Not this lucky (and now warm) racer, but I know who does.

We watched every single racer (who made it this far) come down the course, and once the sweep rider went past we set out to finish our ride. We were supposed to ride all the way up to the top of Pilot Mountain and then down Laurel to get some beers to race volunteer Mike Brown, but we were outta beer, and Mike was soooooo far away... so sorry Mike. No beer for you.

We decided to out-and-back Pilot hopefully pushing up to the snow that all the racers coming down were raving about. We pushed up, and up, and up, and after several attempted mutinies and board meetings we realized we were getting further out from the car with little energy or food reserves, and all the beer was gone. We never saw the snow on the ground, and we sadly had to settle for an occasional flake falling outta the sky.

On the way back we changed our route multiple times as morale and time constraints became more of an issue. Our way back from the happy place had Big Worm tossing chains and Eric had the issue that I've always wondered about....

I mean, they're made of plastic, right???

I even sprung a coupla leaks on the way down.

I could go on and on, but suffice to say we had one of those rides that recharges the soul. Twenty five or so miles in something like seven hours. Killer pace. Best time I've had in a long while.


Eric Wever / Pisgah Productions said...

Plastic (12 year old) part fail!
Great ride Rich!

Geoff said...

Great to see you out there Rich & Co., pretty sure I was going to eat it when I was coming down Pilot Rock, stream crossing and hiking in the snow doesn't make for descending grace. Congrats to Jason Morgan, who did what he needed to do on Sunday. See you at Swank. -Geoffrey Bergmark

Anonymous said...

Sounds like what every weekend should be filled with.

Come on Dick, you have been riding long enough to know that you should always carry a fire starter! They are good for many uses.

clay faine said...

Nice to meet you out there. See you at the hush hush next month.

Don't forget your firestarters!

Eric Wever / Pisgah Productions said...

the only reason I'm leaving another comment is that the word verification is freaking me out...


cornfed said...

Nice shoes.

wv: presstub

cornfed said...

Also, next to Bruce, you don't look as small. Must be all the off season hair growth.

wv: clappi

dicky said...

Those are Pisgah hike-a-bike approved Shimano's. I'm saving the Mavic's for making great bike race in 2010.