Monday, May 14

A full'esque weekend

Friday was the annual Ride with the Mayor. I was sure to get there early enough to get an optimal position at the start line. While the mayor was in the initial breakaway, I was hanging out in limbo between the break and the main peleton. Due to the road resurfacing in progress, the course was quite technical, what with the exposed manhole covers sticking out four inches above the surface of the tarmac. Even in the face of terrible peril, I solo'ed up to the main group, pulled into the atrium with good positioning, and managed to power my way to a top five position in the breakfast line.

Zac managed a lackluster finish in the safety of the peleton, but earned his breakfast by offering to help the mayor "butter his chamois" in 2013.

After work I headed directly to my empty home, skipping an opportunity to drink beer at The Spoke Easy with John Danger Evans. I wanted to do some tire swappage before Saturday's ride at Rocky Knob. I went home, drank my own Torpedos, swapped some tires, and then was called into action by Zac for some foodage... a distance from my house that was at least 1,000 times greater than the distance from my bike room to my kitchen. With no family to keep me company all weekend, I decided to accept the challenge.

Saturday morning, I awoke bleary eyed and somewhat feeling like dookie. I loaded up the Fit with four bikes, Tim, Zac, Tumas, and myself. We headed to the Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park for a look-see at these new trails that were creating some buzz locally. Boone natives Ian and Ryan met us there to give us a grand tour, although with the elaborate signage and kiosks, a five year old could make their way around the place, no problem.

I was sadly off my game. Perhaps I underestimated the place a little (a lot actually), and the swapping of my 2.4 Ardent to an IKON the night before was not such a good idea. Either way, the trail "challenged" me on more than one occasion.

I didn't even bother to try 75% of the options in the expert skills area.

Ryan does not have problems or excuses. He just rides everything.

I was way taken aback by just how technical the riding is up there... rocks galore on top of stunts and high speed jumps. A cornucopia of mountain biking pleasures and opportunities to fail.

My images (what little I took) from the day suck. This video will give you a better idea of what's up at Rocky Knob.

It reminded me of some of the not-so-over-the-top lines in Whistler that were part of the BC Bike Race. Strange place indeed, and I must say, if you are within a decent driving distance, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Saturday night the Ardent 2.4 went back on the front, and it will stay there. No weight weenie tires for me at the Pisgah Eleventy-one.

Sunday morning, I woke up late, still under no pressure to be responsible with The Pie and Fajita away till much later in the day. I lollygagged about the house until I finally packed up and headed to Sure Man Branch. I broke out the Misfit as it had been almost two months since I'd ridden it last. It will see the lion's share/some of/all of/a little of the Trans-Sylvania Epic quite soon, so it's probably not a bad idea to see what rigid feels like again.

After my first loop, the guy in the parking lot next to me asked me if I knew anything about derailleurs.

His pump was strapped over his cables. I adjusted the barrel on the front and rear cables, got it shifting okay, but noticed something else was going on. His rear wheel was loose at the axle, and I had left my vice grips at home. I asked him where he bought the bike.

"Ultimate," he replied.

I could feel Ultimate's owner Mike Perry making plans to roll over in his grave later in his after-life.

I am in no way belittling this man for his bicycle selection. I am stressing the importance of the local bike shop. This is the guy that truly needs the LBS and all that it has to offer. Hopefully he'll seek it out before that bike kills him.

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