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Tuesday, June 10

The 2014 Pisgah Enduro™

After five days of sleeping on the couch with coughing spells, it was nice to sleep in my own bed.  Alarm set for 5:00AM.  Awake at 4:48AM.  Might as well just go.  Two travel mugs of coffee and a Tupperware container of breakfast pizza.  One hour and fifty minutes of the Motley Crüe station on Pandora later, I'm in Old Fort, NC.

Check in, find my little friends, pitch a tent for my family which is following me at a much more reasonable hour after dropping our dogs off all over the city.  Check over the registration list.  Only one other rider in the Hard Ass class (rigid fork/hardtail)  Find his bike leaning up against a table.

He's a big feller.  No drooper, Schwobble front tire... but he does have a RDO (Race Day Optimized) fork, so there's his advantage.  My fork has never been "optimized."

And then I meet him, Joe Worsham.

I'm sorry, here's a better photo of him:

2.25 apples for every one of mine.  Like a cycling Godzilla with a beard.   Anyways...

Time to go, load the bus.

photo cred: Pisgah Productions
Off the bus, hurry to find my bike, and up the climb to Rattlesnake.  Not very Enduro™ to be in a hurry, but I got family time later in the day.  To the top in short order, hardly a clean run down, find Zac and head over to the next timed section down Kitsuma. 

It starts where it doesn't seem to make sense.  I know there's still on significant uphill on this ridge before the main descent.  A female rider with much more squish wants to get in front of my rigidity.  I acquiesce her request.  Minutes into the run, I have to go around her on the climb.  Nico comes up on me hot.  I let him by, he drops a chain, he lets me by, he uses his fingers as a chain guide, and he's back.  Run over.

Zac and I roll over to Star Gap in a slow way.  Find a friend and make small talk.  We get to the start, they want to breath, I want it over.  I go.  Uneventful run.

I roll up to some Endurbro™ looking duders at the start of the Jarrett Creek section.  They're just standing around.  It's just washed out gravel, so I decide to go.  A couple of them seem less than pleased to let me in front of them, but whatever.  It's a highway.  Towards the bottom, they come around.  Wasn't that nice?

Back at camp, find a cool bug.

Check out the tent. Find several not cool bugs (ticks) all over it.  Drag the tent away from the trees, shower, go into town for Mexican with the family.  Come back, pass out in the tent from exhaustion, sleep for twenty minutes, wake up, watch my daughter invade the goat sanctuary.

Check the results.  Twenty minute lead on Joe.  Apparently he ripped his Schwobble tire on the first descent on Rattlesnake.  That's a comfortable lead.  Too comfortable to feel like it's a race.  Now it's a matter of not wrecking or flatting.

Check on my dog via text message.  Jim has her watching Kill Bill 2, her favorite David Carradine movie.

Try to get some sleep for the next day.  Coughing, sore throat, ear ache, rain storms... great night.  Wake up feeling like all the ass.  Make some French press coffee, eat two blueberry Pop Tarts (fruit is healthy), say goodbye to the family, head over to the start.
Find two beers left in the cooler, drink one.

photo cred: Pisgah Productions
Find Zac.  He hasn't started his push up Heartbreak Ridge yet.  Almost ready, I go back and drink the other beer.  We leave camp after many others have already gone.  We catch them on the road, on the hike-a-bike, on the climbs...

We get to the top almost before anyone else.  A queue forms for turns back down the mountain.

photo cred: Shanna Powell
Top riders go first and then it's the queue.  I'm going in the top fifteen.  I'm cold and shivering even though I'm saturated in sweat from the two hour+ climb in the imported from Costa Rica air.  Careful in the rough at the top so as not to flat, I pass three riders with flats already, one with a hole in his leg.  Very careful.

Down the top of Heartbreak, slick, keeping it under control.  This isn't ORAMM and no one is chasing me.  Be safe.  Top section done, head over to the lower portion.

Faster, funner, less blown-out, way more fun (on a rigid bike).  Was considering taking an easy line at the root/rock cluster at the bottom, one I had never seen before because I'd never WALKED up Heartbreak in the past.  There's a crowd there,  They're yelling.  No taking the easy line.


The crowd seemed pleased.  Whatever.

One more (safe) descent on Kitsuma and it's over.  Almost all the way into a clean and relatively fast run.  I shove my front tire into a turn, and I go up and into the trees, helmet making contact with an immovable object.  Ding.  Back up, left side covered in mud, and finish the run.

I didn't flat, and since my wreck was minor, I kept my lead over Joe the Giant (thank you, Schwobble Tires).

Rigiduro™ champ.

I'm outta time.  More Enduro™ thoughts tomorrow.

4 comments:

Pie Dillen said...

GOATIE!

Sam said...

Wow, he's as tall as you.. on the second step. You are like his mini me.

Joe said...

I'm only 5'6"...

Blur said...

Forgot to hug goatie when I left.... Don't tell Nia!