Monday, September 22

Pisgah for Dummies

I promised a lot of pictures of Bill Nye standing around with his bike.  You only get one.

Eric "PMBAR Honcho" Wever surprised me early Saturday morning with an offer of a Sprinter shuttle ride to somewhere high up in the mountains.  Being slightly smarter than some, we accepted the lift and started our ride much higher than our car.  Bill Nye, being totally unfamiliar with the area, was happy to see new trail all day long... even the parts he didn't like.

I was nonplussed all around.  Except Spencer Branch.  I love Spencer Branch.

First descent down and then headed back up, we saw a hillbilly towing a homemade teardrop trailer behind his truck...

Oh, it's our hillbilly.

Jim had just spent the night in the woods scaring the local meth operators and was looking to get in a ride.  He joined us on the the remainder of the route.  I had my camera on me the whole time, but if you ride Pisgah, you realize it's much more about being in the moment, and sessioning trail for the sake of image making?

Meh.  Not always gonna happen.

The experiment with the 3.0 Chronicle was a success or a failure depending on how you look at it.  I was too lazy to take off my 32X18 gearing (32X20 being my Pisgah gear), so the climbs were harder than usual... thus making it difficult to determine if I could notice the extra rubber (almost a half pound) up front while climbing.  I had a hard time putting any distance between Jim and I on the descents, and he was running the 2.4 Ardent I usually run.  I could really let the bike go occasionally, the tire soaking up more of the hits than its smaller predecessor, but it's still an air-filled rubber tube on an aluminum rim mounted to a rigid fork.  It can easily be overwhelmed with the right combination of speed and chunder.  I tossed a bottle for the first time in a long time letting loose on Spencer Branch.  It might add a bit in terms of speed and comfort on fast descents, but just not "Who needs a suspension fork with a tire like this?" speed and comfort.

The Chronicle did give me some über confidence on some of the blown-out tech gnar on lower Trace... so much grip when things get sketchy.  Wicked sweet.

Of note:  Bill Nye, posing majestically in front of a good 15 foot gap jump, mentioned that while he lingered out west (when my portion of the trip was over), he considered going to Keystone for some instruction/coaching on doing bigger stuff.  I told him that my days of stepping up my game are over, too old to learn and/or recover from the possible injuries.  I experimented with all that in the early 2000s, and I was never going to be comfortable on a consistent basis, especially as we have no decent place in Charlotte to keep up the skills (balls).

And then I rode out at the Backyard Trails by myself the next day.

1 comment:

Rob said...

your hillybilly don't need no big tars.