Wednesday, June 5

The Pisgah Enduro™ '19

I've followed up the Trans-Sylvania Epic with the Pisgah Enduro™ weekend a few times over these many years.  I can remember lying prone in my tent after day one of the Enduro™, my vision turning green, waking up covered in drool.  T-total exhausted.  From just plain not recovered to entirely destroyed.

But when Eric "PMBAR Honcho" Wever sent me a text on Thursday telling me that the race was almost sold out AND due to a change in Ridgcrest policy, this would be the last time one could ever ride a mountain bike down the Rattlesnake Trail... ?

I'm in.


So, I found myself dragging my duffle bag back out and loading it with a lot of the same items that I just unpacked two days ago.

Drive up Friday after work, get there around 8:45PM, insert myself into one of the rooms in the lodge, notice there are names on clipboards outside each room, assume they're all reserved, move my shit out to the couch, talk to Eric, he tells me that the names are from an event last weekend, move my shit back into the room, drink a few keg beers, and then head to bed.

I'm only in for the one day event because I put off so many things for the Trans-Sylvania Epic and then just put them off again to be here.  On top of that, I signed up for the single speed class, and I'm the only one entered.

So, not really racing as much as I'm riding and enjoying the day and mebbe doing some dick measuring against all the Endurbros with their goggles and visors and pads and squishing and shifty bits.

I start my day by helping load up the first U-Haul truck full of $8,000 plastic bikes, and watching the racers load their DayGlo human forms into the school buses.  I suggest that mebbe we move the full truck to the start so we can start unloading early, that way people can just get on with it when they get up there.  You know, reward the people that gave up their bikes early as opposed to rewarding the "last on/first off" expectant slackers?

So, I find myself in the front seat of a U-Haul with a guy who works for TriBike Transport who tells me all about what they do... and I'm shitting myself in amazement.  I had no idea tri-dorks were so dorky, but I'm a dirty mountain biker type, so mebbe I'm also ignorant.  Anyways, it's an eye-opening ride to the "top," and my reward is that I get to help unload the bikes... which I actually enjoyed.  I made it a personal challenge that we would get an entire U-Haul unloaded before the racers in the buses arrived.  We're mebbe three of four bikes away from getting the job done before the the yellow tubes start chugging into the parking lot.

I see some riders get right to their bikes and start up the road to the actual "top."  I grab my Vassago Meatplow V.8 and join them.  On the way up, I see some missing tape that should indicate a left turn.  I guess some people don't like others having a good time.  Stop, toss some logs across the intersection, move the remaining piece of confirmation tape a little closer to the turn.   Find the same thing at the next left, confirmation tape on the ground.

People are assholes.  Only like 10% of them... kinda like the person in the minivan on the way here on I 40 that though it was her job to keep people from zipper merging into one lane only to try and come in on me without a signal at the last minute.

"Go ahead and hit me.  The left side of my car is already dented and dimpled.  I've got plenty of time this evening to get your insurance information."

I get to the top of Rattlesnake.  I've got two full water bottles, and I honestly wonder if I've checked my cages in awhile to make sure they're tight.

I haven't, and I don't.

I start down, and I can immediately feel my seat tube bottle whacking my calf.  These are my favorite Carborocket bottles, and I don't wanna lose another one (although I lost one in an Uber, so I can't blame the cages).  I slow down, grab my bottle and squeeze out half the contents before jostling it back into the cage.  This is not the easiest thing to do in the thunder chunk at the top of Rattlesnake (nor the smartest), but the idea of stopping in a timed section in the name of safety seems ridiculous... despite the fact that I'm literally racing no one.

I get down to the bottom safely and with two bottles.  Fortunately, my close to the front start meant I didn't run into the angry hiker who was yelling at people and physically getting in the way later.

Mebbe I won't miss Rattlesnake at all in the future.  Them Ridgecrest Christian Conference Center folks apparently don't get "mountain biking" or "fun" or "WWJD."

On over to Kitsuma and down.  I'm super stoked to not be in the Hard Ass class this year.  After a week of riding rigid at TSE, I certainly missed my squish fork and traction and speed and joy.  At the bottom, I eat what I'm considering my "lunch."  Grilled cheese for days, Coke, Pringles, Peanut M&M's, and mebbe a slice of bacon.  Perfect.

On up and over to Star Gap and all it's tight switchbacks, which are waaaaaaaaayyyy better on a fork with moving parts.

I start to fantasize about the possibility of taking this bike to Breck Epic and mebbe squishing all those descents for the first time in all these years.


Hit the final timed and truncated (due to a landslide that happened last year) segment and that's that.  They'd actually finally fixed the totally washed-out road just a few days before the event, but it was too late to re-extend the stage... because "rules" and "things."

It's just lumpy garvel anyhoo.

Obvs I won the one day single speed class, and fortunately, Eric did not make me get up on a shameful one man podium.  72nd outta 130 or so total folks on day one.  All I did was ride my bike (mostly) down a bunch of sweet descents all day in the sunshine and drink free beer.

Great times at the Pisgah Enduro™ once again, and I'm anxious to see the changes for next year that will be coming with the absence of Rattlesnake and all the mountain bike hating folk up there in those particular woods who think... whatever it is they think.  I bet they don't understand merging either.

First rule of Enduro™, protect thine self lest ye wreck thine self.

1 comment:

fatlip11 said...

"Them Ridgecrest Christian Conference Center folks apparently don't get "mountain biking" or "fun" or "WWJD.""