Thursday, July 20

Once I was a wooden boy...

The more time that I spent in West Virginia, the less I wanted to pull my phone out of my pocket.  The desire to "document" the experience was overwhelmed with the need to be immersed in it.  I had the full range of WV mountain bike experiences while I was up there.  Everything from purpose built single track to WV Bike Bash festival mingling with all sorts of riders to some stretching the limits of daylight backcountry hijinks to lift served park runs.

The only evidence that I have that I existed somewhere in the state for five days is an image from a sunset hike up above the New River Gorge. 

What I was standing in front of before clouds ruined everything:

I did take my phone out over the first couple days to snap some shots of my frands before deciding it was too much of a disruption to my happiness.

But after that, the phone was an albatross.  By the second day of the Bash, I just wanted to ride as much as possible with whomever would join me at any given moment.  Cell signal was shit, so other than patiently waiting on a radar to load to keep an eye on any wet weather coming our way, there was little a phone could do for me.  Once we left the Bash and headed out for a ride in the Tea Creek Area of the Monongahela National Forest.  We were in the no cell, no signal, no nothing part of West Virginia.  Trail Forks and that was pretty much the only thing to focus on other than trying to stay on the trail whilst piercing through the dense overgrowth.

We made it off the mountain after taking a not recommended by anyone route in time to wash up before it got all dark on us. Fortunately, the early wake up call to get over to Snowshoe kept the time to have a beer in our hands to a minimum.  Once again, the lack of signal combined with the threat of dropping my phone while on the lift and the whole thing taken to another level once we were told that the lifts might shut down for incoming weather meant that I wasn't wasting any time taking glamour shots.  Sorry not sorry for zero images of the deer and bras from the lift or me hucking off the same wooden feature everyone probably hits at the skills park.   I wanted the most for my lift ticket money, and we got the cost per run down to $3.74 each before it started to sprinkle on us as we made our way back to the top.  

I've been going to Snowshoe since 1992. I can remember going to the lift served Bike Park way back when it opened... I guess in the late '90s? 

Anyhoo, it's amazing how much it has changed over the years.  The lettered runs on the Basin side used to by rideable on my single speed with a 5" travel Manitou.  All these years later, they've greatly eroded into serious biscuit-riskers, and now all the flowy blue and green lines that didn't exist back then provided me all the excite.  We don't get much like this in the Pisgah (as we shouldn't), so it was nice to just practice turns and go ludicrously fast for a change... until we got shut down.

That was a great last minute trip, and a fine reminder on how to live the Van Life with Bill Nye before we head out west in less than a month from now.

My only mechanical over five days:

Easily resolved without breaking out any tools.

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