Tuesday, July 2

Journey to the Center of the Mountain Bike Capital of the World: Part One

Oof.  That was a trip.

It went mostly as planned, except the parts we didn't plan, but that was fine.  Just fine.

Day one.

FATS.  Fork Area Trail System.  I'd never been.  It's not that far from Charlotte, but if I'm driving that kinda distance, Pisgah is always the choice.  I'm a snob.

Multi-directional and not sure we rode it the "fun way" or not.  It served well as a place holder to give us something to do on the way to Jarrod's Place Bike Park.  Loads of flow... I forget where the current mood of bike world is... we like flow or hate it?  Let me know in the comments (jk).

The trip's schedule was mostly based on getting to Jarrod's on one of the days it's open.  We camped there the night before we rode.

It was rather idyllic.  

Idyllic aside from the part when I woke up to find out that I picked up some chiggers (probably at FATS), and they went to town on my nether regions while I slumbered.

Day two.

I took zero action photos at Jarrod's, respecting the sorta rule to not stop and screw around on downhill trails.  The shuttle rides were only about seven to ten minutes up and the runs were on the short side (1.5-3 minutes), but had a decent enough variety of chunk, berms, jumps, drops, whoops, and other typical bike park features.  A few that were "me-sized," but many many more that were larger than my testicular appetite. 

My only injury (aside from bug bites).  Rotor burn from loading my bike on the shuttle in an inattentive manner.  I now have a decent Ashima Ai2 rotor brand on my forearm.  

Plenty of elevation to be had.  Odd to spend the day with the shuttle crowd tho.  I felt like I had more in common with the guy in gym shorts and hi-top Vans than I did the padded and tatted folks vaping their way back up the mountain every five minutes.  Still, we managed to eek out about four and a half hours worth of ups and downs before we needed to clean up and hit the road so we could find a place to sleep.

Dunno.  You tell me.

Day three.

After getting a decent night's sleep at Lake Powell State Park (good bathrooms, better dragonflies), we made our way to Coldwater Mountain.  This was probably the place I was looking forward to riding the most.  It did not disappoint.

Huck to flat action right outta the gate.

Why not?

I'd sorta planned a shorter route with any hope of getting a longer ride preemptively dashed by the rising temps, until...

Refreshments.  Just there in the woods.  Not just once but twice.

Hot Sprite, anyone?

With all the water in the world, we managed to squeak out a pretty healthy ride.

At least on three separate occasions, it felt like the downhills went on forever.  I dare anyone go to Coldwater and try to not have a best day on the bike.

Someone was having too much fun.  While Bill Nye was plugging and pumping, I was providing assistance and encouragement while also stepping on my glasses that I thought I put down in a safe place.  Dammit. 

From there, we headed over to Monte Sano for a planned camp-n-ride stay at the State Park.  We had an awkward conversation with the security guy at the main gate.  Something about rules and park rangers and that it's okay to sleep in your van as long as you have a tent so maybe we should head back into town and buy a cheap one to set up and then maybe the ranger won't be back tonight so maybe you'll be okay...

Just imagine a conversation similar to this:
Mont Sano in the morning.

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