Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bent Creek 12/02/11

Ginger and I rode Bent Creek Saturday. 
I have driven by Brent creek dozens of times on the way to Pisgah or DuPont.  There is not as much trail or quite as scenic as DuPont but the riding is pretty close.  We got out of the car and proceeded to climb 1500' vert.  It was all ridable allthough a couple of rest stops were in order.  Ginger rode all but the steepest and/or tech sections.  Some places were still a little wet.
This picture is just above the 5 points area on the way to Green's Lick.  The big downhill on Green's Lick was fun but it would be more fun on a bike with something slacker than XC geometry.

After the big downhill we rode the Explorer Trail.  It was much flatter but a little more technical with wet roots.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Feb. Time to build trails

Ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the West Bandy Trail at Big South Fork.  BHann, new park superintendent Nickie Nicholas and Joe Cross.

Trail building is now going strong at Fort Dickerson. 

We had about 10 dry days in Feb and got some excellent riding in.  The log ride on the Hickory Trail at Ross Marble.

We had a great work day at Ross Marble.  Over 30 people showed to work and get new trails opened.  BHann is preaching the trail building gospel to the congregation.

Chicken soup for all!

Southside putting the finishing touches on another great bridge.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cumberland Gap National Park

Ginger and I needed to get out of the house Sunday so we decided to make the 1 1/2 hour drive up to Cumberland Gap National Park.  First we stopped in at The Sunspot for brunch.  Then we drove up Hwy 33 through Maynardville, Tazewell and Harrogate.

The road to the Pinnacle was gated because of snow and ice.  We took the opportunity to use the road for a hike to the top.  We took The Weasel (our Corgi, Kobe) with us as she needed to get out as bad as we did.

I didn't check the mileage but I think it is around 2 miles to the top.  Elevation gain is around 1300'.
As we got closer to the top the snow got heavier and deeper.  4 to 6" at the top and it was melting fast.  The views from the top are spectacular.  This overlook is to the south and is right abouve the town of Cumberland Gap.  Most of what you see from here is Tenn.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mail Run

20 years or so ago, my old friend Sam Poynter stared the Mail Run.  The Mail Run was always around the end of the year.  The weather was (almost) always terrible.  The ride was long and grueling and fun in a perverse sort of way.  The chance of getting wet, lost, bonked, finishing in the dark and having a blast laughing about it were very high.  In other words, it was always a ride you would remember for a long time.

Well, Sam doesn't ride a lot anymore and no longer does the Mail Run.  Scott Grisom has taken on the task of the Mail Run organizing.  On Monday Dec 27th we had the 2010 Mail Run at Big South Fork.  Between the announcement of the ride and the actual ride time BSF got about 6" of snow.  I wasn't sure we could even get to Bandy Creek or if Scott and the Middle Tn folks could make it.

An announced 10:00 start ended up being closer to 10:30.  The parking lot was hard to walk on.  Ice was all over where the snow had been cleared.  11 hard men started down the gravel headed towards Grand Gap.  It was probably around 20* at the start.  That's pretty damn cold but it also keeps the snow frozen and not wet which feels warmer than say 34* and mush. 

The conditions were surprisingly good.  The gravel portion was quite cold but once we hit the single track it was comfortable.  For those of you who wonder how to dress for this...long sleeved wool undershirt, std cycling jersey, EWR wool jersey (Epic Ride Mafia version), mid weight fleece, Pearl Izumi shell, wind blocker fleece tights with std shorts, wool socks, neoprene shoe covers, knit cap, my new winter gloves and a bandana to cover my face.  About a mile into the single track I peeled the bandana off my face, the shell went in a pocket and I switch the heavy gloves for midweights.
It ended up being a great ride with some fun people.  Clay Mayfield did his first snow ride as well as his first BSF ride.  Jason Collins came and rode as well.  Scott brought a Middle TN crew.  I only had time to ride Grand Gap/John Muir and back on the gravel but Scot and his crew did an out and back going both ways on GG/JM.  My ride ended up around 22 miles and Scott's was closer to 33.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nov 11

Hill of Truth

AMBC Fall Festival

Monday, October 18, 2010

DuPont Big Ride

Saturday we did a big DuPont ride.  Just under 30 miles with a group of 11.  Jay Smelser led us on what he called the full chicken biscuit with extra jelly.
We rode some popular trails and a few that see very little traffic.  I still say Ridgeline is one of my most favorite downhills anywhere.  It just flows and flows and you go as fast as you dare.
Cedar Rock is always cool but I don't reccomend using the climb up as a warm up.

Thanks to Jay for leading.  Monty, Allen, Jaques, Keith, Larry, Garrett, Joel, Jason and Kaycee kept the ride fun.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

School, work, work, play, play....

I finished my certificate GIS program.  I managed to get the GIS Student of the Year.  WooHoo!  I started working for Mobley Engineering this spring.  My old friends Mark and Susan Mobley put me to work.  I have been able to use my new GIS skills to put together some bathymetry (I didn't know what that was either).  Basically I am using GPS and depth readings to map the lake bottoms in order to locate oxygen differ systems in the most productive place.
So far we have worked in Fla, Maine, PA and S Carolina.  I produced maps for Fla, ME and SC.  This map is of the SC job. 

One of the perks of the job is that Mark is a mountain bike and road bike rider.  I had the opportunity to ride in Florida at Alafia River State Park.  It was actually pretty nice.  Lots of good singletrack in and around an old quarry. 

In Maine I rode at Bradbury Mtn. State Park.  It was, well, different.  Maine is in need of some flow.  Some of the trails were pretty nice and some, like the "O" Trail were not.  Lots of round rocks in Maine.  I also rode at Mt Apatite in Auburn, A new(?) state park just north of town and just across the river from where we were working and at Sunday River Ski Resort.  At Sunday River they have lifts to the top of the mountain for downhillers.  I rode up then down.  The big hill was fun but a little sketchy on my hardtail XC bike.

The best mountain bikeing was in South Carolina.  We stayed about 7 or 8 miles from the FATS Trail system.  FATS was a blast.  Fast, curvey, up and down and as hard as you want to make it.  Sorry, no pics.  I broke my camera.  It would be worth the travel to get a trip together to ride all the trails down there.  One of the locals told me there are over 100 miles of trails within 20 miles of this place.  The house we stayed in was something else.
Oh, and we did do some work.  This is what it looked like at the end of a 13 hour day in 100* heat.


Grand Master Clydesdale

Riding my bike makes me feel like I'm 10 years old again. I'm 54 years old and a clydesdale. I'm happily married to Ginger and I've got a son and two daughters, Zach, Hannah and Molly.