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  1. #1
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    Just a couple Asheville questions.

    My fiance and I are going to Asheville next month and I have a couple questions some of you might be able to help with.

    This will be a vacation vacation not a bike vacation although I would like to get out for a short mtb ride one morning there.

    1. Hotel
    Any good ideas on where to stay downtown? I want to be close to good places to eat and drink beer...the Downtown Inn and Suites looks pretty good. The A Loft place looks really cool but I don't know if its worth the extra dough.

    2. Riding
    I've done PMBAR before and plenty of Pisgah riding but I am thinking of something more tame than pilot, laurel, etc. I can go do before lunch one day we are there. Maybe a loop of three hours in Bent Creek? I saw on olllld thread on here with some route suggestions as well as some stuff on the sorba site.

    Thanks

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  3. #3
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    Stay away from the Downtown Inn. Seriously. Spend the extra $20ish and go to the Renaissance.

    Anyone want to suggest a Bent Creek route other than just keep going until you're done then ask how to get back to the parking lot?
    You can please some people sometimes but you can't please all the people all the time.
    ERIC'S RIDE LOG

  4. #4
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    Sure. First, get a map. Then, this loop will probably take about 3 hours for your average PMBAR finisher:

    Park at first parking area on right driving in, Rice Pinnacle.

    From Rice Pinnacle, going kind of counter-clockwise:

    Deer Lake Lodge>Wolf Branch>Ingles Field>Hickory Top>gravel road down>(side loop)479 Bent Creek Ranch road>turn right onto Lower Side Hill, bear right at intersection back to 479, cross road to parking area, through the gate>to 3rd trail on left (All of which say explorer or explorer alternate)>up>stay right to stay on explorer> follow sign" To pine tree"> right at Pine Tree>Deerfield>Small Creek(look for the sign)>right onto Homestead, cross the bridge, left up the gravel, right onto Hard Times Connector>Cross the paved road> right back on Deer Lake Lodge to the parking lot/car.


    Taking into account figuring this out on the map, will take about 3 hours probably. Motion Makers and Carolina Fatz will both have bikes to rent as you drive into BC. If you really want to flow trail with semi-good jumps, you can continue up to Green's Lick instead of going down Hickory Top. I just prefer Hickory personally.

    If somebody feels like my directions have an error, feel free to offer corrections
    Last edited by Mike Brown; 02-11-2013 at 05:47 AM.

  5. #5
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    I checked the website for Downtown Inn and Suites just to make sure it was the place i was thinking of. I think I'd like to hire that web developer cause they did a great job on that site. Smart the way they incorporated all those pics to show how cool A'ville is without actually having pictures of the hotel itself. I have heard that it's not as bad as it used to be....but I still wouldn't stay there.

    Try Aloft, Haywood Park or Indigo.

  6. #6
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    You guys rule, thanks!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post

    Park at first parking area on right driving in, Rice Pinnacle.

    From Rice Pinnacle, going kind of counter-clockwise:

    Deer Lake Lodge>Wolf Branch>Ingles Field>Hickory Top>gravel road down>(side loop)479 Bent Creek Ranch road>turn right onto Lower Side Hill, bear right at intersection back to 479, cross road to parking area, through the gate>to 3rd trail on left (All of which say explorer or explorer alternate)>up>stay right to stay on explorer> follow sign" To pine tree"> right at Pine Tree>Deerfield>Small Creek(look for the sign)>right onto Homestead, cross the bridge, left up the gravel, right onto Hard Times Connector>Cross the paved road> right back on Deer Lake Lodge to the parking lot/car.

    This.

    Pisgah Area SORBA

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

  8. #8
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    MIke, any idea how your route would compare mileage/elevation wise to this one on the pisgah site? http://www.pisgahareasorba.org/2010/...-parking-area/

    Looks to be a similar route with some backtracking.

    I have studied a map of your route and a bit confused. There looks to be a 479G and 479F to take down from hickory...looks like I should come down 479G then take that connector down to the gravel road and there are three quick turn off options for explorer trails. Take the third one. Sound correct?

    oh yeah, got a room at aloft. where should i go for good food/beer nearby?

  9. #9
    Big Mac
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    Just a couple Asheville questions.

    The beer at wicked weed is good. I'm reserving judgement on the food. It's practically next door to aloft. Try salsa for food. Lots of food downtown. Venture down to the river arts district and try the wedge brewery. Tasty. What kind of food do you like?

  10. #10
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    up and down biltmore ave there are a bunch of good spots... this is a pretty incomplete list

    Food - Doc Cheys, Blackbird, Barley's (and beer), are just a few of my faves
    Beer - Wicked Weed is a block south, plus AVL brewing and a whole bunch of others are in walking distance

  11. #11
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    I've been to Salsa's before! It was great, will go back for sure. Pizza, mexican, nothing too fancy. Dark beer. I'm easy.

  12. #12
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    Just a couple Asheville questions.

    For pizza, north on merrimon, which is the same road as biltmore (hwy 25), and find Marcos. Chorizo, which has the same owner/chef as salsa, is in the grove arcade. A short walk and decent pizza. Limones is a high dollar Mexican joint a stones throw from aloft. Personally, I've never been impressed, but some folks love it. Barleys has a lot of beer and the pizza is ok. But the chili is off the hook. Or it should be. The recipe is mine!😳😄lots of yummy stuff in town. Enjoy.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny K View Post
    there are three quick turn off options for explorer trails. Take the third one. Sound correct?

    oh yeah, got a room at aloft. where should i go for good food/beer nearby?
    1st left is Lower Explorer, short and sweet. Second turn is Middle Explorer, longer and better than Lower... Third turn is Upper Explorer, and is the best bang for your buck, as you'll climb up and drop back to Middle Explorer without missing any fun stuff.

    The Blackbird in the Aloft has AWESOME food. Chestnut across the street is also exceptional... It's almost impossible to NOT find good beer downtown, Local brews are on tap just about everywhere, and you are in walking distance to some good beer spots. Lusty Monk is a must do, with Green Man Brewing right across the street (Jack of the Wood), the Lexington Ave Brewery (LAB) just a short walk away. Even the Wedge is in easy walking/riding distance.
    Pisgah Area SORBA

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

  14. #14
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    If you go to Barleys Tap Room, spend the extra $1 on beer mash dough for the pizza.
    It is well worth it and they do have an good tap selection.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  15. #15
    Big Mac
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    Just a couple Asheville questions.

    Just to be clear, the above is referring to the thirsty monk and not the lusty monk, which is a local brand of mustard. And Green man brewing is actually on banks avenue. Jack of the wood is a bar that serves green man beers. He is correct that you would have to try pretty hard to not find good food and drink.

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=jerry68;10158528]1st left is Lower Explorer, short and sweet. Second turn is Middle Explorer, longer and better than Lower... Third turn is Upper Explorer, and is the best bang for your buck, as you'll climb up and drop back to Middle Explorer without missing any fun stuff."

    Thanks, J.
    I was thinking about "3 hours" and this might be a bit short. Sounds like you have a map and the skills to use it, OP. Using my directions, consider after finishing Small Creek, working your way over to CampGround Connector and finishing the way outlined on the PAS link. It's a really fun mostly DH finish that way and should add just enough to the ride.

    Food? I'll make two recommendations nobody's done yet. City Bakery across the street from your hotel has awesome breakfast biscuits. Chai Pani is delicious, affordable, and unique Indian food.
    Last edited by Mike Brown; 02-13-2013 at 03:49 PM.

  17. #17
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    Agreed. Marcos is the best pizza in town (caveat: i have not tried Digable on the west side nor Tin Can food truck, but it's sure better than Barleys or Mellow Mushroom). Limones does not impress me either.

    Agree w/ Mike about City Bakery, good sandwiches for lunch , too. I was unimpressed w/ Blackbird when it was in Black Mtn. Doc Chey is solid, Curate is fun if you don't mind dropping cash$$$$. Salsas just around the corner. Storm Rhum Bar right out the back of the hotel has a good burger and fries (and ceviche if you go that way).

    I would highly recommend making the short trip down to river arts district (RAD) and eating at the Junction (gussy-ied up southern but still casual, White Duck Taco (very cheap and casual), and drinking at the WEdge. Also recommend the food truck lot on Coxe avenue. Unless I'm mistaken, you can buy food from the trucks and go eat it on the porch at the Wedge....right?

  18. #18
    Big Mac
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    Just a couple Asheville questions.

    I didn't think much of the blackbird either, though I haven't been to the new location. +1 on the rhum bar. Fairly priced too. And yes you can do the good truck/wedge combo. Done it many a time. Sometimes there's a food truck at the wedge. And for reference, diggable pizza ain't very diggable. It sucks.

  19. #19
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    Standard Pizza FTW. Take the recipes from the best pizza in Atlanta and take them to Asheville - success.

    Rode almost the same loop that Mike Brown posted when I was up there a year ago and it was a blast. Green's lick was too much fun going down.

  20. #20
    Big Mac
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    Just a couple Asheville questions.

    Standard pizza? Really? My experience was much different. In fact, your comment is the first positive thing I've heard about the place. This is the place on Haywood road, right?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Standard pizza? Really? My experience was much different. In fact, your comment is the first positive thing I've heard about the place. This is the place on Haywood road, right?
    Sounds about right. I knew the owner from his time running a pizza shop in Atlanta and heard great reviews from friends up that way so figured I'd pop in when I was up there. Havent been to Digable before but Standard brought the new york goodness.

  22. #22
    Big Mac
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    Just a couple Asheville questions.

    Heh, heh. Marco brought the N.Y.C goodness years ago. 😄

  23. #23
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    This (pizza) comes up in almost every thread about Asheville. It's pretty funny.

    The best pizzas at a restaurant in town (I and a few friends make equal or better) IMO are:

    Tier 1: Nona Mia and Marco's. These two places are so heads and shoulders above most others it's not comparable- and they're totally different from each other.
    Tier 2: Favilla's, Circle in the Square, Mellow Mushroom. All decent. Favilla's is carry-out only and a bit of weird place IME.
    Tier 3: Asheville Pizza. Frank's and Apollo Flame. Asheville Pizza is worth it for the hanging out factor and the pizza can be awesome, Tier 2 level but isn't consistently cooked well or served hot. These 3 are all slightly better than...
    Tier 4: Everybody else. Other local pizza's places are better than the Hut and serve beer. That's what I'm going to say about them.
    I'm very excited about two new pizza places to open soon- can't remember their names, but one is associated with an excellent small scale local baker and the other is the same owership as White Duck. Bring it!
    Mike "food junkie" Brown
    Last edited by Mike Brown; 02-13-2013 at 01:34 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Just to be clear, the above is referring to the thirsty monk and not the lusty monk, which is a local brand of mustard. .
    LOL. Yes, The Thirsty Monk for beer... but Lusty Monk mustard is also a must try.I was eating a pork sandwich smothered in Lusty Monk while i was typing that

    We found the Blackbird to be much better than it was in Black Mountain. +1 on Duck Taco and Chai Pani


    and to the OP, post up when you're in A'ville, and I am sure someone will volunteer to lead you around Bent Creek
    Last edited by jerry68; 02-13-2013 at 04:03 PM.
    Pisgah Area SORBA

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

  25. #25
    Big Mac
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    Just a couple Asheville questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    This (pizza) comes up in almost every thread about Asheville. It's pretty funny.

    The best pizzas at a restaurant in town (I and a few friends make equal or better) IMO are:

    Tier 1: Nona Mia and Marco's. These two places are so heads and shoulders above most others it's not comparable- and they're totally different from each other.
    Tier 2: Favilla's, Circle in the Square, Mellow Mushroom. All decent. Favilla's is carry-out only and a bit of weird place IME.
    Tier 3: Asheville Pizza. Frank's and Apollo Flame. Asheville Pizza is worth it for the hanging out factor and the pizza can be awesome, Tier 2 level but isn't consistently cooked well or served hot. These 3 are all slightly better than...
    Tier 4: Everybody else. Other local pizza's places are better than the Hut and serve beer. That's what I'm going to say about them.
    I'm very excited about two new pizza places to open soon- can't remember their names, but one is associated with an excellent small scale local baker and the other is the same owership as White Duck. Bring it!
    Mike "food junkie" Brown
    I know it doesn't really make sense, but to me, Nona Mia doesn't seem as good since the move. I dunno, it's weird. But it's still good. Well have to agree to disagree on them being on par with Marcos. Totally different, I know, but between the two I think I'd take Marcos 9/10 times. Why no love for piazza in fairview? It's pretty good. It's kinda sorta Nona Miaish. And they have locals on tap. Franks pizza? Well, really?

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