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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KevinGT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    New to Asheville. Sorta...

    My sister-in-law and her husband are about to close on a cabin in Asheville. I live about 2 hours from there and will probably get the chance to see them up there quite often

    They are both very fun, very adventurous and very fit...but neither has ever mountain biked! When I told them that Asheville is one of the top areas in the US for riding, my brother-in-law got very excited to give it a try.

    I'm working on getting him a rental or demo and/or buying a good used bike. In the meantime, I'm wondering what trails in the area are good for him to start on?

    Also, what trails would you recommend for me when I'm up there and looking for something for an experienced rider?

  2. #2
    What could go wrong ...
    Reputation: Zoke2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    I used to ride to Win ... Now I ride to Grin

    While my guitar gently weeps, my bike sits there mocking me

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    I have a friend in Asheville that just started mountain biking about 3 months ago. He loves Bent Creek and the flow-ier stuff at dupont (Ridgeline, Mine Mountain, etc). He was in excellent shape before he started biking, but still needed to walk up (and down) some sections. Especially when I took him on Big Rock for his first real ride. He is having a blast.

    Also have them checkout the meetups/group rides through Pisgah area sorba and bike shops. Also checkout the bike farm pisgah for some guided riding.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    Jul 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    They are both very fun, very adventurous and very fit...but neither has ever mountain biked!...I'm wondering what trails in the area are good for him to start on?
    Bent Creek is close to Asheville and has some nice trails to get started. While I also recommend Tsali since it's where I started as a kid (it has a high fun-to-tech ratio, if you're already fit but not used to bike handling yet), it's a long drive from Asheville.

    Boyd Branch is a good first-time trail to get the bike under you, plus there's parking at Boyd Branch Road so you can make a little loop which starts with a gravel road climb. From there, if you're feeling good, I might cruise down Campground Connector and along the gravel roads over to Hardtimes Connector and then Deer Lake Lodge back to the Wesley Branch parking area. These all get a bit more technical as you go, but they're all easy overall with lots of bail-out points. Cruise back on Bent Creek Gap Road (FS 479) to the parking; now you've made a little loop around the lake.

    Still feeling good? Take Campground Connector back down to Pine Tree Loop and perhaps extend on Explorer Loop if you're really still digging it. Deerfield and Small Creek offer some nice variety and tech sections for practice. These are all South Side trails.

    Once you're feeling good on these, basically the sky's the limit. If you want to keep within Bent Creek, for some steeper descents, try Ingles Field, Wolf Branch, or Little Hickory Top. Lower Sidehill is a blast in an area kind of on its own. The loops you could come up with are endless, and you could probably spend a couple of days exploring them all starting from ground 0. Bent Creek will start to feel small in short order, though.

    If you've conquered Bent Creek - go forth and ride Pisgah, DuPont, and all the rest, using prior experience to plan rides based on what you're used to. Keep in mind that the longer trails add the standard wilderness/backcountry considerations (distance from roads, injuries, etc.) and you'll be calling yourself a mountain biker in no time.

  5. #5
    Rogue Exterminator
    Reputation: kjlued's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Zoke2 View Post
    Neither are really close to Asheville

    Tsali is about 75 miles
    and Tanasi is about 175 miles

    Not saying somebody wouldn't want to visit them but considering Bent Creek along with parts of Pisgah are in Asheville I don't think those trails are what he is seeking.

    Most beginners in Asheville start out riding in Bent Creek.
    Lots of great trails for beginner (well as beginner as it gets around here) to advanced riders. Nothing out there that will get you in serious trouble if you use your head. You are never too far from your car and plenty of people riding it in case you get in a bind.

    DuPont is a little further at about 40 miles from Asheville. More fantastic trails, a little smoother and more flowy. Also some better scenery (in my opinion). Also plenty of users in case you need help. Everywhere in between is Pisgah proper. Pisgah has tons of trails but I would recommend doing them with somebody especially if you are a new rider and not familiar with the trails.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    New to Asheville. Sorta...

    Bent creek is awesome. Pisgah is killer. Dupont is amazing. Though bent creek is thy knees of zee bees.

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