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  1. #1
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    Routes up to Farlow Gap

    Looking at the map and other guide resources, there appears to be 2 or 3 routes from cove creek camp up to Farlow. Is there any difference/advantage of taking 229 up as opposed to 5003 > 140A other than distance? Maybe scenery? On the same token, what about going right on 140A up to sassafras knob instead of left on 140A > 5031?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I prefer to drive up the gravel rd from gloucester gap to the top , but that gate has been closed for a while now. I was spoiled the first two times I rode farlow and was able to shuttle it. I would be interested in other ways to connect to the top as well.

  3. #3
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    Yeah I'm not looking to cheat the climb, just wondering if one is worth riding more than the others in terms of views, etc.

  4. #4
    Fence guru
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    All roads to farlow are terrible unless they are in a truck

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercusty View Post
    All roads to farlow are terrible unless they are in a truck
    LOL, I was hoping to gain some insider knowledge concerning the Farlow gap climb, I'm racing the Swank this weekend and have never been up there. I was hopeful until I read your post.
    I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, I just hate vegetables.

  6. #6
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    Routes up to Farlow Gap

    Thou shalt not cheat the farlow.

  7. #7
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    I wouldn't dare cheat the Farlow. Just wondering what to expect.
    I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, I just hate vegetables.

  8. #8
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    Re: Routes up to Farlow Gap

    Expect to be hating life for about 45 minutes to an hour as you go up 229.

    That's why I signed up for the Couch Potato. That and it was 60 bucks cheaper.
    Friends don let friends ride road bikes.
    http://www.facebook.com/mikebmiller

  9. #9
    drunken pirate
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    I'd rather take 5003 to 140A than 229.

    If you are after views or the most direct route, 229 is your best option. But it is a grunt of a little climb that isn't very pleasant.

    5003 to 140A is a lot more like trails than roads and feels more back country than most mountain bike routes in the district.

    Don't rule out going Out and Back on Farlow either. It isn't much harder to just go up the trail than it is to take all of those roads
    More Trails, Not Less

    Adventures in Pisgah

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    5003 to 140A is a lot more like trails than roads and feels more back country than most mountain bike routes in the district.
    Bingo, I think that's the way we're taking. Thanks.

  11. #11
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    I finally broke my Farlow cherry this last weekend. After thawing Saturday morning, we rode from the Hatchery up 229 to Farlow, Daniels, 229, Cemetary Loop, Long Branch, Butter, Fish Hatchery.

    Now that's done, I too would be interested in if\when that gate opens for a bigger more fun bike.

  12. #12
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    David, were you on the ibis or a different bike?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orthoguy View Post
    LOL, I was hoping to gain some insider knowledge concerning the Farlow gap climb, I'm racing the Swank this weekend and have never been up there. I was hopeful until I read your post.
    oh, then you're in for a treat! Nothing like doing the hardest climb in Pisgah for the first time under race conditions! The first and only time I ever rode a bike w/ my iPod in was going up 229 during Swank. I think it saved me, and I highly recommend it. Even if the music doesn't get you going, it will at least cover up the sound of you sucking wind. Enjoy the race !

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by matty22c View Post
    David, were you on the ibis or a different bike?
    Hey, ya that was me on the white Ibis.

  15. #15
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    I wish I was there, but I wasn't. I just know you and your ride from torc meetups. I will be in the area this weekend, though probably not riding farlow. Got to get a lock pick set first, damn gate .

  16. #16
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    The first time I rode Farlow, I climbed it. It's more rideable than people might lead you to believe. So and out-back option is another variant.
    A bunch of my ride pics: http://uberfarm.com/mnf

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    Expect to be hating life for about 45 minutes to an hour as you go up 229.

    That's why I signed up for the Couch Potato. That and it was 60 bucks cheaper.
    And I see that Swank still isn't sold out. When this race goes back to $100 or less, I will consider it.

  18. #18
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    The first time I rode up 229 was during Swank. I remember watching my tears land on the top tube.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDU Goldfish View Post
    The first time I rode up 229 was during Swank. I remember watching my tears land on the top tube.
    Thanks for the laugh RDU! We did the Pisgah 55 earlier this year and I had the same experience going up Black Mountain.
    I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, I just hate vegetables.

  20. #20
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    First time I rode that climb, I didn't think it was THAT BAD!!! Not that good either.

  21. #21
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    Rode Farlow on Saturday. We parked at Courthouse Falls parking and rode up 5031. Coming back on 5003, we came to a T which we thought was the intersection with 140A. We took a left and slid down some steep hills. We should have known we had went the wrong way after it got to looking like no one had been there in a while, but we were able to follow some old logging roads and find our way back to 215. It was an adventure. Farlow is ridonkulous!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackFromNC View Post
    The first time I rode Farlow, I climbed it. It's more rideable than people might lead you to believe. So and out-back option is another variant.
    Please, I imagine <5% of mountain bikers can ride Farlow. Did Swank yesterday and although I will never be able to ride most of it, the leaves and washed out sections made it silly to even walk down. I would have paid good money to watch someone ride it yesterday.

    For those that haven't been there and are reading this for advice, it will be one of the gnarliest downhills you will ever lay eyes on. Period. The Farlow side of Daniel's ridge is no joke either.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedood View Post
    Please, I imagine <5% of mountain bikers can ride Farlow. Did Swank yesterday and although I will never be able to ride most of it, the leaves and washed out sections made it silly to even walk down. I would have paid good money to watch someone ride it yesterday.

    For those that haven't been there and are reading this for advice, it will be one of the gnarliest downhills you will ever lay eyes on. Period. The Farlow side of Daniel's ridge is no joke either.
    X2

    We did the Swank yesterday as well. While the up side of Farlow is just a sit and spin grinder the down side is no joke. Maybe rode 20% of it but like you I would love to see somebody ride it. The scenery was stunning though, that is when I could see it between bouts of hypoxia. We were very happy to get to the flowy part of Daniels ridge.
    I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, I just hate vegetables.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedood View Post
    Please, I imagine <5% of mountain bikers can ride Farlow. Did Swank yesterday and although I will never be able to ride most of it, the leaves and washed out sections made it silly to even walk down. I would have paid good money to watch someone ride it yesterday.

    For those that haven't been there and are reading this for advice, it will be one of the gnarliest downhills you will ever lay eyes on. Period. The Farlow side of Daniel's ridge is no joke either.
    Way more people can ride it than that. Well minus the creek crossings (I can barely walk that one above the falls). I'm not that great of a rider and I had no problems riding all minus said creek crossings and the up hill (out of shape) the last two times I rode it. I will preface this by saying that the last time I rode farlow was in April before the huge rains. Daniel's looked a little bit different (more washed out and more technical) when I rode it a few weeks ago, but that was mainly the other side (not the rocky side).

    I have ridden it with leaves on the trail and without. **** the first time I rode it was a few days after christmas years ago and it was raining with leaves everywhere, that was the only time I have walked sections of farlow. Keep in mind this doesn't mean I haven't fallen. The last time it april I rode everything and didn't fall. The time in the wet I fell like 4 times and broke a finger (still loved every minute).

    You should really check out TTC and Windrock. Once you ride there you will look at farlow (and/or riders) in a different way. I know did.

  25. #25
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    I can't speak to the varying conditions as yesterday was the first time I have seen it in person. I will say that although I know video can be deceiving, none of the videos online depict what I saw yesterday.

    I know or have ridden with all of the top Xterra guys (I know that doesn't say much about downhill skills, but speaks to skills in general) and have ridden with several other top 20 local racers and I am fairly confident only a couple of them would even attempt yesterday's Farlow.

    Maybe more than 5% of mtb'ers that go to Farlow outside of a race will ride it, but looking at the general mtb'er population I think 5% is being quite generous. I've ridden a lot of places and I've never seen anything like that.

    I guess it could be the difference between great downhillers and generalists. A lot of people in this thread think 229 sucks whereas I thought it was a run of the mill sit and spin forest service road. It was actually quite a nice road with very little loose stuff.

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