In Asheville on business, if you had one day......- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    In Asheville on business, if you had one day......

    If you had one day to ride what would be your choice location in the general Asheville area? Or what would you recommend I ride? I have 3-4 hours of ride time available this Thursday. I have to catch an 8:30 flight. Also what is a good shop to rent from?
    Background:
    My go to bike is an SC Nomad C, but will be renting a bike while in town. I'm a pretty diverse rider in that I have raced expert xc, expert dh, like to suffer in an occasional endurance event, and ride road. I use to ride 5 days a week, but with work now I get out twice a week, except winter (1 day a week on the fat bike). My fitness is decent but could be better. I would classify myself as an intermediate + pace now a days. I enjoy very technical riding, skinnies/log rides, some drops, flow, and in general diverse terrain. I live and ride in CT. I'm 34 and have been "into" mtb'ing since I was 13, riding continuously since then. I like the color blue, long walks on the beach and sunsets on an ebbing tide.... Sorry had to throw some sarcasm in there...
    Let me know what you think.

  2. #2
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    Head to Brevard, NC. About an hour or less south of Asheville. Download the Avenza Map PDF app for your phone and get the South Pisgah Ranger District map. That will keep you on track and from getting lost.

    Go ride Farlow Gap to Daniels Ridge, Laurel Mtn. to Pilot Rock, and/or Black Mtn. with Avery Creek option.

    Those are all mostly downhill oriented rides. Lots of gravel road climbing but the rewards are the best descents in the forest. You could probably get most of these done in 3-4 hours if your in decent shape.

    If you cant make it out to those trails in the time you have, The North Mills Rec. Area is closer to town and has some fun rides. The Spencer Branch to Spencer Gap (sorta confusing) to Fletcher Creek ride is awesome. This starts from the Trace Ridge Trailhead (also a very fun trail).

    If this is still too time consuming...go ride Bent Creek Experimental Forest. Its right in town and is the next best thing to riding Pisgah proper. Greenslick, Sidehill, and a few others have some fun downhill.

    I ride a Nomad sometimes and a Yelli almost all the time. The Nomad-style of bike should be more than enough bike to handle everything out there. I've done everything on both bikes but the Nomad is more fun IMO. If you really want to enjoy the only day you have, Id get something with at least 4" of travel or more. As far as rentals, Billy Goat Bikes has a fleet of Devinci's that are awesome. If you havent been on the Troy yet you owe it to yourself to try it. They are a really great shop. The demos go quick so I'd call soon.

    However if its gnar you seek, head to Brevard.


    Good Luck!
    On your left!

  3. #3
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    Try out bent creek or dark mountain. Been a while since I rode it but they're both awesome.

  4. #4
    Evolutionsverlierer
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    Depends how much travel time you have, anything south around Brevard will take you around 2 hours of commuting and if you hit heavy traffic which is not that unusual on the 26 than who knows.

    Bent Creek seems to be the safest bet to me, Fatz and Motion Makers are around the corner and they rent out bikes, but as a disclaimer I do not know any riding areas besides Bent Creek and whatever trails are in the Brevard area.

    I hope that helps.

  5. #5
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    From Asheville to Pisgah, take the Airport Exit off I-26 (Hwy 280) pass airport and stay on 280 until the intersection with Hwy 64. At 280 and 64 either the Hub or Sycamore Cycles you can rent, then go into Pisgah the entrance of which is right there at that same intersection. This would take around an hour I'd guess. I'm a relative newb and rode the lower Black Mtn Trail - up Thrift Cove Trail, down Black Mtn, then Sycamore Cove loop. Fun ride, especially the downhill on Black Mtn and Sycamore. But that's about a 7 - 7.5 mile ride and if you're an accomplished rider it will take you a lot less time than our 2 1/2 hours. We did a lot of waiting on our slowest rider to climb.

    The lower Black Mtn trail is great fun. And your start point is only a mile or so inside the forest entrance. As suggested above, I would download the Avenza map app for your phone and then buy the lower Pisgah trail map. It will track you with GPS and show your location on the map.
    Here's some suggested routes.
    Pisgah Area SORBA ยป Pisgah Routes

  6. #6
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    Great info guys. Thanks! Keep it coming. Its sounding like Black Mtn or Bent Creek may be my best options in interest of time. I want to get as much saddle time as possible. Brevard sounds up my alley and I will get there some time, but probably not this trip. Maybe I'm old school but where is the best place to print out some trail maps, or do shops carry them down there? I'll download Avenza as well but I always like a hard copy just in case.

  7. #7
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    Also if anyone wants to do a hippy ride at 2pm on Thursday it would great to have some company and local knowledge.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigswardmtb View Post
    Great info guys. Thanks! Keep it coming. Its sounding like Black Mtn or Bent Creek may be my best options in interest of time. I want to get as much saddle time as possible. Brevard sounds up my alley and I will get there some time, but probably not this trip. Maybe I'm old school but where is the best place to print out some trail maps, or do shops carry them down there? I'll download Avenza as well but I always like a hard copy just in case.
    Bent Creek:
    https://fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOC...sm8_050251.pdf

    For some reason it's showing up tinted pink on my screen but when you download it is regular color.

    For Black Mtn. or anything in Brevard you will want the Pisgah Map Company map. It's available at virtually every shop in the area. Just ask when you rent a bike.

  9. #9
    Big Mac
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    In Asheville on business, if you had one day......

    Quote Originally Posted by craigswardmtb View Post
    Great info guys. Thanks! Keep it coming. Its sounding like Black Mtn or Bent Creek may be my best options in interest of time. I want to get as much saddle time as possible. Brevard sounds up my alley and I will get there some time, but probably not this trip. Maybe I'm old school but where is the best place to print out some trail maps, or do shops carry them down there? I'll download Avenza as well but I always like a hard copy just in case.
    For clarity's sake, Black mountain trail is in brevard. Kitsuma trail is in the town of black mountain. The town of black mountain is pretty close to Asheville. Brevard really isn't. So bent creek or kitsuma are your best bets, considering your time constraints. All the bike shops have maps.

  10. #10
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    Thanks mbm. I figured that out after a bit more research. I talked to The Hub and I'm renting a Bronson C. I'll likely do a Turkey Pen route. It seems the airport is only 20 minutes from The Hub, which I'm ok with. Hopefully weather cooperates.

  11. #11
    Big Mac
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    In Asheville on business, if you had one day......

    Quote Originally Posted by craigswardmtb View Post
    Thanks mbm. I figured that out after a bit more research. I talked to The Hub and I'm renting a Bronson C. I'll likely do a Turkey Pen route. It seems the airport is only 20 minutes from The Hub, which I'm ok with. Hopefully weather cooperates.
    If you're renting from the hub, you're better off riding something closer to the hub. Turkey pen is back towards the airport. From the hub you can be on dirt in 5 minutes. Think claw hammer to maxwell to black mountain. You can easily add more if you have the time. You can ride from the hub too! Easy peasy.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigswardmtb View Post
    I have 3-4 hours of ride time available this Thursday. I have to catch an 8:30 flight. Also what is a good shop to rent from?
    With only 3 to 4 hours to ride, if you are in Asheville I recommend staying in the Area and keeping it simple. Driving to Brevard or DuPont will swallow half your time in the round trip.

    Your best bet is to hit Bent Creek. You can rent a bike from Bike Street USA (Formerly Carolina Fatz). They have Santa Cruz bikes.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  13. #13
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    Also... Turkey Pen trail is an SOB. push, ride, hike, ride, hike, push, ride, etc...

    The trails from out around Turkey Pen Trailhead are fun. Maxwell to squirrel is great. Cantrell Creek, and Horse Cove are fun too.

    I would second riding at the Ranger Station. That will s ave you 30min of driving which equals more Pisgah shreddage for you.

    The Fish Hatchery stuff would be my next suggestion. Its still closer to the Hub than Turkey Pen and has better descending IMO.

    Whatever you do have fun and report back...
    On your left!

  14. #14
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    In Asheville on business, if you had one day......

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    With only 3 to 4 hours to ride, if you are in Asheville I recommend staying in the Area and keeping it simple. Driving to Brevard or DuPont will swallow half your time in the round trip.

    Your best bet is to hit Bent Creek. You can rent a bike from Bike Street USA (Formerly Carolina Fatz). They have Santa Cruz bikes.
    He's flying out. With the airport halfway in between, I'd call it a wash. And the riding experience will be so much more better!😄

  15. #15
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    I agree, the riding experience is better.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  16. #16
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    I'm all lined up for the Bronson from The Hub. The guy from The Hub mentioned you could ride from the shop and proposed clawhammer to something to something. He also mentioned a 5 minute drive from the shop and it was his favorite trail in the area for which the name eludes me. It's an out and back. It sounds like any way I dice it I'm in for some good riding. Looking forward to it. Now if only this morning meeting would get cancelled so I would have more time.

  17. #17
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    I like Clawhammer to Black Mtn.
    I like taking it up upper Black, come half way down Avery and then do middle and lower Black. However if I am on a time crunch I do just middle and lower black.

    Personally I wouldn't leave from the Hub but instead drive a mile or so up the road to the parking lot before the ranger station. Of course, I already have my bike loaded when I go. If I was renting and didn't have a bike rack, I might ride from the Hub.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  18. #18
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    agree with general clawhammer/avery/blackish routes. b-b-b-but if you ride from the Hub [ooh - that whole mile up a paved road] you have to end up back there, which means you *have* to have a beer or four when your return!

  19. #19
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    No pavement needed, just click yer bike shoes together and say Estatoe!
    Pisgah Forest NC

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatTireGoose View Post
    No pavement needed, just click yer bike shoes together and say Estatoe!
    What can I say that will take me to the top of Black?

    I have tried several expletives in the past but none of them seem to work.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  21. #21
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    Well back from Asheville at midnight last night. Thanks to the Hub for putting up with my 10 minute after close show up to return the Solo-C. Great bike and great shop. I wish I had time to drink some of their beers. I had a good ride. I decided to head to the Ranger station and ride Black Mtn. I headed up Avery Creek Rd and stupidly at the horse stables I stayed left and continued up Avery Creek. I went to what seemed like the top of that long climb past Bennet Gap and then realized what I had done. Oh well I got some good climbing in, which I paid for later. I headed back down to the stable and climbed all the way up Clawhammer to Buckhorn Gap. Wow that climb sucks. I then took a right on Black Mtn. The trail was very rugged with some hike a bike, but overall a lot of fun with great views. The decent made it all worth it. The upper section all the way to Turkey Pen was all ridable but pretty rutted. Lots of opportunities to catch air and make quick moves so you don't end up going OTB by hitting a water hole in one of the ruts. After turkey pen it was a lot of fun and much flowier. As with any downhill it went to fast. I then did I think it was called thrift which was also a fun trail. Overall a fun ride that is very different than the rides in my back yard. NExt time back I hope to find some more technical varied riding that isn't just up up and then down down. I'll be back in a few weeks on business again, hopefully I have some more time to explore. Thanks for all you help on here!

  22. #22
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    Glad you enjoyed it.

    Black is a good ride. And since you got your climbing in on Avery Creek you should be nice and prepared for the Black to Bennet ride which is a classic.

    Next time you come back post up and hopefully someone can join you. Im off most Fridays and would be happy to show you around. There are plenty of trails to explore and a ton of diversity. Plus the Fall season brings some of the best weather conditions and scenery in the Southeast...

    And for the love of God drink a beer next time!!!

    haha.
    On your left!

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