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  1. #1
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    Black mountain questions

    Will be in asheville in early May, likely renting a bike from Hub or Sycamore. I was thinking about riding the "black mountain loop" from mtb project. Avery Creek - clawhammer - directly down black mtn.

    Can't figure out if all the hiking discussed is going up black mtn or if there's hiking on clawhammer. And, it looks like clawhammer intersects with a bit of black mtn to the left of the intersection, is that worth climbing to turn around and ride down?

    Probably pushing it w the elevation gain, but would adding in a loop all the way up Avery Creek and down Bennet before continuing up clawhammer be a dumb idea?

    I'll have 3-4 hours.

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    I occasionally see hikers going up black. Clawhammer is a gated gravel rd. Who cares if there are hikers or horses there?

    Climbing the other side of black (black left) is doable. Less techy than the upper parts of black right but that just means it's actually rideable.

    But I wouldn't bother with a little out and back on black left. Just ride that way if you want to descend avery creek trail or buckwheat.

    You can do both black and bennett. People do it. I haven't (yet), but it's a fairly big ride. No way I'd be riding it in 3-4 hrs, though. Granted, I am slower than most locals. But it's still a big ride.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Dunlop01 View Post
    Will be in asheville in early May, likely renting a bike from Hub or Sycamore. I was thinking about riding the "black mountain loop" from mtb project. Avery Creek - clawhammer - directly down black mtn.

    Can't figure out if all the hiking discussed is going up black mtn or if there's hiking on clawhammer. And, it looks like clawhammer intersects with a bit of black mtn to the left of the intersection, is that worth climbing to turn around and ride down?

    Probably pushing it w the elevation gain, but would adding in a loop all the way up Avery Creek and down Bennet before continuing up clawhammer be a dumb idea?

    I'll have 3-4 hours.

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    I dont think youre interpreting the map correctly. Clawhammer is a gated road, that at the top, bisects black mountain trail. At the top, black mountain to the left goes to the intersection of Averys creek, club gap, and buckwheat knob. Bennet gap is on the other side of buckwheat. Black mountain to the right, where the hike a bike is, goes all the way down to smokers cove at the bottom. Riding all of what you mentioned would be a big day.


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    I think I'm interpreting correctly, describing poorly.

    What you say makes sense, thx. There is hike a bike coming down Black mtn from the intersection with clawhammer. I was originally thinking that the hike a bike comments were from people riding up black instead of avery creek/claw hammer. Or possibly in that section going up "black left" from claw hammer.

    The route I was contemplating was avery creek rd to top of Bennet, coming down, then riding up to black via clawhammer. That seems like it's gonna be too much.

    Maybe I should be choosing between Buckwheat + Bennet or Black. I guess if I did the former I'd have the option of cutting over to black /thrift at what looks like about 2/3rds the way down after returning back to Avery creek. Doesn't appear to entail much more climbing.

    Any opinions bw buckwheat/Bennet vs black?

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    Generally speaking, "Upper" Black refers to the section from Clawhammer Rd down. "Middle" is from Maxwell Cove Rd down and "Lower" is Thrift Cove down.

    If you ride up either Clawhammer or Maxwell you're going to have a section of hike-a-bike climbing before the respective downhill on Upper or Middle Black.

    Another option would be to climb Maxwell Cove, but take a left and hike up the final descent of Upper Black (the best part), then continue on down Middle/Lower Black. This would be a more attainable option if you also want to include Bennett Gap.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Dunlop01 View Post
    I think I'm interpreting correctly, describing poorly.

    What you say makes sense, thx. There is hike a bike coming down Black mtn from the intersection with clawhammer. I was originally thinking that the hike a bike comments were from people riding up black instead of avery creek/claw hammer. Or possibly in that section going up "black left" from claw hammer.
    From the intersection at the top of Clawhammer and Black Mountain, when you go to the right, you continue climbing. It includes a hike-a-bike section before the descent begins. Its pretty cool for a hike-a-bike IMO. Easier than most others and a nice view near the top.

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    If you only have 3-4 hours I would ride the Black Mtn -Buckwheat-Bennet ride. Its a great loop and everything is at least ride-able.

    You would park at the Horse Stables off FR477 (Avery Creek Road) and climb Clawhammer road (gravel) to where Black mountain trail crosses. That intersection is called Buckhorn Gap...

    Then go left on Black, up the stairs, past the hiking shelter and continue on to Club Gap which is a 4-way intersection with Black Mtn., Avery Creek, Buckwheat Knob, and Club Gap trails...

    Go straight onto Buckwheat knob and you'll stay on the trail until you connect with Avery Creek Road (477) again and then you cross the road onto Bennet Gap Trail.

    Stay on Bennet until you connect with the Avery Creek Rd (477) again and then go left on the gravel back to your car.

    Thats about 12 miles and I can usually get it done in 2-3 hours. 3-4 hours will give you time to enjoy it and stop and take in many views, etc.

    Personally I think the Black/Buckwheat/Bennet ride has more to offer than doing Black Mtn. on the right of Clawhammer road. The Black/Buckwheat/Bennet ride is all ride-able and has more varied terrain and better views. Black Mtn. right toward the Turkey Pen Trail has a nasty hike-a-bike but does offer a longer sustained descent.

    If you get done with the first loop and still have time and legs... drive up to the Ranger Station and pedal up Thrift Cove trail and down Lower Black Mtn. trail. It has a great climb:descent ratio... easy climb:super fun descent.

    Post up when you plan on riding and folks may join you. I'm happy to play tour guide and all it will cost ya is an Ecusta beer when were done haha.
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    Avery Creek Road/Clawhammer/Black (to the right) is an awesome loop, one of the best and a must do if you only have a short time here. Depending on your fitness, doing Avery Creek Road/Bennett first is a nice add on. Doing both in under 4 hours is pushing it but possible if you're in good shape.

    Another option (and one we do occasionally) is to ride from The Hub and do Avery Creek Rd/Clawhammer/Black (right) and then add in one or more short options depending on time and how your legs feel: loop of Thrift Cove/Lower Black (easy climb and fun repeat of lower Black) or Thrift Cove/Grassy/Sycamore (either side) also an easy climb with some fun . Both options take about 30 minutes or so and end with a short spin back to the Hub for beers. Weekend traffic can sometimes back up pretty good in the afternoon so not having to fight that is nice.
    "Get busy living, or get busy dying"

  9. #9
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    Just a heads up, as of this past Sunday, the 27th, Avery creek road is closed. Theyre is a little parking at the make shift gate, but not much. Plan accordingly.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Just a heads up, as of this past Sunday, the 27th, Avery creek road is closed. Theyre is a little parking at the make shift gate, but not much. Plan accordingly.


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    I like to park at the bottom of Black, go do North Slope, then ride out the back of the campground by the church before heading over to 477/Avery Creek Road. All legal and cuts out most of 276,

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Just a heads up, as of this past Sunday, the 27th, Avery creek road is closed. Theyre is a little parking at the make shift gate, but not much. Plan accordingly.


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    Was planning on riding from Hub or Sycamore, no Bueno?

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Dunlop01 View Post
    Was planning on riding from Hub or Sycamore, no Bueno?

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    When the roads are closed, that just means closed to auto traffic. You can bike up there no problem. So yeah, park at smoker's cove, the hub, sycamore, or something along those lines. you just can't park at the horse stables at the moment.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    I like to park at the bottom of Black, go do North Slope, then ride out the back of the campground by the church before heading over to 477/Avery Creek Road. All legal and cuts out most of 276,
    Totally. North slope is a great addition to any ride. Love that trail.


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  14. #14
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    Another fun way to hit those trails if you are short on time is to climb up 477 and ride Bennett and then take Clawhammer to Maxwell Cove to Black. You will just do Middle and Lower Black this way, but it cuts out all the hike a bike stuff.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy R View Post
    Another fun way to hit those trails if you are short on time is to climb up 477 and ride Bennett and then take Clawhammer to Maxwell Cove to Black. You will just do Middle and Lower Black this way, but it cuts out all the hike a bike stuff.


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    except getting from pressly gap up to hickory knob/top of lower black. I've cleared it... once... when I totally soft pedaled all the way to pressly gap and then hammered up to the top. Most mortals hike this part but it's an easy 5-10 min hike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAK656 View Post
    Most mortals hike this part
    I was going to say the same. I mean, I can clean SOME of it, but I've gotta get off at some point.

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    No, ya'll are right. I meant all the LONG hike a bike. I walk that hill, and maybe a couple on Bennett too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbeh View Post
    Generally speaking, "Upper" Black refers to the section from Clawhammer Rd down. "Middle" is from Maxwell Cove Rd down and "Lower" is Thrift Cove down.

    If you ride up either Clawhammer or Maxwell you're going to have a section of hike-a-bike climbing before the respective downhill on Upper or Middle Black.

    Another option would be to climb Maxwell Cove, but take a left and hike up the final descent of Upper Black (the best part), then continue on down Middle/Lower Black. This would be a more attainable option if you also want to include Bennett Gap.
    I had always thought of upper as Clawhammer to Club Gap, middle as Maxwell to Clawhammer, and lower as Maxwell down to Smokers Cove.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Dunlop01 View Post
    Will be in asheville in early May, likely renting a bike from Hub or Sycamore. I was thinking about riding the "black mountain loop" from mtb project. Avery Creek - clawhammer - directly down black mtn.

    Can't figure out if all the hiking discussed is going up black mtn or if there's hiking on clawhammer. And, it looks like clawhammer intersects with a bit of black mtn to the left of the intersection, is that worth climbing to turn around and ride down?

    Probably pushing it w the elevation gain, but would adding in a loop all the way up Avery Creek and down Bennet before continuing up clawhammer be a dumb idea?

    I'll have 3-4 hours.

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    If you like gnarly, techy, rooty stuff, I would recommend Avery Creek Rd > Clawhammer to the tippy top > left on Black > straight onto Buckwheat > Bennett > huck the rock drop > home. Maybe add in Sycamore/Grassy if you are strong and have time, but that first loop is usually 3 hours for me at an enjoyable pace. Can go faster, but three hours is probably a good estimate if you arent familiar with the area.

    If you like fast, flowy, jumpy, stuff, do two laps of Avery Creek Rd > Maxwell > Pressly Gap > right on Black > hike up to Hickory Knob > shred back down to Smokers Cove (about 50 yds east of ranger station, you can park there, labeled 5061 on map and at sign). Thats a 90 min loop, youll like it enough to do it twice.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I occasionally see hikers going up black. Clawhammer is a gated gravel rd. Who cares if there are hikers or horses there?

    Climbing the other side of black (black left) is doable. Less techy than the upper parts of black right but that just means it's actually rideable.

    But I wouldn't bother with a little out and back on black left. Just ride that way if you want to descend avery creek trail or buckwheat.

    You can do both black and bennett. People do it. I haven't (yet), but it's a fairly big ride. No way I'd be riding it in 3-4 hrs, though. Granted, I am slower than most locals. But it's still a big ride.

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    I rode black and Bennet in less than 3 today on a xc bike, first ride ever in Pisgah. The problem I see is guys are overbiked and dragging sofas up the gravel roads.

    Op, you'll be fine. Park at the bottom of Bennet. Go up avery creek Rd to the horse stables, go up the gravel climb, stay left at the split, get to the intersection with Buckwheat, bomb down that, cross road, go down Bennet, ride back to the horse stables, up the gravel road but stay right at the split, take that to where upper and middle black meet, go down middle, lower black, then lower sycamore, ride the road back to your car. 3-4hrs and two sweet trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    I rode black and Bennet in less than 3 today on a xc bike, first ride ever in Pisgah. The problem I see is guys are overbiked and dragging sofas up the gravel roads.
    Or maybe people ride for different reasons than you.

    I, for one, do not have nearly the fitness you profess. Doean't matter if I was on an xc whippet or an enduro sled (what I ridefallsssomewhere between), I would notcomplete the ride you describe so quickly.

    But quite possibly, other people enjoy the downs more and therefore choose a bike that maximizes fun for them then, sacrificing some climbing speed for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Or maybe people ride for different reasons than you.

    I, for one, do not have nearly the fitness you profess. Doean't matter if I was on an xc whippet or an enduro sled (what I ridefallsssomewhere between), I would notcomplete the ride you describe so quickly.

    But quite possibly, other people enjoy the downs more and therefore choose a bike that maximizes fun for them then, sacrificing some climbing speed for that.

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    I ride for the same reasons, I just put more time into riding, doesn't make me better than anyone. I was just saying if you don't overbiked you can get more trails in. But then again who am I to tell someone what bike they should ride, right? I wasn't trying to start an argument that's why I haven't posted in a while. Enjoy the forest any way you want

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    I rode black and Bennet in less than 3 today on a xc bike, first ride ever in Pisgah. The problem I see is guys are overbiked and dragging sofas up the gravel roads.

    Op, you'll be fine. Park at the bottom of Bennet. Go up avery creek Rd to the horse stables, go up the gravel climb, stay left at the split, get to the intersection with Buckwheat, bomb down that, cross road, go down Bennet, ride back to the horse stables, up the gravel road but stay right at the split, take that to where upper and middle black meet, go down middle, lower black, then lower sycamore, ride the road back to your car. 3-4hrs and two sweet trails.
    thanks! You have stats for this ride? Distance elevation... Strava?

    Whatd you ride?

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Dunlop01 View Post
    thanks! You have stats for this ride? Distance elevation... Strava?

    Whatd you ride?

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    I will load my Strava and post it. I rode a top fuel with forekasters. I didn't do the exact ride I recommended, today, I did similar though, I wasn't looking for 3-4 hrs. I parked at the bottom of Bennet and rode to the top of middle black and down middle, lower, sycamore, back up the road to Bennet, then up Bennet to Avery Creek Rd and back down Bennet to my van. It was about 2800 climbing and 2:35. If you do the route I said it will be another hour or so because you have to get to the top of Buckwheat, so that can add like 45 min~ to the climb, depending on your level. Rent like a 140 bike not a 170 though. I will do the ride I'm suggesting next week and give you a Strava to make a gpx off.

    Another good one, park at the fish hatchery and ride the road to 229? I think it is, and up to the top of farlow gap and down that onto Daniel. Back to your car. That might take 3-4 alone.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    I rode black and Bennet in less than 3 today on a xc bike, first ride ever in Pisgah. The problem I see is guys are overbiked and dragging sofas up the gravel roads.

    Op, you'll be fine. Park at the bottom of Bennet. Go up avery creek Rd to the horse stables, go up the gravel climb, stay left at the split, get to the intersection with Buckwheat, bomb down that, cross road, go down Bennet, ride back to the horse stables, up the gravel road but stay right at the split, take that to where upper and middle black meet, go down middle, lower black, then lower sycamore, ride the road back to your car. 3-4hrs and two sweet trails.
    Ummmm....you're saying you rode all the way up Black Mountain from 276 to Buckwheat down Bennett in less than 3 hours? Because there's zero gravel road on that ride and if did so damn dude you should enter some races.

    I think there might be some apples/oranges going on here.

    EDIT: Yeah, I see your second post now. Not the same rides. Have fun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    Ummmm....you're saying you rode all the way up Black Mountain from 276 to Buckwheat down Bennett in less than 3 hours? Because there's zero gravel road on that ride and if did so damn dude you should enter some races.

    I think there might be some apples/oranges going on here.

    EDIT: Yeah, I see your second post now. Not the same rides. Have fun!
    Here's how it was explained to me by guys at the Hub. Park at the beginning of Avery creek rd and ride to the top of Bennet, and down, back to your car, 45 min as avg rider baseline. Park in same spot and ride up Maxwell down mid, lower black and back to your car, 1:30. So just doing those two sweet but definitely not easy rides should give you your 3~ hrs. Taking Maxwell up to Buckwheat and down bennet should add 45-60 min. 4hrs avg rider. Amazing day on a bike.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Here's how it was explained to me by guys at the Hub. Park at the beginning of Avery creek rd and ride to the top of Bennet, and down, back to your car, 45 min as avg rider baseline. Park in same spot and ride up Maxwell down mid, lower black and back to your car, 1:30. So just doing those two sweet but definitely not easy rides should give you your 3~ hrs. Taking Maxwell up to Buckwheat and down bennet should add 45-60 min. 4hrs avg rider. Amazing day on a bike.

    That is a great ride.

    I know the route I referred to as The Big Nasty. It's a very hard 14-ish miles of all singletrack until the very end. Even when I was strong enough to finish top-10 at PMBAR, it was a 4 hour ride, minimum- although I do like to stop at views, take naps, bullsh!t with my friends, pretend I'm looking for arrowheads, watch bored people get into stick fights because they can't stand still (looking at you, dicky) and otherwise chillax on my rides.

    I imagine the strongest people around could do it in less than 3, but they're literally the 1%.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    That is a great ride.

    I know the route I referred to as The Big Nasty. It's a very hard 14-ish miles of all singletrack until the very end. Even when I was strong enough to finish top-10 at PMBAR, it was a 4 hour ride, minimum- although I do like to stop at views, take naps, bullsh!t with my friends, pretend I'm looking for arrowheads, watch bored people get into stick fights because they can't stand still (looking at you, dicky) and otherwise chillax on my rides.

    I imagine the strongest people around could do it in less than 3, but they're literally the 1%.
    I will give it a run, but in no way was I saying ride up Black or Bennet in my suggestions for the OP. Just do the standard loop Bennet ride and middle,lower black ride as two back to back rides is my suggestion to the OP. You pass you car for resupply so can carry light, less Hike a Bike than the upper black and over to Buckwheat stuff.

    The big nasty is from the ranger station to the top of black, over to Buckwheat, to the bottom of Bennet? I was eyeing up the other way, up Bennet, Buckwheat, over to, and down Black. Which one is less hiking? For the avg rider?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    I will give it a run, but in no way was I saying ride up Black or Bennet in my suggestions for the OP. Just do the standard loop Bennet ride and middle,lower black ride as two back to back rides is my suggestion to the OP. You pass you car for resupply so can carry light, less Hike a Bike than the upper black and over to Buckwheat stuff.

    The big nasty is from the ranger station to the top of black, over to Buckwheat, to the bottom of Bennet? I was eyeing up the other way, up Bennet, Buckwheat, over to, and down Black. Which one is less hiking? For the avg rider?
    Up Black and over to Bennet via Buckwheat is more fun per mile IMO. Both include plenty of hike-a-bike, but going up Bennett is one of those things to do just because you can say you did it- there's no real "fun" to doing so.

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    How come nobody suggest using Avery creek trail/327 up to club gap for either Buckwheat or the full black? Does it suck? Gotta be better than that clawhammer/Maxwell gravel stuff I would think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    How come nobody suggest using Avery creek trail/327 up to club gap for either Buckwheat or the full black? Does it suck? Gotta be better than that clawhammer/Maxwell gravel stuff I would think.
    Going up the Avery trail sucks. Its always wet and youll push some. No reason to go up that and get in the way of people bombing it. Just ride the road up.

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    OP: here are some links that should be more helpful than the currently developing dick measuring contest. Id call these both normal pace rides. I am a 20-21mph road rider, multiple PMBAR finisher, but mid-pack finishes. I ride the MTB to have fun on the way down, not to get to the top first.

    Up and over upper Black/Buckwheat via Clawhammer Rd, down Bennett, followed by Maxwell/Pressly/Lower Black: https://www.strava.com/activities/1210838279

    Bennett and Black, including a beer stop: https://www.strava.com/activities/1164702890

    And yes, I ride a sofa.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAK656 View Post
    OP: here are some links that should be more helpful that the currently developing dick measuring contest. Id call these both normal pace rides. I am a 20-21mph road rider, multiple PMBAR finisher, but mid-pack finishes. I ride the MTB to have fun on the way down, not to get to the top first.

    Up and over upper Black/Buckwheat via Clawhammer Rd, down Bennet, followed by Maxwell/Pressly/Lower Black: https://www.strava.com/activities/1210838279

    Bennett and Black, including a beer stop: https://www.strava.com/activities/1164702890

    And yes, I ride a sofa.
    Those are nice routes, thanks. The first one would be perfect for the OP. If your Strava is right, you rode 80hrs in 2018, I rode 510. So obviously I should get to the top faster or I'm doing something wrong. Doesn't mean we can't all get along. I accept all people but all people don't accept me. I never meant to make it about how fast this or that, I was trying to tell the OP he can do both Black and Bennet in his 3-4hr window, especially on a rented sofa.

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    Believe it or not - it is possible to ride a bike without Strava. Some of us even prefer it that way

    OP - feel free to PM if you want more intel, or even a tour guide if time lines up (Banjo would also be an excellent guide, although he'll try to sell you a fork and a shock while you ride).

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    How come nobody suggest using Avery creek trail/327 up to club gap for either Buckwheat or the full black? Does it suck? Gotta be better than that clawhammer/Maxwell gravel stuff I would think.
    I do another ride, which I refer to as the Little Nasty, where I start up Avery Creek off 477 to the lower, bike legal part of Buckhorn gap trail. When Buckhorn stops being bike legal (near the trail to Twin Falls, go check it out, nice), there's a road that cuts over to Clawhammer, then I ride over on ClawHammer to take the left turn on Black Mountain to Club Gap>Buckwheat>Bennett. This is one of my go-to's, actually- el-recommend-o.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    I do another ride, which I refer to as the Little Nasty, where I start up Avery Creek off 477 to the lower, bike legal part of Buckhorn gap trail. When Buckhorn stops being bike legal (near the trail to Twin Falls, go check it out, nice), there's a road that cuts over to Clawhammer, then I ride over on ClawHammer to take the left turn on Black Mountain to Club Gap>Buckwheat>Bennett. This is one of my go-to's, actually- el-recommend-o.
    I also really like climbing the bike-legal lower section of Buckhorn. Haven't run into many others who recommend it, but I definitely agree. If I'm going all the way up Clawhammer, I STRONGLY prefer it over the 100% gravel climb.

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    I did clawhammer to black to buckwheat to Bennett today. First time on buckwheat and Bennett. Solo ride. I'm an intermediate Pisgah rider and I didn't do the staircase or the drop. Maybe if I'm riding with a group that is proficient in treating spinal injuries.
    Also, my bike isn't a sofa, but pretty close. Heavy fat minion tires 160mm front travel.
    http://Check out my activity on Stra...ink/luMq4nf18U


    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    Last edited by rain164845; 03-18-2019 at 10:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAK656 View Post
    OP: here are some links that should be more helpful than the currently developing dick measuring contest. I�d call these both �normal pace� rides. I am a 20-21mph road rider, multiple PMBAR finisher, but mid-pack finishes. I ride the MTB to have fun on the way down, not to get to the top first.

    Up and over upper Black/Buckwheat via Clawhammer Rd, down Bennett, followed by Maxwell/Pressly/Lower Black: https://www.strava.com/activities/1210838279

    Bennett and Black, including a beer stop: https://www.strava.com/activities/1164702890

    And yes, I ride a �sofa.�
    Thanks. These are both in line with what I was thinking... The second looks a little better for me coming off the winter and having not climbed much since I moved back east. 20/4k is gonna be a stretch; 16/2.8k sounds better.

    I'll be out there on Thursday and rented a Transition Sentinel. I'm used to riding a 140mm hardtail, little worried about dragging the sofa around. we'll see how it goes!

    EDIT: If i have anything left in the tank after coming down Black can I ride up Thrift cove and back down lower black? or is there something else easy to tack on to the end?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Dunlop01 View Post
    EDIT: If i have anything left in the tank after coming down Black can I ride up Thrift cove and back down lower black? or is there something else easy to tack on to the end?
    You can absolutely do that. You can also add either side of Sycamore. Or do lower black a 2nd time AND go back up and ride either side of sycamore.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Dunlop01 View Post
    EDIT: If i have anything left in the tank after coming down Black can I ride up Thrift cove and back down lower black? or is there something else easy to tack on to the end?
    Sycamore is a nice option, there are a few ways you can do it:

    At the bottom of Lower Black, go left up the road. When the road/trail forks (Thrift Cove left, Grassy right), go right and you'll intersect the middle of Sycamore after a bit of climbing. If you go right, you do Lower Sycamore (shorter, a bit faster, more technical near the end) and if you go left, you'll do Upper Sycamore (a bit longer, a bit more climbing, flatter at the top but with a real fun, fast finish). Both dump you out on the road. Alternatively, if you want a real short but fun add on, go left at the bottom of Black and climb until you see a small trail on the right, drop down that and you'll hit the lower part of Lower Sycamore.

    You could also just loop Lower Black again. Note that North Slope is seasonal to riding and is currently closed to bikes, but that's an option between Oct15-Apr15 (For now anyway).

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    Well... Certainly didn't need any more after Black.

    Parked at Ranger station, up Avery Creek rd, down Bennet, up clawhammer a little ways, right on Maxwell up presley gap, down black.

    This was 16.5, 2800 ft. Amazing ride. Upper Bennet two big features were a little beyond my skills but the rest of it was amazing. I cramped up coming down black mountain and had to stop 4 times. Would have loved to do another loop of lower but I was toast.

    Thanks for all the help here. This was a sick ride.

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