Seven days in pisgah- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Seven days in pisgah

    This is probably long and boring for most of you but wanted to share it anyways for people considering going to pisgah!

    First off, a single speed is quite okay for pisgah albeit very hard in many instances but i must agree with the masses that a 5" travel bike is ideal! i know this because i demoed an s-works enduro one day to conquer some of the descents that gave me trouble on the hardtail and had an absolute blast bombing the descents flying off dropoffs and plowing through rock gardens.

    ****some pics are sorta blury due to conversion sorry!!!*** makes the people look sorta weird in the shots


    my single speed up on buckwheat knob..

    I'm blown away by the quality and variety of riding down there.


    after the rainy first weekend it turned out to be sunny the rest of the week with each day getting hotter and hotter peaking out around 90 by friday.

    met some friendly mtbr.com people last weekend(alloynipples and crew - sorry dont know most of your screennames) but didnt get a chance to ride with them other than tmb aka todd. I did ride with jeremy aka mountaingoatepics on the first saturday i got there after a rudy 4 hours of sleep in the well appointed comfort inn down the road from brevard.

    Jeremy was succesful in showing a very large portion of pisgah to an out of towner on what was one of the most brutal rides i've ever done. My intro to pisgah riding was going straight up black mountain to turkey pen. after about what seemed like an hour of climbing i asked if we were near the top yet and i was told about halfway. my single speed began to cry. I dont know how far we rode but it took around 10 hours and it seemed like we went up way more than down I might add it was raining almost the entire time...heavily. Logs turned into ice, trails looked like creeks, and the roots were like little sleds begging to take you off the edge. After a while we were glad when another stream crossing came so we could dip our bikes in it to attempt to cleanse the drivetrain. I was thanking my new suspension fork repeatedly as the day went by other than the time i ended up hanging in a bush a few feet off the ground with my bike above me after sliding off a log and going over the bars instead of rolling over it. whoever said it was OK for a rigid down there either is insane or only goes on the trail for a few hours at a time.

    that's a blurred me after jeremy dragged me across the state of north carolina. note the socks used to be bright green and white. wish i had taken a pic of the bike you couldnt even see the pink.

    By the end of the day i had ruined nearly new disc brake pads, my rear hub was basically shot, and my bottom bracket was screaming in pain with every pedal stroke but i did get to ride the best pisgah could offer!

    day 2 involved scrambling around the various bike shops hunting down more brake pads and getting the rear hub fixed. did manage to ride the best stuff at dupont in the evening with tmb. Note: it should've been the afternoon but we got lost and drove about an hour or so out of the way!

    day 3 tmb and i hit a ride called flat laurel creek that is above 5000ft the entire time. cold. it was beautiful but we managed to screw that ride up too by going the wrong way and skipping some stuff. Still got most the single track in but went up most the time instead of what was supposed to be a cruise going down after that ride we headed to kitsuma east of asheville. this ride was incredible! a fun little switchback run up a hill that isnt too hard then a lonnngggggg descent that allows you to go FAST and make things very sketchy when you least expect it. tmb has to leave and i go to a bike shop(carolina fatz) in another attempt to make my rear hub work better. get there and they ask me to come on a night ride with them. 3 rides in one day!!! so i get a nice sampling of bent creek from the locals. another fun place with screaming fast descents but much safer than the stuff i was riding with jeremy.

    todd aka tmb on our 5000ft+ ride

    another 5000+

    and another

    todd playing on a log on kitsuma

    day 4: all the mtbr people are gone leaving me for some solo pisgah love. I chose to ride coontree to buckwheat knob and to descend avery creek returning on a connector trail to coontree and back to the car. coontree was hard for me to ride up on the single speed. buckwheat was ridiculous. this gave me the opportunity to take a lot of pictures since i was hike-a-biking a good portion maybe on a geared bike it's doable but even so i think you'd be pushing a lot. going down buckwheat would be very interesting. Avery creek is one of my favorite descents i did in pisgah. you can go really really fast and go over some fun drops and tight corners.

    atop buckwheat knob looking out towards looking glass rock

    day 5: i rent the enduro and return to laurel mountain to conquer pilots rock with some squishy love. laurel mountain is a nice, easy climb and pilot's rock is an amazing descent that offers a bit of everything. big rocks with lots of exposure up top, tight switchbacks, screaming fast speeds, technical rock gardens, and big jumps for major air in the lower sections. i tied into the laurel mountain ride slate rock and pilots cove. this was a pretty section too with a fun climb and yet another great descent. took about 4 hours to ride everything with a nice lunch break stuck in the middle.

    day 6: i run into a fellow new yorker there for a day of riding. since i knew the area pretty well by then i offered to show her around. What do you think i'd show??? yep, we went straight up black mountain to start the ride off after that we rode down turkey pen --- much more fun when it's dry!!! down to south mills river trail up i think it was bradley and cantrell creek(great fun with lots of stream crossings!!!) a few short trails to squirrel gap and back down to south mills for a long easy climb to buckhorn gap and finally up to black mountain for a killer descent. we somehow missed the black mountain trail and ended up going to avery creek instead. fine by me. i didnt want to kill my new friend and avery's is awesome! this ride took a really long time but we did take a few breaks since it was so hot. we rode from about 11am to 8:30pm.

    jennifer on one of our many stream crossings...TWO pink bikes!

    day 7: a fun night ride with the backcountry crew. we rode up thrift cove which turns into black mountain trail for a bit then we rode all the trails down to sycamore cove. this would be perfect for people bringing someone that isn't tested on the hills of pisgah and you want to see if they are going to kill themselves or not have enough gas to make it through a longer ride. you get a good climb, fast descents but nothing epic or super technical.

    email with any questions! hope i didnt bore you to tears and hopefully pictures will follow.
    Last edited by Spookykinkajou; 05-08-2004 at 06:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    what crash??

  3. #3
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    Yes! We want to see pics. I'm glad the weather dried up for you later in the week. Took me until about wednesday to get my bike working right again. Hopefully next trip won't be so wet. At least you had a good time anyway's. BTW I wen't and looked at tmb's crash on the hammerhead website, ugly, just ugly. In 12 hours I'll be leaving for Tanasi(Ocoee White Water Center) for even more riding. I hope you get the singlespeed working right again soon, and get started on resizing those pictures! Here's a few we took: Pics courtesy of Scott a.k.a. AlloyNipples




  4. #4
    paintbucket
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    Sounds like a truly fantastic week, and a great write up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spookykinkajou
    I have pictures but i took them in 4mp size so i dont know how to post them here.
    Needs photos though, so set up a (free) account on photobucket.com. When you upload they'll be automatically resized. All you have to do is copy and past the url with the appropriate image tags and you're good to go. The middle image tags are the ones you want.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  5. #5
    I love Pisgah
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    We want pics...we want pics...we want pics...Everybody now!...we want pics...LOL!!

    GREAT trip report. Seriously. I loved reading every word. Glad the fork worked out. Figured you'd like Avery, eh? Heheheh

    The rain scared me away. Wish I coulda ridden with ya.

    Duckout

  6. #6

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    Sounds like you had a killer week, sadly I wasn't able to make it down for camping and to meet ya. What'd you think of our mountains? I haven't gotten a chance to do any riding in the northeast and am really curious, I know you were saying that you thought it'd be less technical here. I'm considering doing a road trip up north at some point this summer but don't know if it'd really be worth it considering pisgah's sweet lovin is so close.


    Great write-up, glad you had a good time.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archdukeferdinand
    Sounds like you had a killer week, sadly I wasn't able to make it down for camping and to meet ya. What'd you think of our mountains? I haven't gotten a chance to do any riding in the northeast and am really curious, I know you were saying that you thought it'd be less technical here. I'm considering doing a road trip up north at some point this summer but don't know if it'd really be worth it considering pisgah's sweet lovin is so close.


    Great write-up, glad you had a good time.
    Loved the mountains. i'm ready and set to move down there tomorrow Seriously though, i'm definitely going to consider that area in a year or two. And for the people that told me my area is more technical. ha ha. pisgah is the most challenging riding i've ever done. easily. water bars at ridiculous rates of speed on a hardtail = fun!

  8. #8
    I love Pisgah
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    Ssssshhhhh.....

    ..um..er..eh..yes, we know..Pisgah being so sucky and all. Sorry your trip was a bigass bummer. And..yes..Tsali is the place to go, or or..New Orleans...or.... Yeeeeeeah, that the ticket.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckman
    Ssssshhhhh.....

    ..um..er..eh..yes, we know..Pisgah being so sucky and all. Sorry your trip was a bigass bummer. And..yes..Tsali is the place to go, or or..New Orleans...or.... Yeeeeeeah, that the ticket.
    I was having so much fun at tsali i didnt even take any pictures. and reload this post 'cuz it's got pictures now just for you!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookykinkajou
    Loved the mountains. i'm ready and set to move down there tomorrow Seriously though, i'm definitely going to consider that area in a year or two. And for the people that told me my area is more technical. ha ha. pisgah is the most challenging riding i've ever done. easily. water bars at ridiculous rates of speed on a hardtail = fun!

    Yeah, that was sorta what I assumed, there are a lot of spots down here where I don't think it COULD get any techier and be rideable, but I've heard a lot of people talk about how technical the northeast is. I though maybe you folks were supermen up there, or that everyone had some serious trials skills. Really, from my time time spent in upstate NY (hiking but didn't have a bike) I thought the terrain was very similar, its just a bit warmer and the mountains a bit taller here in NC. So I'll hold off on the east coast road trip and head west instead.

    And yeah, this is a fantastic place to live. Some strange southern quirks but the mountains and year-round riding season more than make up for it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookykinkajou
    what crash??
    He was telling about a crash that happened when he was riding with the hammerhead folks when he went to pick up his bike.

    Cool pictures!

    Tucker

  12. #12
    I love Pisgah
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    Ok...aaaahhh...I feel better now. Great pics! The big mtn/rd pic at the top is from the Parkway. Thats 276 down below, with the Parkway up above and Mnt Pisgah above that with that becon. The pic of you is at the Black Mtn TH. Pics of the 5000" climb is Flat Laurel creek and Sam Knob trails. Thats Sam Knob in the background(camped on its barren 6010' summit several times in the dead of winter and had 70+mph winds hammering my MK1XL singlewall). Camped in the snow for 2 nights at that high impact campsite pic. We ice climbed the lower sections of that creek you crossed. That crossing pic is where I've had lunch literally 20-30 times while backpacking.

    You've now got all my respect riding all those trails on a singlespeed. Yes indeedy.

  13. #13
    tmb
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    great write up

    Glad the rest of your week turned out nice. Good pics, the shot of me on the log ride is sweet. The Flat Laurel shots are great, just as clear & crisp as I remember it. I don't even remember the campfire shot being taken(could of been the beer I was holding).Yeah, I'm ready to pack up move too.
    2 New Yorker's, 2 pink bikes,hmmm?



    You guys should see Spooky climb on that damn pink ss, its humilitating I tell ya. Here I am w/ 18 speed(2*9) and he's just cranking away from me.


    So, Spooky is there a fat squishy in you're future? I think a Titus Quasi-moto or a Intense 5.5 would be the hot ticket.

    I'll be back to Pisgah
    Todd

  14. #14
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    I'll definitely be heading down again before the end of this year. I'm eyeing the kona "a" single speed suspension frame...even lighter than my surly. with a propedal rear shock and a remote lockout lever i think it would be my perfect ride. I enjoyed riding the enduro i just hated shifting on it. chain slap is loud and annoying and i definitely go slower overall compared to my single speed. maybe if i learned how to shift properly i'd be faster but until then... If the 'a' rides well it would be 'the' bike for me allowing me to keep my one gear while still having a full suspension 21 pound bike. sounds too good to be true. if the surly track dropouts weren't giving me so much trouble i'd probably keep it for awhile but i'm afraid during races i'm going to have major issues with wheel alignment.

  15. #15
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    A week in Pisgah... WOW.

    Thanks for the post.

  16. #16
    bonkin' clyde
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    hey tmb

    Quote Originally Posted by tmb
    Glad the rest of your week turned out nice. Good pics, the shot of me on the log ride is sweet. The Flat Laurel shots are great, just as clear & crisp as I remember it. I don't even remember the campfire shot being taken(could of been the beer I was holding).Yeah, I'm ready to pack up move too.
    2 New Yorker's, 2 pink bikes,hmmm?



    You guys should see Spooky climb on that damn pink ss, its humilitating I tell ya. Here I am w/ 18 speed(2*9) and he's just cranking away from me.


    So, Spooky is there a fat squishy in you're future? I think a Titus Quasi-moto or a Intense 5.5 would be the hot ticket.

    I'll be back to Pisgah
    Todd
    Dude, that pic of you near teh stream...what bike you got?? looks like a jamis

  17. #17
    bonkin' clyde
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    I'm green as my Giant rincon w/ envy

    Quote Originally Posted by Spookykinkajou
    This is probably long and boring for most of you but wanted to share it anyways for people considering going to pisgah! hope i didnt bore you to tears and hopefully pictures will follow.
    Hey man that was a KICKASS post!!! Seriously though, other guys should do that too, showing off their awesome trips with even better pics...I'm studying like crazy for exams right now. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to take a break to visit the mtbr site and come across such nice and illustrated posts.

    My hand shoots towards my forehead in the smartest, most-perfect salute I can offer you as you have all of my respect doing most of Pisgah on a SS!!!! wow i can't believe it! I must be either very badly outta shape or you've got legs and a will of the strongest DH frame material.......

    post more pics if you can man...i bet the whole Passion Forum awaits....
    Last edited by bluronthetrails; 05-09-2004 at 07:14 PM. Reason: deleting previously posted images...otherwise it'll be a VERY large post for a very small reply

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluronthetrails
    Dude, that pic of you near teh stream...what bike you got?? looks like a jamis
    It's a very well appointed Hammerhead bike.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluronthetrails
    Hey man that was a KICKASS post!!! Seriously though, other guys should do that too, showing off their awesome trips with even better pics...I'm studying like crazy for exams right now. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to take a break to visit the mtbr site and come across such nice and illustrated posts.

    My hand shoots towards my forehead in the smartest, most-perfect salute I can offer you as you have all of my respect doing most of Pisgah on a SS!!!! wow i can't believe it! I must be either very badly outta shape or you've got legs and a will of the strongest DH frame material.......

    post more pics if you can man...i bet the whole Passion Forum awaits....
    Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it. Single speeding down there was pretty tough. A mental battle. Sometimes very frustrating especially on the first day because i wasnt used to having to hike-a-bike. It made me feel weak. Once i convinced myself it was OK to walk up some parts things got better. Hell, some trails it was even hard to PUSH the bike up! I have some more pics but most are just shots of the rolling mountains.

    I tried taking some shots of the trails i was battling while walking up and a few going down but their depth just doesnt show. Here're two more pictures. The trail shot doesnt show how ridiculously steep it actually is and how fat those roots and waterbars are. That kind of stuff sometimes went on forever on that trail and then turned into very nasty huge rocks instead of waterbars near the top. Almost all of the pisgah trails featured climbs up stuff like that. black mountain trail had even steeper sections up top with huge waterbars. tough climb! The other is the water awaiting me to cross. had to walk right through that. rather interesting with bike shoes on and an expensive camera in my bag. Jennifer was taking that shot standing knee deep in the water.



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    Don't feel too bad about walking sections, all of our group had gears and we still had to walk some sections!

    Tucker

  21. #21
    tmb
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    hey spooky

    how did the railway(on Kitsuma) pic turn out? It was such a cool vantage point.

    an "A" would be sweet, might even get me to try ss

    Todd

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmb
    how did the railway(on Kitsuma) pic turn out? It was such a cool vantage point.

    an "A" would be sweet, might even get me to try ss

    Todd
    Just a warning: if you try SS'ing that nice hammerhead of yours will most likely start collecting dust!


  23. #23
    bonkin' clyde
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    wow

    Quote Originally Posted by Spookykinkajou
    Just a warning: if you try SS'ing that nice hammerhead of yours will most likely start collecting dust!
    WOW man, that is some GORGEOUS country. I was looking back over your other pics and in the Spring, this must be some of the most beautiful country the Appalaician region can offer. I rememebr going up to the Catskills w/ my family and then over to the Adirondacks. No comparison! and those are some good shots you guys have too. Good job!!

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    Great PIX and write-up

    Considered coming up there that weekend but the weather forcast called for mud and an extra set of brake pads.

    Figured Jeremy would take care of you!! Glad you had a great time and enjoyed the best of what we ride here in the south-east.

  25. #25
    Appalachian Singletrack'n
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    Glad you had a good time down here. I see you understand why I recommended not riding rigid. I have ridden all over the country and have been few places where the normal XC trails that where so demanding on equipment. Sounds like you got a good tour of the area. That Avery Creek downhill is one of my favorites too.

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