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yeah, uh............bikes
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Not quite a yearly event, but trying. Took a week off of work to remind myself how much fun mountain biking can be. I was feeling the itch for new trails after riding the same 3 staples for several months, so I decided that Pisgah adn the surrounding area was the place to go. Got a few suggestions for trails in the Ga, Tn, NC area and came up with a list that I was pleased me.

The original plan was to do a destination each day. First day at Bear Creek, then Tanasi, then Tsali, then Bent Creek, then Laurel Mtn, then Black Mtn, then Dupont, then maybe FATS if I still felt like riding. I made all except Dupont and FATS, due to consecutive days of thunderstorms. Still feel like I accomplished a lot though, was a bit dissapointed not getting to Dupont, but I may pull a long weekend and get that one out of the system.... we'll see.

The day before leaving I finally committed and bought a digital camera. Ended up getting the Olympus Stylus 770, a waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, crush resistant camera. This came in handy on the rainy days. Not much in the way of manual options and incredible picture quality, but I think the waterproof feature was definately worth the extra dough.

on to the pictures.......

Day One: Ten hours of driving (left at 5 am) and finally made it to Bear Creek in Ellijay, Ga. Pretty smooth drive, went through Atlanta at 80+ mph and it was almost as much fun as singletrack. My legs were hurting and it was very unusual using the small chainring on my bike, but I made it to the top and proceeded to cruise back down.

The giant tree, biggest thing I've ever seen.


Overlook and lucky rock.


Tried to get a timer shot but it didn't work so well, although I do like the devil eyes.
 

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yeah, uh............bikes
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Day Two: Started out raining pretty bad that morning so I drove from my hotel to Highway 64 and then to the Ocoee whitewater center. There was a race there that morning, but by the time I got my supplies and got to the trailhead I think it was long over. My legs were feeling tight that morning and I struggled, but I think I ended up doing a pretty good ride.

Rode the Rhododendron trail to FS 45, then rode up to West Fork trail, to Chestnut, then rode Quartz loop, then Chestnut to River Loop, rode River Loop, took Bypass and Chestnut to Thunder Rock Express, and finally rode Thunder Rock Express and Rhododendron back to the car.

Rhododendron trail was a nice warmup.


Quick rest.


Interesting find on the trail. Recognized them right away, don't see blood sugar test strips on trails that often. These were not mine, but I use the exact same kind. Comforting to see there are other diabetics out there on the trails.


Yup......it was a race day.
 

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yeah, uh............bikes
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Day three

Tsali was day three. Started off planning on doing Right and Left loop but due to some problems I ended up only doing Right loop, CCW.

A well placed stump at the overlook allowed me a portrait shot.


Tried out the Panorama function on the camera. Pretty pleased with it, but I need to work on keeping my finger out of the shot.


My parents tell me that I've been to the Nantahala Outdoor Center several times but I didn't really remember it. Had a fantastic lunch and had to get a shot.
 

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yeah, uh............bikes
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Day Four....

....was for Bent Creek. Stopped by the Carolina Fatz LBS and picked up some interesting cliff bar flavors and headed off. Ended up camping that night at the Lake Powhatan campground that night. Very cool area.

Parked at Hardtimes trailhead, and headed up FS 479E to Ingles Field trail, took that to up to the Gap (Five points??), then took North Boundary Road up to Greens Lick trail, bombed down Greens Lick and took SideHill and Little Hickory Top back up to the Gap (five points). Then I bombed down Ingles Field Gap and Connector trail to FS 479, where I then took Wolf Branch down to the Hardtimes connector and back to the car.

made the tough choice on my way up Ingles Field Gap trail. I knew it would pay off.


a shot at the top. A little way down this trail, before picking up much speed, I ran into a guy riding UP the trail. :eek:
 

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yeah, uh............bikes
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Day Five

yeah, day five, beginning of the end. Rode the Laurel Mountain "best ride" from mtbikewnc.com that day. Started off OK, felt a bit off, but managed to get a nice rythmn in the climbing. Then the thunderstorms rolled in. I opted to sit about 30 yds from my bike during the lightning/rain/wind storm that passed through. At that point I was about 6 miles into the ~7 mile climb to get to Pilot Rock trail. Got some great survivorman videos of the rain, wind, and thunder.

I can imaging going down Pilot Rock trail must be quite fun in dry conditions. In soaking wet conditions I chose my lines as carefully as possible and ended up making 6 or 7 of the switchbacks. Wet loose rocks are pretty tough so I took it slow and managed not to die.

Saw two of these piles on the trail. I'm guessing bear?? It definately kept my aware adn moving.


Another well placed rock gives me a good portrait opportunity.


Me sitting through the rain.....love that waterproof camera. The picture is only that dark because of the flash.


trying to dry out a bit, directly above Pilot Rock.
 

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yeah, uh............bikes
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Day 6

final day in the mountains. Planned route was another "best ride" from mtbikewnc.com, this time for Black mountain. I've done this route twice before so I know where to spend and save energy, so I felt pretty good for the majority. That last climb up to the top of black mountain is one heck of a hike though. I did the "best ride" route but instead of riding down clawhammer road from Presley Gap, I continued down the Black Mountain trail, which turned out to be a fantastic trail.

Got a bunch of "helmet camera" video by zip-tieing my camera on top of my helmet. I had to take my time because of the rain, so I figured I try to document some of it. Also, met a guy from pennsylvania from the hotel that I was staying at the night before on the trail that day and finished out the Black Mountain riding with him. Pretty weird that we caught up to eachother on the trails.

I made the decision to end my mtb trip that day while sitting through another rain/wind/lightning storm while at the peak of the trail. It was much colder the second time.

I had a nightmare last night that these damn things were crawling all over me.


Probably shouldn't have stopped to get pics at the overlook. At this point I was racing the oncoming thunder.


not as much fun sitting in the rain the second day.


a view back down the trail from my seat. I was still heading up, but reached the peak in about 100 yards.


At least someone was enjoying the rain.
 

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Hooligan
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radair said:
Cool stuff, nice post. I love solo adventures like this. I adjusted the levels in PS of that giant tree. Impressive!
That tree is known as the Gennett Poplar, named for the family that sold the land to the US government. It's 100' tall and almost 18' in circumference. They say it's the second biggest tree in Georgia. I have never seen the biggest one.

 

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yeah, uh............bikes
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
radair said:
Cool stuff, nice post. I love solo adventures like this. I adjusted the levels in PS of that giant tree. Impressive!
nice. I tried the auto correction in the software that came with the camera, but it seemed to make it too bright, that one isn't as bad.
 

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yeah, uh............bikes
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hollis said:
"Me sitting through the rain"
lol...I really like the Aqua Pic :D
thanks, I had to try out the waterproof camera at some point. I'm trying to put the videos of the storms together.

I was pretty impressed by the speed and intensity of those afternoon showers, almost felt like one of the ones we get most days here in south florida......although it was much, much colder. :eek:
 

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yeah, uh............bikes
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Al. said:
That tree is known as the Gennett Poplar, named for the family that sold the land to the US government. It's 100' tall and almost 18' in circumference. They say it's the second biggest tree in Georgia. I have never seen the biggest one.
aha, didn't know where the Gennett part came from. good info.
 

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Where is my mind?
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With all that mud you're bike looks awfully clean? :skep:

I kid! I'm kidding! :p

Very nice shots. If only I'd win the lottery and start riding like that everyday (well at least when it doesn't rain)!

:thumbsup:
 
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