Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
They say I have a problem
Joined
·
460 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys and gals...

I'll be down in the area in about a month to explore the trails of Pisgah, Dupont and Tsali. I posted a while back about this and received lots of info that I put to good use in planning out the trip. I went ahead and got a map of the Pisgah forest from the Forest Service and also the Dupont Forest Map. I've been to the Mountain Biking in WNC web site and printed out lots of the best rides, including maps. I've got links to all the bike shops and have been directed where the good places are to eat. We'll be arriving in Asheville on Sunday August 22nd, in the evening. We'll be spending 5 fun filled days in Asheville, before moving onto Tsali. We'll spend the weekend in Tsali and then move onto Tennessee for another 4 days before heading home. I feel pretty confident with the riding selection in Tsali and Tennessee, it's mainly Pisgah and Dupont that we’re not certain about. With Tsali you've only got 4 loops, which alternate, and all the reviews make the trails sound pretty easy. We've ridden in Tennessee before so we know where to go and what to expect. We'll be in the Asheville area, and ready to ride, from the Monday to the Friday. Right now, the plan is to ride Bent Creek on the Monday to get our feet wet. We’re then thinking we do the Eastern Slickrock route in Dupont on one day and the Laurel Mountain Loop on another. These two rides are both off of the MTB in WNC site. Actually, while looking at the maps I thought about modifying the Laurel Mountain Loop and ended up doing roughly what is shown on the Mountaingoatepics site. So that leaves us with another day of riding, because I know we will need to throw in a rest day somewhere and my wife wants to go look at the Biltmore Estate. We have to do some of the tourist stuff so it really feels like a vacation.

We are both pretty good XC riders and have been riding for 5 years. I'd say our cardio is better then our technical abilities because of the type of trails we are to use to riding. From reading reviews I think that the Tsali trails are pretty typical of our local trails. That doesn't mean we don't like technical trails, it's just that we aren't use to riding that stuff on a daily basis. I do find that it is amazing how quickly you become accustomed to that stuff as long as you don't go too far over your head. And, going over my wife's head is what I am worried about. She can handle the tough stuff, but will quickly tire of it if she is constantly having to walk, actually so will I. So with that said, are there trails that we should definitely stay away from and others that we definitely need to do.

Lastly, drop me a line if anyone wants to act as a tour guide, or if there are any group rides that we might be able to join in on.

Thanks,
Rich
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,019 Posts
My opinion is that you have chosen well. You can get variety in DuPont, but even the technical sections are not very long, so it should not be an issue, and most parts are just fine anyway.

Laurel Mt. is the standout on your itinery. Even that is "mostly" pretty easy riding. You will have to get off for a few short sections going up, and there is a pretty tough section of about 0.5-1.0 (??) miles that you will likely have to push some or all of near the top. (Many people get discouraged at this point, but hang in there, you are almost there!)

The downhill is fun, there are switchbacks that are pretty tough to navigate, and a high penalty if you overshoot them, but they are ALL doable. The rock garden is tricky, but also doable. The rest is just fun. I think that (by your description) this ride will push the limits of how much technical riding you want to do, but it is a GREAT ride, and you should definitely do it.


For your non-riding days, you may check out some short loops like Sycamore Cove. It is only 4 miles and pretty fun for a spin. There are some others like that, but most of the ones that come to mind right now are seasonal (north slope, pink beds).

One other trail worth considering is Kitsuma. It has some really techy sections, but for the most part it is smooth, fast downhill~sidehill riding, and again is classic Pisgah.

Just one person's opinion, but whatever, have fun!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,097 Posts
RE: Laurel Mtn : I know this is heresy, but I have never liked the Pilot Rock downhill. If you get to the unmarked trail Jeremy refers to on his site and you are thinking you might have bitten off more than you can chew, take the left, then take a right at the creek crossing (the one which Jeremy describes as having a rope strung up. I think that came down years ago...unless it has gone back up in the last 3 weeks, I would not use that as a landmark). Then turn left at the intersection of Slate Rock Loop. That will take you to the Slate Rock overlook, which is indeed not-to-be-missed. Down from there on a really fun downhill back to Yellow Gap rd. That will be a 13 mile loop if you park where J. suggests. 20 if you park at North Mills campground and do your warm up on the gravel. If you do it the way Jeremy suggests, it will certainly be an epic. 20 miles of solid singletrack w/ LOTS of walking will take you a little longer than you would normally expect for 20 miles. It's classic Pisgah, you will have earned your dinner!

I agree w/bmateo...Sycamore Cove is a great choice. You can hook it to the end of several diff. rides, it is one sweet downhill....no walking required.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,019 Posts
litespeedchick said:
I know this is heresy, but I have never liked the Pilot Rock downhill.
Heresy!!! :D (If we are talking about the same place, many tight switchbacks and "the rock garden", then it is one of my favorite parts of Pisgah.)

Last time I was up, I missed the "not to be missed" overlook, which really sucked because I was taking my buddy on his first Pisgah ride, and I kept on promissing him "hang in there, we are almost at the top, I know of a great lunch spot to take in the view and recover...." Luckily he forgave me for my misleading him...

Either way you go, I think you'll have fun. LSC definitely has more experience in the area, and I have done some of her recommended rides, I don't think you can go wrong by following her lead... (even is she is a Heratic ;) )
 

·
white boy extraordinaire
Joined
·
241 Posts
MMMmmmm

If you are sticking to the routes described on mtnbikewnc.com, I think you might be left wanting more after your ride at dupont. It's short and not hard at all, like 600' of climbing. It is an absolutely great ride, but once you get to the bottom of Burnt mtn trail, take a ride on corn mill shoals and follow it over to the trail sign for Cedar Rock Trail and go up that. It is such a great and challenging climb guaranteed to make you breathe hard. Then take Big rock trail down, this was the initial trail you took up (if you followed to route described on the website). It is a great downhill and will make dinner feel a little more earned.
 

·
They say I have a problem
Joined
·
460 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Make that a week....

Just curious if the hurricane on the coast of NC had any affect on the Asheville area....

Now to lay low so the boss doesn't pile the work on before I go....

Rich
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Hurricane Charlie missed Asheville

Hurricane Charlie stayed far to the east of Asheville and had no effect on the trails in the Asheville area. Hope you have a great time in Western North Carolina while on your vacation.

If you go the Biltmore House, consider taking your bikes. The Biltmore Estates have private mountain bike trails, which you can ride while visiting for an extra $5 each. I have not ridden the trails, but have heard they are nice. You can find some information about the trails on the Biltmore web site. http://www.biltmore.com/plan/outdoor/daily_biking.shtml
 

·
They say I have a problem
Joined
·
460 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
AppMTB said:
Hurricane Charlie stayed far to the east of Asheville and had no effect on the trails in the Asheville area. Hope you have a great time in Western North Carolina while on your vacation.

If you go the Biltmore House, consider taking your bikes. The Biltmore Estates have private mountain bike trails, which you can ride while visiting for an extra $5 each. I have not ridden the trails, but have heard they are nice. You can find some information about the trails on the Biltmore web site. http://www.biltmore.com/plan/outdoor/daily_biking.shtml
Thanks for the link...

My fiance wants go see the Biltmore and if we can ride there a bit that will be a plus...

Rich...
 

·
I love Pisgah
Joined
·
3,406 Posts
Yup. Should be dry as a bone. Raced in south central Ga(sorta close to the coast) yesterday, and it was dusty as hell. You'd think "some" outside rain bands would be around, but noda.
Enjoy your trip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,097 Posts
I think that's a good idea to ride on the Estate, but don't expect too much out of the trails. My friend rode there as part of the weekend festivities of someone's wedding held at Biltmore (can you IMAGINE the cost?) and she said it was mostly riding dirt roads through cornfields and you couldn't see the House from most of the trails.
 

·
white boy extraordinaire
Joined
·
241 Posts
I've had the displeasure....

litespeedchick said:
I think that's a good idea to ride on the Estate, but don't expect too much out of the trails. My friend rode there as part of the weekend festivities of someone's wedding held at Biltmore (can you IMAGINE the cost?) and she said it was mostly riding dirt roads through cornfields and you couldn't see the House from most of the trails.
I've ridden these trails and really, really disliked them. There is some singletrack but you're almost tripping over yourself that it is so tightly packed in there. Once you gain ANY speed, you turn. If you ride in fall you can't see the trails, at all, for the leaves. Now on other trails this can be fun, but not here. It ultimately ends up being very unfun and dissatisfying. The rest ,as LSC mentioned, is dirt roads.
 

·
They say I have a problem
Joined
·
460 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm back...

Hey guys....

My new wife and I got just back from our dream honeymoon this past weekend and I finally got a chance to put some words and photos together...

If anyone is interested have a look...

It was a definite dream come true for us...

Rich and Shell....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,019 Posts
rbart4506 said:
I thought it was better to stop while ahead then to risk an upset wife.
Such wise words for a newlywed. 7 years and I still don't know when to quit :D

Congrats on your marraige, your beautiful wedding and what looks like the best damn honeymoon ever!

Here's to wishing you both many years of happiness, tight twisty trails and lots of fun....

Great write-up too
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top