2 Crashes, 1 Bad Ass Award
Well I’m back from Asheville, and despite traveling 800 miles south in search of snowless trails, guess what? Snow! I don’t ride in the stuff at home in Massachusetts, but by Job I wasn’t going to let it ruin my fun time, and thankfully my new friend and gracious tour guide had the same spunky spirit.
We started out ride at Bent Creek, describe by Marcela as “an amusement park.” It had lots of loops and the trails looks heavily used but well maintained. I was surprised to find the parking lot jammed with cars–all with bike racks. Could these southerns be more hearty than the New England cycling community? I quickly discovered what an enormous cycling community Asheville has. There were several bike shops and while I’m talking about bike shops thank you Backcounty Outdoors for coming through with a rental for me.
I was so excited when we reached the trailhead my very first inclination was to break out the camera and start documenting the trip for the blog. My biking partner offered to take a photo of me at the trailhead to kick things off so I handed her the camera and it slipped from her fingers and crashed on the ground. No more camera! (I’m having the guys at Ritz look at it tomorrow). But that really didn’t bother me–I was just too excited to hit the trail. (photo credit goes to Marcela and her cell phone camera!)
The trail was a combination of snow (1-3 inches), mud (red Carolina clay), slush, ice, and occasionally we were graced with tracts of hard clear ground. We passed several others out enjoying the day–mountain bikers, trail runners, and dog walkers. The place was busy and friendly, and the trails were fun. I think during the summer months it would have been a fast trail but the snow and mud made much of the trail greasy and slow going. Several wooden bridges allowed us to pass over creeks throughout the park. Marcela lead the way and I was happy to see our abilities on the bike seemed evenly matched (unless she was holding back on me). We had been riding about an hour or so when the trail gently descended and snaked right over another wooden bridge. Marcela cornered and hit the bridge squarely, but the bridge was frozen and both her wheels cut out from underneath her, pitching her from the bike over the side of the bridge and down into the rocky creek bed! It was at least a seven foot drop from where she was sitting on the bike to the rocky wet bottom. Incredibly she was OK, a few magnificent bruises and a nice cut on the elbow but she got up and said “Don’t you want to keep riding?” Yeah, she was definitely the bad ass of the trip. Just seeing her fall in such a spectacular fashion was enough to make me want to walk my bike back to the car. I mean, this was something you’d see on TRU tv. It scared the hell out of me.
I could blog about this trip forever it was so rich and wonderful and I am 1000% thrilled I went. When I told Heather about how great it was in Asheville, she Mapquested it and calculated the 14 hours of driving could get us back down there this summer. It’s something to consider……