Thursday, December 8, 2016

Brevard (North Carolina)

I've been getting pretty slack on my XC riding. I'm a weekend warrior at best, and I've been deferring to DH for way too long. This winter needs to be a change in the pace. In that vain, I jumped at the invite for a "locals only" ride in Brevard on my friend Park s hand-built trails. My friend Joey joined [Ruprecht and] me for this ride on some FRESH trails that needed some traffic.

Park has ALWAYS found some epic locations to call home, including one that has now become The Bike Farm. Keeping to this tradition, a group of over 30 riders met at his house and rode from his driveway to start the ride.

I was delighted to ride with some familiar faces. Many of the Asheville/Brevard crew lived in Richmond years ago, and I don t have much opportunity to ride with them other than these sparse trips.

The ride was, well, interesting. It began with climbs to a ridgeline, just as most rides would. On the way up one of the climbs, however, one of the riders' derailleur snapped at its anchor bolt. After attempting to shorten his chain and go without a derailleur, it was clear that the bike would not accept such an arrangement. I volunteered to give up my derailleur since my Canfield has sliding dropouts. I shortened and tensioned my chain and we installed my derailleur on the mangled bike. We made our way up the trail without issue and were soon united with the rest of the pack. Not long after that point, though, my chain decided to climb the cassette, which folded a ring and left the bike stranded. I pushed it for awhile and eventually traded with the repaired bike. I finished the ride with the group while the other rider, Si, took my bike back to town to replace the cassette and chain on my bike. I was bummed that the repair hadn't saved both of our rides, but was impressed with the gesture from Si to limp back to replace my broken components while allowing me to experience the trails.

Once we returned to Park's house, he lit the grill and we made trips to Food Matters for supplies. The group of roughly 30 riders shared stories of the ride including one fall into a creek that left my friend Chris scrambling to the house to dry off and don some warm clothes.

The next day we woke to rain, so Joey and I decided to head home via Roanoke, VA in hopes of finding less saturated trails. We arrived at Carvin's Cove around 1pm and made a quick lap up The Trough and down The Gauntlet before finishing our drive to Richmond.

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