I’ve been planning a trip out to North Carolina for work that involved some meetings with some of our bigger accounts. Of course, being the cram everything possible into a trip type of person, I did some advance planning. I’...
I’ve been planning a trip out to North Carolina for work that involved some meetings with some of our bigger accounts. Of course, being the cram everything possible into a trip type of person, I did some advance planning. I’m racing before and after my week in NC. The before was this past weekend in Pisgah. The after will be the Transylvania Epic Stage Race next week! The in betweens were work and doing 3 clinic/rides during the week.
I had never ridden my bike in Pisgah before (Western North Carolina), but I knew it was legendary. To make things even more demented, it poured rain the entire time I was there. I was originally signed up to race the 111k on Saturday. I got to Pisgah late Friday afternoon after trying to get my NEW BIKE sorted and ready to go. I did a 6 mile ride up and down the first climb of the race. I was very surprised with how steep Black Mountain was. I was also trying to get my rear suspension where I wanted it – no easy task after not being on an FS bike for 2 years. I have to say that it was sunny Friday evening.
I checked into my hotel at the Rodeway Inn. I wanted to stay at the Sunset Motel - I had heard great things, but it was all full (go figure!) First word of advice about Brevard, NC. DO NOT stay at the Rodeway Inn! It was dingy, the lock on my door was broken, loud, and there were holes in the wall where people had punched it. Sunset or Hampton is the way to go.
LOVE my new 29 Canyon Nerve Al FS bike
Saturday morning around 3 AM, the rain began to fall…and it didn’t drizzle, it poured. My cheerful alarm went off at 5:45 AM. I looked outside and the parking lot was a lake with more rain pouring down. The Pisgah 111k was supposed to be a fun training race for me – a chance to spend some decent time on my bike, and I wasn’t supposed to bury myself with the TSE coming up. I laid there debating whether I was going to use my number plate that day. I have never not started a race. After about 30 minutes, I came to the conclusion that the best decision would be to skip the race so I wouldn’t destroy my body or new bike. I was mentally so taxed from all the travel and fatigue. I knew I’d mentally burn out if I went. I also knew I didn’t have 8-9 hours of slogging in me with my tapped out, spread too thin energy level and I did not want to start something I wouldn’t finish. So, I went back to sleep…and got 12 hours of much needed rest. I tried not to beat myself up about it.
It was still raining when I got out of bed at almost 10 AM. I thought of the poor bastards out in the rain doing the race – braver and more determined souls than I that day. I had breakfast with a couple of my friends from Niner who happened to be in town and commiserated over the lack of good coffee and “western” breakfast. I have to say though – I did enjoy my pepper buttermlik biscuit – immensely.
I got out for a 2 hour ride in the rain. The trail was a river.
I like the mud…but I’m glad it’s mostly dry in Colorado!
It was a good chance to see the Pisgah terrain and get used to the mud. After 2 hours of easy riding, I had done some hiking, some riding, and only went 10 miles. ”That’s odd,” I thought to myself.
After that, I went straight to registration and signed up for the 55k thinking it’d be a better option. In my mind, it’d be 4 hours and easier. Boy, was I dead wrong.
It was still raining when I got up Sunday morning, but was starting to subside. I wouldn’t allow myself to bail again on the race, so I packed up in the rain and went to the race. I heard horror stories in the parking lot from the 111k. Yes, some people were doing BOTH races for the Pisgah series. One guy’s story almost dissuaded me from lining up!
But line up I did…and there were other smiling faces around that made me feel better. I loved meeting Shanna f