Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Day 2: Morris Hill Campground to Laurel Fork Campground

 Day 2 finally dawned...sort of,  it started to get light and I rolled out of bed to eat my giant cherry danish and drink some coffee.   Between sips, chewing etc, I spent time tearing down my campsite and packing up.  Then all that was left was to finish my coffee.  If I stick around for coffee and breakfast, it takes me 45 minutes to an hour to pack up.  I had an idea to try something different the following morning.

I dropped down the mountain from the campsite, a deer here and there but no bears.  Bacova Junction came and went, and next up was Mountain Grove where there was supposed to be a store.  I was hoping for  a biscuit.
 As I was cruising along the rolling hills through some beautiful valley farm land,  Coles Mountain on the left and Little Mountain on my right,  I saw the couple below standing in the field beside the road.  She was working on painting the pine tree, so I took a picture of her painting the picture.  A few words of chit chat and I was gone  again. 
 Hanging a left on Richardson Gorge Rd, and onto some gravel beside the river, I was able to make pretty good time for the next couple of miles.  Early morning sun coming through the trees, the sound of the river, birds chirping, things were good. 
 Coming out on the other side of the gorge, I was greeted with some amazing views of Lake Moomaw.  With so much rain this year, everything was deep green and lush.  The temps were still cool and I was thankful for that.  I made sure that I was sipping water and eating something every half hour.  Winding around the lake, I made a quick stop at Bolar Flat Marina.  They have a freezer full of frozen foods, and some drinks in the cooler.  They lady told me to get the sausage and egg white biscuit if I wanted something low fat.  I told her that I needed all the fat I could get and she recommended the Jimmy Dean sausage, egg and cheese croissant.  I microwaved it, paid for it and an OJ and hit the road while I ate. 
 10 miles later, I made it to Mountain Grove.  A few houses and a darkened little gas station grill.  I walked into the all but deserted store and ordered a bacon and cheese biscuit and a bottle of Coke.  I carried a 16oz water bottle with me the entire time, that I filled with assorted drinks: Coke, Nuun, OJ, Gatorade etc.  Just for some more than water drink.  I stuck the biscuit and drink in my jersey pocket and headed up the road.

 At this point the route divides with the option of the Ridge Alternate.  Giving a person the option of a 19 mile gravel road up along the ridge.  I considered taking that route, but knowing that I had only 4 days to complete the 400 miles, I opted to play it safe and stick to the pavement in the valley.
 Continuing up the valley between the ridges, the valley rising and the ridges coming closer together, I definitely got the feeling that I was gaining altitude.  The air temps were still cool and the light mountain breeze felt great.  Wild flowers were in abundance. 
 I was in need of water, and stopped to glance at the map.  I could see  a church just up the road off route and was about to go see if they had an outdoor spigot so that I could fill up, when Valerie pulled up in her van and asked if I needed anything.  I told her that I knew where I was going, but wondered if the church had a water spigot.  She said she thought they did, but also said I should ride 3 miles up to her house, and she would get me some water.   
 When I pulled up, she was waiting outside with a jug full of water.  The water was from a spring behind her house.  She also gave me a big white peach which didn't last long.  Then she told me that her husband was 1 mile up the road at their Sugar Camp,   boxing up maple sugar candy.  She told me that if I had time I should stop there and he would give me some.  I was pretty excited.   I pulled out on the road, and enjoyed the peach while pedaling and watching for the Sugar Camp.   Somehow I missed the sign and never saw any candy.  After getting home I did some searching and found it: http://www.welcometobackcreek.com/cabin/  I'm so bummed that I missed out. Next time I might just stay at the cabin as they have a hot tub...
 Continuing up what is now a gravel road, amazed at the scenery and lack of people.  It felt good to be alone.  I love to be with people,  meet new people, but I like to be alone as well.  I wasn't really struggling with anything, trying to figure anything out,  trying to solve problems etc.  I was simply enjoying being.  That felt good. 
 Towards the end of gravel road 600, I took a left on Hwy 250.  This climb reminded me a lot of Hwy 215 out of Rosman.  Steep and seemingly never ending.  But it did finally end,  I have no idea how much later.  Then I had to make the choice of taking the Bartow cutoff and eliminating 45 miles of the route, or continuing to Glady.  I had been pondering the choice for a while, and since I was feeling good, and making good time, and not knowing if or when I would be back in the area,  I decided to go for it.   So a right turn on Hwy 28 and a left of FR 14 had me climbing up a steep gravel road. 
 24 miles to Glady, WV.  I had heard a rumor ( that turned out to be true) of a shelter at a church there that would be good for camping.  I decided that since it was only about 3pm, I should be able to get there fairly easily.   And then things got weird and a pattern was set for the rest of the trip.  I was doing fine but then got hot on the climb.  I stopped to splash this ice cold spring water on my head and kept riding at a very mellow pace.
 I continued riding, watching the map and counting down the miles.  I rode past several landmarks that I could see on the map.  Up another mile long climb and suddenly came to a cross roads that was not on the map and had no posted road signs.  I circled around, looked at the map,  tried to compare to the map on the kiosk.  I could not figure out where I was on the road.  I knew I was on the right road, but not sure if I had gone too far or not far enough.  I decided to turn left, hoping that this was the left turn to Glady.  I got hungry, at a little,  got to the top of the ridge and dropped down to a gate.  I turned to ride the mile up and back down to the cross roads.  Then I got the nauseous, dehydrated, hungry, bonky feeling.  Not good.  I was out there all alone and needed to get somewhere.  I reminded myself that I could always pull into the woods and camp if I needed to.  I decided to back track,  dropping the 2 miles back into the last valley, just in case I had missed the turn.  I went back to the last road that I remembered crossing.  I was convinced I had missed the turn that would leave me about 6 miles out from Glady.  When I got down,  I saw the sign that told me this was FR 17,  leaving with close to 20 miles still to Glady.  I was pretty mad at myself for making that mistake, but kept eating and drinking.  I popped a nuun tab into my water bottle and sipped on it.  I'm pretty sure that today, NUUN saved my life.  I'm not sure what would have happened otherwise.  
 The only thing to do was to keep riding, and so I did.  At a very slow crawl,  up and down,  doing my best to enjoy the scenery.  It was difficult.   And then I came to a point on route where I could drop down into the valley on the right to a campground, or continue .3 miles up the road, to drop down into Glady.  I again got confused, and thought that dropping down to the right would somehow take me to Glady.  I figured that if I did not find Glady,  I could always stay at the campground.  So I bombed down the 1.5 miles mistakingly convinced that I would see the town any minute.  I didn't,  I saw the campground, which turned out to be really nice.  I decided to stay there for the night and leave the fight for the next day.
An overlook

I took this picture, in case I didn't make it.  Figured it would be good for people to know that I was having a good time trying not to die!

The inside of my hotel room.

I set up camp, and was offered breakfast by one of my neighbors.  It wasn't ready at 6:30am when I headed out though so I missed out.  And was offered hot dogs and fried squash and potatoes by another family, which I readily accepted.

I took a dip in the creek and filled up my water bladder from the cold spring that was rushing out of the side of the mountain.  In bed by 8:30pm,  I spent the night again sleeping little,  thinking about getting up and riding some more, but also focused on relaxing.

I was down in a valley and it got pretty chilly.  I set up my tarp so that I could close it off and retain some heat.  I also layered up, wearing my rain pants over my knee warmers and camp shorts in an effort to stay warm.  It worked pretty well.

I planned to get up and going in the morning without making hot coffee.  I was curious to see what the day held

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day 1 Blacksburg to Lake Moomaw- 106 miles

 The window opened, and I thought it would be a good idea to attempt the Allegheny Mountains Loop.  I got dropped of in Christiansburg VA, and spent the night at the Microtel Inn,  cheap rates, nice room.  The day before and morning that I was supposed to start, I was feeling a bit nauseous, not sure why.  I was able to choke down half a bowl of granola before rolling out.  I think I was nervously excited.  I don't get the chance to take long rides often and I wanted to make the most of it.

I slept in and rolled out at 9am.  After arriving at VA Tech 6 miles later, I finally found the start at the War Memorial.  Then is was on.  I was out for an adventure.  While sometimes I consider going for a record,  I quickly remind myself that I would likely drive myself beyond my limits if I tried that.  Maybe one day.  I was hoping to complete the 400 mile loop in 4 days.  200 miles of pavement, and about 200 miles of gravel would present quite a challenge.  I felt I was ready.
 The first 20 miles out of town was rolling hills with some punchy climbs.  Normally, I would be able to make quick work of these, but loaded with food and gear, I was spinning and averaging 5mph on the steeper climbs.  The sun was out, the sky blue with puffy white clouds, and I was cruising,  glad to be alive and getting out on an adventure.  It has been a while since I was able to go somewhere new and I was not taking it for granted. 

And then 13.5 miles into the 400 mile ride I hit the first road block.  Literally.   The giant sign in the middle of the road said "Road Closed".  I looked at the map and saw that a detour would mean another 20-30 miles.   Ouch.  I rolled past the sign and around the corner and was greeted by a local sheriff's deputy.  His car's lights flashing, and he was leaning again the car looking pretty tough.  I rolled up and said " That's not a  good sign".  He said " Nope,  road's closed,  they are repairing the train tracks where the rain washed out under them".   I said something like "wow".   Then he mentioned that I might be able to squeeze through and I should go ask the construction crew.  
I pulled up to a big truck filled with 4 big dudes, and made some small talk.  Being tough construction dudes, they all ignored me, so I made some sort of joke,  I can't remember what, and they loosened up.  After a few minutes, the head guy radioed the machine working on the track to hold up and I was able to scamper through.  That was a relief.  
Back on track and rolling through towns like Sunnyside, Eggleston, Pembroke and Interior.   Most of the towns I passed through consisted of nothing but a few houses.  I was loaded down with food, and had enough for the trip,  but it is nice to be able to stop for  a sandwich and a coke occasionally. 
Crossing the New River


A short bit of gravel.

Climbing the grade up to Interior, I was able to make some good time.  The trees overhead were thick and I was cruising up the 2-3% grade.  I was running  low on water so I started looking at my options when I came across this cool little picnic area.  No water but would be a good place to stealth camp if someone got a late start on the rout. 
The route starts in Virginia and crosses back and forth into West Virginia several times.  I was going to take pictures each time I crossed but there weren't always signs, so I gave up on spending that energy.  I got to Waitville and had 11 ish miles to go to Paint Bank. (Waiteville is the point that the loop rejoins the route on the way back, forming the stick part of a lollypop loop)  That 11 miles was fairly flat, through a long valley with rolling ridgelines on either side.  I picked up the pace, looking forward to lunch at the Paint Bank General Store.  I didn't notice that I was getting overheated, and arrived in at the store a bit fuzzy.  I walked in a little woozy and asked for outdoor seating.  I saw people eating piles of french fries and my stomach churned. 
I wanted some of the BBQ fresh off this grill but ordered a salad and BLT instead.  Then I proceded to down 2 glasses of sweet tea and a glass of Nuun.  I could only eat a little bit of salad and 1/3 of the BLT though.  I payed my bill and explained that the food was good but that I was overheated and my body was not open for intake. 
Pulling out of Paint Bank was a sort of point of no return for me.  Rhonda was one phone call and one hour away.  If this had been 2 days later, that phone call would have been all too easy.  But since I was only 55 mile into the ride,  I headed out,  and was greeted by the first real climb of the day.
Kicking up to 8% in places, I shifted to the granny gear and climbed roughly 1000 ft in about 3-4 miles.  The scenery was amazing and I was enjoying the ride.  A middle aged guy pulled up next to me in a beat up subaru half way up the climb.  He said in a gruff, taunting  voice"  Hey, do you know where I can get some gas?  Cause I need some real bad!",  then started laughing and drove slowly up the mountain.  I could still hear him laughing as he went around the next bend.  I didn't see him again and was glad. 

Somewhere later that day, I hit my first 100 miles.  Yeah,  300 to go and I was feeling really good.  I'm not quite into stealth camping yet.  I definitely want to give it a go sometime, but with the relative comfort of a campground nearby and not far off route, I decided to go for the Campground at Lake Moomaw. 
I came to another road block with police lights and at this point I took my first wrong turn.  Fortunately, the road paralleled the actual route and looking at the map it appears to be more difficult, so I didn't negate my efforts and I didn't turn around.  The realist in me won that fight! 
And then there came the steep climb up to the campground.   A long 1 mile grind up to the ridge.  I got there, picked a camp site,  set up,  had dinner and watched the sun go down.  And then I realized that I had forgotten my long underwear.   It was turning bit chilly with just enough wafting breeze to make me wish I had them.  I settled for knee warmers. 
As I laid there, for most of the night, not sleeping, I kept asking myself why I wasn't riding?  I only got about 3 hours of intermittent sleep,  I was fed and warm,  I was not blown to bits and could walk around just fine.   Something to think about.....and then the sky started to get light and I rolled out of my sleeping bag,  excited for another day.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Alleghany Mountains Loop

400 Miles, 4 days....trip report coming soon!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lost and Confused

I couldn't figure it out.  This life thing.  I simply could not get it right.  I tried,  and tried.  Then I gave up, but I always tried again.  Sometimes right away, sometimes years later.  Relationships,  some broken, some destroyed,  some never happened.  Jobs,  some done well, with no passion, some devotedly passionate about, but not completed so well.   An overtly strong inner desire to flee when things didn't go my way.  A false truth that if someone disagrees, I should shut them out, pack up and move on. 

I was raised to fear failure.   Actually, not failure itself, but to fear the disappointment that would be a direct result from failure.

But to reach a goal successfully, one must know exactly what that goal is.   In a race, there is a set start and finish.  If the finish line was constantly being moved during the race, the athlete would never finish, and therefore fail.

In parenting,  a set goal should be determined so that all players know the rules.  If the authority figures (parents) change the rules slightly to move the finish line,  one can never really finish, which means that the participant can never receive the praise and encouragement  and feel successful completion.  In that way, the parents can maintain a sense of control on everything and everyone around them.  And when confronted with any issue, they can simply change the rules to protect themselves, making sure that they are never wrong, and the other party is seldom right.

This is the environment I grew up in.  I made the majority of my life's decisions based on what I thought would bring approval from the parents.  I was able to "get away" with some things that I wanted to do, but I knew where the line was, and I did not dare cross it for fear of utterly disappointing. 

It is quite normal for a parent to express disappointment in a child's behavior.  But there is a limit to how that disappointment is used and should not be used to manipulate the child to make choices that the child might or might not want to make.

After 37 yrs of living like this, I finally realized that I needed to confront the issues.  So I did,  and things blew up in my face.   I spent another 3 yrs of my life, digging, squirming, thinking, talking, sharing, listening,  trying to figure out what I was doing wrong.  At some point during the journey, I realized that I do not have to please my parents to be successful.  In fact, that is the very goal that was holding me back.  If I could rarely please them, I was chasing ghosts and wasting my time. (if you are a ghost chaser  please don't be offended). 

With some hope of a brighter future, I rebuilt a bridge.  Not the former one way bridge,  but a two way bridge,  where dialog could be had, with no toll booth at one end.  A free passage for anyone who wants to come and go in my life.  And they came,  but guess what?  I still failed.  I still disappointed.  I'm 40 yrs old and still a disappointment. 

And that encounter confirmed that it will always be that way.  At that point, I decided to stop trying.  Stop trying to please, stop making decisions based on hope of approval ( I actually started that process long ago, but this confirmed my decision).  I have to be my own person, follow my (and the wife and kid's) goals.  Parent based on what I know is right, not on what I think they would approve of. 

I still have a lot of dreams and goals and ambitions, and anyone who holds me back will not be a part of the action.  But if anyone wants to cheer me on, hand me a bottle, and ring life's cowbell,  bring it on because I will be doing the same for you!!


Final note:  I don't write this out of anger, bitterness or contempt.  In fact,  I don't remember ever feeling this peaceful in my entire life.  I woke up just this morning, realizing that there is an emptiness where the angst used to be.   I'm planning on filling that emptiness with joy,  it should not take long.   I don't write this to tear down or show disrespect to the parents in any way. 

I do write this to share my story with the hopes that my experience will help you grow strong and believe in yourself.  Stand up for yourself, live for yourself and experience the peace that I am experiencing. 

Let's do this together!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

TEXAS

Texas.   The dog I have had for around 12 yrs.  I surprised Rhonda with him while we were living in Shelby NC.  I drove to the Humane Society of Charlotte, and this little ball of fur stuck out.  10 weeks old and full of energy.  He loved to chase things.

He joined us on Cycle NC,  where one over enthusiastic rider fed him a Clif bar. He only about 1 yr old.

Texas joined us on my Ride Across America in 2001.  He cracked us up with his antics,  flipping his water bowl at our campsites and pushing it around, yapping at it like it was alive.

He made multiple trips to Roanoke to visit the in laws, and several trips to Charlotte to visit people there.

The dog loved to swim and would stick his head underwater to retrieve rocks thrown for him.  He loves the snow,  loves to catch snowballs.

The squirrels, rabbits and birds in our backyard fear him.

He killed our baby chickens once,  he didn't mean to, he was just doing what he does, chasing stuff.
He is a hiker,  walking companion for the wife, backyard buddy for the kid.

He is an old dog with lots of memories shared with our family.

We hope you come home, Texas.

UPDATE:   I just checked Craigslist and a neighbor 1/2 mile down the road found him!   Thank God!

Monday, July 15, 2013

More Wobblenaught

Friday afternoon, I hit the road for Atlanta to visit Eddie again.  After some for adjustments, thanks to Suspension Experts,  I needed to get the race bike dialed in.  I also killed two birds with one stone so to speak, and took my Siren, John Henry,  my dedicated bikepacking bike to get the fit as well. 

It turned out to be a 10 hour trip: just over 7 hours of driving, but totally worth the effort and the money.  Do it, you won't be disappointed.


Saturday, I woke up pretty tired and stiff, and so headed out the door to ride the bakery loop.  I was a little early this time, but considering how many other events were happening, I decided to skip the group start and head out on my own,  going my own steady pace.   The day was awesome, sunshine and big puffy rainfilled clouds.  It didn't rain, just looked like it might. 
 I pedaled through the country side, enjoying the ride, and the time alone.  I don't mind riding alone.  I like to ride with groups and/or individuals, but a lot of the time, this is my time, before heading back home to chase the kid around the yard, and answer to "Daddy" hundreds of times in mere minutes.
 I am fortunate to live in such an awesome place, with awesome friends.  Most of my friends, I would consider family,  each of them helping me deal with my past in their own special way.  So many things that I don't take for granted.
And then a stop as ZUMA in Marshall for a double espresso, 2 peanut butter cookies and a Coke for the way home.  Those cookies are the best energy food.  They hit the spot every time.  Soft and chewy....and buttery,  chased by some great coffee.... boom!  

The ride back into the head wind was better than I expected,  I just put my head down and pedaled away, focusing on pedal stroke and thinking through life stuff. 


Friday, July 12, 2013

Group Ride

 I set out on this muggy hot, but not too hot to handle evening to ride with a bunch of friends.  Group rides are funny in that over the course of time the feel of the ride changes depending on who shows up.  Sam, Kevin and Brad were missing tonight while Joel, Erica and Monica rode with us.  Mike and Tony were there with Tony making most of the attacks! 
The A and B groups have gotten the hang of splitting up.  Today we rolled out together, and we split up on the parkway climb up to the I-26 bridge. 

Joel and Erica decided to swap bikes mid ride, there was a lot of giggling and whining about compact cranks and hard gears for the rest of the ride.

I was a little tired from the day,  having spent the afternoon in the shop teaching the first ever kid's bike mechanic classes,  I just cruised,  pulled some and sucked wheels.  Fun times.

The temps were a bit cooler by the end of the ride, that was nice.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tuesday Night Worlds

It has been 9 years since I did this ride.  The last time I rode with this group, I got yelled at for something that I know was not my fault.  The incident left a really bad taste in my mouth and I decided not to go back....ever.  

Well I've learned a lot over the past few years, and am learning about grace and not holding grudges about things.   When I go the opportunity to ride, I took it, and headed down towards the river.   I rode from home to warm up and save gas.

On the way down I hooked up with Chris Larsen and Billy McCracken whose wheels I shamelessly sucked.  I'm glad I found them because the distance to the start was a little farther than I realized, plus traffic on Meadow Rd.  I think I would have barely missed the group without the pull.

The air was hot and stifling.  Sitting in the sun at the stoplights I roasted.  I was  a little worried about what would happen when the pace picked up.

Getting to the start and chatting with friends is always fun.  I got to see several folks who I have not seen for a while.

The ride started with the A's going off first.  Then it was our turn.  With the start on a downhill that lasts a couple of minutes, everybody got up to speed pretty quickly.  And then it was on.  Steady, fast pace that had my heart rate at or above LTHR for the next hour.   I suppose I must be doing something right with my training because for the most part, I was able to hang on.  After 2 huge leadouts for the sprint lines though I started to face.

Thanks to Erica, who encouraged me to hang on to the back.  I did and was able to hang with the group back to the finish, and even dropped several on the  climb back up. 

I was calmly excited to see that with my HR so high for so long, my body handled the heat pretty well.

A chocolate milkshake at The Hop after the ride didn't hurt either.

I definitely enjoyed the ride, and it gives me a new challenge.  I'll be back when the timing is right, but first I have to justify not being at home for dinner with the family!  I'm sure we can work something out.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Fireworks and Haircuts

 Spent a busy weekend dodging rain and playing with the kid.  We managed to see the 4th of July fireworks show in Ahseville.  We sat in the van in the pouring down rain.  I thought it was kind of lame because we couldn't hear them very well.  Maybe we should have turn on some Pink Floyd or something. 

Backyard fireworks were fun too.  I spent too much money on gunpowder wrapped in paper, but it was worth it to see the smile on the kid and wife's face.  

Saturday, I decided to do the bakery ride.  It starts at 10 am and for some reason I left the house too early.  I would have to wait 30 minutes, and was not sure if anyone would show up, due to the race in Brevard.  I kept riding, and did the loop solo.  Lots of washed out driveways with gravel all across the road.  Be careful. 

I made the stop at Zuma in Marshall for espresso, peanut butter cookie and a Coke.  Setting a temp pace back to the house felt good.  The French Broad River was pretty high.  It was definitely runnable if a person had the skills,  with lots of good surfing waves as well. 

I wondered how, psychologically,  the affect of riding upriver has on my speed/effort.  Hmmm. 
Sunday, after a family hike, it was time for the summer mohawk.  No mine...  the kid's.  I did get my mane trimmed in the back though.

Busy week of providing mountain bike outings to youth coming up this week!  Can't wait.


Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Cycles

Not talking about bikes here,  talking about the bad,  the terrible, the wrong habits handed down from generation to generation.   We all have them, we just don't all admit that we have them.  Its just that we don't all admit that we have them.  I think deep down inside at some point in life,  everybody realizes that something is off,  something needs to change, but for whatever reason no change is made. 

Fear of change,  fear of failure, lack of knowledge about how to initiate that change.  So many reasons, valid reasons, that are used as excuses.  Invalid excuses. 

I think in my situation, I have been fortunate enough to be submersed in trainings dealing directly with parenting situations.  I was an asst house parent at a group home in Chattanooga right after graduation college.  This was a last stop, last chance to get it right before going to jail group home for teens.  I was teaching parenting  skills classes to parents long before I had a kid.  I spent a lot of time in the child mental health field,  studying, learning and soaking up the information from peers and supervisors.

It took a while for me to look at myself, but when my kid was about 3 yrs old,  I had such a moment, when I realized that something was not right and I remember making a conscious effort to figure out what needed to change.  

I has taken a while, a lot of self examination, but one method that has helped a lot is comparing my actions and re-actions to those of friends around me.  I believe that growing up, we are all taught how to act/re-act.  Not always intentional teaching, but just habits we pick up from being around the people who influence us most as children. 

I had to outside influences to learn the proper way to act/re-act.  I had to "stray" from the teachings of my childhood, and learn how other people act/re-act to similar situations.  Then I had to retrain myself once I found what I felt like is a more proper and socially accepted response to those situations. 

It has been a difficult journey and I have lots of room for improvement, but it is totally worth the effort.  

Monday, July 01, 2013

Weekend Riding

 I got out on my mountain bike 2 times this weekend.  In between a family trip to Raleigh, leaving at 9am and returning at 1:30am,  for the kid's long jump state championship meet.  That's another story for another time,  we are still waiting to see the results and find out if he is eligible to go to Nationals in August!

Saturday,  I took a 1 hour quick ride up N Boundary rd to Greenslick and back, starting at Rice Pinnacle with a short stop to see people working and Mike and Mark grilling hot dogs.


Sunday I rode from home, on the mountain bike for a 40 mile loop out to Bent Creek,  hitting Upper Sidehill, Hickory Top and Ingles Field.  And a quick stop at the SRAM experience to see the Suspension Experts and other industry folk.  Good people getting people on bikes. 

July 4th week is going to be busy.  Providing mountain bike outings to our local youth, and celebrating!! 

Fun times.