Monday, April 14, 2014

Jason's Birthday Ride!

 I got the invite to join Jason Luque on his birthday ride, and even though I was wrecked from house remodeling, and I had not ridden in over two weeks, I could not turn down the invite.  37 plus miles of Pisgah with a bunch of cool peeps, on my single speed Siren.  Great idea.

I got to the Bracken Parking lot and only Wes Dickson was there.  I had woken up late.  Fortunately, our neighbor's dog was in the process of running away, and I was awakened by her yelling at the dog to "come here right now".  I assume it was a dog,  could have been a boyfriend. 

Anyway, I woke up late and got going.  Loaded up and out the door,  I was looking forward to the day, knowing it would hurt. 

About 15 people showed up, Chris Coney, Patrick Mc, Todd B, Jason, Adrienne and a whole slew of FLA PEEPS. 

We rode downhill to some pavement,  made some turns and eventually got on some gravel.  Past Kuykendal, uphill, then turned onto some FS road that took us to Butter.  (I'm not sure of all the road/trail names, and I'm not too worried about that...)
The Birthday Boy
 I was feeling good and enjoying the day,  chatting with friends old and new.  We rode up to the lower water fall and took some photos, then headed up the FS road past the upper falls and onto Daniel Ridge Trail.  Someone mentioned something about a hike a bike.... That was fun, then I started riding.  I got in behind Wes and Todd.  We made the right turn up to the ridge that takes a person to 225 b.   That's where I failed.  I failed to wait at the intersection for the person behind me.  And they went straight over the ridge and down towards the intersection of Farlow and Daniels Ridge.

After a few minutes, someone asked where Joe was.  Missing.  I rode back down to look for him knowing it was my fault.  I found him about half way down and sent him in the right direction.  Some hikers told me that someone else had ridden by and they described Patrick.  Dang it.  I rode all the way down to the intersection of Daniel's and Farlow, but did not see him.   I figured he knew his way around so headed back up to join the group.

I climbed up to the ridge again looking forward to hearing the laughter and chatter of the group.  All I heard was my heartbeat in my ears and the wind in the trees.  They were gone.  Dang it.

 The heat, although not that hot, was getting to me.  I was running low on liquids but calculated that I could make it to the Fish Hatchery if I rode conservatively.  Nothing else to do but ride. So I did, and I enjoyed it.  It was an awesome day, and an awesome route. I figured I would catch the group at the Hatchery,  and I did. 
 After a long rest, we got ready to head up the gravel road of never ending death.  Rich Dillen and his crew rode up and stalled our progress.  After a little bit of chiding and chatting, we all head up the road.  I was feeling the long miles, fatigue and warm temps.  The thing about this time of year is that there is no leaf cover.  We take the full rays of the sun, and in those little hollers, where the wind does not blow,  it can get quite steamy. 

I found a pace I could maintain and rolled with it.  The group spread out and regrouped at the Bracken Mtn trailhead.  It was good to know that I was not the only one hurting.  Several other people we feeling the pain. 

We bombed down, each as best as he/she could and finally crept into the parking lot.
Balloons and cupcakes to finish the ride.   I bid farewell and headed back home to see the family.

Awesome ride with cool friends.  Can't beat it!

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