15 April 2011

Like Butta

Sometimes you're faced with difficult decisions. Sometimes those difficult decisions are win-win all around, and really, they're not all that difficult, now are they?

Solo last night, with the group doing a group thing that involved food and drink and not riding. It was my last chance to hit a seasonal trail before they close today, so I had the tough choice of Bennett or Cat Gap ... let me tell you, if I haven't mentioned it before, living here can be so rough sometimes.

I rode both last weekend, but there's something about hitting Cat from Butter -- after climbing 417D -- that is just so satisfying. With 475 closed, I didn't get to do that on Saturday; instead, I did Butter as an out-and-back. (Of course, as we all know, I didn't really achieve the Gap itself though, did I?) So one more time, with feeling:

475B > 225 > Cove Creek > 475 > 471 > 471D > Butter > Cat Gap

This is the first time I've put all of these together at once, and with darkness pushed back but still approaching, I knew I had to hustle if I wanted to make it happen. I had a couple of halfway options if I found myself running short of time, but I also had the added motivation of trying to make it as quick as I could, just for fun. And despite the double helping of 12 Bones sitting heavy in my stomach, it was game on as I started to climb ...

A quick hi to Andy and Elizabeth (just finished riding and on their way to the aforementioned group thing), and then it was all me and the mountains. And it was awesome! Or, at least, that's the way I'm going to remember it: truthfully, it was more than a little painful at times. (Especially the braking ruts on 475. UGH.) But all told, I rode a bunch of stuff I've never attempted before, cleaned it! and can count the dabs on one hand -- a far cry from the first time I saw these trails last April, or even the last time I raced them back in November. Only a couple of planned dismounts the whole evening (bridges on Cove, the half-notch log on Butter that I'm not quite ready for ... or am I?), and I even had enough time to play around on the alternate lines off the river rock for a bit -- the river rock that has loomed large in my mind as a BIG SCARY OBSTACLE for the past 12 months. I only just attempted it for the first time a few weeks ago, and now I'm wheelie dropping it for fun and wondering what all the fuss was about ...

Pisgah locals will recognize that while this may not be all that, for me it's pretty cool. Here I am on a ghetto 69er hardtail with minimum front suspension, riding stuff that frustrated and scared the crap out of me not too long ago. I may not be the cleanest technical rider, nor the fastest downhiller, but it's been pointed out to me that what I do have is tenacity, and that stubbornness is paying off. And it's fun.

I'm looking forward to this weekend, and looking forward to putting this week behind me. The Ocho is Sunday, and it sounds like I'll be headed to Tennekentucky with a good friend of mine, and then next week is a bit of a celebration (30 years of riding!) and off to the warm dry sand of the PHX and some of my other favorite trails ...


2 comments:

clay said...

Is that an Arlo Guthrie reference? This might be my favorite blog ever!

Chris said...

Ding ding ding! One of these days I'm going to get my road ride on for my other Arlo reference, dubbed "The Cane Creek Massacre" ... cloverleafing the Fletcher area to hit every peak within spitting distance of CC HQ ...