Tuesday, September 23, 2014

2014 Pisgah Stage Race - Stage 1

Man there is a lot of heat in the 40+ category this year! Garth, Wes, John, Bruce...all super fast!

I'm hoping I've got a chance to touch the wood today...that's stand on the podium in common parlance. It's gonna be tough with all these fast guys though.

Here is a video recap:

This morning at 9:00am we kicked off the 1st stage of this years Pisgah Stage Race. Thankfully a certain Toronto team was not here to force a sprint on the road
prologue. A nice civilized warm up on the highway to Turkey Pen Road.

Turkey Pen came soon enough and that's when things get real. We charged the gravel towards the 1st descent. The 1st descent is no joke with water bars, some small
drops, and classic Pisgah character. I bombed down it and gained positions I had lost on the gravel. Soon we crossed a suspension bridge and started up Mullinax which led to a lengthy and technical ride on one of the tightest trails in Pisgah. I really like riding Squirrel Gap in this direction.

I gained a few spots on the last 3rd of Squirrel chasing down Bruce. At the turn for the climb up Horse Cove, Popeye gave directions... and I ascended.

Garth Passed me back on Funnel top and I would not see him again till I finished.

A quick stop at the aid station and I hammered some water on the way to the climb up Buckhorn. I knew I needed extra hydration to avoid the cramps on the hike a bike
up Black Mountain. Buckhorn was long and mild as far as climbs go, but the real punishment awaited on Black. I sure which I could hike faster...

Finally, after what seemed like an endless series of hike a bike sections, the real challenge began. The descent on upper black is totally blown out. There is a 3 foot ravine with "holes within holes" (Brad quote) and I wiggled down as much as I bombed. I smacked my wide bars and almost bought the farm but managed to save it. This is one descent that I think everyone is gad when it's finished.

Now the last section of the Stage! Up and over lower Black Mountain, and it's a timed enduro section. The short but steep climbing section is killing me because I know I'm losing a lot of time here. I'm just trying to keep my legs from cramping.

Finally, the big descent down Lower Black and home to the finish. What a fun day of riding.


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