For a couple months now I’ve been hopping on the mountain bike and riding over to Bent Creek and back in order to do a trail/gravel road ride. This is somewhat silly but at least the ration of paved miles to non-paved was about 2:1 or 3:1.
I was about to push that ration out to 10:1.
Yup, over 40 miles of paved roads just to ride just 4 miles of singletrack.
8/12 Monday: Kitsuma Knobby Kommute – The 4 mile Kitsuma trail is east of Asheville, just outside of Black Mountain. Although it has been “dumbed down” by the standards of some of the old timers around here, as WNC trails go it’s a classic. From the parking area off of Rt. 40 the trail starts out with a steep climb with a dozen ish switchbacks (some people know the count.. I don’t really care – but it’s a lot). At the top, you plummet down a steep and scary (to me) drop on loose dirt, the kind where you can’t stop even if you want to – either control the bike or crash. At the bottom on the descent is another super steep lung-busting, leg-breaking climb, and then after a short plateau, comes the bit fun – a 1400′ rip-roaring descent over 2.5 miles. The trail isn’t super technical, but does have some rock gardens and some tight turns that sneak up on you. Once at the bottom, the return to the top of the trail is usually done via a 4 mile paved greenway climb on what used to be highway 70. The road winds it’s way upward through a lush, gorgeous valley.
8/13 Tuesday: Highland Run – The Asheville Runners Meetup was moving the Tuesday run to Highland Brewing. I had other plans in the evening so I headed out a little sooner and just for kicks, ran to Highland and back. Just shy of 5 miles round trip. Gave me some perspective on whether I’d want to run there and back for future weeks.
8/14 Wednesday: Bent Creek Knobby Commute – Typical Wednesday Middle Rim ride, but an odd looking route. I’m following along the trails that we rode on the GPS track, but have very little recollection of the ride. We did the Homestead/Small Creek/Deerfield/Explorer route, and I remember there was some shenanigans with trying to keep somebodies dog from following us and go back to its owner(s). Then down all of Lower Sidehill and a little extra with Boyd Branch. Ah well.. it must have been fun because it always is, and mostly dry, otherwise we wouldn’t have done that much singletrack.
8/14 Thursday: Bent Creek Jus’ Running Group – Typical Thursday run. I lost the GPS track due to an import problem, but I do remember that the rest of the group kicked my ass and I struggled. Too much riding, not enough resting. Quads are killing me.
8/15 Friday: Parkway Closure Scouting – Did a relatively easy paced ride up to the road closure at Tanbark Ridge Tunnel.. except that the closure was now at Bull Gap, and a more permanent looking chain link gate. Rolled back down to Tunnel Rd., then hit Highland for a pint and rode home. Didn’t want to do too much, because the next morning was…