Monday, August 10, 2009

DuPont State Forest

I drove out to DuPont State Forest on Sunday and really had a chance to explore some of the trails I only get to ride once a year. Brad and I rode up there hoping to meet up with a racer friend of mine but he was not answering his cell phone, so we assumed he had a rough night and was not going to make it out to be our trail we went all the way to Brevard's Sycamore cycles and purchased a trail map to make sure we didn't miss anything once under way. I also got some nifty wool Pisgah Works socks since I have been wearing through socks lately. 45 minutes behind schedule, we finally suit up and are on our way through the forest! I am geared for an easy day with a 33x23 gearing and am really hoping to enjoy my "Kick-Ass Cog" from Endless Bike Co. DuPont is really crowded with creek wading tourists and lots of horseback riders...not too many mountain bikers surprisingly! The trails are, as always, butter smooth and well maintained. We head straight out to Bridal Veil Falls, and from there start climbing up Corn Mill Shoals Trail and decide to first climb Burnt Mtn. We climb it the hard way and I actually clean most of the climbs! I am really enjoying my gearing choice since there are very few flats for me to end up spinning out on. Burnt Mtn descent is fast and smooth with perfect jumps around every corner! Brad is now loving his first trip out to DuPont and I mention he will really enjoy the Cedar Rock climb. Cedar Rock is a unique mountain climb in that it starts to clear out closer to the top and you wind up climbing on granite rock walls for the last mile or so...It makes you feel like you are not going to have enough traction, but you actually do! We make it to the top and take a quick break at the crossing sign before deciding on a descent. We take the most scenic one and Brad takes off ahead since he is a much faster descender on the full suspension. I hug the brakes a bit and then start picking lines to get some speed built and soon catch up to him still descending. What a fun climb that was! After a bit of exploring to find a quicker way back to base camp to refuel, we decide the only clear way back is Corn Mill Shoals Tr. We return back via a few creek crossings, refuel and head towards Triple Falls...this area had a nice descent tucked away in there near Hooker Falls, but not enough to we trudge on and find a unique climb named Ridgeline Trail ...this trail is a super clean climb and I mention this is going to be an awesome descent as well! After climbing for what seems forever, we reach a loop named Hickory Mtn Loop. We decide to do the loop in order to align us back onto the Ridgeline trail going downward...I paid no attention to the elevation profile for Hickory Mtn Loop and pedal on entering the loop counterclockwise...WOW, what a mean vertical climb that was! IT kept climbing up and up and up with no switchback to ease the pain and suffering, slippery gravel, loose rocks, nothing certain to sink my tread into, kept me weaving back and forth up the climb like a sidewinder...The only good thing I can say is that I climbed it on my SS with no stops. I simply did not want to end up walking up this beast of a hill...we reach a false plateau and continue climbing upward...finally reaching the true summit. It was nice and cool up there at around 3000 feet! I take a quick hydration break and we start the downward plunge! Half a mile into the rocky Hickory Mtn Loop descent, Brad gets a nasty pinchflat. We stop, Brad fixes, we resume...IT was one heck of a wild downhill ride! Berms everywhere! Smooth grippy flats and turns...too much fun! We finish up riding along the highway for about a mile back to basecamp, me spinning like mad because of my gearing choice, but happy to have ridden such great trails today! We break down our gear, guzzle a recovery drink, then have a nice COLD beer from my cooler and talk about the great trails we had just been on...cooled down, we make our way back to Charleston fully spent from so much great trail riding!

Happy Trails!


GPS Data:

No comments:

Post a Comment