24 Hours of Pisgah 06
(updated: Sep 20, 2006)
Sep 16-17, 2006 --
This year there were two teams from Wilmington attending the 24 Hours of Pisgah, which is only in its second year. I expect the size of the event will continue to grow based mainly on the outstanding job the race organizers have done and what you get for your money. It's a bargain in my opinion. There are all kinds of things going on in addition to the race itself, including live music, a bike joust competition, a bike launch into the lake which you do nude of course, a barbeque, and beer. There's also swimming and a concrete skate park too. You can also stay in a cabin with cots or you can camp. You can't beat that.
Anyway, our two 4-person teams were Two Wheeler Dealer and the Knights of Sir Bikes-a-lot. In hindsight we should have probably done an 8-person team so we could have more time to hang out and party. With the course being only 5 miles or so, you don't have much time to rest before your next lap comes up again. Notwithstanding the short course, it was brutal due to all the climbing, including a 700ft climb called Puke Hill.
In addition, there were brand new sections of trail which were not bedded in and it rained a ton earlier in the week. Needless to say parts of the course were really muddy and slick. I don't think there was anyone racing who didn't have a mishap or two. Myself in particular, someone who rarely crashes, did a spectacular endo into some brush off of a steep rock drop, now aptly naned Decision Rock. You can go on the high side to the left, or the low side to the right. I'd been going to the left and not even slowing down, but the next time I chose right and my wheel went into a divet and over the bars I sailed.
There were signs along the trail identifying the trail, such as Puke Hill or the Blair Witch Trail or the half-way point (I liked that one). One sign in particular said, "Why did I start mountain biking?" on the way up a climb. Then on the downhill another sign stated, "This is why!". Pretty cool.
You can see the lap times here. I am really consistent and some of my best riding is at night so I did three night laps. I got a really great compliment during a morning lap. I had just passed a guy who had passed me earlier, and when I hit one of the downhill switchbacks that had become so muddy from all the riding, I decided to do a front wheel pivot around it instead of trying to slide through. He was right behind me and said "nice job" or something - I can't remember exactly. But later he came up to me as I was washing off all the caked mud on my bike and he said that he hadn't been passed in quite a while and seeing me do that made it worth being passed. Made the race for me.
I could probably do faster laps with a lighter bike and more training (not too much training for me after they opened the bypass), but I really enjoy riding the 5-spot. The other thing was I also wore the HD camera on my head for the first lap and cleaned Puke Hill wearing it. That's not an easy feat.
Not only that, but after the first lap Daniel and I decided that due to the sketchy course conditions, clipless pedals were not the right choice for us and so we both switched to flats. People thought we were nuts and how could we climb with flats. But those who know wouldn't say that. After learning to ride with flats, the only time I want to be clipped in is on a road bike. My point is, learn to ride flats and your mountain biking skills will improve.
I'm going to be adding video later, but for now, these pictures will have to suffice.
The two teams prepare to depart the flat coastal plain and head to more mountainous terrain.
After we arrive we do a quick lap to get familier with the course. The course goes right by the cabins we stay in which is really cool.
Here we are at dinner the night before the race. We should have just done a single 8-man team instead of two teams, but the rivalry was good. They are all Knights now. In fact, a couple were knighted right then. I'll get their bios up on the site soon.
View of where the bike joust competition will take place. I missed it because I was doing my lap. Imagine, a knight missing the bike joust competition.
The start of the race. I am up on the bridge with the video camera next to Steve.
And they're off.
We had perfect weather for the race.
First lap. Climbing.
Puke Hill. You have no idea how steep this is from a photo.
More riders hike-a-biking it up Puke Hill. You can see me standing up there with the camera. I was waiting for someone to attempt to climb it but no one did it.
Near the junkyard/toxic waste dump. There's a tub, sink and toilet bowl water sculpture with plants growing in it to look at as you're going by.
The only fireroad downhill of the course. It is nearly all singletrack.
The view from our cabin.
Steve coming by the cabin.
Joe taking a nap at the cabin.
The camera man.
Joe coming in.
Joe gives Fleck a push-off.
Daniel completes the team's final lap and is done.
Pretty much sums up how we feel.
Video clips coming soon. I am also going to make a DVD as well.
1. rich said...
decision rock made me fumble a few times and then eventually pitched me over the edge, good times! Nice ride guys.
Sep 21, 2006 @ 7:32 PM
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