Published Somedays

Laurel Mountain to Pilot Rock - massive photo Internet-toilet-bowl clogging edition

(updated: Feb 5, 2013)

You know one of my favorite sayings is "The journey is the reward." It's on my RoadID even. Most people are going through life so fast you just know they are going to wake up one day and realize way too late that this reward or goal that they are seeking is not what they thought it was, and they've been had. If you take life to its logical conclusion, the reward is basically sickness and death. That's where we're all heading. I don't know about this heaven stuff. I didn't get a ticket, or invitation, so I don't know. So yeah, I'm trying not to head there, and fighting it every step of the way by riding my bike like the grim reaper is chasing me. But I'm still heading there, but maybe a bit more slowly and less direct, like just swirling around the toilet bowl instead heading straight down the drain like most folks.

I saw a bumper sticker last time I was in Brevard. It read, "Every old person is a young person wondering what happened." Well, at least I can say rode my bike.

Laurel to Pilot was an awesome ride. So awesome that makes me wonder just how things can get so distorted and out of sync that the thing you are doing itself becomes meaningless. Take bike racing. When athletes such as Lance Armstrong resort to such systematic and institutionalized measures to ensure victory, then the fact that you are on a bicycle or a sit & bounce ball doesn’t matter. It truly isn’t about the bike. I mean I think bike racing is all fun. But when it becomes more about winning than racing and having a good time and enjoying what nature offers, then you are lost.

By the way I think Strava is one of the worst inventions ever to happen to mountain biking. It gets trails dumbed down and shut down. It puts the focus on a meaningless number rather than the path that gets you there. And some folks just lose sight of what’s important, like Lance. I really can't understand this behavior in cycling, simply because I think cycling is special. I like to think that cycling is special because (1) it is completely human powered and anyone can do it, (2) you don’t have to build special buildings or infrastructure to do it (you can pretty much do it anywhere), (3) you get to enjoy nature while participating in it, and (4) you are more efficient doing it than any other animal on the planet (I outran a deer once on a bike). So, that makes Lance a real dope in more ways than one. Too bad, he could have gone down as one of the greatest cyclists in history without all the cheating. The whole sport just sucks now. The doping itself doesn't even bother me. I mean, if you want to fight death and stay as strong as you can for as long as you can, then go for it. It's the cheating part that gets me because he institutionalized it in cycling. What a legacy to leave behind. Focusing on the reward rather than the journey will get you that.

So that’s why I have to be the counterbalance. Except for the Crabon. I could just have a simple machine. But no, I have state-of-the-art crabon. So here is your counterbalance for the week: Laurel Mountain to Pilot Rock -- Nothing is safe from the Crabon!

Aluminum, Aluminum, Aluminum, Aluminum, Crabon:
Bikes loaded

Randy:
Randy on Laurel Mountain trail

Blaise:
Blaise on Laurel Mountain trail

Randy on Laurel Mountain trail

Blaise on Laurel Mountain trail

Jason, Randy, Zach:
Laurel Mountain trail

Release the Crabon!
Laurel Mountain trail

Zach:
Laurel Mountain trail

Jason:
Laurel Mountain trail

Zach, Jason:
Laurel Mountain trail

Randy, Blaise:
Laurel Mountain trail

Randy:
Laurel Mountain trail

Blaise:
Laurel Mountain trail

Jason up the hike-a-bike section:
Laurel Mountain trail

Zach:
Laurel Mountain trail

Laurel Mountain trail

SBA approaching the massive log:
Laurel Mountain trail

Rocking over the log:
Laurel Mountain trail

SBA approaching the other way. Gotta love my contorted face. I knew there was a slim chance of making it from this direction.
Laurel Mountain trail

Nope. Not gonna work.
Laurel Mountain trail

Yep. Fail.
Laurel Mountain trail

Sequence shot of Randy on the log:
Laurel Mountain trail

What dead trees are good for:
Laurel Mountain trail

Zach. I love this photo.
Laurel Mountain trail

Snow on Laurel.
Laurel Mountain trail

View near top:
Laurel Mountain trail

Pilot Rock trail

Pilot Rock trail

Pilot Rock trail

Randy coming down Pilot:
Pilot Rock trail

Zach:
Pilot Rock trail

Jason:
Pilot Rock trail

Randy coming down the gnarly rock section:
Pilot Rock trail

Pilot Rock trail

Pilot Rock trail

Pilot Rock trail

Pilot Rock trail

Pilot Rock trail

Pilot Rock trail

Pilot Rock trail

Jason:
Pilot Rock trail

Jason, Blaise:
Pilot Rock trail

Blaise:
Pilot Rock trail

Pilot Rock trail

Jason:
Pilot Rock trail

Zach:
Pilot Rock trail

Pilot Rock trail

Pilot Rock trail

Pilot Rock trail

Randy:
Pilot Rock trail

Pilot Rock trail

Pilot Rock trail

Zach, Jason on Laurel Mountain:
Laurel Mountain trail

Randy, Blaise:
Laurel Mountain trail

View from Pilot Rock:
Pilot Rock trail

Zach, Jason, Randy, Blaise on Laurel:
Laurel Mountain trail

Greetings from Pisgah:
View of Cold Mountain


-SBA



Filed Under: Ride Reports > North Carolina > Brevard


Google Earth (.kml) files and GPS eXchange (.gpx) files.
Park at Fish Hatchery on FS475. Shuttle up FS475B to FS225 to start of Cove Creek. Down Cove Creek to Caney Bottom to Cove Creek group camp area. Up FS475 to Long Branch. Down Long Branch to Butter Gap. Down Butter Gap to parking. Tracks incomplete - missing Butter Gap.


5 COMMENTS:

1. Michael said...

Great photos! I agree about "The Journey". When we rode Pilot Rock last year I remember thinking to myself that this ride was going to be different in some way. I knew right away that 1) It would challenge my skills and fitness level, 2) I would probably crash at some point, 3) I was going to give it all I got! Well all 3 things did indeed come true and it proved to be the grand finale of a great weekend in the mountains. I didn't care about how long it took to get there, the hike-a-bike section, who was in front of me or behind, or how long it took to finish. I was in the MOMENT! That's what it's all about!

Feb 6, 2013 @ 7:00 AM


2. Eric W. said...

Excellent. Great job documenting one of the best trails in Pisgah.

Feb 6, 2013 @ 4:17 PM


3. Nanna- Jo said...

Beautiful eye! Great shots! Cute boys!

Feb 6, 2013 @ 8:33 PM


4. Sir milfs-a-lot said...

"Every old person is a young person wondering what happened."

yep, i've been chewing on that one all day. thanks for sharing.

Feb 9, 2013 @ 9:03 AM


5. Mike said...

My dad used to have a t-shirt that said "The older we get, the better we WERE!" But I've never really agreed
with that. I've always thought of getting older as a way of collecting experiences and memories.
Wonderlust is excitement about where you are going/could be going.Nostalgia is looking back with admiration on where
you've been. As we go from young to old, (say, from 0 to 100 years) we (some of us, anyway) go from 100% wonderlust
to 100% nostalgia. But without much attention to the present moment,there won't be much nostalgia to enjoy later.

I would really hate to look back from 90 or 100 and see nothing but: "hurry, hurry, hurry. Take the quickest route,
Take the Interstate, <> I'll be there in a minute!" One reason I love riding bikes so much is that
I am never sure where I will end up, what route I will take to get there, or what I'll see along the way. And now my
kids enjoy riding along with me. It's one trait I am proud to pass along.

Feb 11, 2013 @ 1:40 PM


 

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