PMBAR - Wow yet another great ride (race) in Pisgah.
To the best of my memory we rolled into Sycamore Cove about 7am. Plenty of time to calmly check in and catch up with some local folks. No lines, walked right up to gear check then over to pick up number and the PMBAR official souvenir tumbler. Dropped a 10 spot into the Humane Society raffle. Up for grabs a set of I9 wheels. The area was starting to buzz with excitement.
This would be my third go at PMBAR. Teamed up with Clay again. After a good run at Double Dare last fall we had a strong chance at finishing well here. Besides after last year’s fiasco with navigation, I had high hopes for a redemption ride of sorts. Clay had the lead on navigation just as in DD. A safe bet that the route would be challenging yet doable on a SS. Now Eric runs through the rules and wishes everyone a safe return. Some teams go, some stay and plan their route. As for team #21 we hauled ass up Black Mtn. Clay checked out the map while we pushed a few sections of Black.
Top of the hike-a-bike on Black. Clay already had the map out with two options for the day. We popped out at Pressley Gap, dodged the teams cruising their maps and hung a left on Maxwell Cove. That would be the last time we saw any racers for about four hours. Plan was to head west snag CP1 at the end of 225. Then come back over to the east side of 276 to navigate the other check points.
Headed down 1206 to pilot rock connector CP2. Rocked it down Laurel Mtn. The lead teams started to emerge. The best was seeing the zombie like souls pondering their next move at Yellow Gap & FS5015. Descend 1206 to North Mills River campground. Along the way the teams were all over the road. Some looking good and some not so good. Headed north up FS 5000 to CP3. The best CP of the day in my book. A cold PBR was downed and we are headed back up to Yellow Gap.
Amazed at how the body reacts to certain things. From the CP down on FS5000 all the way up 1206 i began to feel the power I'd been looking for. The engine was really turning. Made great time up to Yellow Gap. From here it was on like Donkey Kong. Down FS 5015 heading to the swinging bridge on S. Mills river & Bradley Creek (CP4). This part was uneventful just plenty of good smooth singletrack. The creek crossings started to come and my hot feet were very happy for the cold cold water.
Some of the best Singletrack was coming up with Squirrel Gap & Mullinax. On the way to Cantrell Creek for the final CP of the day at Squirrel Gap & Cantrell Creek. Filtered some water then a few sips a whiskey. Off on the rest of Squirrel heading out to Buckhorn Gap. By now I was rally feeling good. Riding most all the trails. Now back out at Buckhorn Gap then down Clawhammer. The long descent down Clawhammer rocking out to Master of Puppets. Hang the left on Maxwell Cove. One more climb for the day. Up to Pressley Gap hike-a-bike Black. Then let it rip Black was blast as always. Popping out of the woods to a heard of like-minded folks hoot hollern'. Please pass the beer.
Black Mtn Trail > Maxwell Cove Rd > Claw Hammer > FS 477 > 276 > 475B > 225 (CP1) > FS 225 > FS 475B > 276 > FS 1206 > Pilot Rock Connector > (CP2) > Laurel Mtn > FS 1206 > FS 5000 (CP3) > FS 5000 > FS 1206 > FS5015 > Bradley Creek > S. Millls River > CP4 > Mullinax > Squirrel Gap (CP5) > S. Mills River > Buckhorn Gap > Clawhammer > Maxwell Cove > Black Mtn
29" of Fury rolling 32x21
150oz. H2O/HEED mix
16oz Red Bull
2 shots of cheap Whiskey
11 - Clif Bars
3 - Hammer Gels
0 - Mechanicals
3 - Map Checks
1 - Compass
1/2 - Small Navigational Errors
0 - Major Navigational Error
5 of 5 check points
The plan from the start was to go for all 5 check points. By the end of the day we had all 5 in 11:20. My guess would be between 75-80 miles in the hills.