My morning started with some wildlife...in the supermarket. If you look carefully you will see a bird on a chair in the picture. Ingles is a huge supermarket in Brevard, NC. While a bird in the store was very cool, I wish I saw the famed white squirrels of Brevard but I did not.
My ride for the day in Pigsah Nation Forest. Fall is an interesting time to ride as all the leaves have fallen and there are not that many folks around. I did see a few hikers and bikers out and about but I imagine in the summer this place is packed. This picture is taken on the black mountain trail. I love how the mountains further in the distance are slowly fading to blue. Such a mellow and soft time of the year. I did this ride really slow to make sure my knee was going to be okay and for the most part it was great. I think riding really mellow the last two days helped. The ride had a big climb to start off but was a nicely graded fireroad. From there was some washed out trail and more paved and gravel road.
One of the best parts of the ride was along the South Fork Mills River. The trail climbed gradually through dense foliage (which I'm not sure falls off during winter) along this noisy waterway. I encountered another biker on this route as well. It was nice to see all the green leaves as the larger trees had shed their leaves already.
Looks like there is no skating allowed on the black mountain trail. I'm not sure if someone added the no skating as a joke or that is someone skiing. This shot is taken in Buckhorn Gap. I hiked my bike up those stairs and did the famous black mountain trail in reverse in order to make my rider longer. I eventually looped back around to this gap and then hike a biked up higher to get to the top of black mountain.
After my Pisgah ride I headed to Indian Trail, NC for Thanksgiving! Tons of riding in the Charlotte area. I rode on lots of the Tarheel TrailBlazers trails which they have done an amazing job with. I hit a string of great weather and everything was open.
Back Yard Trails, Marion, Park Road Park has a bunch of great trails including some old tiny train tracks in the woods. This place also has amazing signage so you never get lost as well as this great warning sign. It scared me but I rode the trails anyway...and I didn't move any objects. I rode in the morning and it was great to have the trail get more illuminated as I rode instead of darker which usually happens on my rides in the fall.
Did a quick ride later in the day to the supermarket. When someone forgets celery for their cooking I take the opportunity for an extra bike ride.
I got to see Ronald McDonald as well. Always good to see Ronald during Thanksgiving Parades.
To burn off the Thanksgiving food I rode in both Anne Springs Close Greenway and River Walk. Both areas have great trails. They feel like your close to home type of trails you ride after work. Some awesome views of the Catawba River as well.
Anne Springs Close Greenway trails have a lot of historical stuff in the woods. Here is either an old mill wheel or a replica of one.
I rode in Uwharrie forest the following day. Looks like a great place to camp. I'll have to come back. It's a beautiful piece of land with some killer machine built (I'm guessing) trails. Good fire road stuff to warm you up and then really fast trail with lots of rock to bounce you around.
Uwharrie has mountain bike races...but only from 2006. That sign could probably come down now. I got all excited that I could come back and do a race until I saw the date.
Someone was so mad that the race was 9 years ago that they shot the trail map! Folks love their guns. Is it necessary to destroy the trail sign? Must everything be made ugly? Hopefully no one was on the other side when it was shot at.
After riding I got to see this cute girl crawl around the mall. I think she was tired and defying her mother's commands to walk. She does know how to walk! The mall was very exciting and included sitting in a motorboat, visits with santa, a million people, soft pretzels, frozen yogurt (with piles of candy on top), carousel rides, and some apple computer viewing.
Our last day in North Carolina started with a ride a Beatty. The park the trails are in is officially called Colonel Francis Beatty Park. I can't find anything online about who Francis was (or is). Perhaps the park has some historical information I can check out next time. When I finished my ride another Prius owner parked right next to me. How cute! Best friend cars! The new friend Prius had writing on the hood that I can't read. I wonder what it says.
On the drive back North to VT I passed a truck with awesome things on the trailer. I don't know what these are. My best guess is some sort of electrical stuff. My dad says they go on the top of high voltage towers but they look really big for that. Dad's know everything though so who knows.
To break up the ride back we stopped in Roanoke, VA. I rode my mountain bike for a change in the Carvin Cove trail system. Another awesome find with some well built trails. The double blacks were a little steep for my tastes as I lost all my elevation too quickly. Everything else was fantastic and the weather was perfect. Really beautiful piece of land right outside of the city. No picture for this area. I was too in the zone!