My Adventure to Greensboro, NC Part I can be found here.
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My dreams on Friday night were filled with pleasant recaps of past adventures as Michelle and I had started filling the pages of our hiking notebook the night before. These pleasant dreams would not last forever as they were interrupted by the pitter-patter of rain falling through the forest and roof of our cabin. Soon my dreams turned into nightmares of trail closures and wasted gas mileage to haul our mountain bikes from Cary to Greensboro.
It had rained throughout the night and you could tell everything was wet, but was it wet enough to close the trails? There was only one way to find out, but that involved checking the Greensboro Fat Tire Society’s Twitter feed violating a sacred rule of camping: NO SOCIAL MEDIA!. Early Saturday morning I violated this sacred rule, but the truth about the trail statuses needed to be known!
Obviously, the Fat Tire Society had posted that all of the trails were closed due to poor conditions (they had actually posted at midnight) and a dangerous tipping point was reached. This is that dangerous tipping point that all us mountain bikers face between right and wrong: Do we adhere to the posted trail status? Should we listen to the angel on our shoulder who reminds us how riding wet trails damages our beloved singletrack and surrounding forest? Or do we listen to the devil on our other shoulder who says, “Go play in the mud.” Luckily, listening to the angel on my shoulder was easier that day as the sun was shining, the wind was blowing (conditions that my LBS have told me are perfect for drying out North Carolina clay), and Michelle was the one providing a clear voice of reason.
Michelle’s clear voice of reason was for us to have a slow, lazy morning and check back with the trail status later. Besides, we still had to have our campfire coffee. As we started prepping breakfast we went to the KOA campstore to purchase some firewood where we discovered that instead of selling bundles of firewood, they were selling a block-o-wood. This block-o-wood had the ability to burn for up to three hours, had a cylindrical hole drilled through the center, a starter burning piece (soaked in accelerant), and a breather hole. The block-o-wood was fun to watch burn and guess which wall the fire would burn through first, but it was lacking a key feature of any truly satisfying fire: You couldn’t poke it.
After a lazy afternoon we both decided it was time to seek adventure and began loading our mountain bikes onto the adventure mobile. The week prior I had been researching the local trails and had selected the Wild Turkey trail system as our destination and as we were loading the bikes I decided to risk a visit here instead of double checking the Fat Tire Society’s Twitter feed about the trail’s status. Rookie mistake.
After seeing the trail closure sign at Wild Turkey Michelle provided some reason and council by suggesting we visit Country Park instead (she had seen the trail on a map and it was near Greenway). This time I checked the trail status before driving to the trailhead and confirmed that the Copperhead Trails were open at Country Park. Soon we were headed down the road and riding our bikes in search of singletrack. Unfortunately, the trails were not clearly labeled and we gave the park a full ride before determining where the trails were.
While searching for the trails we discovered ‘the Zone’ or a skills area inside the park. The Zone was located at the top of a small hill and included several rock gardens and a pump track. Obviously, Michelle and I had to ride the pump track and test our skills against the rock gardens. We rocked the pump track, but the rock gardens reigned supreme for the day as we both failed to successfully ride through them. There was also a small stone slab at the end of the pump track that gave me some time to work on my jumping as well.
After riding the Zone a few times and returning to the top via the ‘same *explicit* hill four different times’ (as Michelle so eloquently put it) we finally decided to go in search of the trail system. The first thing I noticed about the trail was the lack of roots in comparison to Crabtree, CNF, or Harris Lake trail systems around Raleigh. This gave Copperhead a natural flow that let my bike race ahead dipping and diving between trees, hurtling over small roots, and twisting around berms.
The trail was not all easy of course or entirely beautiful flowy downhill, once in awhile we also had to climb back to the top. One of the challenges that occurs whenever you ride in a group (here a group is anything bigger than a solo ride) is that the people in your group will all have different capabilities. This is a good thing as it forces you to push your limits (like the time I was dropped on the trails) and teaches you to ride with trail courtesy by waiting and helping your riding partners out. But, the challenge occurs when you are zipping up an uphill and realize you left your riding buddy behind or that they stopped for a break without telling you. This typically results in a ‘where is Michelle game?’ for me as I wait at the top of the hill for her to make the climb. I always give her words of encouragement through the climb though.
Unfortunately, we can’t ride singletrack forever and we have to head back to our cabin at the KOA, but there’s a lonely puppy dog who’s missing us and a delicious feast of brats and baked potatoes waiting to be cooked. We load the adventure mobile with the bikes and hit the road returning to the campground and Athena, where we begin cooking and start a block-o-wood bonfire. Sometime during the evening we both look up at our bikes on the bike rack and think, ‘Man, our bikes look pretty good dirty!’
GoPro footage of our trip will be posted soon, it is currently in the editing process.
Written in response to:
Daily Post Photo Challenge: Friends
Tuesday Photo Challenge: Old