I woke up at 6:30 am yesterday out of habit. “I’m really sore,” I thought as I waddled to the bathroom.
A look in the mirror the day after was amusing, to say the least. “Damn, I look like I was in a bar fight last night.” I did have a few beers and hung out with friends listening to the Ras Alan roots/reggae band but it wasn’t that wild.
I scanned down. Around 40 cat claw marks on my arms, some rock dings in my shin and the general full-body ache of a money game of rugby. Oh, and the gash in the middle of my nose — the kind boxers get post-TKO. In fact, I wasn’t even aware of it, but on the King stage I stopped in the feed zone and asked for a multi tool to adjust a slightly loose shift lever.
The guys at the aid station looked flustered, wide-eyed. Hmm. Didn’t think much of it until rumors at the finish of me crashing came around via the internet. I wiped my sweat and saw some dried blood.
Apparently I had blood streaming down my face, but had no clue. Combined with my pit stop it was logical that some thought I had a dramatic over-the-bars wreck.
My triceps and forearms were worked, partly because I took advice from Wess at the local shop to ride the hardtail on two of the less-technical days at Pisgah. Ha.
Guess the saying is true. When people ask what the trails at Pisgah are like the answer is, “well they are like Pisgah.” Super steep, rough trails, soft dirt roots and forest that looks more like Costa Rican rainforest than American southeast comes to mind.
When you seriously consider a drop post or riding the Jekyll for an XC stage race you know you’re dealing with special terrain.
Honestly I was more than a touch anxious about the prospect of racing through blind corners at breakneck speed on double black diamond terrain. I knew I would be chasing Sam Korber — local trail guru and mountain man — on his home trails.