So...I figured out what that little chain-ring they put on cranks is for. Funny, I thought it was just there to catch the chain if it falls off the big chain-ring. I realize the Blue Ridge Mountains don't compare to the Rockies but still, when you are from a flat State, the mountains here are really something. Some climbs were so steep that I wouldn't have attempted them if not for signs, put up by the National Parks, stating they were, in fact, mountain bike trails. The Department of National Parks and Recreation wouldn't lie, I guess. The mountains are majestic but I expected that, what surprised me is all the other amazing scenery. In some sections the vegetation was so thick that the trails seem like they are going through tunnels of trees and bushes. Rapids constantly crossed under the trail. The rocks in the Pisgah National Forest actually sparkle; I tried to capture this on my BlackBerry but I'm not exactly Amzel Adams. This trip has turned out to be one of my better ideas. My only significant accident was at the drive through at Mc Donalds: first time in 15 years I forgot my bike was up there. Titanium bars are stronger than the sign that says "Warning 6 feet", go figure.
After a few days sleeping on a pile of rocks, teetering on the verge of hypothermia, and trying to brush my teeth with frozen tooth paste, I caved in and went to a Holiday Inn. I feel bad that I am getting soft in my old age but really, a comfortable bed, hot shower, continental breakfast, catching a first run of South Park...how do you put a price on that? Well, it is $99 a night but I meant that in a more introspective way.