Recap by Squad member, Ryan Singer
Stage 1 – It was a fast day with lots of double track and shale trail. Lots of spinning out on the flats or false flats with the singlespeed. It was a dry and dusty day, the goal was push as hard as I could and see where I end up. I rode the first half in 3rd place and about midway was passed by another singlespeeder during the enduro segment. I end the day in 4th place. Off to a great start!
Stage 2 – Lots of rocks on tap today with long climbs and big descents. I knew this route well so I was excited for the stage. I tried to stay with the 3rd place rider, Dan but was unable to do so after mile 8. So I settled in and rode my pace for the remainder of the day. Highlights of this stage is Croyle Trail descent and Lonberger Trail. After some recent rework by NMBA, both trails now contain jumps and berms which is a nice break from the rock gardens. I rolled across the line in 4th again.
Stage 3 – The queen stage. I knew it would be the longest day, but it got longer only 3 miles in. I had a huge rip in my rear tire on a double track portion of the trail. I ended up putting 2 darts in the tire and 1 bacon strip (provided by Steve Mead) to finally get it to seal up, 15 minutes later. After that, I focused on just finishing the stage and riding the single track sections as fast as I could. I made a lot of passes this day. It was great to see and talk to a lot of racers out there I hadn’t ridden near before. I was able to pass a few of the racers in my category and limit the damage for the overall GC. I ended the day 5th and only lost a handful of minutes in the GC.
Stage 4 – Tussey Ridge – We hit the Colyer Lake trail system first which is a great flowy section of trails then onto John Wert which is one of the rockiest trails you’ll ride (I went over the bars in a rock garden, goodbye Garmin), right into Upper Lonberger (another rocky section), up Kettle and onto the iconic Tussey Ridge. I mostly kept my bike upright and end the stage in 4th again. Overall the GC was pretty much locked in.
Stage 5 – PARTY RIDE – Gordon @quadsworth led the party ride for stage 5. I’ll admit, his party pace was almost my race pace! But what a hoot to ride with the top 3 all day. Lots of laughs, smiles and singing! You can’t beat kicking summer off at #singletracksummercamp
Photos from Steve @iconmediaasheville and Bruce Buckley @bruce_buckley