255lb Clyde here. Decided to hit a mountain trail for the first time in 14 years.....and it was so worth it.
Rode the Mouse Branch Loop with the Overlook Extension. It was definitely a challenge considering I have only been biking seriously for a month, and live in Florida (no hills).
Some very fast downhills and tricky turns, plus some lung busting climbs- but- a few hours later I feel less gassed than a 25 mile flatlands ride in Florida. I think most Clydes could do this with just a little extra training for the sustained uphills. The hardest part for me was the technical and fast downhills- specifically the jumps. I ended up riding over most of them, but that almost dumped me a few times- probably easier in the long run to try and jump them.
I leaned today that Slow and Steady wins the race. You gotta take her easy on the way up, you'll need strength and concentration on the fast downhills- plus you will have to re-climb ridges on the way back around. I am definitely a tortoise, and frankly, screw the hares, I'm in it for the view
I rode it on my KaiTai with the standard narrow 29'er tires. A couple guys looked at me funny in the lot
My wife and I are going back on Thursday to do one of the longer loops. Today I had to hustle as she was watching our daughter at the parking area/walking trails. We are going to make a half day of it and take our time.
If you are in the Western NC area find a morning or afternoon to do this. Gorgeous views, lots of wildlife (saw a bear and a big armoured lizard), and some very fun downhills.
Feel free to ask me any questions and I'll do my best to answer them.
Here is the track:
View from the overlook