A buddy and I went on a trip to the Smokies and met up with 66, his son "girlscout" (don't ask), and "pappy cheddar" (don't ask about that one either) in DuPont State Forest for a ride on Saturday. They led us on a loop of about 12 miles or so, and it was an absolute blast. This was my first time riding in DuPont, and I was not disappointed.
We started out on a gravel road climb to an old airstrip on top of a mountain, where 66 pointed out all the peaks and gave us a little local history. Then we swooped down one of the flowiest, funnest trails I've ever ridden...lots of high speed roller jumps and berms. We hit a creek crossing which gave us a chance to cool off a little. Next it was off to Burnt Mountain, whose name also accurately described my quads by the time I finally struggled to the summit on my big bike. As always, the downhill was the payoff...high speed roots and rocks are fun to me for some twisted reason. Limited rear braking capabilities (Hayes = suXor5) made it even more interesting. We then checked out the huge 40' stepdown 66 has posted pictures of before, but no one hit it this time around.
Then it was another climb up the slickrock for which DuPont is famous. We didn't stay on the summit long...the descent was calling for some shreddage, and we were forced to accomodate. There was one more descent of note on the way back to the trailhead, swoopy, rutted, and fun. Back to the parking lot exhausted, slightly battered, and out of water...and grinning from ear to ear.
I strongly recommend that anyone who has a chance to ride in that area does so as soon as possible. Sycamore Cycles (the LBS) is a first rate shop. Having a cool local guide who knows the good loops (and lines) was a huge asset too. Mad props to 66 and company for sharing. Oh, and sorry about that puddle...I didn't think it was that deep.
We didn't take any pictures, but there are a few shots here that look familiar.
Now, who will join us for a ride?