Went to Pilot Mountain today as part of a training ride. The State is working on the park road to the top in numerous places. The ascending road has sections of pavement uneven, kind of "washboard effect" climbing to the top. There are also numerous 1-2 foot wide cuts across the pavement where they have laid utilities or drainage across the entire roadway and subsequently patched. This makes the road uneven. They are doing work along the narrow shoulder on the descending side with a gravel in numerous places, as well as clay powder on the pavement, in additiopn to the afore mentioned road patches.
Needless to say, a difficult descent in the best of circumstances became VERY sketchy. It was a real challenge to navigate the descent at ANY speed. Those of you who have ridden down from Banner Elk to Valle Cruis on NC 194 can relate to the road conditions.
I intend to send a note to the ride organizers for 3 Mountain, and hope to hear that the State will have the road surface in GOOD condition for the ride next month, but have to say if not meaningfully better, I WILL be a pass. I can find plenty of self-inflicted ways to end my life.
Here is the response I received today from the ride director:
"I appreciate your concern, but you need not worry. ... We are in close contact with both of the Park rangers (Pilot and Hanging Rock). I have documented on our 3 Mountain Madness Facebook page that Pilot Mountain was going to get brand new pavement before the ride. The State has contracted with an outside contractor to pave the entire road top to bottom by May 25th. I have been assured that the pavement will be done in time for the event. The contractor has a deadline of May 25th and will incur huge fines if the work is not done on time. The State is also putting new concrete guttering in along the side of the road before the new pavement. That is what is going on right now. The park will be totally closed for two whole days (during an upcoming week, time not yet determined) to put the asphalt down. Hope this info helps with your concerns. ... I will try and post on the Facebook page the dates the park will be totally closed. You may want to call the park yourself before you come up, if the park closing messes up your training ride. Remember, they are planning to close the park during the week."