Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tsali on the orange E-motion!

Like I mentioned in a few previous posts, I took the new(ish) E-motion up to Tsali to give it the run-around. I met up with my friends Paul and Caroline, and a few of their cronies, Steve and Elizabeth, for a bit of camping and boozing. As usual, it was a good trip. As usual, unfortunately, Matt came up with a reason to not be able to make it. Punk.
Turkey running for his life as I roared around the corner in the Rover. Stay skinny, Mr Turkey. November will be here before you know it!!

Friday morning we ate breakfast at the Nantahala Village. Their usual breakfast buffet was not in session, I guess because of the stress of the economic situation we're all in, but the quiche and coffee and fresh fruit that I had instead still went down well.

Fuzzy Trees. A sign of Armageddon?

After breakfast, we headed down the road a bit to the NOC to enjoy the river and drink our coffees. It was early yet, and on a Friday in September, very quiet.

It's not often you see this in one spot...three orange EWRs? AND an old VW Westie?! The culture of it all... I mean, can't you just smell the intellectual depth in these North Carolina woods?
We were staging up for the ride...two laps, one each of Left and Right, a total of about 20 miles on the E-motion. It is a fast, fast bike, and the 32-34 gear combo gives just enough boost for climbing. I like it. Like my white EWR tho, it could use a 135mm 10 degree stem, as opposed to the 130mm 5 degree that's on there. By today's standards, that would seem like a huge stem, but remember that this bike was designed in the mid 90s, and the standard stems of the day would have been around 135/10.
Left and Right were in pretty good shape, with a few puddles, but not nearly as bad as we would have to deal with on Saturday...

Saturday AM...breakfast at the NOC and then a nice sit down on the benches out by the river and the Founder's Bridge. Misty North Carolina mountains, a warm cup of coffee and an early morning combine for one of life's great pleasures. Peace.

Old men at Peace. Alright, I'm no that old, but I'm pretty peaceful.
See Matt...THIS is why you go to Tsali with friends. At my age and with all the stuff going on in my life, the riding is almost second fiddle to a quiet moment with a warm beverage. The traffic, the computer, the boss...miles away. You should try it, and leave your other expectations about who we once were and what we could do on a bike way back when, at home.
Although I can rip pretty good for pushing 40!

Or a quiet moment with about 14 cold beverages! Our "Wall of Shame" Was pretty impressive for there being only 5 of us. I gotta dry out!

We did three laps on Saturday, and for this outing I used the blue least to start. Saturday is Thompson Downhill day, and I wanted the suspension fork that the blue bike has, with me on the ride. So, off we went on Thompson, which was pretty gooey in places, and then Mouse. Climbing out of Mouse, I tweaked my XO rear derailleur on the blue EWR with a stick that got itself stuck in the spokes. So, with one derailleur baked, but a spare bike still on the truck, I took down the orange EWR and we did one more run on Thomson, on the orange E-motion, rigid fork and all.
In the camp ground on the way out. We commented to each other that the campground seemed less tended than in the past. I wonder if money from the facilities fee services still stay only at Tsali, or if that pilot program is over, and the dollars from successful sites like this campground are now being used to support other more remote and less profitable locations. The campground was pretty full.

And I'm spent!

We'll be back on October 18th, this time with both of my lovely ladies in tow.


Jay de Jesus said...

Damn, wish I could have joined in on this w/my 29er! Jay d.

Utahdog! said...

We'll drop a note to you and the fellas when we get the next together. More EWRs the better...especially if it comes with the Brain Trust! HA!