Pretty much all the trail areas have a section we call the back nine. The farthest section from the main trail head it tends to have less traffic. On a good full day we’ll get the whole course but sometimes it’s just a back nine day. Sunday we headed out to ride the Back Nine at High Knob. It’s been reported that much of the front half of the trail system is blasted from heavy traffic when it was soaked. The Back Nine trails are newer and graveled in some of the more heavier used areas. They were fantastic.
I rode Luke’s old GT Peace single speed with a 21 tooth rear cog and the standard 32 chain wheel. Most folks would be at least on 20 and as high as an 18, but I’m not much on single speeding. Out of the gate things were pretty good, it was hot, but also mostly downhill so we kept moving pretty fast. I was able to keep up with the guys ahead even though I always felt like I was in the wrong gear. For the downhill sections I would spin out to fast, and for many of the climbs I was wishing I had a couple more clicks back there.
Once we reached Pounds Hollow Lake and began the longest toughest climb I was doing great and really enjoying standing on the Single Speed. Then it hit me. The heat combined with the slow speed climbing was making me sick. I could feel my breakfast, my stomach felt like it was tied in knots.
For the rest of the ride I would dangle off the back. I didn’t have the gears to catch up on the flats and downhills and any kind of hard effort would make me nauseous. I was able to make most of the climbs but often had to kick out a foot when it got really steep to try and keep moving.
On the bright side no one had a mechanical problem. A ride without a mechanical problem is really a pretty big deal for me. The trails were fantastic shape, almost no mud, very dry and open. Also near the end I saw the brightest orange fungus I’ve ever seen.