FloydFest 13!

If you’ve ever seen our “Upcoming Events” page, you know that we are slam packed with festivals, shows, events, and outings. While all of them are fun and we always like to have a good time wherever we go, a few of them seem to stick out and fall under our category of “epic”. These are the ones that we can safely say are worth traveling a few hundred miles (or more) for and you won’t be disappointed. At the top of that list has to be FloydFest, in Floyd, VA. SylvanSport has been going to this music, art, outdoor festival for years now with our GO trailer and have always left with great stories, new friends, and list of new bands to hunt down on iTunes.

Last year’s festival was like a scene straight out of Woodstock. Great music, tons of people, and rain…rain like never before and probably never again. The mud felt like it was sucking you in and the more you tried to fight it, the harder it pulled. I can only imagine how many Chacos and Rainbows are still buried underneath a foot of dirt. While a river formed through the campground sites, people were frantically grabbing everything they owned and running for high ground. Amidst all of the chaos, Tom (President) Dempsey, was lying down in the SylvanSport GO, reading a book, high and dry. Water was streaming underneath the GO, people were running, laughing, and yelling, and there was Tom, in this calm, idyllic scene. It was humorous and poetic at the same time.

Well, that was last year. FloydFest 13 marks its 13th anniversary and we wouldn’t miss it for the world. From July 23-27, FloydFest is offering festival goers a fully loaded 5-day stay-cation with even more opportunities to enjoy music, healing arts, the outdoors, and more, all in a pristine and intimate setting in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The weekend will boast over 100 performing artists on 10 stages, dozens of artisans, specialty craft beverages, a Healing Arts Village, panel discussions with activists and headlining artists on sustainable practices, and an extensive Children’s Universe.  Attendees will find a magical experience in the brand new She-Sha Tent, a Persian-style tent installation featuring healing arts activities ranging from aerial workshops to professional massages, musical performances, and a ‘Revolution-wear’ fashion show.  Lots of outdoor activities will also be available throughout the weekend, including guided hikes, the Belcher Mountain Beat Down mountain bike tour, the 2nd annual Vasque 5K Trail Race, and float trips down the Little River with On The Water.

Changes for 2014 include off-site car camping and RV parking located on flat, spacious lots with potable water, showers, and a 9am – 2am shuttle service.  With the new Tent Tag system, all on-site campers are guaranteed a 15×15 camping space and shuttle service with an attached gear trailer.  In addition, FloydFest has planned extensively with local farmers, garages, and area law enforcement to ensure that attendees will be safe, comfortable, and able to access transportation should a severe weather event occur.

And most importantly, the musical line-up is the boldest that we’ve seen, featuring an unprecedented melding of R&B, Blues, Reggae, Americana, and more. Check out this line-up:

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite ~ Ms. Lauryn Hill ~ Ray LaMontagne ~ Thievery Corporation (Full Band) ~ Ziggy Marley ~ Michael Franti & Spearhead ~ Buddy Guy ~ Robert Randolph & the Family Band ~ JJ Grey & Mofro ~ Lettuce ~Carolina Chocolate Drops ~ Groundation ~Conspirator ~ Donna the Buffalo ~ Rising Appalachia ~ The Duhks ~ Campbell Brothers ~ The Lee Boys ~ HuDost ~ Hackensaw Boys ~ The London Souls ~ Ben Miller Band ~ Jonathon Boogie Long ~The Deadmen ~ Quinn Sullivan ~ 2013 On the Rise Winner: Paper Bird ~ 2013 On the Rise Winner Runner Up: Crystal Bright & the Silver Hands ~ Tauk ~ Dirty Drummer ~ Blue Mule ~ The Floorboards~ Incendio ~ Biz’Cirque ~ Appalachian Flow Arts ~ George Tortorelli-Medicine Wind ~ Jim Beckwith (Hanuman Das)~ Oakes & Smith ~ Adam Ezra Group ~ Allen Thompson Band ~ Ancient Cities ~ Antique Firearms ~ Chris Kasper ~ Cold Chocolate ~ Curtis Eller’s American Circus ~ Deer Run Drifters ~ Driftwood ~ Elonzo ~ Gabe Morales Trio ~ Grandpa’s Cough Medicine ~ Madrone ~ Major and the Monbacks ~ Maria Levitov ~ Michaela Anne ~ Mighty Joshua ~ Oak Creek Band ~ Onward, etc. ~ Proverbial ~ River Whyless ~ Run Boy Run ~ Rusty Maples ~Seth Stainback and Roosterfoot ~ Spoon Fight ~ Super Ape ~ The Dirty Beggars ~ The Get Right Band ~ The Giving Tree Band ~ The New Familiars ~ The Shack Band ~ The Southern Belles ~ Underhill Rose and more!

So, if you couldn’t tell by now, we’re pretty psyched about FloydFest 13 and can’t wait for July 23rd to get here. If you make it out there, be sure to hunt down the SylvanSport GO Trailer and say hi! We can kick back to some Michael Franti underneath some beautifully clear skies…hopefully.

 

 

SylvanSport joins Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine for Live Outside and Play Tour

SylvanSport and the GO Camping Trailer is psyched to announce that we are teaming up with Blue Ridge Outdoors (BRO) magazine for a one year Live Outside and Play tour. From May 1, 2014 to May 1, 2015, BRO’s travel editor, Jess Daddio, will be on a journey throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic (Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania) seeking the best adventure that our region has to offer.

Fulfilling BRO’s mission of inspiring their audience to go outside and play by providing content that showcases the people, places, and adventures that define this region, Jess will set out in search of the best adventures and stories to tell. Along the way, she will be making appearances at regional festivals and events and giving presentations at Eddie Bauer stores to share her experiences with our audience. Best of all, while on the Live Outside and Play tour, Jess will be living, working, traveling, and playing for one full year in a SylvanSport GO Camping Trailer.

photo: Jess Daddio

So whether you’re a hiker, camper, paddler, climber, biker, or any combination of these, this tour will definitely be worth checking out. And, if you haven’t had a chance to see a GO Camping Trailer in person yet, here’s the perfect opportunity to check one out. You can see full list of all of the events we will be attending on our SylvanSport GO Camping Trailer Upcoming Events page.

photo: Gareth Tate

This is going to be a great tour and you can stay up to date with her adventures here:               

It’s going to be a great weekend in our neck of the woods. Hope it’s the same where you are. Go outside and have some fun!

SylvanSport takes on the 15th Annual Assault on the Carolinas

It’s been a rainy, chilly Saturday afternoon and I can’t help but think back to last Saturday, when 1,000 cyclists (and their families and friends) gathered in our small town of Brevard, NC for the 15th Annual Assault on the Carolinas. Mother Nature graced us with sunshine, blue skies, and a warm breeze (maybe even a little too warm at times). This perfect spring day brought out good spirits and helped calm any butterflies that might be stirring in rider’s stomachs.

1,000 riders lining up for the Assault on the Carolinas.

The Assault on the Carolinas is a road ride that offers a little for everyone. Riders can choose between the 100k (65.8 miles), 60k (37 miles), and 40k (25 miles) options. The100k has it all from flats, rolling hills, the infamous Walnut Hollow climb, fast descents, and a grueling 6-mile, 5,800ft climb up Caesars Head near the North Carolina-South Carolina border. The 60k riders will get to test their climbing abilities on Walnut Hollow, which is a local favorite. Walnut hollow is a steep, challenging climb that is 1.1 mile long, with grades reaching 15%. After climbing Walnut Hollow, riders enjoy a nice rolling ride home through the French Broad River Valley. The 40k ride goes through the scenic river valleys of Transylvania County and features some rolling hills and great scenery.

SylvanSport riders lining up at the start.

There are no time chips, no prize purse, and no official results. Just a beautiful, challenging ride with 999 of your closest friends, and maybe some bragging rights if you beat your time from last year. Yet, riders come from as far away as Canada to line up on Main St in downtown Brevard, hear our Mayor give his traditional opening speech, and ride anywhere from 2 to 8 hours through the mountains of North and South Carolina.

Team SylvanSport ready to GO!

Sometimes waiting can be as hard as riding.

SylvanSport represented with 6 riders flying our colors and all doing the full 100k ride. As we started lining up around 8:45am for the 9am start, temps were already in the 50s and people were started to shed layers, looking for someone on the side to toss their arm warmers and vests. At 9am sharp, the ride started and 1,000 cyclists started their way down Main St. Right out of the gate, you could feel that things were a little faster than they had been in years past. Within the first mile, there are 2 sharp turns that are always a little nerve-racking when you have that many riders, in such a small space, going that fast. In about 15 or 20 minutes, your at Walnut Hallow. Aside from being steep and painful, it does a great job of really spreading the group out a bit. After a descent down the backside, you get to ride along several miles on East Fork Rd, which follows the East Fork River. This is one of the prettiest sections of road in the area and better yet, it is slightly downhill and the road is nice and smooth. Hwy 178 take your through some big rollers and climbs and then a fast, curvy descent into South Carolina. The road takes you from 2,700ft to 960ft above sea level. It’s a great downhill run. Here you can feel the temps really warm up. By this time, it’s late morning and starting to reach into the 80s. Some of the warmest riding weather we’ve had all year. Just in time to climb Caesar’s Head. It’s a long grind, so just sit back, relax, and remember, when you get to the top, you still have almost 20 miles before your sitting down with a good meal and cold beer in hand. After Caesar’s Head, the rolling stretch of Hwy 276 always seem to have a head wind (regardless of which direction you are riding). Riding with at least a few other people will make it a painless as possible. A couple more turns and small climbs and your rolling back into downtown to the sounds of cheering, music, and cowbells. The finish area is like a mini festival, complete with a music stage, vendor tents, food, Oskar Blues beer, and lots and lots of people. It’s been a long, hard ride, but all that seems to fade away as you sit with friends over food and beer, sharing stories of where you bonked, where you felt strong, and how your pre-ride strategy went out the window within the first 3 minutes. It was a good day.

Assault on the Carolinas festival area.

SylvanSport mastermind, Tom Dempsey, getting interviewed at the start/finish line.

So, sitting here a week later, on a rainy Saturday, I am counting my lucky stars that I am not out riding 65 miles today. It’s time to get back out on the mountain bike and have some fun on the trails. All the while, looking forward to next year and another great adventure at the 16th Annual Assault on the Carolinas. Hope to see you there…now get out and ride!

 

SylvanSport Joins Backpacker Magazine’s 2014 Get Out More Tour

One of the best parts of the outdoor industry is collaboration between various companies, media organizations, and individuals to put together some really fun events. That’s why we’re so excited to be a part of the 14th annual Backpacker Magazine Get Out More Tour 2014, an interactive mobile media and education outreach program designed to inspire readers and encourage participation in active outdoor pursuits.

The Get Out More Tour collaborates with specialty outdoor retailers who share the same education and outreach ethic with their customers. Traveling to over 60 locations across the United States, the Get Out More Tour brings BACKPACKER‘s skills, gear and trip advice to life for our audience of outdoor enthusiasts. At each retail stop, the pages of Backpacker Magazine come to life with a 75-minute seminar on trip planning, choosing the right outdoor gear and apparel, safety in the outdoors, and more.

 The 2014 sponsor line-up includes: A3 Bar, Big Agnes, DeLorme, Ecco Sport, Eddie Bauer®, Fits™ Socks Co., Goal Zero®, GSI Outdoors, Helinox, Osprey, Sawyer Products®, Subaru®, SylvanSport, and Zeal Optics.

We’re psyched to be part of this great program and hope to see a lot of you out there on the road. For details and event listings, check out event listings on the Backpacker Get Out More site.

Festival & Events 2014: SylvanSport hits the road with the GO and the all new GO Easy.

Spring is here and the thing that gets us excited as much as playing in the woods and on the water is festival season! Our calendar is quickly filling up with music festivals, outdoor events, races, and a variety of outdoor gear shows and expos. We’re just unpacking from a great weekend at the Jersey Paddler’s Paddlesport Show and already getting ready for our next adventure.

Getting the GO and GO Easy ready at Paddlesport 2014.

For the last few years, we’ve been traveling with our award-winning GO adventure camper trailer. In that time, we’ve developed partnerships with other outdoor gear manufacturers and added some really cool accessories to make the GO as customizable as possible. What makes 2014 really exciting for us (and hopefully for you too) is the introduction of a whole new trailer, the GO Easy (you can read more about it in last week’s blog). While the new GO Easy will not be at every event, we’re trying to get it to as many as possible so you can experience it live and in person. Feel free to contact us to find out at which events you can see the GO Easy.

FloydFest 2013

Check out our calendar and if there is an event in your area where you would like to see us (that is not on the list), let us know. We are always looking for cool, fun events to be a part of. The list is continually being updated, so be sure to check back often.

SylvanSport Calendar of Events

We look forward to seeing you out there! The outdoors are a great are a great place to be, whether listening to music, nature, or good company…GO have some fun!

Outdoor Gear Builders Village to showcase at Mountain Sports Festival in Asheville, NC!

Western North Carolina is home to a national park, several national forests and wilderness areas, and even more state parks. It only makes sense that outdoor gear manufacturers, like SylvanSport, would start their operations here or in other cases, relocate here. Not only is this area a perfect place to test gear, it provides employees (and owners) a fantastic quality of life, and is conveniently located to reach a large percentage of our country’s population. So, we did a headcount to see how many of us were actually out there making cool gear and clothing for people to get outside. There are over 30 companies in the western part of North Carolina researching, developing, testing, and manufacturing gear and clothing for the outdoor market. That’s pretty awesome!

So, to try and harness all this creative and physical energy, a group, Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina, has been formed to share knowledge and information and provide support for one another. With this, the Outdoor Gear Builders of WNC is excited to announce the first annual Outdoor Gear Builders Village at the 2013 Mountain Sports Festival in Asheville, NC. This will be a great opportunity for folks to check out and demo some world-class gear and clothing from locally-based manufacturers. As many of you may know, the Mountain Sports Festival is an absolute blast. It’s a 3 day festival, May 24-26, 2013, that has a little (or a lot) for everyone. Great music line-up, races, events, kids activities, and now, the OGB Village.

Looking at the list of other manufacturers in the area lets us know that we’re in really good company here. It also helps us to keep raising the bar on what we do and how we do it. We’re really excited to part of the Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina and hope that in the end, the real benefits will be felt by all of you.

Definitely check out the Mountain Sports Festival next month in Asheville and make sure you stop by the Outdoor Gear Builders Village to see some of the best gear that Western NC has to offer.

Stay tuned…we have an exciting post coming your way on a cool collaboration with Prestige Subaru!

SylvanSport takes on the Assault on the Carolinas!

Last Saturday, on April 13, 1000 riders ascended upon our hometown of Brevard, NC for the 14th Annual Assault on the Carolinas. This road ride consists of 3 options: 40K, 60k, and 100k. The 40k goes through the scenic river valleys of Transylvania County and features some rolling hills and great scenery, while the 60k riders get to test their climbing abilities on Walnut Hollow, which is a local favorite. Walnut hollow is a steep challenging climb that is sure to get everyone’s heart pumping. The climb is 1.1 mile with grades reaching 15%. After climbing Walnut Hollow riders will enjoy a nice rolling ride home through the French Broad River Valley. Finally, the 800 or so rider that chose the 100k option experience it all from flats, rolling hills to the Walnut Hollow climb, fast descents, and a grueling 6-mile climb up Caesars Head near the North Carolina-South Carolina border. This ride will take you through the river valleys of Transylvania County, up Walnut Hollow, and up and over Highway 178. Hwy 178 offers some amazing descents, with miles of curves, that will be enjoyed by all. Once riders cross Hwy 11 in South Carolina they will stretch out their legs on some rolling hills and flat sections. Then riders reach the bottom of Caesars Head they begin a challenging 6 mile climb to the top. Once over Caesars head it’s @ 15 miles back to Brevard with more descents, flats, and a ride back through the river valley. With almost 6,000 ft of climbing in 65 miles, it’s a great ride through some incredibly scenic roads. To top of such a beautiful ride, the Pisgah Rotary keeps everyone fed and hydrated with incredibly well-stock rest stops and police support at all the major intersections. It really is a great to be a part of.

Tom ready to GO!

So, being in our hometown, we here at SylvanSport have a hard time passing up an event like this. In addition to being one of the sponsors, we brought out a GO lightweight trailer for the event, where friends and families of riders were able to check it out in all it’s glory while they ate some tasty food, listened to good music, and par-took in refreshments courtesy of Oskar Blues Brewery. But we’re not ones to just sit back on a beautiful Saturday and drink beer all day (well, at least not on this particular Saturday). Along with our fearless leader, Tom Dempsy, Clayton and your’s truly, set out to on the 100k. We all survived and had a great day talking bikes, talking GOs, and feeling good.

Tom & Clayton finishing the 100k together. Oh wait, look at that awesome camper trailer in the background!

If you like cycling, this is a “must do” ride. Doesn’t matter where you live…we met folks from all over the United States and a couple of groups from Canada. Mark your calendars, next year is already set for April 12, 2014. Oh, while your in town, swing by the SylvanSport facility to say “hi”…we’re less than a mile from the start line!

Explorer and Adventurer, Dale Stewart, visits SylvanSport!

Over the summer, SylvanSport had the opportunity to partner with world explorer and adventurer, Dale Stewart. Dale has traveled all over the world and has spent time in remote areas learning about the cultures and history of the area’s indigenous peoples. This past summer, Dale decided to keep his travels a little closer to home, but maintained the his theme of exploration and learning throughout his trip. We were proud to have our GO pop up camper accompany him along the way.

Dale Stewart

While many folks are familiar with “The Trail of Tears“, the removal of Native Americans from the east to the reservations of the mid-west along 4 different footpaths, there was also a lesser known water route that followed the rivers, which was the premise of Dale’s expedition. Although the various sections of the water route have been traveled, Dale’s journey is the first known expedition with the purpose of exploring and learning about how the Native Americans traveled along the rivers and what they had encountered.

Trail of Tears Water Route

Last week, all of us at SylvanSport were treated to a talk and Q&A session with Dale about his trip and how his GO pop up camper helped him out. Also joining us was Brevard College professor, Michael Oliphant, who is connected to their Voice of the Rivers program.

Dale Stewart @ SylvanSport

Dale gets into his paddling stories.

Tom Dempsey and Dale Stewart

Michael Oliphant and Dale Stewart sharing thoughts.

It was a real treat to get to hear about Dale and his expedition along the Trail of Tears Water Route. Since then, he is already working on a book, television documentary, giving talks all over the country, and his kayak is headed for DC to be put on exhibit. It’s amazing how much we still have to learn about where we live and it’s exciting to be able to be part of expeditions like Dale’s, where it’s not just physical exploration, but historical as well.

You can check out more about Dale and his trip at www.expeditionunbound.com.

2012 Christmas Parade in Brevard, NC!

Every year, our hometown of Brevard, NC, holds a Twilight Tour festival. What makes this festival unique over the several others held throughout the year, is that this one is considered to be the “local’s festival”. Instead of streets filled with vendors and crafts, there are games, activities, people catching up from last year, and stores are open late, serving hot drinks and snacks. It actually has more of a gathering feel than a festival. Like any good party, everything gets kicked off with a parade. Local businesses, high school marching bands, non-profit groups, and a couple of just random folks all start one end of town at Brevard High School and travel 2 miles, right through downtown, and finish at Brevard College.

It’s been a couple of years, but SylvanSport was there this year with a full train of 3 GO pop up camper, pulled by a Subaru Outback (on loan from Prestige Subaru). It was an impressive sight for sure. The first GO was a kayak trailer, carrying 2 kayaks and a trailer full of gear boxes. The second acted as an ATV camper, complete with a Kawasaki 4-wheeler. Finally we had a fully set-up pop up travel trailer decked out with 4 bikes on top. It was pretty freakin’ awesome.

Here’s a glimpse of our moment in Brevard’s limelight:

The SylvanSport GO train ready to roll out.

Merry Christmas from SylvanSport!

All wrapped up and everywhere to GO!

4 Wheeler ready to GO!

Coolest. Camper. Ever.

Stockings were hung on the bike racks with care...

Who needs Santa when you have the Hulk?

The Hulk seems to have brought an elf helper.

Kids piling in for candy....soooooo much candy....

The sole survivor in the candy wars. Too freakin' cute.

The GO train coming into downtown Brevard.

Our fearless leader, Tom, drivin' that train.

GO family and friends waving to the crowds and handing out candy along the way.

We live in a great town and things like the Christmas Parade and Twilight Tour are just a couple of reasons why we love calling Brevard, “home” (10 minutes to Pisgah National Forest doesn’t hurt either). Happy holidays everyone and remember, treat everyday like a parade…it just makes things more interesting!

2012 Sycamore Cycles Swank 65 Mountain Bike Race

Last Sunday (November 11, 2012), on a nice chilly fall morning, organizers, support staff, and riders were getting ready for the 14th Annual Sycamore Cycles Swank 65 mountain bike race. This is the unofficial season closer that runs 38 miles through some classic rooty and rocky Pisgah terrain with plenty of climbing…about 5,800 feet worth. Since it’s always held in the first couple of weeks of November, riders have seen 60 degree sunny days, cold rain, sub-freezing winter mixes, and everything in between. You just don’t know what you’re going to get until you get there. Regardless, Todd Branham and his crew at Blue Ridge Adventures, sells out the 200 rider field about 4 months in advance and pulls in folks from as far away as Costa Rica and California. Needless to say, it’s a tough race, put on by great folks, and lots of good company to share the pain.

We rolled into Cove Creek Campground to check-in and get ready for the 10am start. The sun hadn’t quite broken the ridgeline yet and temps hovered in the mid to upper 30s. The day was looking good though with blue skies and forecast high of low 60s. As riders checked-in, zip tied number plates to their handlebars, and loaded up packs with shots, blocks, and bars, the sun started to creep over the ridge and in an instant, it started feeling good. It was a great day for a ride.

2012 Sycamore Cycles Swank 65 Course Map

Before we get too far into it, I should probably give you an idea of what the course is like. Over 38 miles, you really do get a little bit of everything. 200 riders line up for a Le Mans start and run across the campground field to their awaiting bikes. After a short stretch of gravel road (complete with creek crossing), starts the first climb of the day. Cove Creek trail is a single track-ish filled with roots, creeks, and log bridges (not the good kind). Although it’s only a few miles long, with 200 riders, bottlenecks are not only likely, but should be expected…especially at the bridges. The nice part is that you know you’ll be flying down this same climb to finish the race. Cove Creek puts out onto Forest Service road 475B and onto a grassy road connector to Daniel’s Ridge. For some reason, this section always seems longer than looks on the map. The grassy road is a fairly gently climb to the top of Daniels Ridge, but always seems to go on just a little longer than I want it to. Like most things though, your work is rewarded. A sweet, and always too short, descent down the clockwise side of Daniels Ridge dumps you out onto the gravel Forest Service road, 475. Here’s where you just sit back, get comfortable, and grind it out for a few miles until you hit Gloucester Gap. After the left hand turn onto Cathy’s Creek Rd, there is still a little more climbing before you hit the long and fast gravel road descent to the base of Butter Gap. Another old, grassy service road climb takes you to the top of Butter Gap. This is a classic Pisgah descent. In about 2 1/2 miles, you get mud (almost always), rocks, roots, creeks, flow, and beautiful terrain taboot, all in one section of trail. It’s good stuff. After this momentary sense of bliss, you take a left turn and climb up Long Branch. Outside of this race, I don’t know if I ever go up Long Branch…so much better coming down. There are definitely some steep sections and some parts are rutted out pretty bad, but it’s all part of the fun. This brings you back to FS road 475, but just below Gloucester Gap.

2012 Sycamore Cycles Swank 65 Elevation Profile

From the gap, it’s a right hand turn this time and the push up Pilot Mountain. This gravel road climb is a bear. 4 miles and 2000 ft of climbing. There are a couple of very short “flats” to give you that false sense of recovery, but then it’s back on. When your fresh, it doesn’t seem TOO bad….after 20 miles of racing though, it’s just cruel. The best part about it though is from the top, the rest of the race is downhill or flat, minus a moderate gravel road climb at the end. That said, by no means does it get easy. The next section is the famed, or infamous, Farlow Gap. It’s not just rocky, it’s REALLY rocky. Baby heads big enough to stop you pretty much immediately. Throw about 2-3 ft of leaves on top and you can see almost nothing. To make things even more fun, they move. Hit one hard enough and it’ll roll…somewhere. Some you don’t even have to hit that hard. Then, it’s not just steep, it’s REALLY steep. The rock garden to the first creek crossing is just under a mile, drops almost 1000 ft, and comes in around a -20% grade. Hell yeah! That’s what I’m talking about! At the bottom lies the first creek crossing and the beginning of, for most of us anyways, the hike-a-bike sections. After a few more creek crossings, climbing over a random tree here or there, and riding through what I think is some of the most beautiful scenery in Pisgah, you roll into the counter-clockwise descent of Daniel’s Ridge. Continuing the theme of rocky and rooty from Farlow Gap, Daniel’s Ridge eases up a bit, but still keeps you in check.

A taste of Farlow Gap

Back to FS road 475, we head downhill (left) this time and connect up with Davidson River Trail. A short (1.5 mile), low grade, flowy trail that rides high above the river “gorge”, it’s a nice break from the rocks and roots. From here, the last 3.5 mile gravel road climb brings you back to the top of Cove Creek trail. The 3 mile climb that started the race brings you back home, just a little bit faster.

Le Mans Start

Out of 200 starters, 155 riders finished the race. Our hometown of Brevard, NC and local title sponsor, Sycamore Cycles, had a great showing. Six out of the top 10 and 3 on the podium were sporting Sycamore Cycles jerseys. It turned out to be a great day for a ride and Todd pulled together some great sponsors for the event. Wild Indigo Catering was on hand grilling mammoth-sized, locally raised hamburgers, New Belgium Brewery provided the refreshments, Industry Nine raffled off a sweet wheelset, and if you forgot a change of clothes, Sycamore Cycles was there selling shirts and hoodies. Next November, remember to put this one on your calendar. It’s worth the trip out here…plus, you can stop off at the SylvanSport office and check out the GO trailer manufacturing facility in person!

After Party

Click here for complete results.

Click here for videos highlights by cyclingdirt.org