I took part in a Knoxville tradition last night. "It only makes sense to tailgate anywhere you go, that you don't have to work." The Wednesday ride at Haw Ridge has exemplified the spirit of that statement over the past decade or more.
Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, the lot; at the ridge, fills with cars and bikes / coolers and grills. Haw Ridge host a party almost every Wednesday, where riders meet for group-rides of various orientation, yet all seem to find their way into the inner circle of coolers before the evening expires.
I showed up with my new singlespeed 29er and hooked up with a good group of Brian, Matt, Wally, Monte, Bo, Kieth, Randy and Allan. We sprinted out the gate, loosing one early on. The sprint along the lake was short lived as we headed into the hills, on some of the "lesser-known trails." Traversing ridges and creeks, the crowd got smaller again. The final separation came with a turn down a steep fall-line ridge trail, covered in leaves and buried roots. The rigid forked bikes didn't follow, and then there were four.
The tour continued and finished with an attack on Rainbow; up the ridge and along the contour trails; out Soccer.
Back to the lot for refreshingly cooled barley pops. The circle of coolers never got too big last night, but it was cool for me; since I can hardly ever make these rides(because I am usually traveling for work on Wednesdays.) I was sitting there laughing with the colorful array of characters in attendance, and I felt like I was living a real life episode of the Heartland Series. (I mean that as a compliment to the local knowledge of trails, roads, ridges, lakes, rivers, creeks, etc. possessed by the characters of last night episode.)
Bike Camp: Weekend Forecast
I received an email, foreshadowing this weekends trip to the mountains:
Brevard forecast for this weekend, 30% chance of rain, low of 33 for Sunday. Perfect camping weather in my book. I'm in.