I think it will be Day Four of the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race that I go out to visit the loony tune bikers who will sure to be suffering great consequences from relentlessly climbing these magical mountains of WNC.
I will have my massage table with me and will give a free massage to whomever crosses the finish line first that day. I’m not talking about a little soothing rub down. I will work that person over in the infamous, Bettina Freese kind of way, so they start out their last day, of 43 miles, like it’s just another Saturday ride.
Not only will it be an amazing experince for me to witness the specific aches, pains, deficiencies and miseries from being bitch-slappped by the ancient forest, but it will be a whole new bag of experiences to bring back to my sports massage students at the Asheville School of Massage and Yoga.
Working on an athlete of that caliber, in that kind of race, is like a mechanic dropping into the Formula One race to crank a wrench on a Ferrari. The Toure De France would be another great massage and anatomy lesson, but I perefer mountain bikers. Hear that Mr. Hincapie? Yeah, I’m talking to you. Bring it. I’ll massage you anyway.
The PMBSR starts on Tuesday, September 22nd at the Black Mountain Trail Head. Riders will start with the White Squirrel Loop, which is 39 miles and 6,200 feet of elevation gain. The day will end with an awards ceremony on the courthouse gazebo in Brevard.
Day Two, dubbed the Land of Waterfalls Loop, begins at the Black Mountain Trail Head, sending riders out for 43 miles and 7,300 feet of elevation gain. The freaks will begin to feel the suffering on this evening as they gather for a happy hour at the Lobby. I wonder how many will go overboard and drink too much New Belgium? The thing is, I KNOW mountain bikers, and they will be hung over on Thursday morning. Those who didn’t drink are actually road bikers who have pure dites, nun-like habits, the stamina of cheetahs, and no technical skill. I say that because techinical skill is a byprodcut of high levels of yeast and hops in the system.
The Carl Schenck Loop comprises Day Three and was designed for the hung over mountain biker with just 25 miles and 3,200 feet of elevation gain, but verrry technical. This one starts at the Wash Creek Campground. Schenck was a comrade of George W. Vanderbilt, who bestowed upon his the positioun of Biltmore Estate forester. He founded the first forestry school in the U.S. right here on th Biltmore Estate. His management theories influenced forestry education for generations therafter. People riding his trail will call his name out in their sleep.