ROAD TRIP 2014: Boys, Bikes, and Dog in Asheville North Carolina

today is Tuesday... 
it is the morning... 
it rained all night... not sure what to do with the day

debating on a quick tour of the Biltmore Estate

makes more sense than having the boys on their computers playing TF2
Biltmore Estates


so far so good
the departure was stressful as the departure to any trip can be 
well... can be if you are me
so often I script my own misery 
so often my life is a self imposed comedy of errors

our plans to leave were delayed by Dean's soccer game
Dean is on a new team and trying to assert his commitment
this late Saturday start had me more relaxed about packing than I should have been
I dragged my ass around the house all morning
only to get frustrated unable to find my car keys once the car was packed

not wanting to unpack the car and see if I packed them away
which had me searching for my second set of keys

time lost

finally out the door and in the car and my phone decided not to work
I had been having some issues with my iPhone since I do not have enough space for the new iOS
removed all the photos and some applications to make room
still not enough room
but... for 24 hours I did not have the NO SIM failure
until I left off to Dean's game in Rockville\Potomac

more time lost

I had the address but no map\GPS
my trajectory was all guesswork
then there was traffic
everyone was out driving to their favorite spot to check out the cherry blossoms
or whatever

more time lost

all I know is there were cars everywhere and the pace was below the Speed Limit

people driving obnoxiously slow yet still not stopping at stop signs at the stop line
people driving obnoxiously slow and not paying any more mind to pedestrians or cyclists


I arrive at Dean's location... there was no address at the field... I did not see Dean's team so I left the parking lot and went further up Falls Road
but the addresses were getting too high so at the next opportunity I turned around

even more time lost

only to loop back to that same lot to find Lisa and Dean waiting for me
they were not in this parking space on our last pass through, but no issue
at least Dean was here instead of on his way back into the city
I was late and frustrated but ended up pointing South and start driving at the time I had anticipated leaving


on the road we would experience a few trouble spots
enough traffic to make an 8 hour trip become a 10 hour trip
which is to be expected with gas stops, piss stops, and food stops
traveling with two kids and a dog will increase your need to stop

we arrived at Spanky's family's place in West Asheville by midnight!

our temporary home!

Sunday... our first day...
we walked from Adam's family condo to "the strip" in West Asheville
there we got breakfast
ah... coffee and a breakfast sandwich

fueled up we marched back to the condo where we suited up to ride
shockingly enough the phone decided to work again
what a relief!

the broken phone really revealed my dependency on the modern convenience of the GPS technology
sure my phone never rings
but all that other stuff is vital
how could I live without Facebook, Instagram, Blogger, and the GPS map feature?

but amazingly enough... the phone started working again half way through the trip

Kolo Bike Park was just under two and a half miles from where we were staying
a reasonable distance to ride with the boys
a distance not too far for me to ride with the dog tethered along side of me

so rather than drive... we rode to the bike park

Kolo Bike Park

ah... Kolo Bike Park is on the grounds of a resort that offers golfing, zip lines, and a rope course
we were only going to be mountain biking
although the zip lines and climbing course were stealing the boys' attention
I was not ready to swipe the credit card for each and every one of the boys' whims

the cost of the Kolo Bike Park is nominal
the two hour pass costs us roughly the same amount as a movie 

Erik Kraus the owner\operator of the Kolo Bike Park gave us the lay of the land after we swiped the credit card and signed a waiver
then we got on our bikes

Kolo Bike Park is a small network of single track trails with some flowy berms, tight winding singletrack in the woods, a few roll ins, and some other features

the smaller loop worked well for the different speed and intensity of the 10 and 12 year old boys
Didg chased us around as we did a series of loops
when the boys stated to wain I got out the camera and asked them to repeat some of the features so I could snap some photos

the photo process serves an array of purposes
dad gets to fullfill his need for bicycle themed photography
the boys get photos of themselves on their bikes
dad gets the boys to repeat and practice their skills

this repeat it for the camera works for the diving board, the sledding hill, and of course biking
it is a subtle trick... but it works


the bike park is fairly new and will grow and develop over time
I think it was a little tight and not quite as "flowy" as it could be
but the trails should evolve over time
but it was most definitely a great place to take the boys for an afternoon of mountain biking

not sure if this would be a good destination for an advanced rider to "get their ride on"
but for families or beginner riders
especially the beginner riders of varying skills 
for people shy about exploring unknown trails in the forrest

definitely great for the non-biking mom or dad who wants to get their kid out onto some mountain bike trails
not every family is ready for the stress and strain of getting lost in the woods
the Kolo Bike Park removes so many variables

even tools and food can be left at the start  line because the loop is so short that the riders are never far from where they started

we would definitely return to The Kolo Bike Park
it was great for an afternoon of riding
and I anticipate the Eric is going to continue to evolve his mountain bike Field of Dreams

Kolo opened last August... which means that the park is still in its infancy
over time there will definitely be some growth and development

Kolo Bike Park in Asheville North Carolina

then day two...
Day Two: Bent Creek Experimental Forrest
The Bent Creek Forrest trailhead is under 20 minutes from The Adams's Family condo
drive... not ride

at the trailhead the sky overhead was dark and gloomy
we did not know what to expect of the trails or the weather
I chatted up some guys in the parking lot
their information was helpful... but not so specific... adult riders knowing adult needs and adult understanding

I ended up leading the ride with some guesswork
figuring if we did not find a good loop... we could just do a logical OUT AND BACK
this of course was being done without GPS or old school paper map
just with my Spidey Senses tingling

from the parking lot... onto a paved trail... then a left onto the Wolf Branch Trail

parenting... the joys of parenting
the trail was moderately technical and was rolling
pointing more up than down

the difference in strength, stamina, and want of the ten and twelve year old boy was visible
Grant was stopping and complaining
this happens... this always happens
I am not sure if I know how to contend with this stubborn little man

so... I push him
I listen to his list of excuses... then ignore them
well... I run the complaints through a filter
and then I ignore him and try to find a way to have him continue forward
all while letting 12 year old Dean ride further and then either rest and wait or turn back towards us so that he gets more riding in

Grant complained and fought... but that is often the way things go when riding with a 10 year old
from the single track in the woods with the rocks and roots of the Wolf Branch Trail onto a gravel fireroad that went up hill
we pedaled a mellow grind up a little ways
Grant had heard the conversation in the parking lot and wanted to continue climbing
Grant wanted to climb and climb so that we could get a serious descent

then the fireroad we were on met with another fireroad where there was a trail headed into the woods
the trail was unmarked... Corvair is what the locals call it
Corvair was just what we were looking for
Corvair was that great reward for the all that work pedaling up
Corvair was a great little downhill meandering through the woods

Dean, Grant, and I looped Corvair a few times... flowing down... then climbing up
Grant was able to take a break at the base while Dean and I repeated the loop a few times without him

then the weather started to turn
the weather had been threatening... but seemed like it was gonna turn
so... we reversed our direction

back down the fireroad to the Wolf Branch Trail... it was a technical climb up... which would offer up a technical ride down
then back to the parking lot

on the way down we chatted up a mother\son set of riders
then in the lot there was a couple putting on some rain jackets as they left the trailhead just as the rain was about to start
then with the boys in the car and the bikes ontop it started to pour
it rained cold and hard... we finished just in time

and sure enough.... on our rainy Tuesday we went to the Biltmore

the Biltmore is not for everyone.... I may be that everyone
okay... really? the Biltmore is AWESOME!
but, it is expensive and crowded
in short people line up and stay in line as they meander through the mansion
most people on an audio tour
the gardens were less crowded and even with the rain and cold... we enjoyed the outside even more

more on the Kolo Bike Park Experience

Erik Headset
Eric took a look at Grant's headset... tighten up things for Grant!

Mulligan's Restaurant
then after the bike park we went to the 19th Hole at the Resort and had a late lunch

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