6/16/2019 Whitewater Center
There is an F3 Gastonia mountain bike text chain that goes out from time to time whenever anyone in the group decides to ride somewhere they can alert others to see if anyone would like to join them on their ride. On a sort of regular basis, someone in the group will announce a Sunday afternoon ride at the Whitewater Center around 2:30ish and a few guys will show. Some will say this is not and official AO so a backblast shouldn’t be allowed. You know who you are. Some will argue (sarcastically maybe, but it is difficult to tell) that F3 is a starfish organization where leaders can go out and start a workout and that doing so is the essence of F3, invigorating male community leadership! This post isn’t designed to settle that debate. It is merely to say if anyone wants to know about mountain biking in F3 Gastonia, here is kind of what happens. We usually meet just past the rest rooms about halfway down the last row before the hill but the lot was full so we parked near the Lake Loop entrance. Swimmer was running a little behind so Floppy and Freight were discussing the planned routes. Floppy and Freight go way back to at least middle school (I have the pics) and this extended relationship has determined certain strengths and weaknesses. One of Freight’s many strengths is planning and logistics. Somehow he knows the names of all the trails, where climbs are, where there are rocks, roots, signs, creeks, connections, etc. It is impressive. One of Floppy’s strengths (could be considered a weakness by his doctors but I would say it is a strength) is he is fearless on a mountain bike. No terrain is too tough, no hill is too high. He can put that bike wherever he wants and it is a sight to behold. Swimmer is another fearless type. They both attack a trail like they are racing for a prize. I digress. The route was announced and I hear East Main (which I vaguely remember as being terrible) and I hear Swimmer groan. Swimmer is not much of a talker so that groan told me a lot. Off we go to East Main and I realized why Swimmer groaned as I am pushing my bike up a curvy hill of a thousand rocks, hoping the others are waiting for the weak link in the group as I catch my breath. After East Main, we connected to Tributary, then out across the road to the newer trails, Panda, Smokey and Bandit which somehow connected back into Carolina Thread Trail. We took a shortcut off of that back to the road around the rapids and back to the parking lot for a little over 9 miles. No injuries despite one of us trying to ride through a mud hole unsuccessfully (wished we had a GoPro) and a black snake sighting!