By Vernon Felton
We called the United Parcel Service operator this morning and suggested they bring a truck—a big truck—because we had a massive load of merchandise in need of a return trip home. While the UPS guy has undoubtedly seen his share of cardboard boxes, he was dumbfounded when he rolled up to camp this morning: it's not every day that you load your truck with 30 bikes. The man in brown had to leave, pick up an empty UPS truck and return for the haul; even then, he barely managed to fit the entire load, which towered to very the roof of his beast of burden.
We tested a hell of a lot of bikes.
That, of course, is the premise of Bike's Bible of Bike Tests: the only gear guide that actually features 2012 bikes and gear that have been fully trail tested. This marks our third year of gathering the most promising bikes and pummeling them. This year it was on the trails around Brevard, North Carolina.
It's been fun. Come to think of it, it'd be impossible to be anything but fun.
Let's see… hang out with friends. Ride great bikes on even greater trails. Crash the local Mexican joints and partake of margaritas roughly the size of a VW beetle. Engage in feats of strength. Heckle one another until the wee hours of the morning and repeat. Over and over again.
There was also the requisite slam dancing in a gorilla suit, slap fighting contest, a journey with a gnome, some pump-track riding in Gumby and Pokey suits, and a bunch of other odd memories that are, admittedly, still a bit hazy.
So, yeah, big fun.
Now, however, it's time to actually write the reviews, pick the photos, argue the finer points of whether or not to capitalize the term, 'All Mountain,' and well, generally do the work of the magazine.
However, before we watch Brevard disappear in our collective rear view mirror, a few thanks are in order.
Thanks to the guys at Cielito Lindo for the aforementioned, gargantuan margaritas and for enduring some seriously garbled dinner orders in Span-glish.
Thanks to Brad and Thad and Wes and Sam and Jon and Jimmy and Johanna and everybody else who showed up on time to show us the best trails, and waited patiently while we limped into gear.
Thanks to the organizers of the most excellent Zombie Squirell Alleycat race.
Thanks to Talia Freeman at Beech Mountain, for dinner, the digs and a some great afternoons on a promising DH course. http://www.skibeech.com/
Thanks to Chris Herndon for building said DH course. Nicely done, sir.
Thanks to New Belgium for a heck of a lot of fine beer. http://www.newbelgium.com/
Ditto to Asheville's Highland Brewing Company (big fans of the Gaelic). http://www.highlandbrewing.com/
Thanks to everyone at the Pisgah Tavern/the Hub bike shop for allowing us to stink up the bar after a good many rides. http://www.hubbicycles.com/pisgah-tavern/
Thanks to Wes and everyone at Sycamore Cycles for showing us the way and waiting for us after the 3rd or 4th or 10th climb. http://www.sycamorecycles.com/
Thanks to the folks at Bracken Mountain Bakery for some truly mind-blowing breads, croissants, muffins and a cinnamon raisin bread that flat out bitch slaps every other loaf of bread in the continental U.S.A..
Seriously, the stuff is that good. http://brackenmountainbakery.com/
Finally, thanks to everyone in Transylvania County for inviting us to come and occupy your chunk of the country. It'll be hard to find a better place to ride bikes. http://www.visitwaterfalls.com/