Belgian Waffle Ride: North Carolina 2022

Anyone know when they announce the course for this year?

I’ve got the Pathfinders too, but I’m now leaning towards the Contentinal Terra Trail’s since I’m also kind a newbie at a big gravel event like this and looking for some extra insurance.

I think they announce the course a week maybe 2 before the event.
I ran maxxiss Rambler 38s last year. I’m almost debating running vittoria terreno zeros, the gravel wasn’t that bad at all. I heard they might have single track this year which might make me just use Ramblers again.

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Yeah, the whole ride a mile in pitch black to the start was a little not great

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Great - I think that’s what I’ll run. Thanks!

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Coming from (Toronto area), Canada for BWR North Carolina! Wife and I are doing the waffle.

She will be running 38 Gravel King SKs and I will be on 40 Pirelli Centurato Gravel H. Our local gravel events always have ATV trails, singletrack, sketchy downhill sections with tennis ball sized rocks thrown in so we will stick to our tires as it seems this race won’t require anything more burly. I do have Rene Herse Steilacooms ready in case the weather makes it a muddy affair.

We will do a short recovery gravel loop on the 12th, we will bring our MTBs as well and plan to shred our bikes in Pisgah on the 13th, and an early AM gravel loop on the 14th before we drive back.

If any locals want to show us around Pisgah on the MTB’s that’d be sick. I will only have my 100mm full squish XC race bike with me so am limited but have already got some advice on some trails that would work.

Cheers, hope to meet some TR fam out there.

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Definitely get to the Black Mountain trail - easy to access and the new re-route and work is really fun and very doable on a 100mm bike.

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Thank you so much! What are your thoughts on DuPont as that’s what was also suggested to me? And would it be possible to ride Black Mountain, grab lunch and then do DuPont or vice versa?

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DuPont is fun if you have someone that knows a good route - the trails there are mostly hard packed and green/blues with some random rocky tech. IMO there’s too much “filler” in DuPont for me, lots of double track transitions to the good stuff, but - The pinnacle trail that’s a must-have is Cedar Rock which is the classic east coast slick rock trail - another favorite is the Ridgeline trail. It’s all fun and flowy mostly XC.

Pisgah is mostly blue and black trails but I’d rate the new Black Mountain as more of a blue at this point. You could totally ride both in a day as they’re about 30 minute drive apart. Depending on your preference of riding and terrain they’re both good but I’m a Pisgah rider and default to riding there mostly. The new work on Black is hard packed and not “raw” technically but still very much engaging and a vast improvement on the old trail that had turned into a deep ditch. It’s much easier to navigate a route to a Black Mountain loop and Pisgah is basically endless if you want an epic ride that involves that trail.

Both Cedar Rock in Dupont and Black Mountain trail in Pisgah will get you some awe inspiring views. I’m bias, but I’d trade one of your gravel ride days for an extra trail day.

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I agree, youll be doing a lot of the gravel in the area during BWR, so id do one day in pisgah and on in Dupont. Youll likely get some pisgah gravel in while riding pisgah. Pisgah and dupont are kinda opposites when it comes to mtb. I like both a lot.

I keep hoping theyll route BWR thru Dupont for more gravel and flowy singletrack.

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DuPont is a little tricky to suggest routes for since most of the trails there are short and you’ll link up several to get a ride of any length in. My wife’s family had a house up there for a long time so it’s where I’ve done the most riding in western NC and have a few go-to ride there. Forgive me if the descriptions are convoluted but I promise it’s not as hard as it reads. There’s a good trail map to help: https://www.dupontforest.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/FinalKioskMap-DSRF.pdf

For some slickrock/more technical riding you can park at the Corn Mill Shoals parking lot, cross the road and take a left on the Twixt trail, then go across over Cascade Lake to Rock Quarry, take a left on Micaja trail and a left on Wilkie trail to drop back to the parking lot. Then cross over Cascade Lake Road again, hit Burnt Mountain for a nice climb and fun descent that gets a little technical at the end, then finish by taking the Little River trail over to Big Rock trail to get up on the big slickrock granite dome.

For a “Pisgah Lite” experience you can park at the Fawn Lake Access area (best to get here early as it’s used by a lot of equestrians), go down out of the parking lot to Reasonover Creek, climb up to the runway via Camp Summit Road (here it is mandatory to ride to the end of the airstrip and take a picture), cross over the runway and take Airstrip trail down, take a left on Shelter Rock, then a left on Bridal Veil (mandatory to take another picture here), take the Shoals Trail (steep slickrock climb) to Laurel Ride where you’ll climb up and take Mine Mountain for more climbing and fast descent right back to the parking lot.

For my patented Dupont Fitness Ride (20 or so miles) that hits all the fun flowy trail and part of the Pisgah Lite ride above: park at the Lake Imaging lot (earlier is better again, this one will fill up with mountain bikers and #vanlifers by like 9 AM). Head up Jim Branch (the rock garden at the bottom is not as hard as it looks) and then connect to Isaac Heath, Locust and Hilltop. That will spit you out onto Buck Forest Road, take a right and then a left on Conservation Road. Look for Three Lakes Trail on the left, then take another left on Conservation and grind gravel until you take a right on Bridal Veil Falls. Then, take Corn Mill Shoals (the steep slickrock climb) to Laurel Ridge, Mine Mountain, Reasonover Creek and Airstrip. At the bottom of Airstrip, go right to get back to Conservation road, where you’ll take a left and grind gravel all the way back to Buck Forest Rd. Take a right here, then a left on White Pine, left on Hooker Creek and left on the famously flowy Ridgeline to get back to the car. You can also make a short loop of Jim Branch, Buck Forest, Hooker Creek and Ridgeline to maximize the flow if you’d like.

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I owe you all one especially Sangamon. I appreciate the time you took to write out directions like that. Took me back to the days of using map quest 15 years ago and that’s a compliment :joy: If anyone has any other suggestions then please do DM or add more. Big time trail karma points :call_me_hand:

It looks like I will take the advice to chill on the gravel bikes after BWR. Sunday and Monday are shaping up to be MTB days. Looking like Dupont 20 mile loop or shortened version Sunday on “recovery” day and then Pisgah Black Mtn Monday.

Thank you everybody for the suggestions and sorry OP if I’ve derailed the thread.

Bikes!

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As mentioned, you’ll get plenty of “extra” gravel if you ride any Pisgah or DuPont loop anyway, it’s just that the rewards are much higher at the top! The traditional Black Mountain loop uses a fire access road called Claw Hammer road, and you can target the entirety of the “Upper Black Mountain trail” by taking Claw Hammer all the way to the top - If you go right on the Black Mountain trail at that point you’ll be faced with some really tough hike-a-bike sections and true Pisgah terrain, rewards include an infamous view over-looking Looking Glass rock and a panorama of the ranger district of Pisgah.

Alternatively - and if you’re feeling less epic, you can take the first right hand turn going up Clawhammer that’s locally referred to as Maxwell Cove Rd. That takes you to another Black Mountain intersection where you could go left for an out and back on the entirety of the newly rebuilt section of trail, or just go right to enjoy a pure blissed out descent back to the bottom.

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Good Morning Fellas!

I am doing my first BWR NC race and decided to do the Wafer ride.

When I was reviewing the course notes today on the main website it states “water crossing.”

The question I have does anyone know if this is a rideable crossing or will it require dismount? I run road shoes on my gravel bike and have plenty of XC experience/ride my gravel bike on XC trails with this format.

I choose road shoes mainly because of leg discrepancy and have the proper fit with the pedal system and shims.

I appreciate the help!

I did the waffle last year and dont remember a water crossing….so it may be a new feature for the new and longer routes

After a good bit of research and advice from this group I decided to run pathfinder pro’s for the race only to find that the 42mm’s are sold out everywhere. Any other recommendations? Thanks!

I would look at the Pirelli Cinturato H - I went from the pathfinder pro to these and prefer them over the PF pro tires.

https://velo.pirelli.com/en/uk/product/cinturato-gravel-hard-terrain/700x35c/red

Do they provide good traction/stability in the gravel and would you suggest the 40mm? For reference, I’ve raced mountain bikes for a long time and would consider myself a decent bike handler by mtb standards, a little better than most pure roadies. Thanks again!!

As all tires its personal preference.

My experience and I am the same technical standard/skill as you is the large side knobs provide plenty of cornering traction and the grooved center does not allow the wheel to slip going up steep loose terrain.

Somehow they also rate faster in terms of rolling resistance, I cant comment on the pave sections cause I’m at max HR no matter what trying to survive haha.

My 40mm on zipp 303 S rims (23mm ID) allowed the tires to blow up to 42mm.

That is so helpful! Thanks again and hope to see you there!

Just received an email this morning of a new sector part of this year‘s course. So it does look like we might have some type of river crossing and single track with a very steep climb. I’m sticking with the maxxiss ramblers 38s this year.

“ let’s point out just how challenging this will be. With 87-miles yet to go, the Vallende Kreek sector will come at a time when riders will have already climbed well over 4,000 feet but there’s still nearly 9,000 more to ascend with 600 more just in the next couple of tree canopied miles of logging trails. The beauty of Vallende Kreek is also its ugliness. Ugly in the sense it is fraught with single track affected by ruts, tree roots, twists, turns and steep pitches (30% unless you believe Strava’s 47%) that will find many riders pushing their bikes if they don’t bring the appropriate gearing and knobbied tires. As mentioned earlier, riders will get to enjoy some of the groomed mountain bike trails to flow down, but that is only after survival of the crazy, canopied and crushing climb is realized.”