Debbie and I shared a taxi to the Charleston Airport at 5:45am. She had an early flight home today and I needed to pick up my rental car from the airport. We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. I picked up my vehicle and drove back down to the Mount Pleasant area (suburb of Charleston). I’d made arrangements to pick up a demo bike from the Trek Bicycle Store there as I wanted to do some mountain biking in the area. The bike store didn’t open until 10:00am, so I stopped and had breakfast and killed a little time. The bike I’d rented was a 2013 women’s specific Trek Lush. It’s a full suspension 29er mountain bike…….really nice. After picking up the bike I drove north to the Forks Area Trail System (otherwise known as FATS). It is in the Sumter National Forest in South Carolina, just north of Augusta, Georgia. In 2009 FATS was awarded the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s Epic status (as in “Epic Ride”), and in 2010 was the host trail for the annual IMBA World Mountain Bike Summit. The trails have been highlighted in several magazines, including BIKE, Blue Ridge Outdoors, and a series of web articles for Bicycling just to name a few.
It was about a three hour drive to the trails. There were several cars at the trail head when I arrived. The first loop I rode was called “Skinny”……..which I found amusing since I was at “FATS”. After Skinny, I rode a connecting loop called “Brown Wave”. The trails were awesome……..I would describe it as riding on a dirt roller coaster. They rolled, dipped and flowed with minimal climbing through a hilly pine forest. I had a blast and rode until my legs were trashed. I rode 11.5 miles of trail and burned 1,200 calories according to my GPS. I loaded up and drove to my hotel in Augusta, Georgia about a 15 minute drive away. After cleaning up, I drove downtown in search of the best pizza on the planet at the Mellow Mushroom. Debbie and I had eaten at a Mellow Mushroom in Myrtle Beach and I swear it’s the best pizza I’ve ever had……..I was thrilled there was one in Augusta. They were very busy and I had to drive around the block several times before I could even find a parking space. I sat at the bar, ate pizza, drank beer and watched KU lose in the NCAA tournament. The pizza was much better than the game!