Who doesn't already love Boone, North Carolina? If you are looking for your new favorite downhill trail, Rocky Knob's PBJ is a must ride.
ROCKY KNOB MTB PARK
Starting out on Rocky Branch, I rode clockwise up a few switchbacks and gnarly rock & root terrain. I love rocks and roots, especially after all the rain we have been graced with this season. Dirt = Primo. I was torn whether to take Boat Rock Loop or follow Middle Earth, and naturally my inner nerd was pulled to ride Middle Earth like Gollum and his precious.
Briefly, I fantasized about riding my bike through Tolkien's land of make believe and was quickly pulled back to the reality of how bad-a these trails are. I imagined riding Middle Earth the opposite direction and thought of how awesome the rock gardens and rooty terrain would be going downhill, however, I wanted to keep exploring and see where we ended up.
Dobby and I followed Middle Earth to the top of the knob where this fun skills park appeared. It was the perfect set-up to practice drops starting from ground up. Dobby was fearless, as she progressed to the highest drop and rode by my side. She is hands down the best trail partner... in the world. I could get really sappy here and go on about all of our adventures we've had together, but I won't.
We enjoyed lapping the skills park a few times and took in the vista of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the knob. I passed a few other riders and debated asking them which trail we should take back, but I had more fun enjoying the unknown of where we were going. Just a stone's throw from the skills park was the trailhead for PBJ. Some inner voice had been telling me to check that trail out the entire time, but I wasn't sure we'd actually find it. I had a map but am not the best navigator- even in Middle Earth. Hey, it's about the adventure [Insert Relevant meme Here].
There was a gaggle of biker friends chilling at the top of PBJ lapping what looked like a bermy, flowy section. I gravitated to the top of the trail and scanned over the map. I have really only gotten passionately into mtb over the last year and was genuinely stoked about this trail and whatever magic had been pulling me up to it. I hopped on my bike and asked some dude if this trail went back to the parking lot. He said, "Yeah, it's all downhill." I rode into the first berm and sailed through some of the best dirt I've ever felt or maybe I was just more in tune with my bike than rides before. Next, there were some big jumps that I had no ego about riding conservatively over. I sped through the next berm more confidently than ever before and literally dropped jaw at what was around the corner.
The trail forked to a massive rock drop rider's left or a fun rocky descent right. I stowed my bike off trail to capture footage of the drop and add it to my summer bucket list, as a man went full send over the drop. Gnarles on gnarles. Next up, Dobby and I put our hearts into the rest of the ride back to the parking lot. It was a good day, and yes- we will be back.