Sunday, December 13, 2009

This Weekend: A Wash...

There was a lot of buzz about happening this weekend and top priority on the list was a big Frederick ride on sunday. Unfortunately, mother nature had other plans. There were going be some folks from out of town in the area, and I was eager to meet them on my turf for a change. They all headed out on saturday to beat the weather, but me and a couple others would have to sit it out and work. I actually split early due to flu like symptoms. After much rest, my body managed to fight it off. Since I didn't get out to play this weekend, I will post some pics from a Frederick ride a couple weeks back. Note the shorts and short sleeves in contrast to last weeks gear. As always, click to enlarge.

Chad charging on Salamander...





Logs like this don't last. Gotta get 'em while you can...



Despite a slipped pedal, Pat and his camera make me look pretty...




Craig Stang is an old BMX buddy of mine and just one of many faces we saw on Iceburg...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fearless Vampire Killers

While sorting through some belongings in preparation for yet another move, I stumbled across an old Bad Brains cassette and the words "Fearless Vampire Killers" jumped off the case at me. "What a bad a$$ name for a song," I thought to myself. Enough packing for one night, for I had to get my bike sorted out for another potentially big ride in George Washington Forest. Another assault on Doll Ridge had been discussed in the days leading up, but a rather wet forecast gave some second thought on riding what I believe to be one of, if not the, most technical riding in the region. On the drive up, Pat and I discussed alternative routes and as we made our approach on the Signal Knob parking lot, we decided to leave it up to chance and let our fists duke it out. One round of rochambeau, winner takes all. My paper covered Pat's rock, so we drove down to Little Fort, climbed to Woodstock Tower and headed south to Waonaze before descending and taking the road back. I was only expecting an inch or two of snow so I opted to pilfer some parts off of the Pugsley and get the lighter, more nimble Van Dessel in working order. For the first couple of hours, most of the group was wearing big smiles, but things got interesting really quick. Chad had wet and a moment and wanted to bail. We were at a bailout point, but it just so happens that Pat forgot his map, so we couldn't exactly say how to get back to Little Fort. Pat and I did have the mental advantage of riding this section of trail just a couple months back while making an attempt on the ever elusive Ring. Nothing to do but push on. snow got deeper as the day progressed and at some points was well over the tops of the shoes. With each crank, pedals cut in to the snow. Eventually, the flat section were difficult to pedal in. About halfway through, I asked Pat "Exactly why did I buy that snow bike again?" I thought to myself to we were a pretty adventurous bunch and those 3 words came to mind once more. Fearless Vampire Killers. What does that have to with anything? Who knows? Its really just 3 darn cool words to say. Anyway, smile returned momentarily as we descended to Edinburg Gap. Then quick turned to frozen faces of misery on the road descent. At the bottom, little was said as we began a 5 or so mile ride back to the cars. Redneck found humor in "slushing" us, but at that point I was already cold and wet. It was more just a temporary annoyance, and after 30 or so seconds, was right where I was before the wave of slush overcame me. I took me back to those long, wet winter days, scrappin' as a messenger in DC. One redneck yelled something out the window, but I was in no condition to retort, so I just pushed on. At the store, said redneck was yelling in the window of a car "What the hell are they doing on the road today!" He was truly losing it as another 50+ redneck postured in our direction. We made a left onto 770 and boy did it feel good to be off Fort Valley Road and on the final climb toward warmth. At the cars, nobody said much. I had difficulty getting socks on as I was all palms. On the ride home, I was talking about the "slushing" and Pat said he had no idea they were doing it on purpose. How wholesome and innocent that Pat is. Here are some images...



Tony and Logan en route to the tower...



Poz rolling...



Regroup at Woodstock Tower...



Pat roosting...



Pat and what I believe to be Poz in the distance...



Signage...




Tony and Chad holding it down on the single speeds...



There were lots of snowy surprises. Pat finds one...



Hans gettin' some fresh tracks...




No smiles here...



Good times!

A few courtesy of Pat...




I'm not a big fan of gloves...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Choose Your Battles

While others chose to fight crowds at at Walmart and Best Buy on the breezy Black Friday, me and some of the boys decided to duke it out in G-Dub. What everybody forgot, was that Black Friday is also a big hunting day. When we pulled into the lot, there was a boy of about 8 with his father, decked out head to toe in camo with rifle in hand. The way the boy swung the gun about had us all a bit on edge, especially since most of us forgot our brightest gear to don. Anyway, we all returned, more or less in one piece after climbing up Sherman Gap, riding the ridge over and descending down Buzzard Rock. Plenty of chills and spills to be had. Lets get to some images.




Chad on Sherman...



Poz over a respectable log...




Pat finds a line...



Pat and Andy climb...




Lots of texture out there...



Always a good idea to check the signs...



I always seem to be shooting into the sun...



Andy thinks twice...



The view to the north...



Almost a good shot...



Andy on the steps...



Andy at the bottom of the steps...





Looking to the east...



Click to enlarge and note the expressions...



Pat goes OTB...





The carnage...



Looking south...



Not sure if it had anything to do with the safety orange vest, but I haven't seen Andy shed so little blood on a ride ever...



Poz enters a steep switch back...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More Exploring

I headed back out to Greenridge this weekend for some exploring. I ditched the car and loaded up the bike, riding along this ridge where I had camped years prior, and continued out to see what the rest of the ridge was like. I found a nice spot to set up camp and quickly became obsessed with gathering wood. After an hour or so, I settled in for the night. Lets just get to the pics...

I like the looks of this sign...



No pavement here...



I have camped here before...



Warmth...









Love the colors here...



Self portrait by the fire...



Lots of history here...