Monday, March 9, 2009

We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties...

The west is known for its big mountains and big views which can lead to long, punishing rides, but what the East lacks in altitude, it makes up for in its technical terrain. The East boasts some of the best technical riders in the sport of mountain biking, and with places like the Massenutten in the region is no wonder why. It snowed 8 inches monday and it been over 70 for the past 2 days so needless to say the ground would be soggy just about anywhere else. We had 6 of us travelling down from Maryland and then we met up with Viginians Tim and Sue in the lot. There was discussion in the lot of making this a big ride before our initial climb up Signal Knob, but we got an extra hour of sunlight and the weather was beautiful. Signal Knob was a long 45 minute to an hour technical climb and Chad and myself were both on single speeds and tried to keep our heads in check and not blow ourselves up on the first climb of the day. We rode the ridge for a bit before dropping down the backside where Tony had the front end of his bike completely disassembled and Tim and Sue helped him diagnose a problem. This didnt fill me with much confidence as the last time I rode with Tony and that bike, he had lost a brake and the chain would skip under any load and we were only in the woods 5 minutes. Other than some creaking, he pulled through in fine style. We climbed up to the next ridge which was riddled with jagged rocks, overhangs, and spines to ride along. At the top, Andy, who had been riding less than a year, was on a single speed, and had a stomach bug, was not looking good. As we chatted, he sat mumbling to himself with his head in his hands, but he pushed through and rode for another 3 or 4 hours. Here is where the fun really began. We would ride for a bit and then the group would stop to try and find a line through some sketchy rock field or over a long spine with a drop on the side. The cameras came out as did the feelings of victory and frustration. All bodies were bruised and bloodied and bikes came off the ridge with a little less paint and metal than they once had. I tried one line maybe 8 times and still stepped off and then Chad rolled through with ease on his first attempt. Before dropping back down toward the road we had some lunch and Pat upped the ante of best lunch with spaghetti in a bag. We got a bit turned around on our descent but ran into an equestian in the woods who was very helpful. It has been a long time since I have had a bad encounter with an equstrian, but then I usually dont go ripping by them at speed. A bit of road riding got us back to the car about 7 hours later. Good times.

Pat and Tim climbing Signal Knob. Thats Buzzard rock in the background...



Tim climbing...



There was alot of this through out the day...


(Pat photo)

OTB...


(Pat photo)


A tight squeeze...



Did someone say tight???

(Pat photo)

A moment of impact...



3 riders, 3 different perspectives, 1 tricky spine...









until next time...

1 comment:

  1. Nice pics,
    Some of my fave'trails there.
    did you hit the Signal Knob side *and* the Buzzard Rocks side? That last pic on the road looks like the return from the Buzz Rox trailhead lot.

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