Friday, October 9, 2009

The Ring Thing...

Today I sit in front of the screen, every muscle in my body aching and stiff, I try to replay the events of the past 2 days in my head, but it seems so much happened, so many good hours of riding in perfect weather on the most challenging of terrain. I spent countless hours in the slump, fighting off cramps in one area, hoping they would move to another to give some temporary relief. I was pretty out of shape going into this ride after being off the bike for a month due to tweaked wrist. The plan, in a nutshell, was to negotiate the 71 miles of orange blazed trail around Massanutten's ridges in 2 days. Doesnt sound too bad unless you have ridden up there. It doesnt get much more technical with average pace as low as 4 miles an hour. We camped at Little Fort, shuttled to Camp Rosevelt in the morning and left day 2 lunch in in the car there. We climbed up Steven's Gap to the ridge until we dropped down Sherman to Shawl Gap where we had lunch stashed before climbing up Signal Knob. We dropped down the fire road, and with our group beginning to show wear and daylight on the wane, we continued along the fire road rather then climbing back up to the ridge and riding to Woodstock Tower. Day 1 highlights included getting Sue and I turned around after she stayed back with me after I ripped a tire, Kyle's highside over edge on the Signal Knob climb, my endless cramps, Jeremy's tweaked ankle and birthday cake by the fire.





A typical climb on the east ridge...



A quick peek over my shoulder back at Kennedy's Peak...



Looking to the east...



The crew keeps a steady pace...





Sue dropping in...



Pat clicked this one of me on Sherman...



Taking a breather shortly after Kyle's tumble...



Kyle on the Signal Knob climb...





Heading back to camp...





Day 2, Jeremy bowed out due to his ankle, but Mike showed up to fill his shoes with fresh legs and a chain saw in his pack. We intended to roll out at 730am, but we had just began to stir at that time. Mike showed us a single track that climbed right out of camp to Woodstock Tower where we headed north to Edinburg Gap where we dropped down the road to top off our water and make our way toward Short Mountain. We made slower progress and stopped to session some sections and realized that there was no way with our late start that we would be able to ride Duncan and Jawbone. No worries though. It gave us more time to enjoy the ride and play in the rocks.













The view of Kennedy's Peak from the other side of the valley...



Pat on Short Mountain...



Typical terrain on Short Mountain...




Kyle gettin' it...




Mike joined us Day 2 and carried a chainsaw on his back the entire time. He got some good use out of it clearing several blowdowns...