Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Southern Traverse

Friday night I sorted out my goods for the weekend and hit the hay early for Saturdays are always busy at the shop. I awoke early and loaded the car and after a hectik day at the salon, headed back down to Harrisonburg where I hung at a friend's place and passed out in the guest room. A couple of Mr. J's bagel sandwiches and off to ride the Southern Traverse of the SMT. We had a solid group and yet another perfect day to be out on the bike. Isthere such thing as not a perfect day on the bike? Anyway, we parked at Braley Pond and rode SR250 to Georia Camp and began climbing. It was a nice steady climb, with a few sections I chose to walk in order to save the arms for later in the day. Lots of bear scat on the trail and we regrouped at the top where we hooked into the SMT. We turned left on the single track and began climbing. Once again, I did some hiking on the steep pitches, but kept the pace for the most part. One of the things I like about the 5.10s is how easy they are to walk in. Once on the ridge, the flow kicked in, and between the leafy turns and the killer views, I found myself getting loose on more than one occasion. The SMT isnt as rocky as some of the regions ridges, but that doesnt mean there wasnt a rock waiting under some leaves for you to let your guard down. Yes, I was one of several who found a leafy surprise ending in a pinch flat. What was I doing riding with tubes you ask? New meats and no compressor to seat it tubeless in time to get out so I rode with a tube. Not sure what the others excuses were. There were regular, as well as irregular stops for food or repair, or even to just take in the killer views.

After crossing the road came the endless left-hand turns. They get monotonous after a time and its hard to gauge how far you have come since they all look the same. Sweeping left hander with a view, rocky, right handed drainage. Then came the overlook. We blew past this during SDS, but it is worth stopping for.

The ride back consisted of a 25 mile(?) road ride through the beautiful farmland of Deerfield Valley. We got caught out way after dark and luckily, I had my rear blinky with superflash from my commutes to work, keeping us from becoming roadkill. It was a magnificent sunset in the valley with Jen keeping me company as the rest of the group with their fancy mutispeed steeds pushed ahead. I had been practicing my water rationing all day as I had only been carrying 2 bottles on the ride which at this point was in its ninth hour. I was quite partched and still had half a bottle left as I had no idea how much further we had to ride. Then, I saw it, like an oasis in the desert. A hose on a stand pooring water into the drainage. The smell of cowshit was heavy in the air, but I tasted the water anyway. It would be a nasty prank to put non-potable water right there like that. I decided to take my chances and i filled both bottles. It would be a few hours before the parasite got me, but for that moment I savered the cold water in my throat. I didnt even think to take out the camera. Back on the bike and more riding on dark farm roads without headlights. I stayed in the rear as I was the only one with any kind of light. It wasnt long before the fear wore off and became just more riding. I have yet to do the Dynamo, but I guessed it would be something like this, but with more people and for many hours more. Someone give me a heads up on that next year. We came to the store at West Augusta to find most of our group hanging out while Chase and Matt went to fetch vehichles. Cokes and snacks hit the spot before Mexican with friends. Cant wait to get back to the 'Burg.

New steel...

Happy Halloween...


  1. These pictures suck. You should stop wasting the limited amount of space on the interweb.

  2. WTF?? Is that sign language on your new DT? Me likie.

  3. you know sign language? who knew? also take note, those are not the seat stays you are looking through

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  5. Were heading down next weekend. 3 days at Todd Lake.