Monday, November 22, 2010

Doll Ridge

I have been a longtime fan of the slow and technical gnarly trails and can remember back in the Whitetail days of the late '90s, trying to convince others to come ride The Funnel with me. Slow, steep and super chunky, folks would rather let the bike do all of the work, so they would prefer to ride something they could open it up a bit more on. With that being said, it's no suprise that when I first put down a track on Doll Ridge last year, I would be itching to get back there again soon. I dont consider my return to be anything like soon, but just like it was with The Funnel, it's like pulling teeth getting people interested in riding a trail that takes nearly 2 hours to go 3.5 miles.

I have been spending a good deal of time down in Virginia as of late and have a oretty good core group of folks to ride with on the regular. Last week in Harrisonburg, I was telling Colin about Doll and that lit the spark to try and make this ride happen before the season peters out. Sunday morning in the lot, it looked like a Turner demo with 5 folks riding them, Matt on his Fisher dually, and then there was me on the rigid Whiskey Tango Foghat. We rode up Bear Wallow, aka 31 Flavors, shed some layers at the top and headed down the backside. Crossing the fireroad, you make the sort climb up to Doll Ridge, a knife edge ridge, littered with large spines of rock jutting out of the ground up to 2 feet in some sections. This is much of what the trail bed consists of for the first half of the trail. Eyes working hard to pick out something that resembles a line and trying to plant a tire on a rock while scanning the sea of stone for the best place to hop it to. Lots of ratchet pedalling and upper body strength for long periods of time. Sometimes you plant a shoulder, knee or hand on a nearby rock or tree to keep you alive as you move on to the next rock. We sessioned some sections for a while and most of the trail is "rideable," especially since someone came through since our last visit to clear out the blow downs up there. There was a suprizing lack of bloodshed, but that doesnt mean there was a lack of crashes and over the bars anxiety. Film wont be back for at least a week, so please excuse the lack luster photos. In the words of Tim, "Its like a jam band tune, forever building and without climax..."

Tim crossing some nearly vertical fins on the ridge...

Climbing through a puzzle of plates...

Who run Gnarlytown?...


  1. I run gnarlytown.

    Master Blaster runs Bartertown.

    These places sound familiar, what forest is this?

  2. If you run it, come and git it!

    GW forest just outside of Front Royal, Va

  3. Wish I lived a little closer. I have my hands full up here in Meeshow. Have fun looks awsome.