Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fresh Tracks

Ah, the winter solstice has just passed so the worst is behind us as far as short days go, however the worst of the weather is yet to come. I am happy to report, that I plan on missing a good portion of it by spending 3 weeks away riding in the southwest. In the meantime, I must brave the cold air and precipitation in order to get my riding fix. This past weekend was another well spent in the 'Burg. Saturday night was a nice get- together at the Carpenters' house.

Sunday was up in the air and tough to get organized, but eventually agreed upon to ride Braley's. A respectable, yet still fun amount of snow out there, starting with about 2" in the lot and getting somewhere in the 5" range up top. Much of the climb was still ridable, and I actually rode more of it this weekend than in the 100 due to an early mechanical that put me back with the granny gear crowd. Anyway, fun and challenging. Four of us, Tim, Trevor, Wolfy and myself came out for I believe the first snow ride of the year for the lot of us. I was trying out the new action sampler camera I picked up, and still have some learning to do as far as getting something worth while on film. Post ride fiddles courtesey of Jalesco which put a heavy hurt on me, forcing me to abort any activities other than driving home and lying in the fetal position with my new furry friend. I finished off an old roll of film which seems to have been exposed at some point and break in a new toy which I have yet to get the hang of.

Trevor bobs and weaves to avoid a beam of light...



A distant rider makes tracks...



The Action Sampler, in action, sampling...



This photo was salvaged from that old roll. Andy in his Gov't Issue kit on the North Fork...




My new friend...



Interestingly enough, I caught wind of Lynx and his situation of needing a home and all no more than 2 minutes after hearing from Yumi that her cat Marley, who I grew close to during the 2.5 years we lived together, was very sick. Lynx and Marley look almost identical and Lynx came home with me 3 days before Marley was put down due kidney failure.

Marley was a big fan of backgammon...



Rest in peace my huckleberry friend...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Welcome to Winter

Where to start? I feel so overloaded by information I want to share here, but it's all just mush that sloshes about between the ears. I was feeling a bit unsure whether or not I would be heading down this weekend as I hadn't really spoken to anyone all week as work was busy and my phone was somewhere amongst the leaves at the south end of Jawbone. I left from work once again second guessing myself the entire trip. I knew a lot of people would be attending the Jack Frost party in Davis, which we may or may not revisit later in this post. Anyway, as I made my way down I-81 just south of Woodstock, snow began to fall. What the heck was I thinking going to Harrisonburg? I hadn't even checked the weather. Saturday night, I had The Wolf and Collin on board for a ride that was yet to be determined. Things looked shaky in the morning, but we were able to rope Kurt in, who I hadn't ridden with in over a year. It seemed like heading north would avoid the snow. Then we got a call from Kyle and Whitney and we all agreed to head for Elizabeth's Furnace to ride Sherman to Buzzard's which we attempted the week prior.

There was a bit of drama along the way, but things seemed to iron themselves out once we all got on the bikes. I was trying out the furry gloves and leg warmers I picked up at a gas station along the way for under $10. I am sold on both and will be stocking up on my next trip. I officially declare this winter the winter of the leg warmer. I was slummin' a bit on the climb, over caffeinated, over inflated, and over heated. I pulled myself together by the time we reached the ridge. It was cold and windy up there, but the slow roll and upper body workout of riding those Appalachian Rocks kept the crew cozy. Collin brought his A-game and cleaned some sections I had not before seen ridden. I was also impressed by Kurt's skill in the rocks as I had never ridden them with him before. I always love riding with different people because they open my mind and help me to spot new lines. I too was riding some stuff I hadn't tried before. We took the road around from Buzzard's where Kurt and I played kick the can along way. He also held a opossum by a scraggly tail as he sprinted after Kyle who limped along in the only gear that still worked on his bike. I sprinted behind trying to capture that action, but wouldn't you know it, the camera jammed and wouldn't wind. All in all, a great day on the rocks.



Kurt gets up close and personal with my Nevegal...




Collin going for it...




...





The cliffs on Buzzard's...




Kurt sticks to a jagged slab as Collin looks on...




Monday, Tim helped me get my wheels rebuilt with new spokes and hoops. I9 single speed hubs, Stan's Flows and I9 DH spokes, custom cut for a 29er; making THE stiffest 29er wheel not on the market. I am really stoked to try them out, but think I am going to try and hold out for the Black Cat which should (fingers crossed)be ready for New Year's road trippin'.



A couple of weeks ago, 2 fires were burning up on Massenutten which were believed to be signal fires started by a lost hunter. Lost? on Massenutten? One ridge that if you were to walk 30 minutes down off the ridge, you would be in someone's backyard. One would think any rugged outdoors man would have the where- with- all to walk downhill. In an even more bizarre twist, new developments reveal that the lost hunter suffers from Alzheimer's! It makes me feel safe to know that this guy, who is literally losing his mind, is wandering the woods with a gun. Sometimes you just gotta laugh.





Kennedy's Peak recieved some fire damage...



For the trip home, I took 211 so I could swing by Crisman Hollow in hope of finding my phone. I pulled in just as the sun began to hang low over the ridge and parked in the same area we had last week. I took one swipe with my hands to move some leaves and there was my phone covered in a thin layer on ice. I popped the battery out and lay everything on the floor and had the heat blowing on it the entire way home, plugged it in, charged it, and it seems good as new.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Doll Ridge Dump

Sorry for the delay, ladies and gents, but yours truly accidentally bought a couple rolls of Slide film which had to been sent out for development. These are the highly anticipated photos from the Doll Ridge ride a couple of weeks back. It doesn't get much more technical than this. Sure, these aren't the biggest moves, but this is more finesse than just throwing your bike off a boulder. There are many short bursts of power immediately followed by intricate wheel placement, and like a good chess player, always looking several moves ahead.

Welcome to Doll Ridge...



Typical terrain. Tall plates, too close to ride between...




Typical expression on the ridge...





Sue charging on the 5 Spot...




Big move. Not a drop but throwing it up and over. Big hole on the low side. Tim makes it look pretty...




Collin, same move. Note the facial expression as he heads for the hole...




Tim pops from plate to plate...




Collin on some exposed spiny goodness. Yes, that is the trail...




Collin get some on Maneka as the sun sets...



Cant wait to get back there again...