On the road by dawn and headed West, I stopped for fuel and coffee (the other fuel) before turning South and making my way into the Shenendaoh Valley where I was greeted with the pungent odor of fertilizer and chicken shit. Ah, summer time in the country. I arrived in Harrisonburg at 8am, giving me enough time to get film and hit Mr. J’s for some bagel sandwiches before meeting up at 9am to pile the 5 of us into the little red wagon with bikes and drive another hour and change into WVA in search of the Knarly North Fork. I know what you thinking. “Doesn’t this violate the ever important Ride Time > or = Drive Time equation?” Technically, it does, especially if you are just talking moving time, since one probably spends as much time taking in the views as they would riding the ridge, at least from the halfway point, which is where we would starting. Anyway, I knew it would be a good day, especially seeing as Jim was rumored to be in town for the weekend.
Anyway, we got on the road late due to last minute tire discussions, lack of Stan’s secret juice and no presta adapter, but we got on the road nonetheless. No sooner did we park did the skies open up and began to think we were in for a long, cold day on some slippery rocks. Regrouping at the turn off for the single track, we all hunkered by trees already soggy. The first bits of trail contained inconspicuous off-camber rocks that were treaturus for any tread, but the rain had stopped and the came out to begin the drying process. Select rocks began to show traction, but there were still plenty of sweaty one to keep you on your toes. If you havent ridden the North Fork you should. It has a little bit of everything for everyone. sections of buff and tacky, pine needle coated chicanes break up the chunky chunder fields, and the short climbs are techy in sections with plenty of B-lines in case things are not spicy enough which I highly doubt. There are plenty choice vistas to get you hangout on, or even overnight at, which I have been itching to do since I first rode out there.
This was the first time riding the geared bike up there so I was able to climb so things I couldn’t before, but my fork wasn’t set up to my liking and felt a bit sloppy on the fast chunk. I saw some bits ridden in which I had not seen before and saw some things ridden which I don’t wish to see again. I wasn’t even the one riding and it had me spooked. Almost lost a friend down a large cravass at one point and saw a massive Stan’s slug trail on a rock. I cleaned the knarley knotch toward the end of the ridge from top to bottom for the first time and then the lot of us ripped the DH. Tacky soil where one could see the line in the needles where the previous rider had been, but we kept it pretty tight. There was a bear sighting along the way and I got in a bit over my head on a couple of manuals. Slum town on the road back to the van, a dip in the creek and then back to town for some za. I got back on the road, city bound at 10:30pm, so including hang out time, the drive to hang time ratio worked out just fine. On the photo tip, I made the rookie error of not double checking my settings. 3 rolls of blurry photos as I left it on the B setting. Panos are meh...
Since I have disappointed with the ride photo, I will share some other images that may explain why my camera was on the B setting to begin with.