Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Helter Shelter

Since I didnt get out this weekend due to handling some bidness, I will just post a few more fotos from last week's adventure. You would probably be more entertained by images of the photo shoot this weekend, but they are not available for public consumption. Here are some more boring sights of another boring adventure in the hideous highlands of Virginia. The journey began at rt55 along the County Line Trail and pushed through the gnarley rocks at Big Schloss before traveling along portions of the SM100, Dragon's Back, Rowdy Dogg and Iron MTN 100K. Yes, there was a very short portion of the Creeper Trail involved unless you are talking about those sections of trail that see no traffic, forcing us to travel at a Creeper's pace.

Chris' foto of the us crossing the second oldest river in the world has created quite a buzz...


Poseur shot by J-Law...


Regrope...


Haggered...


Kurt accepts the challenge of bunnyhopping a cattleguard. Dont ask how it turned out..


Consultation...


Boy-yay!



Helter Shelter...


Eager to nic some of those properly exposed digi captures for the sharing. Sharing caring...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Colors

I received an email a couple of months back from the folks at Shenendoah Mountain Touring inviting me to ride from Wardensville Virginia to Damascus, Virginia along what is being called the Virginia Mountain Bike Trail. 418 miles and over 65,000’ of climbing (or descending if you are a glass half full kinda person) in just over 2 weeks. I had squandered too much time over the summer to justify a 2 week vacation, so I figured I would ride the last 4 days of trail that would all be new to me. Chris and Matt started their journey at the County Line Trail off of rt 55, rode through Big Schloss, Trout Pond and down Secret South en route to the Stokesville Campground just in time to celebrate the Shenendoah Mountain Bike Festival with some riding and trail work. See previous post for those details.

From there it was the Southern Traverse, Douthat, Dragon’s Back and then into Blacksburg and the Jefferson NF where I hooked up with the gang on a rest day which consisted of just over 4 hours of riding on the local trails sans one Chris Scott who headed for the hosptial to confirm his fears of a shoulder separation he earned the day before. Before skipping town, I scoped out the weather which called for seasonable temps with a 90% chance of adventure. We rolled out early as there were some 65 miles to cover IF we could successfully ford the New River cutting out a road ride go ‘round that would tack on an additional 20ish miles. After scoping out several possible crossings, we encountered a local who asked us what we were up to. After some smoothing over, he gave up some inside info on the ledges in water and wished us well after saying we would never make it with bikes. The water felt surprisingly nice in the morning sun and we made our way across. The rest of the day was a mix of pavement, rail trail, double and single track before reaching the Sunrise Cabin just in time to take in a magnificent sunset from the deck.

The night was nice enough that Matt and I turned down soft beds to overnight on the deck. We jumped on the Virginia Highlands trail at the end of our driveway and continued on, riding blown out fall line trail for the first half of the day which opened up later on to some great contour riding in peak colors. Lots of Rhodo tunnels and some areas that the corridor was completely grown over, smacking faces and shredding arms before opening up again to fast and flowy track and half riding. We dumped out at the road where we spotted Tyler across the road with the tour mobile at our campground for the night.

During the night, I could feel the weather blowing in with a few showers and by the time we left in the morning a steady rain was falling. Heading for Iron Mountain, we had everything from morning fog to warm sunshine before the front blew in bringing with it heavy rain and temps dropping below 50. I ran out of film and seem to have lost at least one roll somewhere along the way. Boyes managed to triple flat on the final downhill into Damascus where everyone scurried to change out of wet clothes and get things packed so we could get pizza and celebrate the end another adventure. There was more to the day including some amazing, flowing, peadally goodness and “light rock” riding, but the memories seemed washed away by the wetness later in the day. In case you are wondering, Chris rode the final 4 days with his shoulder separation. MOre thought and images will follow. Here are some of mine...

Cue the music...




















Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Festicle

Yes, folks once again the Shenandoah Fall Mountain Bike Festival was a hoot with fun for the whole family. Friday kicked things off with the traditional Six Pack Downhill on Trimble Mountain followed by dinner and late night hangouts around the campground. Saturday, after breakfast, I got in on some of that good GW Forest riding including some Dowells Draft, Braley’s, Camp Todd, Chestnut, and what might possibly be the last ever ride across Grooms Ridge which is well on its way to becoming Wilderness in exchange to get another bit of land out of hock. The trail was already well grown over and most of us got our arms well ravaged by the brush and limbs which now obscure the route.

Six-pack attack...


Chase on Groom's...


On top of Groom's...




Saturday night, folks are always excited to check out the slide show and then get their groves on. There is always some ribbing of those who sneak off to bed early. Last year, it was Adam and Pat who got it bad. I was actually surprised to see Adam back after the torment Thomas and the angry mob sent his way, but it was Pat who no-showed this year. Adam was left be and the focus was on JV’s Kyle and Kurt. A posse gathered under the pavilion and made it’s way across the field in the cover of night. Kyle’s tent was given a vigorous shaking and then bevs tossed under the rain fly. When this proved unsuccessful, Leo the large labber-doodle, was sent in to do some sniffing around. Did I mention Whitney was in there too? With Kyle playing possum, we wandered over to Kurt’s van with him nowhere to be found. Anyway, we rounded up a couple of “gremlins” aka, little bikes, for the beer crits. After about an hour, Kurt was spotted getting up from the hammock under the pavilion and heading back to his van. He had been passed out right there in plain sight.

Since the focus of the festival is trail work, I figured I would head out to do some on sunday. A new trail heading up to Narrowback is going in, and it is going to be ripping. After a few hours of work, the lot of us headed back to camp for lunch and then out on the Birthday/ JV and friends ride on Lookout then an out and back on the new stuff. I mean how fast do you want roll some flowy, pumptrack, single track? Its your call. Sprinting and chasing insued with some jumping along the way. Kurt and Collin cleared out a drop along the way and were caught in the act by Thomas and I was busted ditching my volunteer slot by the Wolf, which I will say was kindly offered to be picked up so I could ride with the gang.




Back at the campground, things were winding down, which is always a little bit depressing, but I was handed a wad of money from stuff I had sold at the swap. In addition to the Worksman trike that WABA took off my hands on Friday, I sold the Van Dessel, some rims, a fork, maybe the EWR and a bunch of other bits. Finally, I am able to justify buying Ryan’s cross bike. Now if I had only packed the Pugsley to sell…

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall is officially here, which means the summer duldrums have finally come to an end. With the cooler temps and low humidity, comes the inspiration for getting out and going big on the bike. This autumn has been wetter than usual, however things cleared up just in time for the Fall Festival at the Stokesville campground. Zero percent chance of rain in the forecast for the first time in over a month and perfect day time temps for getting out and doing trail work and riding.

Next weekend, I will be heading down to Damascus, Va for 4 days of backcountry riding with SMT and a few other hand picked riders with another weeekend of what right now look like perfect temps and no chance of rain. Feel free to soak me on my commutes this week if it means perfect weekend conditions.

Weekends are quickly filling up as I dont see one without plan in the next month or so. By then, things will be crazy at work, buckling down for the holidays and before I know it, I will be on my way to Sedona once again for fun in the sun while the rest slum in the cold winter. But dont fret, I will be back in time to get in a snow ride or two, and maybe even the Superbowl ride.

A teaser from the weekend...


WWCD? (what would coach do)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Some more photos from the Nutt via Chris Scott







...and dont forget, the festicle is this weekend!


... then perhaps 4 days along the Virginia Mountain bike trail.