Virginia Mt. Festival Memorial Day

The VA Mt. Bike Festival is always a good time. I went down this year around 12pm with Mark Wigfield, who I met last year and have become friends with. Traffic was already backed up to Gainesville off of Rt. 66. We got to Stokesville in a pretty good time. I had the ambitious plan of doing a Shuttle Run to Reddish Knob and then going down Wolf trail and take the dirt road back to the campsite. We were lucky that James gave us a ride to the top, which was way cool of him. James was leaving for Iraq on Monday of Memorial Day weekend, but wanted to Mt. bike before he left. I did the down hill run with Mark and Tim. Reddish Knob is always a blast to go down, but there was a lot of blown down trees across the trail. We did the trail and luckily the dirt road back to the campground was downhill, because we got back right at sundown. We then met up with Pat who was our third in our camping group. Mark, Pat, and I made steaks and some rice/pasta that night and it hit the spot.

For the huge ride on Sat. there was a group of 9 of us that were going to do the same ride we did last year, including the push a bike climb up White Oak to Hankey mt. I was worried about this ride cause last year I cramped up pretty bad. We did the ride in about 6 hours with 4:40 bike time. I was really happy with my performance. I was riding the hills strong, and able to somewhat hang on the downhills. Another cool thing was to bike with 2 of my City Bikes Teamates Mike, and Matt. On Sunday we did the Southern Traverse with 7 of us and that is such a cool ride. For the 3 mile dirt road climb I was riding really strong, but after the first half of the ridge I kinda cooled off and didn’t seem to have my MoJo. The ST is an IMBA epic ride and is really fun with it’s off camber trails that you can fly down if you want. I had wanted Pat to do this ride, and it worked out great, with Eric and Pat riding together, with me waiting for them at the end. I would like to do more of this route, but would need to figure out how to do that.

On Monday Mark and I decided to do a dirt road ride on cyclocross bikes , that became pretty epic to me. We plotted the ride and have called it the West Virginia Logger http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-states/va/stokesville/444907902

We got the cross bikes ready and rode our bikes out to Reddish Knob, I had 34 x 28 gearing and I was humbled going up Reddish Knob. I am usually a good climber for my size (185lbs) inseason. I am good at 3 mile and less climbs. I have done 5 mile climbs OK. Reddish Knob was 7 miles and after 5 miles I was just trying to get up the mountain. After going over the mountain, we went down this dirt road with switch backs which was fun. We then did this logging road that goes along the mountain and is very pretty. The first part is nicer, cause the logging trucks have not flattened the road out, so you are doing more of a Jeep road. Then after that we went up Shenandoah Mt. but it was not as long since we were a good way up the mountain already. After that was a 9 mile down hill to a Jeep road climb up Hankey Mt. The part of the ride that was pretty sweet was where we came down the single track we came up on Sat. The Fire Road back into camp was a blast to ride on with the cross bike. I think I was faster on the cross bike than the mt bike for that part, I was able to rail the corners better. We ended being the last people out of the campground, but good news was that there was not much traffic at 6 pm when we got back to the DC area. I always like riding in the GW, and I hope I do cause this year I am going to try and do the SM100 which is 100 miles offroad and I am hoping to finish under 11 hours!

1 comment:

Mark said...

Rode Dowell's Draft/Braley's Pond loop for the first time, that weekend, and would have *killed* for a cross bike to get up Hankey Mtn. I went into it pretty confident (I'd been putting in road miles along Skyline Drive earlier that week), but with the squishy? Utter misery. (Both for me and the good folks that waited for me . . .)