From May 25th
Double Southern Traverse
The Virginia IMBA mt. bike festival is a great time to get down to the GW area and ride some really great trails. Also helps as a warm up for the SM100. This year I did a quick jaunt down to the festival for just Friday night. I got Alex involved and we left at 6:30am and were riding at 12:30pm to do the Southern Traverse trail From the South out and back. I really liked doing the trail this way I felt that it was allot better to be on singletrak the whole time. I didn't mean for us to go down a hill to the fireroad and then right back up it, but once we started heading down we ended up at the fire road. I will say going South to North is allot harder, there is more climbing, and almost all the downhill parts are on off camber sections. The good news is going back the traditional way North to South it is allot faster and easier. Also you get the 3 mile down hill at the end. Kent and his wife Paula came out and went at their own pace, we caught up to them when we turned around and started on our way back.
The Huge Ride-less road
The Fallowing day we got up had a nice pancake breakfast, and Sid and Erik came down for the day and we started our ride up Hankey. Within the first 2 miles Sid broke a chain so he had to fix that. I had wanted to get in front of people but now we were in the mix with a huge group of Bike Line riders, and Pouch, and Mark from DCMTB who had caught up with us. We kinda rode behind the Bike Line folks for a bit and then started up the steep part of Hankey. I almost made it thru that section without dabbing, but I ran out of gas and had to walk a little. For the rest of the climb up Hankey it was myself in front with Erik, or Alex behind and Sid off the back. We made it down Dowells and then to the store, there we were back with the Bike Line folks again. We got out of there, and hooked up with Mike S. and Co. for the road ride up to Braileys. Mike was setting a good tempo and then I took it over, almost had to gear down but Braileys was there. Alex had fallen off the pace but caught back up while regrouped at Braileys to refill our camelbacks with the water pump which was a team effort to work. Going into the Singletrak we were yet again bunched with the Bike Line people. We get to the stream and people go through and start the climb. I don't like getting my feet wet if I don't have to, and since I was not in a race, I was the only one to take off my shoes and socks and then walk across the stream. I then put on my shoes and socks and walked the first part of the climb. I seem to climb pretty good for how big I am, and I wasn't upset that I was the last person on the trail. This way I knew I would have more open trail and not be stuck behind someone and have to stop. I was spinning up, cause I knew you had to save you strength for the couple of sections of rock where you need your speed to get through it. As I went up I caught all of my group and passed some of the Bike Line people. I made it up without dabbing(ok I did kick off one tree but did not touch the ground or stop). Only the second time I have done that, the first being during the SM100 I did in 2007. At the top we bumped into Joe, who was riding with Punga. We ate some and found out after a couple of minutes that Alex had stopped like 500ft from the top cause he didn't know how much longer it was to the top :-) so I yelled for him and he came up. Sid and Erik got going cause they needed to get back to their cars to get home. Alex was pretty spent so he rode back with Jonathan. I wanted to go up Dowells to Hankey and then down that to the campsite. I was now solo since others didn't want to do hill climb. I timed it up Dowells not killing it but riding consistantly and getting out of the saddle when I could to keep the back happy. I made it up it in like 30 minutes or so. After the hike a bike up Hankey I went to the lookout and took pictures. I then started on my way back passing the Dan hudson group, and he said the Bike Line boys were ahead. I then caught them, and kind of rode by them. I think Rob from that team kept up with me for a bit, but I pushed the pace as if I was finishing the SM100. I kept it up and I ended up with like 4:11 ride time. I was pretty happy with that. I even beat Alex back!
We then packed up and were out of there by 5:00pm to get back to DC.