DirtyBurg Big-Day-64Miles

 From Early March
The usual DirtyBurg ride is 40 miles, but this is a version that I routed out after seeing a posting on the MORE board that listed all the dirt roads of Loudon County. So I took roads from the normal DirtyBurg ride and added some from the previous extended ride that accidentally went on some private farms DirtyBurg Extended. I then connected those roads with some new dirt roads from my Leesburg dirt road ride that I had done in years past with the famous Jets and Sharks ride, which was a combined PPTC/MORE ride.

Riding in the 19th century
Kenda block 8's didn't seem to be so resilant
For the ride, there were three of us: Matt, Mark and me. Mark is a beast of a rider, and I can only hope to hang onto his back wheel, while Matt is always the wild card. At the start of the ride, I found out that Matt had ridden his bike a total of five times since late November. We started the ride a little cold, as even though the forecast had said it would be sunny and a high of 50 degrees, it was cloudy and in the 40s --a big difference.
We did Busthead Road, and once we got onto the climb I ended up putting some distance on the boys, mostly because they were riding really high gearing. I think Mark had a 34-23 and Matt was running a single chainring and I believe a 38-25. I was running a new crank set that I had bought for my new Giant cross bike that was a 36-46(came with a 38-46) with a 28 in the back. Once we got to the top, we started the fast downhill and I kinda let it hang out, which led me to eventually go off the road (that was kinda sketchy). Matt ended up bombing the downhill and getting in front of me. The road then went from regular dirt to soft gravel/dirt/etc. that would make you wipe out if you had too much weight on the front wheel. We continued on and Mark was riding pretty strong, doing a couple digs where I was wondering whether I'd be able to keep up that kind of pace for the length of the ride. Matt had a funny comment once we got over an old stone bridge and were going by some stone farm fences. He said, "I think the Confederates still hold this area," which made us all laugh because when we looked around it seemed like we could have been in the 19th century. 
We got onto some of the new roads, which were pretty nice--constant ups and downs. The only blunder in the route was when we were going down a hill and came upon a deep creek covering the road. There had been a major storm two days prior, and most of the roads were fine, but this road was flooded out and not passable. We rerouted to get around it (it's great to have a Garmin when wanting to change course mid-ride). We then hooked up with some of the Leesburg roads I had ridden multiple times before. By this time, Matt was still riding ok, but he was beginning to feel his months of not riding. I could not believe he was riding as good as he was. Then we started onto some new roads that I had not done before, but right as we were getting on them, Mark got a flat. One of the problems with this route is that there is not a clear place to stop to refuel, so with my new bike only having one bottle holder, I had to get some water off of Mark's Camelbak as he was changing his tire.
Around this point, the sun finally decided to show itself, which made the day a lot nicer. We got back to the end part of the DirtyBurg ride, which consists of riding up Bull Run Mountain on a diagonal that makes you go up and down the ridgelines. We ended up going our own pace and regrouping at turns. Finally we came back together as we hit Hopewell, and just to get it all out of my system, I took off on a flyer for the last 3 miles on Busthead Road.
After the ride, we went to Joe's Pizza (which is really hard to find now that Gainesville is all screwed up with the roads) and we ordered three large pies. I couldn't believe how much that little guy Matt could eat. It was a great time with the boys.
  • For the route, I need to find a refueling point. There was a small country store that might have potential, but it might not be open all the time.
  • I do like my new Giant cross bike, but for these dirt road rides, it's not as smooth as my old Jamis. Most importantly, it doesn't have 2 water bottle mounts, so I might want to get a second mount to use for rides like this.
  • The ride is a doozy, as it involves 6000 ft. of climbing in 64 miles.
  • Definitely good Iron Cross training. Will try to do this ride again before that race.


AZ Trip 2011 Day 5-Phoenix T-100 East Side

From Feb.
Sunrise on the mountains
So for my last day on the tip I was not leaving until 5pm so I was to get one last ride in the morning.  I had run the day before, since we were visiting my Aunt and Uncle.   The running was pretty hard, and this made my legs dead for this ride. I tried to ride some trails on the south side of the T100, working my way around to some trail I had done before. This trail had some good sections while others were just too hard to ride.  I saw a good number of hikers, and most were supportive of my efforts. One women exclaimed that she had been hiking out here for 20 years and never saw a biker on the trails I was on.  I think those routes are do-able if you work your way through the neighborhood streets to link up trail.
Once I got to the trails I had done before, I was able to get myself moving faster.  The trails on the north side is where the bikers ride, since it is more flowy. I had a fun time my last day, got to do some new trail. I got home and packed up the bike in about an hour then left for the car rental and airport. Next year I hope to maybe go to Tucson again to change it up.

The Hiker-Bike shoes were the ticket to riding some trails cause you had to walk a lot on rocks


AZ Trip 2011 Day 4-Black Canyon Trail

Cactus Galore!- this part was a like a tunnel and they were big
From Feb.

I have done the BCT everytime I have come out to AZ.  The trail is a great one, it was built by hikers who also bike.  It is in an area that has a bunch of ATV trails, and it is nice to ride on the man-made trails that go up and down and turn like a nice roller coaster. 
This year I rode part of the trail I had never ridden.  I rode from the southern end point of the trail.  I didn't know if you could park where I did, but I parked in front of the gate and hoped for the best.  The first part of the trail was really flat, going slightly uphill.   Wasn't much to it until I got to there more practical end point of the trail where there is a parking lot, tables, grills.  I then rode north to most southern part I had ridden before.  I went another mile or so and then turned around and rode back.  I had a good ride, thinking next year not to do that most southern part(but it is very close to PHX) and try and ride the new northern trails.  The only thing this trail is missing is a loop, right now it is pretty much an out and back.

Huge Wash that I got over at the BCT trail


AZ Trip 2011-Day 3 Quadruple-By-Pass

The Anthem 29 liking the trail
From Feb.

Saw a hare
This is one of my favorite rides when I come to AZ.  This ride reminds me of riding in GW forest where you have a big climb and then a big decent.  This year I brought a GPS with me, but I forgot it for this ride!  I had one of the maps the park makes so I was ok.  The windGate climb was brutal as it was last year.  With the new bike I will say it was nice having good brakes for the descents. I liked this ride more this year, cause since it was so early in the season it wasn't as hot. Also since I had done the ride before I knew what I was getting into.  The tricky part where you go through the neighborhood, was no problem now since I knew where I was going.  I ended up taking a wrong turn on the Quartz trail.   I ended up at a Golf course and knew I had gone the wrong way.  I looked at the map and saw my mistake and then continued to get back to the trail I needed to get to.  I was out there a long time, I started around 11am and didn't finish until dusk. When I was coming over the last pass the sun was behind the mountain.  Also I lost my cleat in my shoe(found the cleat not the bolts), so had to do an emergency repair and rode the last bit with only one bolt in each of my cleats.
Great ride, longest of the trip 6+ hours out there, riding for 5+. 

Highest elevation 3100ft, lowest 1500ft

SunRise Valley Climb


A cycleways map of Open Street Map Data, I added the details on how to get out of the neighborhood to the DixieMone trail


AZ Trip 2011-Day 2-South Mountain

From Feb.
I had ridden here every year I have been down to Phx for my little training camp.  The first year I did Coast to Coast which is 40miles and a pretty long day in the saddle.  For this day I needed to be back around 4:30pm to watch Kennedy in a volleyball game.  I also knew I was going to do a big ride the next day so I didn't need to go too deep.  The issue with riding here is that you can really hurt yourself if you are not careful.  There are people on the trails so if I got really hurt I would not have been left for dead.
I did some trails that I had not done before, then I worked my way to the National trail.  I did this trail a lot better then I did the previous time I came.  There was only one little downhill that I think I could have done, but I didn't to wreck and hurt myself.  I met some guys on the ridge we talked a bit, I was riding the rocks really well, too well it seems.  When I got to a saddle to go down to the Desert Classic trail I started riding some sketchy stuff riding the walls of the trail.  Then I when off a 3+ drop-off and over the bars I went.  Luckly didn't get too hurt, but after that I walked down the sketchy stuff on that trail.  Once on the desert classic trail I just chugged along to the car.  Will come back here again since I seem to be riding the rocks better.


AZ Trip 2011-Day 1

From Feb.

This year I decided to do my trip earlier then I had ever done it before.  I figured that Febuarary would be a great time to be in AZ since the weather would have to be nicer then in DC.  While if you go in March it is nice and warm in AZ, but you will still have 60 degree days in the DC area.  My parents were in town the week before, and AZ had record lows in the 20’s in the morning.  By the time I got there the weather was nicer with 40’s in the mornings and then up to 60’s-70’s in the afternoon.  Interesting thing with this trip I didn’t get on the trail until almost midday for every ride besides the last day where I needed to catch a plane.

Day 1

T-100 West Side.  
First Mt. Ride with My Garmin, it lost signal or something.  Cause I didn’t go 12,000 miles!  I had a good ride, and ended up getting there late in the day and rode until almost sunset.  I had done this part of the park like 3 years ago, so This time I made sure to go up the fire road climb.  Got my heart rate to 186, but didn’t know the heart rate thing was working at the time.

T-100 West Side
Wed, Feb 9, 2011 10:34 AM added by lovedabikes