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.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Thinking of doing this one next Saturday - you in?