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Old 04-24-2011, 07:11 PM   #151
tallbob
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Thanks Error Cooled, I got the files. Now I just have to figure out how to use it. I'm a GPS newb.

Took a quick ride around the Mountain Lake forest roads this afternoon. Baileys Gap Rd. is still a little wet.



Lookoff Rock on Butt Mt. is worth the short walk from the gate on SR. 714.

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Old 04-24-2011, 08:05 PM   #152
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TallBob,

Rode those same roads last Sunday. Looks a little drier today.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:06 PM   #153
ClutchCargo55
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Trees down

Had a great ride on the northern portion of the BRT today. Started at Front Royal and headed south through Fort Valley. Took FR 374 from Edinburg Gap - good gravel conditions. Crossed Massanutten Mtn via 730 to Rt 11 then west on 720 which turned out to be a really sweet gravel road through farm land. Encountered a totally unexpected covered bridge just east of the I-81 overpass. The gravel turned into tarmac periodically and esp. in the area of Bryce Resort then back to gravel as 720 zig-zagged up and over Great North Mountain to Mathias. Along 720 there was a bit of soft gravel and some erosion problems from our recent rains, but nothing that a noob on a KLR couldn't handle.

Heading west from Mathias to 820 was straightforward with tarmac along Crab Run to German River and Criders. I missed the left turn on to German River Rd (across a small bridge) and ended up riding up another nice gravel road (826) to the top of Shenandoah Mtn at the WV-VA line - although I turned back, I definitely will head back there some day to see where that goes. Once back on 865 = German River Rd., the tarmac turned to gravel and I encountered the following Private Road sign indicating that there was no thru traffic or Forest Service road access.http://i1104.photobucket.com/albums/...5/IMG_0888.jpg

Not sure what that's all about, but I pushed on expecting a local with a shotgun and a bad attitude to ruin my day, but in a few hundred yards, there is a wooden bridge over the German River and definite indications that the road is indeed a Forest Service road. German River Rd. is an absolutely beautiful, but rough double track through awesome forests with nice vistas along the way. After a mile or so, there was very little sign that many vehicles had passed thru recently. Several water crossings - none deeper than 8-10" even despite the heavy rains we've had here recently. Some sections could be tough on big bore bikes due to softball size rocks buried under wet leaves. http://i1104.photobucket.com/albums/...5/IMG_0897.jpg

Slightly less than a mile from where German River Rd meets FR 87 and 85 near Sand Spring I encountered several trees down across the trail. A few were small enough to ride over, but then I ran into this double tree down.

I was able to bypass them by riding down the bank and around towards the river side without much difficulty, but it would be a challenge to ride the opposite way (south to north) due to the initial steep, rocky bank at the north end. Just beyond that problem I tried to bash through a tangle of downed limbs and dropped the bike - should have stopped and taken the time to move things (oh well).http://i1104.photobucket.com/albums/...5/IMG_0898.jpg

Nearing the above intersection the road opens up and smooths out quite a bit - nice riding and again many great views. That's all I had time for so I headed back home up 259.

Absolutely can't wait to ride further south.
Thanks Error-cooled for your hard work.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:30 PM   #154
error cooled OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallbob View Post
Thanks Error Cooled, I got the files. Now I just have to figure out how to use it. I'm a GPS newb.

Took a quick ride around the Mountain Lake forest roads this afternoon. Baileys Gap Rd. is still a little wet.

Lookoff Rock on Butt Mt. is worth the short walk from the gate on SR. 714.
Bob -

Thanks again for scouting a few sections of the route I am unfamiliar with. Check your PMs when you have a minute - I sent you some juicy files to check out.
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:06 PM   #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClutchCargo55 View Post
Had a great ride on the northern portion of the BRT today. Started at Front Royal and headed south through Fort Valley. Took FR 374 from Edinburg Gap - good gravel conditions. Crossed Massanutten Mtn via 730 to Rt 11 then west on 720 which turned out to be a really sweet gravel road through farm land. Encountered a totally unexpected covered bridge just east of the I-81 overpass. The gravel turned into tarmac periodically and esp. in the area of Bryce Resort then back to gravel as 720 zig-zagged up and over Great North Mountain to Mathias. Along 720 there was a bit of soft gravel and some erosion problems from our recent rains, but nothing that a noob on a KLR couldn't handle.

Heading west from Mathias to 820 was straightforward with tarmac along Crab Run to German River and Criders. I missed the left turn on to German River Rd (across a small bridge) and ended up riding up another nice gravel road (826) to the top of Shenandoah Mtn at the WV-VA line - although I turned back, I definitely will head back there some day to see where that goes. Once back on 865 = German River Rd., the tarmac turned to gravel and I encountered the following Private Road sign indicating that there was no thru traffic or Forest Service road access.

Not sure what that's all about, but I pushed on expecting a local with a shotgun and a bad attitude to ruin my day, but in a few hundred yards, there is a wooden bridge over the German River and definite indications that the road is indeed a Forest Service road. German River Rd. is an absolutely beautiful, but rough double track through awesome forests with nice vistas along the way. After a mile or so, there was very little sign that many vehicles had passed thru recently. Several water crossings - none deeper than 8-10" even despite the heavy rains we've had here recently. Some sections could be tough on big bore bikes due to softball size rocks buried under wet leaves.

ClutchCargo -

First thank you very much for the photos and the scouting report. I copied in the photos for all to see. The ride on 720 over the mountains is a fun one... I was out scouting that area a few weeks ago.


As to the private road sign - this one I believe is bogus. This is seen all the time all over the forest - scary signs to try and persuade the public from using a road that a local property owner would rather not see used. Often times this includes such signs or tresspassing signs posted on either side of the road to imply that it is no go..


For any one that needs reassurance here are snippets from both the USFS MVUM Road map and the VDOT county map. The USFS map makes it very clear that 865 is public till USFS maintenance takes over.


USFS:



VDOT - you can see the bridges here:


Quote:


Slightly less than a mile from where German River Rd meets FR 87 and 85 near Sand Spring I encountered several trees down across the trail. A few were small enough to ride over, but then I ran into this double tree down.

I was able to bypass them by riding down the bank and around towards the river side without much difficulty, but it would be a challenge to ride the opposite way (south to north) due to the initial steep, rocky bank at the north end. Just beyond that problem I tried to bash through a tangle of downed limbs and dropped the bike - should have stopped and taken the time to move things (oh well).

Nearing the above intersection the road opens up and smooths out quite a bit - nice riding and again many great views. That's all I had time for so I headed back home up 259.

Absolutely can't wait to ride further south.
Thanks Error-cooled for your hard work.
Looks like a great ride overall. With things warming up I imagine the roads will be cleared of trees shortly. Most likely not by the USFS but probably Jeep drivers as they are always in this area. One question - did you use the GPS or printed maps to navigate the route - and if GPS how did the track files work out for you?
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error cooled screwed with this post 04-25-2011 at 12:16 AM
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:24 AM   #156
ClutchCargo55
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GPS or Maps?

I used paper maps backed up by a non-plotted GPS screen. I haven't figured out how to enter routes into my Zumo 550 yet...Yeah I'm OLD school...or maybe just old

I hate to admit being a total techno-noob, but is there a good tutorial on GPS route loading that you could recommend?
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:52 AM   #157
mtnpat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClutchCargo55 View Post
Had a great ride on the northern portion of the BRT today. Started at Front Royal and headed south through Fort Valley. Took FR 374 from Edinburg Gap - good gravel conditions. Crossed Massanutten Mtn via 730 to Rt 11 then west on 720 which turned out to be a really sweet gravel road through farm land. Encountered a totally unexpected covered bridge just east of the I-81 overpass. The gravel turned into tarmac periodically and esp. in the area of Bryce Resort then back to gravel as 720 zig-zagged up and over Great North Mountain to Mathias. Along 720 there was a bit of soft gravel and some erosion problems from our recent rains, but nothing that a noob on a KLR couldn't handle.

Heading west from Mathias to 820 was straightforward with tarmac along Crab Run to German River and Criders. I missed the left turn on to German River Rd (across a small bridge) and ended up riding up another nice gravel road (826) to the top of Shenandoah Mtn at the WV-VA line - although I turned back, I definitely will head back there some day to see where that goes. Once back on 865 = German River Rd., the tarmac turned to gravel and I encountered the following Private Road sign indicating that there was no thru traffic or Forest Service road access.http://i1104.photobucket.com/albums/...5/IMG_0888.jpg

Not sure what that's all about, but I pushed on expecting a local with a shotgun and a bad attitude to ruin my day, but in a few hundred yards, there is a wooden bridge over the German River and definite indications that the road is indeed a Forest Service road. German River Rd. is an absolutely beautiful, but rough double track through awesome forests with nice vistas along the way. After a mile or so, there was very little sign that many vehicles had passed thru recently. Several water crossings - none deeper than 8-10" even despite the heavy rains we've had here recently. Some sections could be tough on big bore bikes due to softball size rocks buried under wet leaves. http://i1104.photobucket.com/albums/...5/IMG_0897.jpg

Slightly less than a mile from where German River Rd meets FR 87 and 85 near Sand Spring I encountered several trees down across the trail. A few were small enough to ride over, but then I ran into this double tree down.

I was able to bypass them by riding down the bank and around towards the river side without much difficulty, but it would be a challenge to ride the opposite way (south to north) due to the initial steep, rocky bank at the north end. Just beyond that problem I tried to bash through a tangle of downed limbs and dropped the bike - should have stopped and taken the time to move things (oh well).http://i1104.photobucket.com/albums/...5/IMG_0898.jpg

Nearing the above intersection the road opens up and smooths out quite a bit - nice riding and again many great views. That's all I had time for so I headed back home up 259.

Absolutely can't wait to ride further south.
Thanks Error-cooled for your hard work.
Nice report.

What kind of bike is that?

Do you have a tire recommendation?

What's up with the goofy gas can thing?
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:02 AM   #158
ClutchCargo55
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Goofy Gas thing

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnpat View Post
Nice report.

What kind of bike is that?

Do you have a tire recommendation?

What's up with the goofy gas can thing?
Bike is a 2007 BMW G650 XChallenge. It's fuel injected so no reserve. Fuel capacity is 2.3 gals and although it gets about 50-60 mpg, the low fuel light turns on at about 90 miles. Logic says I can keep going a fair piece more, but that yellow light is a bit disconcerting especially out in the woods. So when in doubt about fuel availability, I carry that Rotopax 1 gal container as my security blanket. The nice thing about the Rotopax is that it's thin enough to strap bags on overtop.

Oh, boy. Don't ask about tires cause if I write anything we'll start a major flame war. Everybody has their favorite I was using Metzler Karoos and they were "OK" but I'm not excited by them.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:03 AM   #159
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I should be all caught up with the PM requests. Let me know if I missed anyone.

I wish I could leave work right now and go riding....
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:28 AM   #160
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Thanks Error, I received the file. Looking forward to taking this trip sometime!
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:05 AM   #161
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Error, are those Wolfman dry bags? How do you like them?
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:21 AM   #162
SidewinderX
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Headed up to ride some of the southern schtuff tomorrow.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:30 AM   #163
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Headed up to ride some of the southern schtuff tomorrow.

Sounds awesome. I am especially curious about the conditions of the following sections:

* Iron Mtn Trail 301 out of Damascus (this is 13 miles of singletrack)
* Walker Mountain 206 over I-77 SE of Burkes Garden
* Round Mountain 668 NE of Burkes Garden

Be prepared for fallen trees and big ruts . Take some photos too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gimmeslack
Error, are those Wolfman dry bags? How do you like them?
Those are ClutchCargos... I will let him answer.
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:24 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by error cooled View Post
Sounds awesome. I am especially curious about the conditions of the following sections:

* Iron Mtn Trail 301 out of Damascus (this is 13 miles of singletrack)
* Walker Mountain 206 over I-77 SE of Burkes Garden
* Round Mountain 668 NE of Burkes Garden

Be prepared for fallen trees and big ruts . Take some photos too!



Those are ClutchCargos... I will let him answer.
We should hit Walker Mt 206 and Round Mt 668 but probably not Iron Mt trail.

It will be a quick ride up and back for me tomorrow (@ 300+ miles including dirt)... But my brother and another inmate will stay for a day or 2 more... They might hit the Iron Mt trail.

We will take photos but we might not see too much.... 80% chance of TStorms in Wytheville tomorrow....
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:17 PM   #165
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I go my file today

Now to get out and ride.
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