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Old 07-08-2012, 05:45 PM   #1
XC Rider OP
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Riding the BRT (Blue Ridge Trail), & swinging by the KLR Cattle Call

Well for the past month or so, I've been working like a dog and have not had the opportunity to go riding like I'd like to. However, with the 4th of July holiday, and the work schedule slowing back down to normal hours, I was able to take a few days off to go riding. The plan was to leave home Wednesday and head west to pick up the Blue Ridge Trail near Front Royal, VA (brought to us courtesy of Error-cooled, check out THIS LINK if interested), then follow it south for a couple days, meet up with my buddy Steve down in Bedford, VA on Friday, ride some more and head to the KLR Cattle Call at the Devil's Backbone brewery near Montebello, VA on Saturday, and then head home. Not only was I going to get some much needed saddle time, but this would the the first extended trip on the KLR I aquirred about 2 months ago, and I would also be testing some new gear that I had just purchased. All this while hopefully riding some great gravel & dirt roads! Woohoo!

So first things first, here is the ride for this little 4 day jaunt. It's a 2007 KLR that I recently purchased. Some of the aftermarket stuff on it includes: Progressive springs in the forks, fork brace, Progressive rear shock, IMS gas tank, Epic Panniers, center stand, Barkbusters, custom made bracket to mount Givi top box, custom made dash for a pair of 12v outlets, and maybe a few other things I'm forgetting at the moment; it's a work in progress!




But back to the story at hand. So Wednesday July 4th rolls around, and I eventually get the bike packed up and am rolling down the road at about 10am. It's hot, but as long as I'm moving, I'm comfortable.

Leaving NOVA via the Prince William Parkway.





Going through the town of Haymarket, flying the red, white, and blue.



After passing Haymarket, I started to find some of the better roads.



Some of these roads I'd ridden before, like Bust Head road, but I just couldn't pass up riding them again as they are so much fun!







Regardless of whether you're on dirt or pavement, the riding around here is great, and so is the scenery.







Even though it was July 4th, these guys were out there working to restore power to those who were still without from last week's storms that rolled through the state. My hat is off to you gentlemen!



The bike, still clean as it is very early on in the trip (it will not remain this way! )







I finally reached Front Royal around 12:30pm, and wound my way to Spelunkers for a little lunch.



After refeulling both myself and the bike, it was time to get on the BRT. It started out with about a 50/50 mix of gravel & pavement, but it was all good!







At one point ( I think it was near Mine Mountain), I rode by a handful of the beautiful little ponds right along the side of the road.



I eventually wound my way to Peters Mill OHV; I didn't reallize that the route ran this way and had not purchased a pass, so I decided not to tempt fate and bypassed this small section of the trail. Too bad, because I've been here before, and it's some nice riding through here.



Oh well, onwards we go.





Coming to a T-stop, I couldn't turn down this photo-op!



More great roads and scenery.











Around 2:30/3:00pm, I found myself feeling a little drowsy. Not needing to be anywhere in particular but right here, right now, I found a great little place to pull over for a nap.....yes....I said a nap! This little country church, with a covered picnic area was a perfect fit! Both the bike & I took a 30 minute nap in the shade!



Feeling refreshed, I get back on the road.











I eventually wound my way back into familiar territory, just west of Harrisonburg, VA; prime Cat Herder country! Time to run some more of my favorite roads!





I also started to see more storm debris on the trail.



Most of it was very easily avoidable.











I also wound my way on Vepco road which has some great views.



Remember this spot Todd!?



Keeping on; the water crossings were all very low, and yet more storm debris.







Luckily I was able to ride into the field to get around this guy, on FR 151.





Some resevoir, sorry I can't remember the name, but it's on FR 151.



Another tree blocking the trail on FR 151.



But with a little off-roading, I was able to get around it.



However, not a quarter mile later, I came across another tree, and was unable to find a way around; the terrain was just too steep on either side to permit me to ride around it.



So time for a little back-tracking and finding an alternate route.







I eventually wound my way up past Reddish Knob, and set up camp at Flag Pole knob. Camp snuggly just doesn't get any better than this; a mountain top all to myself!



The menu for the evening:



With some of this mixed in it:



All prepped by this great little contraption:



And just for ambience, I made a little fire.



And now onto the sleeping accomodations. As I mentioned earlier, I recently picked up some new gear; this includes a new sleeping back, sleeping pad, and a camping pillow! Yep, I'm turning into a wimp!



Sleeping bag is a North Face, Cat's Meow; so far I like it a lot.



Sleeping pad is a Big Agnes Q-Core; more on how I feel about this thing in the next update ( foreshadowing!!! ).



And my ThermaRest pillow, next to my helmet for size comparison; it rolls up to about 1/3 to 1/2 it's size.



All in all, this was a great first day on the road; lots of great roads, weather was good, albeit a little on the hot side, and a great camping spot to top it all off!

STATS for the day:

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Old 07-08-2012, 06:05 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing....Looks like Fun
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:17 PM   #3
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:32 PM   #4
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Nice Dennis!
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:21 PM   #5
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looks like an amazing trip!
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:27 PM   #6
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Great report, good pics, perfect country for the infamous KLR.

A great medium heavy camping hauler. Mine weighs 540 dry....

A folding saw (opens like a jackknife) is your best friend when meeting horizontal wooden road blocks. Couple minutes, you would have punched through...

Really looked like a relaxing journey.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:26 PM   #7
error cooled
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Awesome Denis! Maybe we can round out the portion south of Eggleston one of these days together -- there is a some great riding there as well.

Looking forward to the rest .
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:52 AM   #8
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Finally...

Another Denis RR!!

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Old 07-09-2012, 05:30 AM   #9
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Thanks for the kind words all, Day 2 installment coming up tonight when I get home from work!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Unstable Rider View Post
A folding saw (opens like a jackknife) is your best friend when meeting horizontal wooden road blocks. Couple minutes, you would have punched through...
Yeah, the crazy thing is that I was thinking about it before leaving. However you know how things go; you can either spend more time planning & prepping, or just get out there and ride, and I just wanted to get out there!



Quote:
Originally Posted by error cooled View Post
Awesome Denis! Maybe we can round out the portion south of Eggleston one of these days together -- there is a some great riding there as well.

Looking forward to the rest .
You got it man! May have to take the DRZ though; while the KLR did just fine, there were some really fun sections here and there where a smaller & lighter bike would have been so much more fun.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:56 AM   #10
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Nice ride!

Thanks for sharing :) Looks like a blast to ride up there.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:21 AM   #11
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Looking forward to the rest of your trip. I'm headed to that area in Sept.

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Old 07-09-2012, 07:49 AM   #12
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Great RR Denis. Keep it coming! Yeah, I remember that spot and I can't wait to go there again. Might be a while though, I'm currently in Bogota, Colombia. I wish I had a bike here. There are some amazing areas to ride.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:20 AM   #13
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Nice report!!
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:12 AM   #14
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Wish I had been with you the whole trip looks like some good riding.
Allen and I went over fs48 then I went home . I did not have enough left in me to do 317a a second time.
Thanks for having me along even though I avoided the technical riding.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:17 PM   #15
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Need a Nice Place to Crash?

Hey Dennis,
I don't think I told you but I bought a cabin over in West Virginia. It's located just 4 miles from Franklin on Sandy Ridge Road. If your in the area and want to spend the night in air conditioning be my guest. I'll send you a PM with directions and info on how to get the keys from my neighbor.

Warren
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