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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Dorito, Apr 14, 2013.
Here's a clip of the lower 1 mile of Second Mtn, which is the most challenging section of the track.
Not many pictures and Dorito is much better at this video editing stuff, but here is what I got..
Though I live on a fairly quite street, i'm apparently getting too complacent. On Friday morning, I had the bike and gear staged in driveway waiting on my ride. Sitting in the family room I hear what I assume is the neighbor starting his lawnmower. a few minutes later the door bell rings...now the dogs start barking. Great they're here. But when I look outside I see my bike is already on the trailer and my gear is already in the truck... I need to get better dogs :huh
Arrived on Friday at our favorite home away from home Sugar Grove Naval Information Center. Trailered the small bikes in for bit of hooligan antics on the local forest roads and trails
Thought we might be walking into a weekend of bad Karma when I noticed the odometer on the DRZ
Rode all afternoon Friday (about 145 miles)(easy roads at a good pace), All day Saturday (another 145 miles, much more technical trails, slower pace) and a quick little ride Sunday morning (about 80 miles, half pavement, half technical off road)
Over all, great weekend....Love the DRZ , it didn't care what we threw at it, just kept right on going
Got this shot on German River rd...one of my favorite roads
Now the "real" version. We arrive a bit early and see a bike sitting lonely on the driveway. As we walk up, we notice the key is in the ignition. Great, why ring the house door bell? This rig has built-in-door bell or two. So we flip the ignition and give a few (pathetic honks) of the horn. Apparently, the horn hasn't been the same since it snorkeled some water at an "unknown" water XC.
Surprised that nobody magically appeared to protect their much loved bike, we do the next best thing. We fire it up. Nope, ain't nobody going to come save this steed. Then we start walking it towards the trailer (still running) and give it a few good revs. Nope still nobody.
Fine, we are now at the base of the trailer. Ain't nothing left to do but load it up and go ring the house door bell We are hopeful that he has a really good story why he didn't save his bike (like he was on the porcelain thrown running down the hall with one pant leg or something).
Do you remember Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Dr Suess?
This vid demonstrates the dangers of adding water to your village idiot!
That would have been much better from a chase bike perspective
But fun as hell either way
Yep, that was pretty fun....pulling wheelies and racing through the turn.....well I guess you had to be there.
Things weve thought about for the next time we go out. Ironically, I am not exactly sure what month that may be, just that it will happen just as a salmon returns the river to spawn.
Blaster is due for foot surgery in Oct, and Aug/Sept is the big trip north. Unless some magic/eagerness happens in Jul, we wont be back until after the 2014 snow melt. Of course, given the 4-day work week situation, that may very well happen before that too. However, I think we might be inclined to do the following:
1) Need to start following the path less traveled. There are many side roads, that we never seem to have time to follow. Next time, we might just plan wild goose chase day and see where in the heck we end up
2) We need to probably start pushing out further west/north and gain some new dirt under our tires
3) Dictum Ridge
Blaster and I have had a long, riding filled summer. It seems that once Spring sprung, we were on the road every other weekend at least.
Anyhow, he has always wanted to ride in the Shenandoah 500 Dual Sport ride. However, with Government furlough and the late timing of the Shen 500 it wasn't in the cards for him. Then there was the GS Trophy Challenge
So, as usually conniving as I am, I was able to empty out the couch cushions for loose change, and this is what he got for his Bday:
All was swell for the weeks leading up. The weather report was fabulous. Then the dear 'ol congress decided that the Government should be unfunded as they have yet to pass a budget on time in the last 6 years.
With the snap of a hand, USFS/USDA closed the parks. The irony of this move is most of these parks are open 24/7 unattended, but somehow in the spite they decided to cone them off from World War 2 vets visiting the National Mall to to kicking folks out of Yosemite and last but not least not opening the seasonal gates at the Shenandoah National park
They even thought it would be apropos to take their websites offline:
None the less, we had already booked our little piece of nirvana. There were several pairs of bikes that could have been selected based on the ride choices, but ultimately we decided to take the little bikes. If nothing else, you can't find a bad road from that jump off point.
However, with all the sulking, USFS finally had a shinning moment. Although 48 hours late, they opened the seasonal gates!
Blaster and I left before day break to head for the hills.
The leaves are really starting to POP
However, the poison ivy was the most brilliant red
Gas below $3/gallon? Let's fill up the entire truck bed:
Coming over RT33 into WV, there is this shelf. I've always thought I could bait EOD3MC to ride up there. He keeps telling me it would riding on bowling balls despite the flat appearance
Sadly this guy was MIA. We were hoping to see him lurking around for Halloween somewhere. No luck finding his whereabouts.
We get into Sugar Grove by late morning. Unload and head out on the bikes. We've passed this little water marker a 1000 times on Moyers Gap, but plenty of time for a photo shoot today.
Nice little touch. These are little white rocks with their logo
However, I've never seen the forest so dry. We head downhill to Dunkle and then swing right to Hall Spring. It's great news that the gate is open and we appear to be among the first rides of the year!
It's a nice little road and aside from the tall grass with a few bigger rocks lurking in the weeds, it's very big bike friendly.
We pass this open gate too, but GPS shows it dead ending. Maybe time for some google mapping intel
Feeling cheeky we take Long Run to the start of Second Mountain. What the heck...down we go!
Look at the these big rocks..
Who's the alien?
We leave Second Mountain with a grudge match for Dictum Ridge for next season:
According to the WATR folks, they rate Dictum Ridge as:
Ever seen a Dr200 on a enduro race? Me neither.. Better bring more TTRU units for that one !
Swing by Natural Chimney, the launch point for the next few days. We are given the bad news that there permit has been suspended. Furthermore, the route has been significantly altered. However, we decide that we'll just take the bikes though tech inspection so we can get our meal tickets and Tee Shirts.
We meet this nice fellow doing tech inspection. Since Blaster is going in to fuse his foot in 84 hours , they have a great conversation about the "peg" leg. It looks really handy though.
Passing tech with flying colors, we head off to the get our meal ticket and T-shirt. As expected, we get the bad news about the USFS and the event. I have to give them kudos, as it's never easy to deal with the insanity of the Government. We graciously part ways for the evening and head back to the cabin.
Blaster has always wanted to have a night ride in the forest. However, what he gets in a nice pre-dawn gallop over the mountain to have some bfast with comrades at the Shen 500. It was a bit brisk over the mountain, but what a fabulously relaxing ride!
A sea of bikes.
Some friendly faces..
By Saturday morning, the news reports that the National Parks are beginning to re-open for private citizens. We are confident that given the seasonal gates being opened, that the Shenandoah is also available for the public. With not much ado, Blaster and I decide that it's time for us to part company and ride our own ride. So, we dig through some old GPX files, and cobble something together on the fly.
Our first date for today...Union Springs.
We've decided to interview rocks on Union Springs which may have a grump on about a certain X-challenge. We are pleased to report that no suspicious rocks were identified. However, there were a few that snickered and seemed to be Husaberg Haters.. We'll see!
Here's the cherry camping spot on in the middle of the Union Springs:
Oh, here's the Shen 500 rating for Union Springs:
We went up to Reddish knob, never seen it so packed. Apparently, someone should have coordinated better. We had two truck loads of teenaged Mennonite females, and then a pile of ADVers.
A fox in the hen house...
Pretty clear day though
The Shen500 has the ham radio operators covering the entire track for the riders. There are about 8 checkpoints/help trucks. In fact aside from a few miles, they claim to have radio reception for the entire track.
Time for another building we always pass in Sugar Grove and never photo:
Next off was lunch at the Sugar Grove firehall. Apparently, the Shen 500 is the biggest fund raiser they have all year. Good on them! As I walk in, I hear someone calling my name. There is a literally a sea of faces.
Turns out that I met this chap over 2 years ago on a foggy day at Reddish Knob. The real reason he remembered my name was because it's also his sisters. Delightful fellow from Richmond area.
Depart lunch for Westside, Rough Run and Long Run. We get back to the cabin around 1630..and only about 130 miles on the odo. But boy am I whooped!
Yesterday, it was fun to ride amongst other folks. Some of those guys are wicked fast...but only for 30 mins. We must have passed each other 3X an hour all.day.long. Everyone was really nice and a simple head nod as we passed time and time again. They would haul ass down the gravel, but then I would be pushing them on tarmac. You know the old adage: slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Strange I tell you.
The dust storms were a bit unbearable at times. I kind of like the quite solace of just a few riders meandering through the hills, so Blaster and I decided on a nice relaxing morning around the cabin. We decide to forgo meeting with the Shen500 folks for bfast, and just get out and ride.
Sounding knob is one of my favorite seasonal rides, and today is no exception. I was amazed on how far some folks were able to get their trailers on that 'road' to go camping. We leave sounding knob, and decide to give our luck at McClung water XC.
If you remember the illustrious attempt that EOD3MC gave this one back in April. Yep, that didn't go so well, but did earn him a spot on the TTTRU memorial trophy.
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Today, even a girl can make it look easy:
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About 30 miles remaining on the track, we head up Upper Fork Road (VA-612). However, there is a sign about 2.6miles from the intersection of VA-612/RT250 that says "End of county road". Then the road dog legs into a fence. Even though the GPS shows a clear path, we decide to ride it another time from the other end after we get some more skinny on this road. Anybody know if it is a legal through road?
With that, I've now attempted this track twice, and failed to complete it both times. No matter, back to the cabin to get packed out and off to home.
We find this fab little German restaurant in Harrisonburg on RT33 right across from the Sheetz
Get the red cabbage..
And so this brings the season and Blaster's Bday weekend to a close. 'Til we ride again!
Nicely done Dorito....