I'm Gonna Miss This!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Steverino, May 16, 2002.

  1. Steverino

    Steverino Arrogant Horse's Ass #1

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2001
    Oddometer:
    36,679
    Well the big move is this weekend. Some of the things I am going to miss about living here in the Valley is the opportunity to get in some quality riding during the week. I spent all day in the "office" yesterday until about 4:00. Then I decided to take the Dakar on the trail that I first experimented off-road on(not going to get into the lame discussion about off-road vs. off Highway :war). This trail starts at Switzer Dam about 15 miles west of Harrisonburg, VA. Can't miss it. Take the only left that you can off of 33 West as you head up Shenandoah Mountain. Starts out easy as it drops down to the dam and reservoir to provide easy access for fisherpeople.

    At the bottom, you cross a large creek, did so without dropping the 650 this time :): . Then it twists and turns on rocky, hilly wet jeep trail to the top of the mountain. Once at the top you have a choice of right or left. Right is tame and heads across Flagpole Mt. towards Reddish Knob. Left is more rocky and rugged and heads toward Union Springs. The first time ever off-road on the 1150GS I want left. It immediately gets hairy with steep rocky stair step drop-off downhills and uphills. It was the first one of these where I dropped the 1150GS. It was a struggle and the clutch lost about 50% of its useful life that day, but I finally made it to Union Springs. Today I was headed to Reddish Knob. But I could not resist the opportunity to compare the capabilities of the Baby GS against the Big Daddy GS. So I went left to find out.

    I was immediately struck by a feeling of "this is easy as shit, I dropped the GS here?". I made it down the first section with no problem. Then up the other side of the saddle and down the next and on and on. I was pleased that the Baby G was so much easier and more capable on the off road stuff. :thumb. I turned around after about 5 miles and headed in my original destination.

    The Forsest Service Road to Reddish Knob from here is pretty easy. I doubt the Tercel will make it though:evil. When you get to Hoan Quarry Rd, it turns to pavement for the rest of the climb to 4500 feet. Not the biggest mountain, but the tallest around these parts. I got to the top, took several pics and then headed back down.

    As I was headed down the narrow steep 1.5 lane road I was going around a corner when a car load of Teeny Boppers came the other way at an excessively high rate of speed, 3/4 of the way in my lane. At this point I am on the outside of the turn with nothing but steep droppoff and large trees to aim for. I yanked the Baby G to the right and to the very edge of the road as I looked in to the eyes of the punk driving the Maxima or Altima, I could not tell at that speed. He had eyes the size of grapefruit and had yanked the Nissan back to the left. He missed me by about a foot and never slowed down. Whew, life is an adventure. About 1/4 mile down the road another one comes blasting up the hill, but luckily this one was on a straight and we both saw the other in plenty of time.

    I got to the bottom near Hoan Quarry and decided to see what the Trails at the bottom looked like. Several excellent Mountain Bike downhills come off the top of the "Knob", but the entry into them is across an impossible rock garden slide area. I decided to see how far up one of them I could get. I made it several miles on twisty narrow single track. At this point, the trail traverses a large face and is about 18" wide and off camber like a bitch. Doable, but not alone. I head back down.

    Once again I am impressed by the performance of the little GS. It gets me where I can ride off road comfortably and it rides off road as well as my ability need it to.

    I'll miss the opportunity to do this in the future, but it's time to move on from here and get closer to the main office. I am sure there will be trails to explore there too. It is the middle of horsey country, maybe I can join in on the fox hunts with the Baby GS!

    More lame-ass pics here: http://www.pbase.com/1150gssteve/rknob

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. Will

    Will Carpe Moto.

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2001
    Oddometer:
    442
    Location:
    Wandering
    I remember it well. My first off-pavement (what ever!) ride was the Switzer Dam road, up to Flag Pole knob, then east, down Slate Springs Mountain Road. I thought I had discovered the new world! I didn't wash my bike for days, bored anyone who would listen to me with my descriptions. What a tough decision it must be for you to leave such a beautiful area. Thanks for the story, it brought back memories. Like how I got stuck half way across the creek, put both feet down up to my knees as the front wheel hit a rock or something. A little wiggling of the handlebars got me past but not before my boots filled with water. I wish I was up there now...
    #2
  3. Steverino

    Steverino Arrogant Horse's Ass #1

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2001
    Oddometer:
    36,679
    For the real challenge in that area, take the 2nd Moutain Trail. It's on the right just as you make the big left hand sweeper after leaving Rawley Springs. It is marked with a street sign so you will know you are on the right trail. Explore all that is up there on that mountain. Lots of good trails.
    #3
  4. Killen

    Killen Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Oddometer:
    898
    Location:
    Winona Minnesota
    So has the DAKAR been as much fun as you thought it would be?

    It's a good looking bike...but put some dirt on it please.

    Killen
    #4
  5. Steverino

    Steverino Arrogant Horse's Ass #1

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2001
    Oddometer:
    36,679
    It's been dirty I promise and half under water when I wrecked it and has a busted clutch lever and body panel not to mention many scrapes and scratches.

    I love it, yeah it ain't a YZ 250, but it's plenty of fun for me to play with off road.

    50-60 MPG too, not bad. Here's my ADvrider sticker, some where under the dirt.

    Attached Files:

    #5
  6. Killen

    Killen Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Oddometer:
    898
    Location:
    Winona Minnesota
    Nice Dirt!
    #6
  7. PhilSpace

    PhilSpace The Ex-Gov

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Oddometer:
    36,136
    Location:
    Springfield, VA
    Way cool.

    I will have to ride down there while Beck is recouping and play, sounds like fun and a good road for me to start on.
    #7
  8. FormerInmate 081920

    FormerInmate 081920 Guest

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2001
    Oddometer:
    53,125
    ya can't miss the road Steve is talking about. It's about 1/2 up Shenandoah mountain on the right.
    #8
  9. PhilSpace

    PhilSpace The Ex-Gov

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Oddometer:
    36,136
    Location:
    Springfield, VA
    But Steve said Left off 33:confused I think I found it anyway, Skidmore and it heads in the direction of Flagpole Knob and Reddish. I will load up my Deliverance collection on the mini-disk player and head off that way:):
    #9
  10. FormerInmate 081920

    FormerInmate 081920 Guest

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2001
    Oddometer:
    53,125
    oops!! :stupid yep, it's a left going up the hill
    #10
  11. Will

    Will Carpe Moto.

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2001
    Oddometer:
    442
    Location:
    Wandering
    I've done Second Mountain road many times but only on a mountain bike. I don't think I'll try that on the 1150 for a while, till my skills improve some more.
    The first off-pavement ride I took the fiancee on her F650GS was Long Run Road (not the jeep trail you took). We went to the end, camped in a downpour, and the next morning road out on Rough Run road. The creeks were all up and she made me ride both bikes through them. She dropped her bike twice but laughed it off. What a trooper! That was last spring, the same day WV was having all the flooding.
    #11
  12. FormerInmate 081920

    FormerInmate 081920 Guest

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2001
    Oddometer:
    53,125
    Will, where in VA are you?
    #12
  13. Steverino

    Steverino Arrogant Horse's Ass #1

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2001
    Oddometer:
    36,679
    So then you hav also MTB'd up Long Run Road from the church at the bottom, then right at the top and then down the Long Run Downhill? That is a blast on a MTB. That is also where I packed it in one of the many creek crossings. The 1150 should do it just fine. Just take it easy!

    I would love company to explore more of that area. Kind of leary about doing it by myself.

    Any time you want to head down Phil let me know! :thumb
    We'll take the easy ones :evil
    #13
  14. Will

    Will Carpe Moto.

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2001
    Oddometer:
    442
    Location:
    Wandering
    Far to the east, Virginia Beach area. Very flat here, home of the Great Dismal Swamp, which pretty much sums up my opinion of this area.
    #14