Sunday, April 15, 2018

Shenandoah University (Cool Springs Campus, Berryville, VA)

Rebecca and I visited her hometown of Winchester, VA this weekend and had a chance to ride at Shenandoah University's Cool Spring Campus.

On our first attempt, we ended up riding the loop in the opposite direction. About a third of the way in, we decided to back-track, since we had plans to meet her brother and father for dinner that night and didn't have time to complete the full loop.

The next morning, however, I decided to return to the campus to get in the full ride before breakfast. The previous day we'd worn the dogs out and Rebecca had no issue sleeping in while I rode, so I headed to the trailhead alone to attempt the ride once again. This time I had the mtbProject app running in order to navigate the loop without issue.

It was a GRUELING climb, but honestly a bit of suffering I was content to undergo. Although the loop is relatively short (about 12 miles), its pace is slow due to the extent of steep climbs.

Eventually, though, it began to even out, offering technical descents and spectacular sliding corners around tight-packed trees.

I'm certainly going to revisit this trail the next time we head to Winchester and would highly recommend it to anyone in the area.

Relive 'Shenandoah University - full loop'

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Blue Ridge School (Saint George, VA)

A warm day in February is an oddity. Exponentially so when you've had two weekends in a row RAINED OUT.

The extended forecast had another shit weekend lined up, with a BLIP of heaven on a THURSDAY. With that in mind, I asked my boss to trade it for the following Saturday.

Let me tell you - I work for a true HERO of a person.

He gladly obliged, gazing skyward as if to say, "Maybe I'LL do the same."

The next morning I had coffee with my wife, Rebecca, then pulled the V-strom out of the shed.

I was busting at the seams for ADVENTURE, so I went FULL E-N-D-U-R-O, BRO!!!

I rolled the moto onto the sidewalk, loaded all three boxes, the bike, THEN checked the chain & tires [tightened, lubed, inflated], before FINALLY setting off westward!

I was loaded down with gear and a million ideas in my mind. I took the highway to get out of the city, then 250 (a.k.a Broad Street) from there.

When I left, I'd decided Walnut Creek was the destination, but immediately it occurred to me that the ride there was a bore. At that point I chose to narrow my mountain biking options to the few that required a ride on 33 (a.k.a. Staples Mill). After the ride, mind you, I planned on visiting my friend Jeremy in Charlottesville.

Let's see...Preddy Creek?

Yeah, that'd be cool. A bit far from Charlottesville, though.




I'd only recently been introduced to the trails there. In a nutshell, they received an enormous grant from the Walton's [due to a son attending the Blue Ridge School] SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF BUILDING TRAILS. It was money well-spent, as they now have an impressive network, featuring windy singletrack descents with well-marked signage, built in accordance with IMBA standards of sustainability.

Remember all the rain from earlier?

Before hitting the trails, I consulted a friend who rides there regularly. He suggested an out-and-back route that kept me from the low areas. The wind had been gusting my entire ride TO the trails, so I was only slightly surprised to find the trails drying quickly over the course of the day. As I climbed further and further, conditions continued to improve.

The climb is steep, and I'm getting soft in my old age - stopping several times on the ascent to catch my breath. Once at the top, though, the elevation earned was obvious as I peered down to the valley.

The descent was phenomenal - highlighted by bermed corners and hairy rock gardens in between. As always is the case, though, it was over in the blink of an eye. Soon enough I was back at the motorcycle swapping gear and preparing for the moto ride to rendezvous with Jeremy.

I zipped through the twisty roads, reaching Jeremy's house with enough light in the sky to kick back in the yard, sharing stories for a couple hours before finishing my ride home.

The last day of the week seemed to slip away without notice, giving way to the weekend...and more rain ;-)

For a video synopsis of the day:

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Snowshoe (West Virginia)

Luke, Tony and I decided to take a daytrip to Snowshoe to get on some snow at least once this winter before the warm weather rolled in. The warming temps worked in our benefit, however, providing a bluebird day in the mid 40's.

Almost immediately, though, we realized that a shuttle ride to Silver Creek would be needed to avoid standing in line all day on Snowshoe's Basin Side. Once there, we racked up some runs, slashing our way down the sides of the slopes in search of the soft stuff.

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Ingles Field Gap Loop (Bent Creek, NC)

Even on a bitterly cold day, the Bent Creek Experimental Forest was alive with activity.

Relive 'Ingles Field Gap Loop'

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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Kitsuma (Black Mountain, NC)

One of my personal favorites of the Asheville area is Kitsuma. It's a fairly quick loop, but packs in the fun with a stellar downhill.

Ruprecht joined me for the ride and somehow stayed fairly close behind during even the fastest sections. By the end, though, his paws were hurting, so I gave him a ride out on my back.

I got a late start, so didn't bother setting up the gimbal to film any of the ride. I wish I had, though, considering the exciting descent!

Relive 'Kitsuma'

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Friday, December 29, 2017

Baker Creek Preserve (Knoxville, TN)

After learning about the AMBC Fall Festival, I've been looking forward to riding at Baker Creek Preserve. Just weeks before the trip, Singletrack Sampler put out a video on the park, which REALLY got me interested!

A recent snow had left the trails relatively wet, but there seemed to be plenty of locals riding, so I didn't feel bad about riding in such conditions.

The trail network is short, but there are three main jump lines that make up for the lack of distance with their well-sculpted features.

Relive 'Bakers Creek Preserve'

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Warrior's Path State Park (Tennessee)

Rebecca and I used our holiday vacation days to visit friends near Knoxville, TN and do some riding in Asheville, NC. I found a ride to break up the haul to Knoxville just off of Interstate 81. We were both pleasantly surprised to happen upon the Warrior's Path trails. The trails were fast and fun, with well-marked signage and some technically challenging routes.

Relive 'Warrior's Path'

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