Saturday, October 31, 2009

SVBC has put in some great time on Lynn Trail this fall - its part of the Shenandoah Mountain 100 bicycle route - check out this flow!

We finished up some great work on Lynn Trail today
Its gonna ride soooo well!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thomas Jenkins enjoying the fall bicycling in the George Washington National Forest with Don, Erin, and friends

Erin Zell of the Galena Lodge gets her groove on Big Ridge (Braley's) in the George Washington National Forest

After years guiding in West Virginia Erin is way happy out in Idaho running
the Galena Lodge just up road a bit from Sun Valley

Don Shepler of the Galena Lodge rides up on Shenandoah Mountain

So great to have Don and Erin back in the burg for a few days of riding. Don
said the Trek 69er Fuel is perfect!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bicycling in our National Park along the C&O Canal outside of Washington DC

Got out for a sweet C&O Canal ride today
Even got the cross bike on some singletrack trail for a bit
What a great place to ride

Misty Tilson takes a victory for SMT at DCCX - Thanks DCMTB Family Bike Shop (and Misty)

Andy, Selina, and DFLaney whooping it up for Misty at DCCX

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The sun setting on the last SVBC Wednesday Social Ride of the year - thanks Marcia and Marshall!

Its great to be able to count on this casual road ride in the Shenandoah
Valley every Wednesday at 5:15. What a great way to wind the day down.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Derek Duval sharpened his skills on Braleys and Dowells last week - Fall riding is ripe for the picking!

Yes, there are small snow pockets still lurking from the weekend cold blast

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The SVBC Mountain Bike Festival was a great time!

Kevin Keane got in a nice loop on Narrowback at the festvial

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Shenandoah National Park - to bike or not to bike

 Dicky Ridge Trail
a cool switchback
off camber singletrack
cool rock features along the trail
someone placed these bark strips in the trail tread
the new brooks shoes liked the texture
kinda spongy
nice open drainage armored with rocks
water diverging technique
not very bicycle friendly
its ok, this trail is not open to bikes
michel heading up
Steve is really excited to share this experience with his pal
the goofy dude behind the camera
a good steady climb
nice views
nice evening sky!
wish i got out this way more often
i bet they do too!

What a great place just 1 hr from Washington DC. When I bought my park pass today I asked if some of the revenue went to maintaining the trails for me to ride my bicycle on. The clerk didn't even crack a smile, "you can't ride your bicycle on the trails in this park, you can ride on the next mountain over with ATV's". I amused myself. This one very trail cultivated my penchant for backcountry bicycling. Switchbacks, narrow side hill trail with rocks in and along the trail. The best there is to offer. I didn't know the trail was not open to bicycles in 1989 when Thomas took me out to the mountains for a great adventure. Our buddy Steele told us about the trail and he isn't into "breaking the law".

President George Bush has been to this park. He told the park staff he wanted to come ride is mountain bike here sometime. They were a bit blown away. The park staff doesn't think that Skyline Drive is a good place to ride a bicycle; in fact, they won't recommend it if you call and ask. They think it is too narrow for bicycles and it often has poor visibility that makes it even more dangerous. That is their opinion. Not only Skyline Drive itself, but the trails in the Shenandoah National Park were built by people who rode bicycles up the mountain to work everyday. It was a great ride then. It should be a great ride today. It was a great run.

I have had a few meetings with the SNP staff including the past park superintendent to discuss this. We are interested in having access to the dirt and gravel "carriage roads"" that bisect the park. These roads are great access routes between Harrisonburg and Charlottesville, and between Luray and the Culpeper area. Great safe alternatives from having to take Rt. 211 and Rt. 33 over the mountain on a bicycle. We have not even given a nudge about access to singletrack trails in the SNP. There are only a couple trails that are not in Wilderness in the SNP. Bicycles are not allowed in Wilderness Areas.

Our dirt road bicycle inquiry was met with 1) we will have to do a road inventory first (something they were planning on doing anyway) 2) then we would have to do a study on the maintenance requirements (all the routes we want to ride behind gates are driven regularly by park staff and VIPs’ who have access for various reasons).

The meeting was pretty humorous for many reasons. Tanners Ridge is a great access point from Stanley, VA to Big Meadows. The SNP super said that was out of the question because park staff drives it too often and they don't drive safely on it. Consequently, that means it would mean it is not safe to ride this road on bicycles. I was laughing sooooo hard on the inside when the park Super told us this was his reason. They went into another vague reason about user conflict on the dirt roads. I told them we would try a 6 month introductory period that was night riding only. They could study our use impacts and there was guaranteed not to be any user conflict because a horse or hiker could see our lights coming very easily. Another great benefit to this would be a solution to one of the SNP's largest problem "poaching" of plants and animals at night. A lot of bicycles riding the perimeter roads at night would be a deterrent to poachers. Increasing recreational users has proven to be a successful method to clean up parks in cities and remotes sections of the country, like a 1 hour drive from our nation’s capitol.

Met some cool canucks shortly after my run as I was getting ready for a spin up Skyline Drive. Steve and Michel, both competitive XC skiers who had come south for a training mission. They work for Brooks (running shoes). I happened to be wearing my brand new pair of shoes from The Sole Source in Harrisonburg. I told them they can ski at Whitegrass during the day in the winter and return to Harrisonburg for a 2-3 hr ride in 50+ weather if they cherry pick the right days. I can't wait for some of those days (it takes a early start for that action!)

Buschi and my Fooftown pals were great hosts for U2

What a great time
Haven't been to a concert for years
Haven't seen U2 since 1989(ish) 20 years
Great time back then
Great time now