Monday, August 29

Dude, where's the car? Seriously.

Saturday I was an unmotivated turd. Although there was a 50 mile race an hour from my house at a venue where I once topped the podium, my mom had a chemo appointment. I did the responsible thing, and while I was doing that, Zac (my 2011 PMBAR partner) took the SS win.

Remember Zac?

That's him on the 3rd step below my second step at ORAMM, ergo that means I won the Rivers Edge Mountain Marathon single speed class ipso facto.

Victory.... or else Robert Jameson won the race, being that he was not there as well.

I had no plans for Sunday, but then The Dude called me. He wanted to go to Wilson's Creek and ride some known trails and scout out a new one (new to us).


Wilson's Creek is the kinda place that you can get by doing an "epic" on a couple bottles if it's not too hot outside as there are tiny little stores, springs, and fountains dotting the landscape. We were going where things could get a little hairy, so I put a third bottle in my pocket.

When we came to the spring about 7 miles into the ride, I noticed I hadn't drank anything yet. I pounded half a bottle, filled it back up from the spring, and noticed a lot of sediment floating about. Fail.

When we got to the first store, it was closed. Fail.

Eventually we got to the visitor area parking lot with a fountain, and I was back in the game. We headed over to Yancy Ridge (short loop) first. If I ever need to be reminded that I am a good mountain biker, but not a great mountain biker, this is the place to go. The lower washed out section V-gullies always have me humbled at some point.

Yeah, The Dude rode most of it. Whatever.

After Yancy, we headed up a climb to the mostly unknown 11 mile trail that is Wilson's Ridge. It starts with 21 Lumps (which used to be 21 Bumps and before that, 21 Jumps). Once we completed that known section it was route finding, map reading, bush whacking, private property sign semi-ignoring (the property can be private, but the road/trail public, right?) gate jumping, and plenty of hike-a-bike. All to end up at a frustrating dead end.

Reluctantly, and very behind schedule, we decided to back track. The Dude was in need of some real Dude Fude, and due to the fact that we parked the car where we thought we'd end up we had quite a long ride back to happiness. On the way out, The Dude broke his Saint rear derailleur, but he managed to make it semi-functional enough to continue. Further along our way back, we couldn't find the shitty, over grown double track we rode in on, and ended up forcing our way out of the woods back to a point on the map that was semi-recognizable.

We did salvage the ride by hitting Schoolhouse Ridge, another trail that reminds me just how "good" of a mountain biker I truly am. From there, it was a long gravel "ride of shame" back to the "logistically" parked car.

Seven hours, 2.5 bottles of water, a Clif bar, and three individual Shot Bloks left over from Breck Epic.


But it was a shakedown ride for my new gear configuration I might run at the Shenandoah 100 next weekend.

More about that tomorrow.


fennell said...

full wilsons ridge, eh?

dicky said...

It was an attempt. Have you done it? Did we miss something?

clay said...

Did you miss the hidden turn just past the mailbox? It took me a two tries before I managed to do the whole thing.

I need to get up there again soon!

andrea said...


dicky said...

You messing with me Clay? The hidden turn was on which part of the route?

You're messing with me. Next thing you know, you're going to tell me you hid a gnome up there.

clay said...

Not messing with you. It is on Lower Wilson's Ridge just past Joe White Mountain. You pass the mailbox on the road/doubletrack and a short while later there will be double triangles on a tree on your right. Look hard for the hidden turn onto single track on your left.

Let me know if you ever want to try again!

AdamB said...

What "enquiring minds" really want to know is: how did the black spongie-bobbie-thingie do in place of your usual crabon-fibre fjork doo-hicky?