4/26 Full Monty KT
I have problems. I can hear weeds growing. Sometimes it is so loud that it stirs me form my sleep. This weekend was supposed to be just a chill weekend around the house, but I am up roaming around the house at 3:30 in the morning. It is 55 degrees outside and the weeds are loving this time of year, I can't blame em - would be a good time to ride a bike before it gets too thick. It is supposed to be in the 90's today. I like to ride when it is a bit cooler than that. I can hear the weeds that are springing up and over to engulf the hard packed and fast dirt paths running through the woods. I should have planned a ride, called some folks, but who wants to ride at six in the morning? I am not normally a morning person but when the time is right, like it is, well it should be got. I start packing. Morning coffee makes the chore fly by, cheesy egg sandwich in the tank, pack a baggy of oatmeal conglomeration, stuffed a turkey and Swiss cheese sandwich with all the condiments in a zip lock, a stack of Pringles, banana, a flask of Hammer Gel, 100 oz of h20, one water bottle of potassium water, 12 oz Coke, and some blue berry Sports Bean electrolyte supplements. I think that is it. Should be enough food. The water may be a little on the low side, but with a water spicket I know abouts, about two hours in, I should be gravy. Six o' five I am fire up and ready for rolling. Heavy pack feels good in the cool morning air, low dawn light and I am blinkeying down the road. No big hurry pace keeps the wind chill under control, but damn it is cold, but on a day like today is gonna be - that is a good problem to have. Start immediately working on the next problem that I want to have, and that is stopping to pee too much. Just be a big ole filter, chug the water in and piss it out. Got to have that water for eight hours of riding in me. 25 miles of road to the trail-head. Then 31 miles of KT, that I want to do in less than six hours, I have been mulling the idea of a individual timed crossing for a while. Didn't want anybody's meltdown to hold me up, er, didn't want any to leave me alone in my meltdown(s).
Two hours of chill pace, a little bit of old county dirt roads, one warm-up climb, quite back country roads and I am at Fraziers Bottom VFD for the water stop at the trail head, but alas, it is gone. It was just a matter of time, I always thought that it was a throw back, you know, something for nothing, somebody's gonna abuse it and screw it up for the rest of us. So that kinda sucks, there is no way I have enough water for the whole day, it was already hot enough and getting hotter, without a per chance water stop from some local along the way, the full Monty would not be going down. Long-ish break for breakfast #2 - cold apple cinnamon oatmeal, wheat gem, flax seed, and organic peanut- butter. Yum-yum. Actually it is just tolerable, but the price of just tolerable granola bars have left me searching for a handy quick bulky replacement.
I check the clock and start the first section of trail. The start, like the end is a bitch, but a fun bitch. Instinct kicked in at one of the creek crossings and I am looking for a rock to add some armoring, but there can be none of that. That is not what today is about, it is about making that fastest time across the Trace that I know of. The maintenance on the trail has not kept up with the effects of Winter and Spring storms and I knew I would be dealing with some down trees along the way. So rule #1 was put into play and that was no trail work, just forward motion. Set a mini goal of making the 4 miles of trail that steps sine wave like for a total of roughly 1000' of climbing to Lookout Point. I would have little pic-a-nic stop there, record the first time check and move on. 59 minutes later (that is a pretty good time in the direction that I am traveling) I am at milepost 27 and polishing off the oatmeal. Yeah, four miles per hour sounds pretty lame for a bike ride, but that is just the nature of that section of trail, slow it goes. Next stop Blackjack.
My heart was broken going up the trail to Blackjack. A four wheeler found the line, up the old road bed, roosting over the log crossings. Maybe they would stay on the old farm road and leave the single-track alone. They seemed to miss the turn onto the bench cut only to have the tracks cutting straight up the hill for more devastation, all the way to the pristine track up along the top - total destruction. Totally roosted. Totally heartbreaking. Lunch stop at 10:30 with most of the sandwich and cracked the top on the Coke-a-Cola, little early but well refreshing. Harvested some wild (?) ramps and put the smell behind me.
I popped out on the road and spotted a local washing his truck and asked if I could have some water from the hose. He said he had some cold bottled water and I "settled" for that. Perfect timing as my Camelback was just about empty and I had a good 20 miles of trail and 10 miles of road left and it was pushing into the ninety degree range. Rode on, off the good side of Blackjack on still intact singletrack, brings a smile and some miles. Chase down some hiking scouts up Jenkins Branch to Barkers Ridge. Take the Pony pasture and detour from mile 13, thru the Big Cabell Creek - splashing little refresher. Hike it up to milepost 11 at 11:15. The terrain starts to settle out and the end is getting so close.
Noon rolls around milepost 7 and twenty minutes later, after a solid mile of mostly hiking uphill I look like this,
six minute down mile 6 flips it to this,
The last five miles of trail was auto pilot. Backyard trail section that is usually incorporated into lots of shorter rides from out my door. A respectable 43 minute slummy crossing to deposit me back onto tarmac to roll down to mile zero with zero fuel in the tank and in the pack, or so I thought. Then I remembered the little bag of the Sport Beans. These little magical blue berry jelly beans fueled a really really slummy 40 minutes of 8 mile of flat road to the house. Total time out at 9:07 with 60 some miles. KT crossing at 6:05. Six minutes off the goal of sub-six hour time frame, still my fastest time - and I think it is faster in the other direction, but that will have to wait, maybe when it is a bit cooler...
Full Monty Map
4/23 Odd Thursday
The idea here is for a group ride on every odd Thursday. We will try to be riding at six or a little bit sooner. The route will stay fairly consistent - about twenty miles on a mixture of trails and roads. We all pretty much ride to the ride. Dwayne leaves B'ville and finish up there, regroup in Ona and out Blue Sulphur Road for the Kanawaha Trace and back into some park trails, it's kinda chill, or maybe the toughest ride you have ever done. Hard to say if you got what it takes. just one way to find out. Use the contact info below to hook up, or talk to Dwayne Andy or myself, if you like that sort of thing.
wrapping up the KT
in the trench at the Park
map my ride map
4/19 209 Racers Kick off WVaMBA Points Series
Big Bear Lake WVa; As you may see I was goofin around at the start taking pictures, and not really focusing on the task at hand of getting ready to race. I made it to the staggered start that put all the old fast men at the back of all the experts. When we where given the go to go, my camera is in the holster but not tethered for safety, so I had to fiddle with that while everybody else was sprinting for the single-track. I started the race from the very back of the expert field. Nothing like spur of the moment race plan to set the race strategy of a slow start.
Passing came early and easy enough, whittling away at the back of the Expert Masters class in the singletrack. One by one. Reel and recover. Couple early single speeders, then Betsy off her bike - then passing me back. Whittle whittle. And Betsy off her bike again running back towards me to recover a dislodge bottle. Caught Andy Cremeans around about there with his foot down and we had a little sortie of passing back and forth before moving on. Somewhere out there on the course I run up on Team WVMBA teammate Steve Hill finishing up a flat tire repair a little bit deflated. I stop to pull out the my pump and leave him to top things off. Steve gets back on in no time and hands off the tire pump before moto-ing on down the course. Pace off Cassie for a bit, gather some steam and make the clean pass. Then comes along Marc Glass who is struggling with the same issues and the pump exchange is repeated. Somewhere along that time I get a flying lesson after my pedal strikes a foot high nubbin that served as the launch trigger for my expulsion from the bike. Every little break in the action serves to set me back, then back to pass those that snuck around me on the racer stacked track. I made it up to fifth in class but Don Ciampenelli played me out on the tech game and stayed but a distant figure till then end, but not before Allen Moore sneaks up from behind and launches me into sprint mode for like the last 5 minutes or so of the race. So, a good race effort, minimal hijinx. I passed those that I could, and let the others just go on. Passed about 40 people (some more than once) and that makes for a fun day, even if it is off the podium.
click on pics for for full view big
WVNC in da house
Matt Johnson after finishing his first sport class race
The Symposium was fat, 50 plus cyclist of all types wanting to help out the state of cycling in WV. Huge first step that hopefully gathers speed and covers some major ground. I was glad to see that the mtb community well represented in the mix of shakers, congrats to Kim Broughton for pulling it all together for a successful endeavor. Some photos and some words of some others;
Dave Pray's BLOg
4/16 Straight Taper
25mi 25mi 25mi
Kilgore Ck Rd
4/15 Fired Up
Got the road bike fired back up, local ride to the closest gravel and pave', after three days of rain this was the best option around. I was glad to get back on a light bike and let the wheels roll. Grey skies lingering, won't be around for long.
Saunders Creek Rd
until the WV Cycling Symposium - April 17-18
Bike bFAT will be here, we will be focusing on the national agendas of "Ride to the Ride" that connect local trails with safe bikeways to local trails, and Safe Routes to Schools. Locally that means improving the safety and awareness along sections of US route 60, or the Midland Trail. If this is something that you would like to be a part of, or would like to support the state of cycling in West Virginia then, Sign up now by going here!
Spring springing up along the Mud on the Adahi
4/11 Mountain Retreat
Trappers Lodge was our digs for the night, snuggled in-between Warm Springs and Little Mare mountains, the two giants that loom over Douthat State Park, for a major trail brushing project. Pimping out the trail for the upcoming 2 day uber classic known as the S-D-S. I am going to have to regrettably pass up that ride this year and the long slow torture of climbing up the five mile slog up Little Mare, but you know that after the 10 hours work day, I am dreaming of cruising down it in the not so distant future.
Shenandoah Mountain Touring makes it all happen. Not a lot of pictures of all the work - due to, well, all the work involved. Ending up the day with a good wooped feeling, without even touching the bike, makes sleep comes easy.
In the jungle of Little Mare, a trail re-emerges
and the ever present wind clouds...
until the WV Cycling Symposium - April 17-18
Sign up now by going here!
Some do not consider cycling as a valid form of transportation and oppose its inclusion in transportation plans. PLEASE attend one of these meetings to voice your opinion, whatever it may be so that the plan that most represents our citizen's needs is developed.
Please plan to attend one of these to make sure cycling is considered in WV's next long range transportation plan!
IMBA has joined the Symposium as an official sponsor and we welcome and appreciate their support. Look for Frank Maguire at the event and tell him thanks! Bike bFAT will be there and hopes that you will be too!
4/5 Epic Defined
New Castle, VA; The Dragon's Tale is the incarnation of the fabled Dragon's Back race where the XX, as in double cross country was born, ten miles of grueling non-flowing ridge would either make it or brake it for those partaken to such foolishness. For 2009 the epic was turn up a notch with a 10 mile prelude rolling through town and out dirt roads before the single track turned up a thousand feet on North Mountain to breathe in the heat of the Dragon. Then the bonus super groomage trails being called the tail. Forty miles, six + hours for this mere mortal.
heading for the mountain
shaking out pre race jitters
up on North Mt
on and on
AKA the Dragon's Back
pre-riding to the venue
SMT's slide show
Barboursville FAT Tire Brethren
Beech Fork Association of Trails
bFAT is an informal group of riders who appreciate the land and ride for a healthy well being.
Beech Fork is mostly a single track trail that follows around the lake leading into a combination of creek bed, hill climb, and fast downhill back to the lake. Barboursville's Park has some nice runs from the top with numerous scenic overlooks from the sheer cliffs and steep drops. The flat single track that follows the river and comes out behind the lake - is where the real fun can begin or end. Click on the link at top of page - above left to see a map! The Kanawha Trace and Adahi Trails are 32 mile and 17 mile multi user trails crossing over private land. Check with the Tri-State Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America for trail information and registration.
bFAT email groupo<----click here Become a part of an e-group forum that will let all subscribers communicate (free!). Send an e-mail with the word "join" in the subject or body and you'll get hooked up with other riders, to do fun group rides, get trail info and conditions, technical advice, etc.
for more info administrator at bike bFAT