2/3 Back to Randomness

Lookin back on the 30 rides in 30 days project; Inspired by the Old Coot from Dirt Rag Magazine a year or so ago, this was my second or maybe third attempt.  The first times were entered in the prime riding months in late Winter and Fall, I was doing huge rides like up at Seneca & Spruce Knob type things and/or racing.  The kina rides that take a day or two to recover from.  This was a challenge of forced consistency.  Most of the rides averaged a couple of hours, with the shortest being on the coldest days (go figure) and the longest being group rides (around here that consists more than one).  All the pictures for the most part are from my normal haunts - convenient rides when I happen to be in the area, with little or no commute.  I had planned to hit Kanawha State Forest, but got pulled away at the last moment.  Coulda maybe hit the long standing Thursday night ride that goes on, but i feel riding in the dark just is for people that can't ride in the light.  All rides were MTB, the only day that went south was the day I packed a road bike in the car, thinking it would be too nasty to ride off-road.  Well, it was too nasty to ride on road.  I could have found a place to moto around on fat tires, but they weren't available, so I went home a drank beer.  At least the beer was fetched via bike.  So technically I did ride, but not within my parameter.  I decided to call it my "wild card" day and keep the rides going.  Maybe I would do the restart from the next day, or maybe I would play the wild card at the end of the month.  I didn't fret about it much.


All in all it was a pretty smooth ride.  One of the biggest hurdles sometimes is decide whether you are going to ride or not.  No wishy washy  am I going to get a ride in.  Yes.  No wish.  No wash.  Just grab  your gear and go.  Another benefit was all my shit was tight. (rarity) Kept everything organized and ready to go.  It almost took on a feel of stage racing - you wrap up the day and think your done - but better think about tomorrow and get ready for that.  Then your done.


I made do with one wool jersey, a couple of pairs of wool socks, woolsey leg warmers.  I washed the jersey only when in got soiled from mud splatter.  I think maybe three times, for an average of 10 rides per washing.  Try that with polyEster.  P. U.  Clean rotation of 7 on the shammy (one of two layers)  Gloves and headwear layering for the temperature and a kick ass C'dale jacket.  (Ultra Series Swag) I want to remind myself how much this jacket made riding below 30 degrees enjoyable.  For a couple of months is all that is below 30 degrees, and the jacket will hang around for like ten months out of the year and I will think that one does not really need a kick ass jacket.  But one does. 


Two bikes for the duration.  The FS Stumpjumper, and the SS dicthdigger.  I had a good every other day rotation going, and liked it, before the brakes went out on the SS.  Took me a couple of days to get some brake pads in hand and taken care of.  Then with the snow and ice, the disc brakes on the stumpy is a necessity for stopping. 


Things almost stalled when the frozen lake rides revived me.  What started as just another trip to that old spot, turned into the best ride of the year.  Small statement, but we will see how long it holds true.  I bet for a while.  Then the snow settled in and kept it varied and interesting.  The first time I have ever ridden on top of four inches of snow, was going downhill certain section at the park - say shmoooth.


So I played my wild card on 2/1.  No particular reason.  It was a beautiful 60 degree day.  "Too pretty to ride"  to use some of Ronnie - The Frame Pump Manipulator's words.  Caught up on some household duties, swept up under the workstand  and watched to Stuper Bowl on TV.  February will hold a good twenty something in rides.  They all won't be blogged,  sometimes gathering together the random thoughts in my head and putting them into a cohesive text, gets to be a bit chore-like.  And I don't need that.  This is supposed to be fun, and if it ain't it won't be.  So be it.


Here is to more rides;



1/31 Calling it a 30 ride Month

just a little fried

planning to not ride tomorrow



deer trail, B'ville


1/30 Therapy

Forced a late ride

general pissiness from a "long" three day work week

followed Rob's tracks on a closed Overlook Rd

floated down Farm View

one tough lap around the lake

attitude checked




1/29 Very Welcomed, Indeed

Crossing those weather lines.

No blue skies on the home front

just a crusty snow blanket.


reaching out and up



on top to the good stuff



Payne Gap


Pound Gap

Pine Mountain Trail


Red Fox Trail



1/28 Ice Storm

Mother.  Nature.  Two days of a winter blast has pretty much shut down any chance for trail riding around here.  The result of four inches of ice and snow left trees folded and down and over the trails.  Still in the process of assessing all the damage.


Work days in the future.


this is trail...






1/27 Stoopid

to be driving a car on solid ice

or even to be ridin' a bike

jumping in ditches

being spectacle

adventure just to make it to the river

downhill from here

long way home, walking blue sulphur rd

solid ice no grit to git

or too deep snow

to pedal slow

one of those stupid ordeals

make you glad

just to be alive




1/26 Yo! its e

Our friend Eric living large in Colorado

r e p r e s e n t

check out more photos at the links

(I think)

stolen from PBR me! on MTB'r...



1/26 Laurel Branch WV

Boy Scout by default

KT near mile 5

Ona, WV


1/25 Laurel Lake

people riding bikes!

very user diverse trail

is more better?

lake level 8.5 miles

people like that

smooth groover


Sheltowee Trace near London, KY



very green machine




1/24 Natural Bridge SP

Slade, KY

Resort weekend get away

More Sheltowee love

McKinney Ck skirting into the Gorge

Left the mud at home 








1/23 Thawing Out

getting soft




lookout point

Kanawha Trace

Fraziers Bottom, WV




1/22 Ice Trucker




Before any body gets any bright ideas to follow my tracks out onto the ice, just realize that sometimes I have the sense of a dog.  Although, I have found by following tracks in the snow that dogs can pick a pretty good line.  Save for some goose tracks, that was all the signs of life to be seen out on the ice.  I checked the thicknesses around the stumps and debris stuck in the ice, and seen nothing less than what looked to be four inches of solid frozen stuff.  I kept an eye on the channel and skirted the banks.  Also, I like to think that I know the lake and land on both sides of the banks - you know, in case that all the ice melted all at once.  I grew up around these parts, some early childhood memories of cat-fishing into the night with my Father and Ramsey, Bro and Joe, Bob and myself, in those hidden holes somewheres under the ice that I now trod upon.  Still some very nice uneasy feelings, like yesterday photo of my disappearing onto the ice might be my last.  You didn't think it was over. 



The goal was to go from the Lost, and Mary Davis Trails at the Beech Fork State Park campground and make it to the marina side on the ice and frozen banks.  I pussed out yesterday's trip, erroring on the side of safety. I called those that might want to go for it very first thing in the morning before the temperatures climbed above the freezing point in more than a week.  All I got was excuses, like out of town, got work, you know that type thing, from people that have lives other than rolling on two wheels. 


So with all the knowledge that a marathon of Ice Road Truckers can instill, I proceeded farther out onto the ice pack, tightened the sphincter and went for it, easing onto the ice, weary of the wave.  Not a crack or a crackle just smooth slick sailing, just the sound of compressing snow, down on one bank and back on the other.  A truly one-off ride, one that may have never taken place and now that the thaw is in place might not happen again, but you know, it would be  cool to link the trails on one side with the other and, well ...






1/21 Bonneville Style



  Why wouldn't a person want to do this every day?

when it brings you to this





Beech Fork State Park

Huntington, WV




Jim Pike Photo



1/20 Some Freshies


Pine Mountain Trail Whitesburg, KY


Getting the first track through the fresh snow shouldn't be so easy, but it is.  You'd expect it on some far off exotica ridge trail, but Dwayne has been scoring the dibs the past two days aced the tri-fecta, ,on the Park trails.  Surely there is a downhill line there for some one for the taking. 


I will get mine, hope you get yours. 


PMT - out and back - 1 & 1


on the road



Rt. 421 Harlan County, KY





1/19 Just Whittling Away



CCW Camp Loop

I hoped you had seen where this was going.  I am about half way through a month of rides, or 30 rides in 30 days.  Dirt rides.  Mountain Bike.  Legit rides of a least 60 minutes, though most of any legit ride that I can think of is a least an hour and twenty, and that is moving along a race pace clip.  No race pace clips allowed in this block, well maybe little tasteses.  But, mostly just trolling around in the woods, trying not double up on any ride. That gets a little fuzzy logic factoring in different routes that take in the same place or different directions.  Local trail routes - the ones from the front door from may get a reprieve, just from a logistics standpoint.  But the emphasis is to take in a high of a degree of varied dirt as possible. 


I figured the biggest factor going for this at this time of year would be the elements and the ground conditions.  The soil has been treating me well with some firm stuff but plenty of mud is piling up under the workstand.  Back to back 15 degree rides, and some soaking sub 40 rides, and I feel lucky to be sniffle free. 


Day by day, whittling away.  Is the only way to get it thru.



1/18 Sunday






1/17 Barboursville Park

Yeh plenty peoples out for a little Saturday ride.  Two groups out braving the elements.  No guilt in the car commute to ride the concrete dirt track, hiding from the elements in the woods for a couple hours.  Crispy single track warms from the inside out.  Keep rollin'! 


w/Andy and Phillip



1/16 Friday









second day in a row with a 15 degree high



Canann Lands






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.




Counterfor more info  administrator at bike bFAT