9/30 In The Bag
9/24 WVMBA XC Series Final
Could I have stayed home?
Yes, I would have finished up the year in the series in the same spot as
above. At least I know the answer so that is worth something. I got beat up. I hate racing at Coppers
Rock, so I don't know why I bothered. This race was never really
in my goals for the year which that was to qualify in the
series by doing six scored races and see where I finished up.
Then I got a win at the last race and well, that is no time to
fold. These two races are two are extreme examples of
riding style and how it affect racing performance. The
Morgantown race is just a bit longer in the climbs, but mainly a
lot of high power, speedy work to put in to keep moving over
challenging, loose, rock surfaces. Around here in the
river valley it is akin to woods surfing. That flow
is what my riding is honed upon and what is interesting to me is
not how it may hinder my performance when I am in the gnar, but
how it affect others when they come down here and try to catch
the tide. I seen it not only on the results these past two
races, but at other venues as well. Or it may be the
waking up at six and not racing till noon, drove up that day.
I never like that mentally, so it has to reflect somewhat
physically. When I have this racing thing figured
out, I will be done with it. So l will just like the
The next race is the
Ultra Finale in Davis, WV. I had a awesome ride on the
Tour of WV, that I don't think can be beat. I have already
got my scores in this best three out four Davis. Not any
incentive to throw down against the same old guys, the
weather is not looking ideal, so the chances of doing this
last race is entirely open. Not when details of the Fall
Tour are starting to roll in. might be good to have a
weekend of prep before the the next ten block days of riding (whoo!)
that is right around the corner. A little different than
below - taking a turn for the better, there around the 130 mile
9/19 Roughing it in
Just a start.
I don't have to
sweat the details.
- there at Trappers
9/15 Revenge Links
about the upcoming Ultra Series final in Davis are starting
Looks like 44 miles. Mountainside Trail is back,
so then are the baby heads.
looks harmless enough.
9/14 Monday On The Mountain
ride, one that included one 1500' ascent on the
road. With a playground on top. Nice
place to gather oneself.
I am not
supposed to be here
"This is straight up back
"Stupid, who said you can
ride a bike here"
9/13 Down on the Farm WVMBA #14
Wow , the next to last race in the XC Series, then this week is
the finale at Coopers, then the Ultra final the next weekend in
Davis, it seems to go by so fast. Or is it ending
early, wrapping up in September is okay with me, sometimes it is
so much more fun just riding for the sake of riding.
So I finished up
with another class win, and plugging in the numbers in the
Master's tally, it looks like a three way tie for second place,
So basically it comes down to last race. I hear that
Coopers is going to be a lap race this year, which when it comes
down to racing head to head, I will admit that I prefer that.
I usually don't do a pre-ride and figure I won't be pre-riding a
course that is three hours away. So, I don't really need
to strategize beforehand, but react on game day to what needs to
be done. I figure I can throw down with the best of 'em on
the rocks of Coopers. Hang and maybe even open up gap on
the climbs. There was actually some power in the old legs
during the last attempt. But wait... sounds like strategy.
It's going to be a
long week. I am ready to go now...
9/8 24 Hour Challenge of 7 Springs
Here is 24 hours
condensed down to about a minute:
Our team got second by more minutes than I cost the team by
being a little sick in the 18 team field of the 8 man corporate
team division. That was good for fourth place overall and
a funky little messenger bag for my back to school needs.
Plus there was an LED flashlight on the inside (sans batteries)
so I can use it 'round the clock. My under the
weather feeling put a bit of a damper for what I hope would have
been a festive weekend. I picked up my own consolation
prize on the way home, a case of Dogfish 60 minute IPA, so all
was not a total loss.
Racing for Marra's Mountaineer Bike form Uniontown PA
for the standings go to
www.allsportsevents.com I had the slow day lap at
1:14 and the slowest night lap at 1:24, Didn't really
take any pictures either.
Tour of WV conclusion
It is a pretty easy roll off from the town
of Davis on the Blackwater Rail Trail. A welcome
contrast to the previous three days of challenging trails.
It is really all down hill to Hendricks then a little scoot over
to Parsons. There we picked up Shavers River Road, an
isolated dirt beauty up the Shavers Fork River. We didn't
find our swimming hole, but the day was just a little brisk, so
it wasn't missed. What was missed was another turn, so we
ended up exiting on the Cheat River side of Elkins. Again
not really a big deal - some new ground rolled on and good recon
for a complete loop route (Spruce Knob is just 37 miles away
from the rt 33 intersection).
So that wraps up our
little adventure in the mountains of WVa. I was a really
nice journey, the potential was there for some serious carnage,
and we was lucky to make it out with just some cuts and bruises
and one flat tire. The sensations that started settling in
after we split up and was removed from the comfort and safety
that the automobile can bring, was that unique euphoric feeling
that I so search. It got to the point that I didn't
really want to get back. I had everything I needed right
with me and getting back to that car only defined getting back
to reality. Most of the time I can do without all
the reality. How 'bout you?
Link to chronologically corrected
Tour of West Virginia
Slices of Trail Heaven (day3)
So I survived my
first bivy night. I wasn't too worried, I had an emergency
contingency plans in place, mostly in case of some solid rain.
Basically involved boogying off the mountain. I really
liked waking up in the very spot that you will be starting your
ride and starting that ride from right in the woods.
Today's start would be from the now-at-the-time <why did I
type that? does it make any sense at all?> former WVMBA
director's house JR Petsko. We made for some low
maintenance guests, I guess. For we high tailed it for
Sirianni's immediately after finding the JR's empty domicile,
when we hit town at about 5 or so. That meal was the
freakin high point of the whole tour. Seriously, that
good. After that, I was a walking zombie in a food coma.
Morning brought another couple of breakfasts (one to eat and one
two go) from the Rise and Shine (or something like that) B&B.
from up in the Canaan Valley to Davis, WV
or was that a dream?
The Dream Begins
Day Two Agenda; coffee, breakfast,
break base camp, load and run the shuttle. Fifteen
miles of biking up to the North Mountain Trail through the
remote Germany Valley. 25 miles of gnar gnar gnar.
The working stiffs would finish up at the car at the end of
the at the Smoke Hole, while e and me would restock and
switch gears, if you will, for here on out we would be
carrying most of our supplies and all our camping gear.
This would be my shakedown ride, my first sleep over bike
ride out in the woods. It was nice getting some
advice and expertise in how to lead a fat hobo lifestyle.
e has got his gear tight (he should tell you about it
sometime), and he carried more than his share of the light
load for the two of us.
Roll Call - just a little tardy
Beautiful day for a ride
taste of Autumn
no need for concern
its all down hill
photo: Andy Cremeans
till we are two
off the map
e's take of the day
So much of what we do is mimicking others.
photo taken from
The photo above oozes inspiration from yesteryear
Seneca Rocks; With camp set up and breakfast prep - coffee,
eggs, bacon and Joey's pastry-like French toast to fuel our
journey we head out for our meandering ramble on the face of the
Eastern Continental Divide. Pavement now leads all the way to
the top, which really doesn't help anything but increase the
speed of the fossil fueled vehicles that we must share the
road. But the advantage of the ability to escape the cars and
motosickles, for the rocks and roots that fall all the way down
to Seneca Falls is why we are here.
The early Tour shakedown started on Lower Timber Ridge Road,
with e on his simple fixed gear bike setting the lead out tempo
way out in front, out of sight. The younger Dave kept it in
check for bit before regrouping for water at the spring right
before the Eastern overlook, Andy and J O E filled out the
group. Onto the top of Spruce for the gratuitous tourist
activity of being at the highest spot in WV.
is not racing but there is a natural pecking order that needs to
be established in just about any group. I try to stay out of
that, but it is so easy/fun to get caught up in, when dirt is
the game. Till someone gets hurt. It was just a little
launch over the bars, but I was the first one to hug the
rocks, some bruises, and scrapes. Laugh it off. Get that out
of the way, I say. Get back in line. Do it again. A little
further down the trail, a little more fresh scapage and a little
more bruisage. I think it sinks in this time - I am out here
for four days. Not only do I have to make it, but so does my
bike. Got to get that in my head.
Pop up onto the Allegheny, blow past the spring on the Horton
hiker. Cool temperatures and dark but dry threatening skies
continued to push any sense of humidity away, so water refueling
was not in high demand. Then I about rode over a fire pit in
the trail. Other than that, just your normal seven hour ride.
Dave pulls off for the homestead and four weary but happy riders
return to base camp for a little salad, and our fill of
burritos, pizza and beer. For tomorrow we ride!
day one photos
Tomorrow – Just Ahead
With all the extra time there is from taking a break from the
WVMBA racing scene, I managed to stir up a little tour.
This one has been incubating for a couple of months. The all
"new" rage across the country is stage racing, multiple day,
costly productions, and there was a buzz going on for a Tour of
West Virginia, and being a West Virginian I asked myself what
would be MY ultimate tour of the Mountain State?
Start it off at the 4863' high spot in the state and the boo-ya!
Huckleberry/Allegheny combo. Then follow that the next day for
the gnarly North Fork. Base both those from camp at Seneca
Rocks - makes for a really nice weekend of a 100 miles
and more trails than you can shake a stick at. Then think more
days of equally high caliber trails, see what is close to ride, step up
over to Canaan Valley to fit that trail bill. That is doable
still. There is pesky little Wilderness Act, that likes to keep
simple bicycles regulated to criminal activity, to skirt around
in the Dolly Sods area. Connecting Canaan Valley SP to Blackwater SP is easy enough, when they include more Allegheny
then Plantation, Davis, and Yellow Birch, you know, easy.
Finish up in Elkins for day four with the Blackwater Canyon Rail
Trail and Shavers Fork river road, dirt. All dreamy stuff –
start flavoring it up with local eateries, at least 2 bike shops
for unexpected repairs and/or overlooked needs, throw in some bikepacking, see what shakes loose.
Then the call; our favorite rambling rambelour rider e would be
blowing through town from Denver and wanted to hit the KT. No
You Don’t. I got this thing – plotted out a quick map my ride
tentative route and pin-pointed some dates, sent out the word.
The incubation period was over and was hatched, and then this
thing took on a life of its own. The amount of time for just
prep, not only physically but mentally, fretting over every
little known and unknown details, packing unpacking repacking, was in scale of the rides that
was be taken upon. For e its was just another week in
So that is what this Tour of WV came to be
to be continued...
Wilderness Act Map
8/24 Tour of WV
I don’t believe it, that yeah, this one is going together.
Gathering up an intimate group for what will be a staple of WV
prime cut - the classic Spruce Knob and North Fork double header
weekend. Then taking it up a notch into some unknown territory
- hoping to creep into the Sods and sleep with da bears for one
night (pending arrival of 1 Big Agnes’s Pitchpine). Some new
stuff for me, sure, but I think I can keep us on track - living
off the land, my friends, and a credit card. I will have a big
bag and traveling light.
Friday 8/28 - Car drop in Elkins
Spruce Knob, Huckleberry, High Meadows, AlleghenyStart and Finish at Little Princess Campground in Seneca Rocks.
Food/fuel options onsite post ride, but probably will do some
pre-cooked meal for convenience and predictability.
50 miles 8+ hrs. 10:00 AM ride time
Day 2. Seneca Rocks, Germany Valley, Rt33, North Mountain Trail,
Run shuttle vehicle(s) to Smoke Hole (store-yes/restaurant -
maybe) for full tourer’s restock, and weekenders return to
Seneca. Scenic Germany Valley road approach (never been) to
North Mountain Trail to Smoke Hole. Bid our adieu’s for THE
overnight bivy in the Sods. Jordan Run Rd and up FR19 (map is
wrong). Also have Airstream camper available on Laneville Road
on base of Mountain near Canaan Valley SP. Breakfast is not
served at the restaurant in Seneca
52 miles 8+ hrs + another hour+ for the Sod finish. 9:00
AM ride time
Day 3. Dolly Sods Wilderness - Canaan Valley SP –
Allegheny – Plantation – Davis
Ride from the Sods to CVSP to Blackwater Falls SP. End in
downtown Davis. Feed at Sirriani's. Overnight in Davis
somewheres. ~25+ miles many options and different/sweeter routes
off the mountain that I may or may not know about.
7:00 AM moseying time
Day 4. Davis – Moon Rocks –Blackwater Rail Trail - Elkins
Hit Hoo-Do and Moon Rocks (guide?) before dropping off on the
Blackwater Canyon Rail trail "not your typical rail trail" never
been on it - heard it is awesome (for a rail trail), to Parsons
w/lunch options or better yet, pac a Hell Benders Burrito in
the bag . Shaver Fork dirt road to Elkins. 60 miles easy mostly
along the twisty Shavers River.
9:30 ride time or when ever
Day 5. Elkins - Wednesday #14?
Added this in at the last minute, because it would be rude to
leave a day before the Riddle’s weekly ride, even though that
day off from work has not been sealed. Hell, I think I will ask
for the whole week.
map my ride is kinda like the
go on back
Fork Association of
informal group of riders who appreciate the land and ride for a healthy
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.
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
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.
administrator at bike bFAT