28 February 2011

Another not-too-February-like day...

After a fun evening of night time Mountain Cross racing, Lucas and I set out for a good ride in the National Forest. Sunday was amazing, with another perfect day for February.



Reed Creek was flowing nicely after some rains during the week. Cold and clear!


The trail on the northern side of the Terrapin Mountain yields some superb off camber technical single track.



The Blue Ridge Parkway off in the distance as it climbs and winds its way up Thunder Ridge. 


We've been spoiled with all of the spring time conditions. March is now upon, so we shall see how it unfolds. It is still technically Winter until the 21st! 

24 February 2011

A little taste of spring time...








A weekend in North Carolina's mountains outside of Brevard! Lemma and I stayed in a nice bed and breakfast, and visited some of the local fare. We were also able to get out for a cool hike on Whiteside Mountain. Amazing views, of a place really popular with climbers with its 700 foot exposed rock walls! No benchmark at the top, looks like someone stole it. Someone was nice enough to carve the elevation into the rock however.


The weather here in town was amazing last week, in the 60s for most of it. Got out for some great rides in the National Forest with some friends.

Riding some sections of the Glenwood Horse Trail with some local folks.





Friday I made it out for a trail recon session with SMT and friends on the Dragon's Tale course. Forgot my camera that day...weak! That ridge is so amazing. A tough ride, but beautiful with rewarding descents. SMT's Dragon's Tale event is April 3rd!


 

08 February 2011

Ride In, Race Up, Roll out...

Sunday was beautiful with the sun shining and temps hovering up there near 60. Oooo nice nice! I was geared up and ready to hit up Kenny Palmer's first Mountain Cross Series race at Falling Creek Park in Bedford. but decided the day was way too nice to only get in about 42 minutes of riding. (Equalizer format put the Experts starting 18 minutes after the first beginners and so on for an hour race)


So with the race starting around 1:30, I left the farm around 10:15, and meandered my way down Turkey Foot, over 811 and on the Bellevue to the gravel goodness.




Solid view of the Peaks of Otter and the George Washington National Forest. Can't wait to get up on Thunder Ridge for some big rides!



Through Goode and picking up a bit of 221 



Met up with Brandon in Lowry...on to Bedford 



We made it up there with about an hour before the start. Plenty of time to socialized, and ride around on Kenny's course. 

With the equalizer format, the race started with the beginners heading off, then sports, ladies, sport vets, masters, etc., ex masters, all of whom were my competition. Finally the expert guys got to go off, and it was time to get in my laps. 




Tim Dahl came out and took some great pics! We had to give him a hard time for not bringing his bike though!

Since it had been raining some, the course was trimmed to about 1/3 singletrack, and 2/3 mowed grassy field. The singletrack was in great shape however, and was fun with some downhill switchbacks, steep ups, and some flowy areas with sneaky rocks. A couple sweeping turns were a little slick and had to be taken smoothly, or trouble was sure to come! One steep, short, rutted, rooty, rocky, climb was the pinnacle of each lap.

The race was great. Kenny had a fun and challenging course laid out. Afterwards, there was plenty of food from Subway to eat, which I certainly ate my fair share. I had to fuel up for the ride home. It was about 3:30 and I wanted to beat the darkness home! Thanks to Kenny, buy to the other folks, and I was headed out.


It was cooling off some, but still super nice and clear, and few cars on my trip home. 



Happy to be getting so much time outside on the bike!



Back to the gravel!



HiFi was riding great all day long!



Getting closer now...



Sun is setting, better get off the roads and take the sneak route through the Russell's field...



Little bit of fence hopping and through the woods, and I pop out at the far corner of the farm by Peter's Branch.



Going down!





And I'm back!

What a great day out, local racing with friends, and a great ride!

Kenny has three more races in the series. Check it out! 




03 February 2011

The off season has become the pre-season...

Need to give Robbie Loehr props for that title...which then reminds me of how badly I need to get back up into WV for some riding with some good old friends....

After our backpacking trip, I found myself thinking more about the idea of having a "trail name." Most AT hikers have trail names, either thought-up, or hopefully most of the time, given to them from other hikers. Your trail name is supposed to be your persona on the trail, who you are when you get away from it all, and you would seemingly become this person the moment you step onto the trail. 

What would my trail name be? "Nike Noodle," "Jocko," "Cody," "Doodle?" (I realize that many inside jokes directed at only one faction of people really doesn't quite hit home with everyone). Who knows what name people would try to give me. Hopefully something significantly cooler than "Next Step."

Really, my trail name would have to be "Jake," as I don't find myself needing to feel any different, or be a different person depending upon when I am on or off the trail, hiking, bicycling, or what-have-you. I don't want to feel that way. I love being in the Forest, on all kinds of trails, and I want to be myself on all of those trails, not someone else, or the ideal persona I would imagine for myself were I to live a life free of whatever it seems to be that some people run from. 

But maybe I'm being cynical really. Perhaps the trail name for most people is not meant to be who they want to be, but who they really are. Any activity, or place which would bring that out, has to be a good place. Can't think of many better places than the National Forest trails for someone to realize who they truly are. Unless, of course,  who you really are is some sort of sketchy maniac....and then we all have a problem.

In the end, perhaps its lame, perhaps it is great, maybe it is even as simple as something fun to do for your hiking trips, and I have just wasted our time with this entire post. Or even still your trail name could be "Rock Pooper"..... and it would mean nothing more than you got caught defecating on top of a large stone. - A legit name I have seen in the log books, and a practice that I really would not recommend. In the end, it really is just good to be outside.

Where that came from, I don't know. Back to the randomness! We went up to Canaan Valley the other weekend for a good weekend of skiing with the McLeans. The snow and conditions were amazing. 

typical...


Burchy relaxin on the chair!

Some morning freedom...

My weekly amount of bicycle riding is steadily increasing. Kenny Palmer is putting on his Mountain Cross Series in Bedford starting this Sunday.  Should be a great time. Hopefully the rains don't hit us too hard!

Been rocking out at Rise Up Climbing a few nights a week after work. 

Looking forward soon to some big spring time rides in the National Forest. Still got two months of winter ahead, ahhh winter....