Sunday, September 14, 2008
Turns out our group of almost twenty got pared down to six when the majority opted for taking shuttles up to the top. So our smaller group began the long doubletrack climb right out of camp that takes you up to the singletrack. Once up on top there is very little climbing. The rocks were still a little slick, it was really humid, and when the sun hit you it was actually damn hot. Joe had the first mechanical of the day, but by no means the worst one.
And later that evening some of this:
Sure am glad that photo turned out blurry because I thought it might have been my eyesight. They had four taps running Troegs, three bands, a chicken dinner, and a swag lottery (Griz's mugs were the first to go).
An old friend from the Thorpe area, Robin, aka Birdman - he welds the awards for the Rock's Ridge contest. Also spotted: Craig, Cathy, Mike, Brenda, Joe, Brett, Dona, Kristian, Don, Emory, Don, Pontzer, Jeff, Train Wreck, Mike S., and Keith.
Tony tending to his sheep.
The whole event was extremely well run - without feeling pressured things just unfolded as if they were unplanned but not unintended. Credit to the RCST gang (Rick, Jill, Keith, et al) for pulling off another great weekend.
As things wrapped up on Sunday, we reflected back on seeing many old friends, making many new friends, miles and miles of high-quality singletrack, no major medicals, and few mechanicals - we grabbed some fine local pizza and parted ways.Until next year.
Monday, September 08, 2008
My friend Joe has been itching to do this ride for over a year and convinced Jay and I to tag along with him. Normally, this would be a fantastic road route; however, we were going to do it on mt bikes and incorporate as much quality singletrack as possible. Starting at the Totem Pole in Caledonia with some Michaux friends (Brett, Donna, Zach, and Larry) we climbed Secret, Raccoon Run, Snowy Mt., double track up to the Fire Tower, then Blue Blaze past the shelters down into Old Forge. Larry had stashed some beer here and we were joined by Travis. After a quick nip, we climbed up Sucker Punch, a new way to upper Rattlesnake Road. It was soft, but much better than the alternatives - that is unless you are continuing on to Frederick. We then rode Mackey Run, a nice technical piece of singletrack recently added to the Michaux portfolio. This dropped us out near Blue Ridge Summit where after a little road cruising, we tanked up on water and took a brief rest. This middle section featured some paved road cruising, steep climbs, a fire road jaunt near Camp David where we saw the fake pine tree bristling with electronic devices. Finally, we entered the Shed via Tower Road and a hike a bike. We had a beer to celebrate and then started on our way to Hamburg and beyond. Salamander, Sand Flats, Blue and we were back at Hamburg Road where I got some more water from a guy who was finishing his ride. He asked: "where did you guys start from - Gambrill?" I replied: "Caledonia State Park in Michaux." "Oh", he replied "is there trail the whole way?" Joe led us back to Gambrill State Park via Blue, Sheldon's Trail, Dave's Trail, Yellow. There was no Iceberg and no descent into the Valley this time - perhaps next time. We hit 44mph on the paved descent back into Frederick even on our Kenda Nevegals. Great ride, great company - see you next year.