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  1. #1
    Ray's MTB
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    Midwest or East Coast Riders...Epic Help?

    Hi. I'm new to this forum.
    I recently re-found my love of mountain biking, during a trip to the tropical island of St. Lucia, and am totally getting back into it. (check out bikestlucia.com)
    I am planning on taking my brother on a bike trip this summer. We are both going through a bit of a rough spot in our lives, and want to get away, the way only mountain bikers can, and need help picking the best trail/trails for a life-experience. I want to have an experience, not just a mountain bike ride. We are going to drive on a friday, ride saturday and sunday, and drive back on monday. I have tried the Trail review portion of this website, but I cannot seem to get what I need out of it, So I was hoping that if I made a post like this, someone might be able to help.

    Here's what I;m looking for.

    I want a trail / trail network that has spectacular scenery, and long technical downhills. (keeping in mind that we'll be on light weight XC hardtails)
    We both are expert trials riders, so we are looking for technical trails. (fire-roads just won't due, unless the payoff at the top is worth it.)
    I'd like to find a trail that can be completed in a day, as I'd like to use a local campground, as opposed to hauling gear on our backs, and it's important to have good beer nearby.

    Our radius of travel is about 10 hours from Cleveland. so from Wisconsin to maine, Toronto to Georgia. so you can imagine how daunting a task it is to find the perfect place to go. If you live near a great trail...(I mean a trail worth a 10 hour drive) Please let me know. Please, and thank you.

    -Giventofly
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  2. #2
    Drinker w/ Riding Problem
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    Pisgah

    Pisgah - Come to North Carolina and Ride yourass off!

    hit the local NC forum http://forums.mtbr.com/forumdisplay....aysprune=&f=77 or http://www.mtbikewnc.com/

  3. #3
    paintbucket
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    Quote Originally Posted by brado1
    Pisgah
    Yah. And don't forget

    http://www.wncmountaingoatepics.com/
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    Mountain Bike magazine's most recent issue lists the "best" trail in each state. Not a lot of info on each trail, but a place to start if you can find it.

    IMBA's website has a page of Epic Rides, http://www.imba.com/epics/rides.html.

    There is some really great stuff in Virginia, check out http://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/. They have maps for sale and directions to some great rides in the Harrisonburg, Virginia area.

    Also in West Virginia--I have not been, but the Davis area and Slaty Fork are supposed to be really great. I hope to get there this summer.

    And finally, Douthat State Park in Virginia has some great biking. http://www.dcr.state.va.us/parks/douthat.htm.

  5. #5
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    I've ridden almost everywhere in virginia and have to say douthat state park sounds like what your looking for,over 100mi of single track with great DH,scenic overlooks and camping.All the trails can be reached from your campsite.

  6. #6
    Born of Fire
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    Try the Kingdom Trails in Vermont.

  7. #7
    Uber V Cripp
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    Letchworth State Park in Western NY. The Finger Lakes Trail is listed #6 in BikeMags top 10 rides. 29 miles of continous singletrack in the northeast. Lot of technical stuff. Gullies and creeks to cross. Some good downhills. Some good climbs. All along the canyon of the Genesee river. A down and back is 48 miles and will kick anyones ass. Plus you get to ride through a 2000 year old old growth cedar grove.Letchworth is our little secret. Lots of camping options nearby. Really cool place......jdcamb
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  8. #8
    In the Kitchen
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdcamb
    Letchworth State Park in Western NY. The Finger Lakes Trail is listed #6 in BikeMags top 10 rides. 29 miles of continous singletrack in the northeast. Lot of technical stuff. Gullies and creeks to cross. Some good downhills. Some good climbs. All along the canyon of the Genesee river. A down and back is 48 miles and will kick anyones ass. Plus you get to ride through a 2000 year old old growth cedar grove.Letchworth is our little secret. Lots of camping options nearby. Really cool place......jdcamb
    Dooood!!! I'm so out there this summer!! Party at your place?
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  9. #9
    Uber V Cripp
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    Quote Originally Posted by McGRP01
    Dooood!!! I'm so out there this summer!! Party at your place?
    June 17th, 18th, and 19th will be my first annual Jdcamb Epic Ride Weekend. Camping, food, beer, and Epic rides everyday. Drunken nightrides too! The 17th we will be riding the Killer quad in Bristol, 5000' of combined climbing with a mix of singletrack and fireroads (30 miles). The 18th we will roadtrip to Ellicotville (35 miles on the glorious FLT!), and the 19th we will be riding Letchworth (22 miles sections 1,2,3,4,& 5). Camping will be at Ontario County park in Bristol Springs NY. Your welcome to come. I haven't firmed up everything yet but I will let you know when I do......jdcamb

  10. #10
    In the Kitchen
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdcamb
    June 17th, 18th, and 19th will be my first annual Jdcamb Epic Ride Weekend. Camping, food, beer, and Epic rides everyday. Drunken nightrides too! The 17th we will be riding the Killer quad in Bristol, 5000' of combined climbing with a mix of singletrack and fireroads (30 miles). The 18th we will roadtrip to Ellicotville (35 miles on the glorious FLT!), and the 19th we will be riding Letchworth (22 miles sections 1,2,3,4,& 5). Camping will be at Ontario County park in Bristol Springs NY. Your welcome to come. I haven't firmed up everything yet but I will let you know when I do......jdcamb
    Hmmmm? That might work, no DH races that weekend. The Dalton 24-hour race is the following weekend too, your epics might make for a great warm-up!
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  11. #11
    Currently in Exile
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    Western NC really

    Quote Originally Posted by Giventofly
    Hi. I'm new to this forum.
    I recently re-found my love of mountain biking, during a trip to the tropical island of St. Lucia, and am totally getting back into it. (check out bikestlucia.com)
    I am planning on taking my brother on a bike trip this summer. We are both going through a bit of a rough spot in our lives, and want to get away, the way only mountain bikers can, and need help picking the best trail/trails for a life-experience. I want to have an experience, not just a mountain bike ride. We are going to drive on a friday, ride saturday and sunday, and drive back on monday. I have tried the Trail review portion of this website, but I cannot seem to get what I need out of it, So I was hoping that if I made a post like this, someone might be able to help.

    Here's what I;m looking for.

    I want a trail / trail network that has spectacular scenery, and long technical downhills. (keeping in mind that we'll be on light weight XC hardtails)
    We both are expert trials riders, so we are looking for technical trails. (fire-roads just won't due, unless the payoff at the top is worth it.)
    I'd like to find a trail that can be completed in a day, as I'd like to use a local campground, as opposed to hauling gear on our backs, and it's important to have good beer nearby.

    Our radius of travel is about 10 hours from Cleveland. so from Wisconsin to maine, Toronto to Georgia. so you can imagine how daunting a task it is to find the perfect place to go. If you live near a great trail...(I mean a trail worth a 10 hour drive) Please let me know. Please, and thank you.

    -Giventofly
    You have all kinds of great rides out there. Pisgah, Dupont, Fontanna, etc. And you can head over to TN and hit Ocoee and Chilhowee as well. So many great trails, so little time!
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  12. #12
    Turner Homer
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdcamb
    June 17th, 18th, and 19th will be my first annual Jdcamb Epic Ride Weekend. Camping, food, beer, and Epic rides everyday. Drunken nightrides too! The 17th we will be riding the Killer quad in Bristol, 5000' of combined climbing with a mix of singletrack and fireroads (30 miles). The 18th we will roadtrip to Ellicotville (35 miles on the glorious FLT!), and the 19th we will be riding Letchworth (22 miles sections 1,2,3,4,& 5). Camping will be at Ontario County park in Bristol Springs NY. Your welcome to come. I haven't firmed up everything yet but I will let you know when I do......jdcamb
    Where exactly in New York is this place because I am located in upstate new york, Albany.

  13. #13
    Uber V Cripp
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtrek4500
    Where exactly in New York is this place because I am located in upstate new york, Albany.
    Ride locations may change. But here is a map anyways. #1 is Bristol, #2 is Ellicotville, and #3 is Letchworth. Feedback so far has been to change the ride from Ellicotville to Letchworth on the second day and add HS Spenser for sunday. That is above Honeoye Lake. Very nice place to ride but not quite epic......
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  14. #14
    Ray's MTB
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdcamb
    Letchworth State Park in Western NY. The Finger Lakes Trail is listed #6 in BikeMags top 10 rides. 29 miles of continous singletrack in the northeast. Lot of technical stuff. Gullies and creeks to cross. Some good downhills. Some good climbs. All along the canyon of the Genesee river. A down and back is 48 miles and will kick anyones ass. Plus you get to ride through a 2000 year old old growth cedar grove.Letchworth is our little secret. Lots of camping options nearby. Really cool place......jdcamb

    ok jdcamb.....you posted a picture of exactly what I am looking for.

    So far...you are winning!
    Can you tell me more? Is there a local website that has more pics, topos, or trail descriptions? any more info would be great.

    P.S....below is a picture of my inspiration for starting to ride XC again. I was a trials rider, and got my lungs and legs back ar Ray's Indoor MTB. On my vacaion, I rode 30 miles of jungle singletrack in st. lucia. This view was taken from the top of the hardest climb of my life...on a trail in the middle of a caribbean jungle. the climb took me 45 minutes from seal level to 1000 feet....the view from the top literally changed my life. I'm looking for that kind of experience...and so far....that photo is very close to what I am looking for.

    I believe that the meaning of life can be found at the top of a mountain. when you do something that you never thought possible. when you change your life so drastically that it enables you to climb mountains...it changes the way you look at things.

    Forgive me for getting philosiphical there...but it happens every time I look at this picture.
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    www.raysmtb.com

  15. #15
    surly inbred
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdcamb
    June 17th, 18th, and 19th will be my first annual Jdcamb Epic Ride Weekend.
    [SIZE=3]Sounds like we ride all the same terrain. Care for another to jump on the wagon? I'd be more than happy to help out, provide beer, more riders, shuttles...etc. I'm praying for a dry spring as Letchworth didn't "officially" open 'til about the 28th last year. [/SIZE]

  16. #16
    In the Kitchen
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giventofly
    ok jdcamb.....you posted a picture of exactly what I am looking for.

    So far...you are winning!
    Can you tell me more? Is there a local website that has more pics, topos, or trail descriptions? any more info would be great.
    Are you in/around Cleveland? (Man, I wish I could make it out to Ray's) If you are, the drive to the Rochester area won't be too bad at all. 3 hours? It'll take me about 4 from north of Albany.
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  17. #17
    surly inbred
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    Quote Originally Posted by McGRP01
    ...If you are, the drive to the Rochester area won't be too bad at all. 3 hours? ...
    [SIZE=3]More like 5 hours... 4 1/2 hours might be do-able providing no license & registration incidents

    [/SIZE]

  18. #18
    mtbr member
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    I've always thought this looked pretty cool.

    http://www.snowshoemtn.com/summer04/...in_biking.html

  19. #19
    Uber V Cripp
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giventofly
    ok jdcamb.....you posted a picture of exactly what I am looking for.

    So far...you are winning!
    Can you tell me more? Is there a local website that has more pics, topos, or trail descriptions? any more info would be great.

    P.S....below is a picture of my inspiration for starting to ride XC again. I was a trials rider, and got my lungs and legs back ar Ray's Indoor MTB. On my vacaion, I rode 30 miles of jungle singletrack in st. lucia. This view was taken from the top of the hardest climb of my life...on a trail in the middle of a caribbean jungle. the climb took me 45 minutes from seal level to 1000 feet....the view from the top literally changed my life. I'm looking for that kind of experience...and so far....that photo is very close to what I am looking for.

    I believe that the meaning of life can be found at the top of a mountain. when you do something that you never thought possible. when you change your life so drastically that it enables you to climb mountains...it changes the way you look at things.

    Forgive me for getting philosiphical there...but it happens every time I look at this picture.
    Here you go.....

    http://ns21.rfnweb.com/~admin78/maps/246.pdf

    http://www.highlandercycletour.com/2...aineer%202.gif

    http://www.wnymba.org/static/maps/epic-nw.jpg

    http://www.wnymba.org/static/maps/eville/hol-7.html

    http://www.wnymba.org/static/maps/epic-south.jpg

    http://ns21.rfnweb.com/~admin78/maps/243.pdf

  20. #20
    Ray's MTB
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    Quote Originally Posted by McGRP01
    Are you in/around Cleveland? (Man, I wish I could make it out to Ray's) If you are, the drive to the Rochester area won't be too bad at all. 3 hours? It'll take me about 4 from north of Albany.
    Yes, I live in cleveland, and am one of the founders of ray's mtb. I'm one of the crew of 20 or so guys that volunteered to help ray build the park last summer, and I also help manage the place.
    _______________________________________

    www.realtyone.com/daniel.smith

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  21. #21
    In the Kitchen
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giventofly
    Yes, I live in cleveland, and am one of the founders of ray's mtb. I'm one of the crew of 20 or so guys that volunteered to help ray build the park last summer, and I also help manage the place.
    That's awesome! You have my dream job!
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  22. #22
    Turner Homer
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    Damm that place is far. It is located past Buffilo, and that is a good five hours away from me. I will have to talk to my riding buds about going there in the summer because that would be a 2 or 3 day trip.
    Dave

  23. #23
    In the Kitchen
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtrek4500
    Damm that place is far. It is located past Buffilo, and that is a good five hours away from me. I will have to talk to my riding buds about going there in the summer because that would be a 2 or 3 day trip.
    Dave
    Which place are you refering to? Rays? All the rides jdcamb was talking about are east of Buffalo. What are you complaining about anyway...I'm heading out from Saratoga, you're closer than I am!! :P
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  24. #24
    mtbr member
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    "Southern Traverse" IMBA Epic Ride in Virginia

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    Posts: 123 Southern Traverse-Harrisonburg ????

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Planning a trip to ride the IMBA epic Southern Traverse near Harrisonburg in the George Washington National Forest. Will be there June 11, 12, and 13. Any tips on how the riding is? Tire size or type that is best for the area? Advice on which direction to ride the traverse or side loops to take? Shop to check out? Hotel in the Harrisonburg area, clean, bring bikes in room, and biker friendly? Thanks



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    05-18-2004 #2
    MrXC
    formerly Giantxc




    Join Date: Jan 2004
    Posts: 317 The Harrisonburg area has some of the best riding in the mid-atlantic and maybe anywhere. It has a little bit of everything, but expect long climbs that reward you with epic downhills. Use tires that can handle rocks - my preference for this area (and just about everywhere) is WTB Mutano Raptor 2.4's in the front and IRC Mythos XC in the rear.

    I've always camped when in the area so I can't help you with the hotels, but for side trips and trail info check out the Shenadoah Mountain Touring Company at http://www.mountaintouring.com. The guys who run it are as great as their local trails.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffSkisMontana
    Planning a trip to ride the IMBA epic Southern Traverse near Harrisonburg in the George Washington National Forest. Will be there June 11, 12, and 13. Any tips on how the riding is? Tire size or type that is best for the area? Advice on which direction to ride the traverse or side loops to take? Shop to check out? Hotel in the Harrisonburg area, clean, bring bikes in room, and biker friendly? Thanks




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    05-18-2004 #3
    rpiontek
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    Posts: 83 I rode the southern traverse a couple of years ago, guided by Chris at www.mtntouring.com. It was great, and definitely worth the money. I believe we rode north to south, not sure, though. It gave us a long fire road climb, and a singletrack descent. We had a car at each end. I also rode the Mtn 100 last year, which I think includes parts of the Southern Traverse, and I agree that it can be pretty rough and rocky in the harrisonburg area, but I don't think that the Southern Traverse is all that bad. I did it on a rigid, and didn't think it was too challenging, technically. That being said, it is a tough ride. Lots of climbing. Remote. Long.



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    05-18-2004 #4
    JeffSkisMontana
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    Join Date: Sep 2003
    Posts: 123 Appreciate the information

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MrXC & Rpiontek: Thanks for the information. Looking forward to the trip. If we were to camp is there a spot that you like? Probably will swap out my front tire to a Maxxis High Roller 2.3 for the trip. Noticed one of you used to be Giant....Recently bought a VT 2 and am enjoying it very much. Thanks again, Jeff

    p.s. anyone else out there want to add some more thoughts it would be appreciated.



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    05-18-2004 #5
    winstonc
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    Posts: 6 Good Advise so far

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I rode north to south and really enjoyed it - long fire road climb and then basically ridge top trail with some rocky sections and then awsome long smooth downhill. I didn't use a shuttle and the ride back on pavement didn't take much over an hour (I think). My 2.3 Maxxis high rollers are about 1000 grams and I think that is overkill. I'd use something like Continental Vertical Protection 2.3, Nokian 2.3 NBX or Mutanoraptor 2.24.
    Shenandoah Bicycle Company in Harrisonburg is the bike shop to go to or call for info.
    Dothat State park is a very cool place to ride that is close



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    05-19-2004 #6
    IAmCosmo
    Fat, but working on it...


    Join Date: Apr 2004
    Posts: 165 How would you all rate the trail(s) on this trip? I'm considering doing it next year, but not sure if I'm capable. I am a clydesdale, after all....



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    05-20-2004 #7
    puddintitties'
    cuban b


    Join Date: Apr 2004
    Posts: 27 H-burg all up in the mess

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    As far as tires go the popular local setup is the huge Geax Blade up front, and a Trail bear in the back. In so many words the bigger the better. The southern traverse is much more rolling and flat than the rest of Harrisonburg riding, but is a blast nontheless.

    Shenandoah Bicycle Company is the place to be for trail info, lodging, and in general good times. www.shenandoahbicycle.com 540-437-9000, ask for Thomas. He is the co-owner and besides being the nicest guy ever, is excellent with all things trail oriented. Hope you come up.



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    05-22-2004 #8
    JeffSkisMontana
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    Posts: 123 Thanks,,,,we are coming!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thanks for more information. Just printed directions to Shendoah Bicycle co. Do you think we can ride the Southern Traverse North to SOuth and return on road in 5 to 6 hours? If so that will be our plan for day one of the trip. Day 2...not sure yet what the agenda is...and suggestions? We might just ride the Southern Traverse again!



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    05-25-2004 #9
    AllRounder
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    Posts: 24 You mentioned that it is an IMBA Epic Trail, so you are probably aware of this, but there is some great info on the IMBA site:

    http://www.imba.com/epics/harrisonburg_va.html

    Join IMBA! (Whew, got that out of my system!)

    I'll be riding this trail in Mid-June, if anyone would like to set up a shuttle. I'll post back later and see if there is any interest in setting up a group ride.

    -AR



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    05-31-2004 #10
    JeffSkisMontana
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    Posts: 123 Hey all..............Thanks

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    All Rounder, Puddintitties', Winstonc, Rpiontek, Mrxc: Thanks all for the information. 2weekends away from the trip. Looking forward to going. JSM



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    06-01-2004 #11
    Spookykinkajou
    me




    Join Date: Jan 2004
    Posts: 711 Just got back from the harrisonburg, va area. rode there on saturday, sunday and monday. Let me first say shenandoah bicycle is a lifesaver and the two owners are amazing! without the friendly owners i wouldn't have been riding this past weekend!


    you'll enjoy the trails! i really liked the shenandoah mountail trail but be prepared it's major backwoods.



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    06-04-2004 #12
    JeffSkisMontana
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    Join Date: Sep 2003
    Posts: 123 I am a IMBA Member

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I am a IMBA member. Thats how I heard about the "Southern Traverse". Plan on riding the R3 IMBA Epic in Rothrock State Forest PA also....



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    06-06-2004 #13
    JeffSkisMontana
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    Posts: 123 It is confirmed....anyone want to join us on the Southern Traverse?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OK it is now definite. We will be down for sure. Should arrive Friday 6/11 about 1 pm at the trail head as described in Shendoah Mountain Bicycle's directions. We would be glad to ride with some others. We will be taking our time as it is our first time on the "Traverse". If you are interested reply on this thread/board(will check daily up to Thursday). Planning on riding Saturday too. Not sure if we will ride the "Traverse" again or try Dothgat. Jeff



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    06-08-2004 #14
    Bird
    mtbr member


    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Posts: 189 I live just 30mi north of harrisonburg and have ridden every local trail a dozen times or so and must say douthat may well be the best riding east of the mississippi.I camp there several times a year and ride until i'm sore and silly.Check it out!



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    06-13-2004 #15
    JeffSkisMontana
    mtbr member


    Join Date: Sep 2003
    Posts: 123 IMBA EPIC was EPIC!!!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Well, the IMBA does not use the word EPIC lightly when it awards that moniker to a trail. In the case of the "Southern Traverse" aka "The Shendoah Trail", the word EPIC is well deserved. It turned out to be an EPIC event for myself and a friend this Friday June 11th.

    We arrived late to the trailhead at FR 173 due to a massive pile up on 81 near Harrisburg Pennsylvannia. We started at 2:30pm. About one mile in we took the wrong forest gate and proceeded to do a 7 mile warmup on the wrong trail. The warmup was 3.5 miles up hill, where once we realized we had made a mistake it began to pour! We had a slippery blast down back to the point we had made the wrong turn.

    Undaunted, we began once again at the correct forest gate. This section of the trail is exactly as described by the guys at Shendoah Bicycle Company, up hill for 4 miles. The rain began to slow about 2 miles into this climb. Once we summited, it began to rain again.

    We quickly set off on the Shendoah Trail heading south to avoid getting to cool after the climb. Soon we realized we would be climbing another 1100 feet to summit the "Bump". About 1 mile into the single track we came around a corner and a large bear was sitting with his back to us. Once it realized we had arrived it quickly exited over the ridge. From this point forward I whistled prior to every corner to avoid another bear encounter.

    Just as we got into a pretty decent rhythm of riding and got used to the steep drop and slippery rocks n logs, lightnening struck fairly close by. Definetely put us into a paranoid state of mind. We kept riding although the rhythm was completely gone for about a mile. The lightnening strikes ended after about 10 minutes but the thunder could be heard for the remainder of the ride at various times.

    Leg cramps got my friend about 22 miles into the ride. They were severe and allowed only walking for about a half mile. Luckily they subsided and we were able to ride again.

    We finally arrived at the bailout point, Jerkemtight Road, that the darkening conditions forced us to take. This bailout was described as an old Jeep trail that was a steep descent for 5miles. It was extremely steep and tough due to water running along it most of the way down.

    We arrived on the road in the dark. Found our car after riding north for approx 5 miles, it was now 9:00pm!

    Did I mention that both of us endo'd at various times on the ride? In addition, I fell 3 other times when I slipped on logs or rocks. Oh yeah, I flatted at about the 18mile point also!

    All in all sitting here writing this I still enjoyed the ride. Learned some good lessons about starting to late and using a topo map vs written directions. Recommend that you ride this trail with no fewer than 3 people and start it early morning to guarantee enough light. Also connect with the crew at Shendoah Bicycle Company and Shendoah Touring prior to riding. The HarrisonBurg area is a great spot to set up base camp to ride this part of Virginia!



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    06-13-2004 #16
    Spookykinkajou
    me




    Join Date: Jan 2004
    Posts: 711 Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffSkisMontana
    Well, the IMBA does not use the word EPIC lightly when it awards that moniker to a trail. In the case of the "Southern Traverse" aka "The Shendoah Trail", the word EPIC is well deserved. It turned out to be an EPIC event for myself and a friend this Friday June 11th.

    We arrived late to the trailhead at FR 173 due to a massive pile up on 81 near Harrisburg Pennsylvannia. We started at 2:30pm. About one mile in we took the wrong forest gate and proceeded to do a 7 mile warmup on the wrong trail. The warmup was 3.5 miles up hill, where once we realized we had made a mistake it began to pour! We had a slippery blast down back to the point we had made the wrong turn.

    Undaunted, we began once again at the correct forest gate. This section of the trail is exactly as described by the guys at Shendoah Bicycle Company, up hill for 4 miles. The rain began to slow about 2 miles into this climb. Once we summited, it began to rain again.

    We quickly set off on the Shendoah Trail heading south to avoid getting to cool after the climb. Soon we realized we would be climbing another 1100 feet to summit the "Bump". About 1 mile into the single track we came around a corner and a large bear was sitting with his back to us. Once it realized we had arrived it quickly exited over the ridge. From this point forward I whistled prior to every corner to avoid another bear encounter.

    Just as we got into a pretty decent rhythm of riding and got used to the steep drop and slippery rocks n logs, lightnening struck fairly close by. Definetely put us into a paranoid state of mind. We kept riding although the rhythm was completely gone for about a mile. The lightnening strikes ended after about 10 minutes but the thunder could be heard for the remainder of the ride at various times.

    Leg cramps got my friend about 22 miles into the ride. They were severe and allowed only walking for about a half mile. Luckily they subsided and we were able to ride again.

    We finally arrived at the bailout point, Jerkemtight Road, that the darkening conditions forced us to take. This bailout was described as an old Jeep trail that was a steep descent for 5miles. It was extremely steep and tough due to water running along it most of the way down.

    We arrived on the road in the dark. Found our car after riding north for approx 5 miles, it was now 9:00pm!

    Did I mention that both of us endo'd at various times on the ride? In addition, I fell 3 other times when I slipped on logs or rocks. Oh yeah, I flatted at about the 18mile point also!

    All in all sitting here writing this I still enjoyed the ride. Learned some good lessons about starting to late and using a topo map vs written directions. Recommend that you ride this trail with no fewer than 3 people and start it early morning to guarantee enough light. Also connect with the crew at Shendoah Bicycle Company and Shendoah Touring prior to riding. The HarrisonBurg area is a great spot to set up base camp to ride this part of Virginia!


    Glad you enjoyed it as well. I had a blast and will definitely be heading there again before the year is over. Considering hitting it the first'ish week of july either on the way to pisgah or on the way back.

    We started our ride around 10am and finished in the late evening if i remember correctly but luckily saw no bears nor had rain One heck of a ride! Definitely one of the more rugged, backwoods trails i've ever ridden! How did you like all those off camber descents and climbs in the rain??? bet those were nasty!



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    06-14-2004 #17
    rpiontek
    mtbr member


    Join Date: Apr 2004
    Posts: 83 Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffSkisMontana
    Well, the IMBA does not use the word EPIC lightly when it awards that moniker to a trail. In the case of the "Southern Traverse" aka "The Shendoah Trail", the word EPIC is well deserved. It turned out to be an EPIC event for myself and a friend this Friday June 11th.

    All in all sitting here writing this I still enjoyed the ride. Learned some good lessons about starting to late and using a topo map vs written directions. Recommend that you ride this trail with no fewer than 3 people and start it early morning to guarantee enough light. Also connect with the crew at Shendoah Bicycle Company and Shendoah Touring prior to riding. The HarrisonBurg area is a great spot to set up base camp to ride this part of Virginia!


    Yeah, I had considered suggesting you get an earlier start than 1pm, but that probably wasn't possible. Sounds like a ride you'll remember for a long time to come, though!



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    06-14-2004 #18
    JeffSkisMontana
    mtbr member


    Join Date: Sep 2003
    Posts: 123 Off Camber....Is that what you call it!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I thought I was getting a case of vertigo while riding the off camber sections for at least the first 45 minutes. Felt like I was going to tumble upward! The rain made the rocks and roots, already covered with moss and lichens, extremely slippery. I didn't want to discourage my buddy so I did not say much until I fell for the 3rd time. He quickly admitted to the same issue. We did overcome it eventually!

    We are planning on coming back down in late Sept or early Oct to ride it again, this time earlier start, hopefully at least 3 of us, and better equiped and conditioned to ride vertical gain.

  25. #25
    I am the owl
    Reputation: riderx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,707
    Quote Originally Posted by jdcamb
    Letchworth State Park in Western NY. The Finger Lakes Trail is listed #6 in BikeMags top 10 rides. 29 miles of continous singletrack in the northeast. Lot of technical stuff. Gullies and creeks to cross. Some good downhills. Some good climbs. All along the canyon of the Genesee river. A down and back is 48 miles and will kick anyones ass. Plus you get to ride through a 2000 year old old growth cedar grove.Letchworth is our little secret. Lots of camping options nearby. Really cool place......jdcamb
    Got to say I wouldn't make that a destination ride. I found it kind of boring and certainly not challenging. I had been psyched when I saw pictures prior to going there, wish those views were everywhere along the trail though, would have made it more interesting. My report on Letchworth here.

    I'd certainly recommend places like Harrisonburg, Va and Douthat, Va over this ride. Especially if you want long downhills.

    Just my $.02, not trying to bust on the locals trails.
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