Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 52
  1. #1
    another bozo on the bus
    Reputation: washedup's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,204

    Good job! Touring the Virginia Mountain Bike Trail

    I received an email a couple of months back from the folks at Shenendoah Mountain Touring inviting me to ride from Wardensville Virginia to Damascus, Virginia along what is being called the Virginia Mountain Bike Trail. 418 miles and over 65,000’ of climbing (or descending if you are a glass half full kinda person) in just over 2 weeks. I had squandered too much time over the summer to justify a 2 week vacation, so I figured I would ride the last 4 days of trail that would all be new to me. Chris and Matt started their journey at the County Line Trail off of rt 55, rode through Big Schloss, Trout Pond and down Secret South en route to the Stokesville Campground just in time to celebrate the Shenendoah Mountain Bike Festival with some riding and trail work. (See previous blog post for those details.)

    From there it was the Southern Traverse, Douthat, Dragon’s Back and then into Blacksburg and the Jefferson NF where I hooked up with the gang on a rest day which consisted of just over 4 hours of riding on the local trails sans one Chris Scott who headed for the hosptial to confirm his fears of a shoulder separation he earned the day before. Before skipping town, I scoped out the weather which called for seasonable temps with a 90% chance of adventure. We rolled out early as there were some 65 miles to cover IF we could successfully ford the New River cutting out a road ride go ‘round that would tack on an additional 20ish miles. After scoping out several possible crossings, we encountered a local who asked us what we were up to. After some smoothing over, he gave up some inside info on the ledges in water and wished us well after saying we would never make it with bikes. The water felt surprisingly nice in the morning sun and we made our way across. The rest of the day was a mix of pavement, rail trail, double and single track before reaching the Sunrise Cabin just in time to take in a magnificent sunset from the deck.

    The night was nice enough that Matt and I turned down soft beds to overnight on the deck. We jumped on the Virginia Highlands trail at the end of our driveway and continued on, riding blown out fall line trail for the first half of the day which opened up later on to some great contour riding in peak colors. Lots of Rhodo tunnels and some areas that the corridor was completely grown over, smacking faces and shredding arms before opening up again to fast and flowy track and half riding. We dumped out at the road where we spotted Tyler across the road with the tour mobile at our campground for the night.

    During the night, I could feel the weather blowing in with a few showers and by the time we left in the morning a steady rain was falling. Heading for Iron Mountain, we had everything from morning fog to warm sunshine before the front blew in bringing with it heavy rain and temps dropping below 50. I ran out of film and seem to have lost at least one roll somewhere along the way. Boyes managed to triple flat on the final downhill into Damascus where everyone scurried to change out of wet clothes and get things packed so we could get pizza and celebrate the end another adventure. There was more to the day including some amazing, flowing, peadally goodness and “light rock” riding, but the memories seemed washed away by the wetness later in the day. In case you are wondering, Chris rode the final 4 days with his shoulder separation. MOre thought and images will follow. Here are some of mine...






























  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    17

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DavidR1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,696
    Some awesome trails in that area of Virginia. Can't wait to get back out there..

    Great story and pics.
    CyclingCentralVa.org

  4. #4
    CrgCrkRyder
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,147
    Very cool. I am curious to see a map of the whole route sometime. That has got to include some of the best back country rides in Virginia. DirtyD was kicking around an idea for a similar ride 4 or 5 years ago.

    That New River crossing looks sketchy this time of year...............

  5. #5
    S-Mart's Top of the Line
    Reputation: H3LlIoN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    285
    This is just a portion of the VA creeper trail, yes? I googled "Virginia Mountain Biking Trail" but didn't come up with anything other than creeper.

  6. #6
    bust a move
    Reputation: 2ridealot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,677
    Beautiful part of the country, can't imagine doing the whole ride! Thanks for sharing
    Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…

  7. #7
    Gumby
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    73
    Nice report, I've been following on the blog the past week. I knew there was potential for an epic multiday ride/tour through WV/western Virginia akin to the epic routes out west, just don't have the means to get out there and explore that much volume of trail. Glad someone is doing it Looking forward to more route descriptions and the first race challenge for the whole route

  8. #8
    CrgCrkRyder
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,147
    Quote Originally Posted by H3LlIoN View Post
    This is just a portion of the VA creeper trail, yes? I googled "Virginia Mountain Biking Trail" but didn't come up with anything other than creeper.
    It's basically a route through the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests that includes many miles of trails and forest service roads hooked together. Not a formal trail but a collection of trails from Harrisonburg VA to Damascus VA. I am guessing the route is a couple of hundred miles and I think it might include some of the Creeper trail. Good idea, sort of like the Colorado Trail concept.

    Woops I was short. The route is 418 miles from first part of ride report.
    Last edited by CraigCreekRider; 10-26-2011 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Miles

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: steelisreal4130's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    39
    Please post some maps! i am looking to do something like this soon.

  10. #10
    another bozo on the bus
    Reputation: washedup's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,204
    The journey began at rt55 along the County Line Trail and pushed through that gnarley rocks at Big Schloss before traveling along portions of the SM100, Dragon's Back, Rowdy Dogg and Iron MTN 100K. Yes, there was a very short portion of the Creeper Trail involved unless you are talking about those sections of trail that see no traffic, forcing us to travel at a Creeper's pace.

    Chris's photo of us crossing the second oldest river in the world has caused quite a buzz...



    Poseur shot by J-Law...



    Rogrope...



    Route check...



    Boyes looking haggered...



    Kurt accepts the challenge to bunnyhop a cattle guard...



    Helter Shelter...



    Still waiting for gps and photos from the gang. Fall is prime time here so folks are busy getting their ride on.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    25
    Awesome report and pictures! I did the first 4 days of this with Chris and Matt. I just tried to post maps, but since I have less than 10 posts here, mtbr won't let me. I'll try to get a few posts in and then come back with them.

    I'll also get some pictures up of the first part of the route. The first three days were extremely rocky, hardly traveled, and slow going. All great stuff though, and I'm disappointed that like Nate, I couldn't get out for the full ride. It would definitely be a phenomenal trip end-to-end.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    10,156
    Very Cool.

    My brother just moved to Elkton VA which is about 20 miles from Harrisonburg (I believe) and near the starting point of this adventure.

    I'd love to see some maps too. Beautiful country. Very different from my neck of the desert. Looks like I need to get back there and visit him.... with the bike of course.

  13. #13
    another bozo on the bus
    Reputation: washedup's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,204
    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Very Cool.

    My brother just moved to Elkton VA which is about 20 miles from Harrisonburg (I believe) and near the starting point of this adventure.

    I'd love to see some maps too. Beautiful country. Very different from my neck of the desert. Looks like I need to get back there and visit him.... with the bike of course.
    Holler if you come out this way. I will turn you onto some chunky bits of Appalacian rock as well as getting some descent mileage in. If you can swing it, Tour de Burg in July is a riot. Peep Dicky's write up this month in DR. We are long over do for hooking to ride. Desert bound in Jan to escape the cold.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    341
    Count me in as someone interested in a map route for this. I've been through those parts of the country a few times on a motorcycle and would love to check it out on a mtb. Nice photos btw, it's nice to know someone still appreciates film, what are you shooting with?

  15. #15
    another bozo on the bus
    Reputation: washedup's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,204
    Quote Originally Posted by jmctav23 View Post
    Count me in as someone interested in a map route for this. I've been through those parts of the country a few times on a motorcycle and would love to check it out on a mtb. Nice photos btw, it's nice to know someone still appreciates film, what are you shooting with?
    some of the Va Highlands is moto friendly. Shot with a plastic twin reflex called the Blackbird Fly

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    25
    Here are mapmyride maps from the first 4 days of this trip-

    Day 1

    Day 2

    Day 3

    Day 4

    The end of Day 4 is a little off. My gps died and I wrongly entered the route into mapmyride. It also coincided with the festival, which is why there is the off-shoot to Boy Scout/ Trimble Mt.

    edit- Actually, day 2 is off too. I'm no good with a gps and had turned it off there around Hunkerson Gap. I'll try to get that updated tomorrow.

  17. #17
    Gumby
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    73
    Quote Originally Posted by straverse View Post
    Here are mapmyride maps from the first 4 days of this trip-

    Day 1

    Day 2

    Day 3

    Day 4

    The end of Day 4 is a little off. My gps died and I wrongly entered the route into mapmyride. It also coincided with the festival, which is why there is the off-shoot to Boy Scout/ Trimble Mt.

    edit- Actually, day 2 is off too. I'm no good with a gps and had turned it off there around Hunkerson Gap. I'll try to get that updated tomorrow.
    Can you make these routes viewable by the public on your mapmyride.com settings? Otherwise, you'll be getting a lot of friend requests. Or just confirm mine

  18. #18
    Map Maker
    Reputation: cbchess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,255
    I like the report and some of the pictures but most of them are just too dark to see what is going on.
    I am a film buff but some of these seem like they were taken with a dirty lens.
    Richmond, VA
    Ra-MORE mtb club

  19. #19
    CrgCrkRyder
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,147
    Quote Originally Posted by straverse View Post
    Awesome report and pictures! I did the first 4 days of this with Chris and Matt. I just tried to post maps, but since I have less than 10 posts here, mtbr won't let me. I'll try to get a few posts in and then come back with them.

    I'll also get some pictures up of the first part of the route. The first three days were extremely rocky, hardly traveled, and slow going. All great stuff though, and I'm disappointed that like Nate, I couldn't get out for the full ride. It would definitely be a phenomenal trip end-to-end.
    Would love to see some more pics from your ride.

    I would love to do this ride, but I would take 2 months not two weeks at my snails pace. I think I have ridden parts of it before like the stuff between Dragons Back and Douthat.

  20. #20
    another bozo on the bus
    Reputation: washedup's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,204
    Quote Originally Posted by cbchess View Post
    I like the report and some of the pictures but most of them are just too dark to see what is going on.
    I am a film buff but some of these seem like they were taken with a dirty lens.
    sorry, packing a nice slr was not high on my list things to carry on a 4 day trip. a lightweight plastic unit w/ fixed aperture is the best i could do. feel free to carry tons of expensive camera equipment on your next multi day back country adventure and post the pics here so we can all judge

  21. #21
    NedwannaB
    Reputation: JMac47's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    8,671

    Tooshay~ Nate!

    Quote Originally Posted by washedup View Post
    feel free to carry tons of expensive camera equipment on your next multi day back country adventure and post the pics here so we can all judge
    The grainyness of some of the pix gives them their character.

    I figured it mostly from the weather conditions and being burried under the dense foilage for a good portion of your route. Been away from the passion forum, cool to see you're getting those epic multi day jaunts in.
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    25
    Sorry about that. Didn't realize they were private. They should be updated now.


    Quote Originally Posted by timbo337 View Post
    Can you make these routes viewable by the public on your mapmyride.com settings? Otherwise, you'll be getting a lot of friend requests. Or just confirm mine

  23. #23
    another bozo on the bus
    Reputation: washedup's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,204
    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    The grainyness of some of the pix gives them their character.

    I figured it mostly from the weather conditions and being burried under the dense foilage for a good portion of your route. Been away from the passion forum, cool to see you're getting those epic multi day jaunts in.
    Thanks J-Mac. I am partial to the toy cameras myself. The plastic lens gives a soft unique image that other cameras wont give you. It's not "fine photography," it fun. I am a minimalist and usually travel sans any pack and my gear gets wet, banged around dropped. I am forced to shoot from the hip cuz folks aint waiting on me to set up a shot. Also, I modify some of my cameras with a dremel which is much easier to do a camera that only cost me $20. Maybe I should just stick to "what bike to buy next" or "what is the best 29er seat clamp" threads

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mikeridesabike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1,550
    I used to kayak the New River. Never thought about walking across it. Pretty cool!
    Friends don let friends ride road bikes.
    http://www.facebook.com/mikebmiller

  25. #25
    NedwannaB
    Reputation: JMac47's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    8,671

    Hah! No way

    Quote Originally Posted by washedup View Post
    Maybe I should just stick to "what bike to buy next" or "what is the best 29er seat clamp" threads
    Stick to your guns! The one of the boys slumped in the corner of the shelter needed no caption. Kind of a Jason meets Michael meets Blair Witch scene. Just kill me now and get this ride over with....
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Virginia Mountain Bike Clubs? (or Riders)
    By Bullet_Bob in forum Virginia, WV, Maryland, DC, Delaware
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-24-2010, 05:56 AM
  2. We need a forum for the Drop Bar Mountain Bike, Mountain Touring
    By tommignon in forum Site Feedback/Issues
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-04-2010, 11:12 AM
  3. Touring With a Mountain Bike
    By xckeefe in forum All Mountain
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-24-2010, 04:47 PM
  4. Virginia mountain bike trail maps
    By Aceofclubs in forum Virginia, WV, Maryland, DC, Delaware
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-05-2010, 02:30 PM
  5. Mountain bike touring
    By KarlosPirahna in forum Bikepacking and Bike Expedition
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-14-2008, 03:50 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •