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  1. #26
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    There's only one store in Stokesville.

    You'll see a lot of Ardent tires down here. Crossmarks in the rear. 2.4s. Tubeless is popular. Thick sidewalls are important.

    mk

  2. #27
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    Must rides: Narrowback, *Hankey/Dowell's, 250/Braley's (word of caution - this trail can be inacccesible during spring as it has a rather serious stream crossing right in the beginning at the base of the climb. I've done it in the spring - requires taking shoes/socks off. Water can be thigh high and is moving very fast. Pretty sketchy IMO. And no there is no way around it), Lynn (tough climb, hike-a-bike for most)/Wolf Ridge, *forest roads/Chestnut ridge, and Hankey/Lookout (haven't ridden the new reroute on Lookout, heard it's very sweet). * = strongly suggested must must rides.

    You may want to get a confirmation that ST (Southern Traverse) is cleared and ready to ride before ventuing over that way. That storm last summer with high winds did a lot of damage to it (+100 blowdowns). I have not heard if it ever got totally cleared. Could be a major buzzkill if there still is blowdowns.

  3. #28
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    Southern Traverse will be in top shape in May as crews will be out chainsawing it in preparation for SDS rolling it in early May.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by wi1trackrider View Post
    Must rides: Narrowback, *Hankey/Dowell's, 250/Braley's (word of caution - this trail can be inacccesible during spring as it has a rather serious stream crossing right in the beginning at the base of the climb. I've done it in the spring - requires taking shoes/socks off. Water can be thigh high and is moving very fast. Pretty sketchy IMO. And no there is no way around it), Lynn (tough climb, hike-a-bike for most)/Wolf Ridge, *forest roads/Chestnut ridge, and Hankey/Lookout (haven't ridden the new reroute on Lookout, heard it's very sweet). * = strongly suggested must must rides.

    You may want to get a confirmation that ST (Southern Traverse) is cleared and ready to ride before ventuing over that way. That storm last summer with high winds did a lot of damage to it (+100 blowdowns). I have not heard if it ever got totally cleared. Could be a major buzzkill if there still is blowdowns.
    Thanks for the heads up! We are heading there in late March (27th-31st)...hope the Southern Traverse is clear as we are really looking forward to riding it.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase1996 View Post
    Thanks for the heads up! We are heading there in late March (27th-31st)...hope the Southern Traverse is clear as we are really looking forward to riding it.
    ST was fine end of Nov should still be ok get the NatGeo maps for GWNF for sure.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbildr View Post
    There's only one store in Stokesville.

    You'll see a lot of Ardent tires down here. Crossmarks in the rear. 2.4s. Tubeless is popular. Thick sidewalls are important.

    mk
    Could I get away with Ikons with EXO casings , or do I need a more aggressive front tire?

  7. #32
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    I generally suggest 2.3 or 2.4 tires out there so you can party. I like to party so I like my tires to party.

    More sidewall is always better, at least for me.

    mk

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbildr View Post
    I generally suggest 2.3 or 2.4 tires out there so you can party. I like to party so I like my tires to party.

    More sidewall is always better, at least for me.

    mk
    I'm gonna grab an 2.4 Ardent then for the front, unless there is another Maxxis you recommend...

    I wanna party too.

  9. #34
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    I hate recommending tires to anyone cuz I don't want you cursing my name. But let's say that I would happily ride a 2.4 Ardent in the front, tubeless, all day long out there. And I'd squeeze on in the back too...

    Come to think of it, I have.

    mk

  10. #35
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    Depending on the bike/ ride I go between Ardent 2.4 EXO casing front and rear and Ardent 2.25 UST front and Crossmark 2.1 UST rear. You won't see a lot of weight weenie tires out here.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by washedup View Post
    Depending on the bike/ ride I go between Ardent 2.4 EXO casing front and rear and Ardent 2.25 UST front and Crossmark 2.1 UST rear. You won't see a lot of weight weenie tires out here.
    I already own a set of the Ikon 2.2 EXO's, which are perfect for the riding in my home state. I was hoping they would suffice, but it seems I may need a grippier front tire, so I am just looking to replace as few tires as possible.

    Odds are, whatever I buy to run in Harrisonburg will get very little use after that, so i am trying to keep expenditure to a minimum...

  12. #37
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    Focusing on the front is a good idea.

    mk

  13. #38
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    So, I got my Nat Geo and Ride Package in the mail from Shenandoah Bicycle Company. I will definitely stop by and spend some money with them!

    We will arrive around lunchtime and wanted to get a ride in before check in time @ 4:00PM (maybe 2-3 hours or so).

    We are staying in Rawley Springs. I was originally planning to do the Mud Pond Short Loop as suggested by SBC...but I think we may want a longer loop. Is there a way to extend this loop?

    My other thought was to do Chestnut Ridge. I caught some video clips and it looks awesome. It looks to be just as close to Rawley Springs as the Mud Pond loop...how long does it typically take?

    Does anyone have directions to Chestnut Ridge trail head (parking, etc?) My map says Chestnut Ridge, but the map trail indicator is #490 Maple Springs?



    What/which would you pick?

  14. #39
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    Since it sounds like you're going to be riding on the west side of I81, I recommend riding the Western Slope of Massanutten just as you get to the area. The trails are fantastic!

    Go to the Garmin Connect website and search for user StokesvilleLodge (that's Chris Scott) and you'll see three Western Slope Enduro routes.

    Any of these three routes will have you grinning from ear to ear. I stopped and rode the Enduro 2 course as I was passing by Hburg last Friday and had an absolute blast.

    My tire recommendation is Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.35 w SnakeSkin sidewalls. Bottom line is that you're going to have more fun with a high volume aggressively knobbed tires front and rear.

    Enjoy!

  15. #40
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    Now that is one sweet recommendo, for sure. What a gift! Those enduro routes are basically unknown. For now. Big doings in 2013 from what the little birds tell me...

    mk

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecobykr View Post
    Since it sounds like you're going to be riding on the west side of I81, I recommend riding the Western Slope of Massanutten just as you get to the area. The trails are fantastic!

    Go to the Garmin Connect website and search for user StokesvilleLodge (that's Chris Scott) and you'll see three Western Slope Enduro routes.

    Any of these three routes will have you grinning from ear to ear. I stopped and rode the Enduro 2 course as I was passing by Hburg last Friday and had an absolute blast.

    My tire recommendation is Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.35 w SnakeSkin sidewalls. Bottom line is that you're going to have more fun with a high volume aggressively knobbed tires front and rear.

    Enjoy!
    I was under the impression that you had to pay to ride on Massanutten? A few guys coming are on tight budgets, so that might be out..

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase1996 View Post
    Does anyone have directions to Chestnut Ridge trail head (parking, etc?) My map says Chestnut Ridge, but the map trail indicator is #490 Maple Springs?

    What/which would you pick?
    Chestnut Ridge is near Stokesville. It's a great ride, and part of the SM100. Forest road/double track climb, 100% singletrack downhill. The loop would take a solid hours including a few breaks. I'd recommend parking at the Wild Oak Trailhead lot (the big bold P on the map near the intersection of Rd. 101 (Tillmann Rd.) and Rd. 95). I like to do the loop by riding Rd. 95 shown orange on the map. Turn right onto Rd. 95 where 95 intersects with 96. Ride 95 all the way to the WV border. Turn right onto Rd. 85. The climbing really begins here. Stay on Rd. 85 all the way up to Rd. 421. Turn right onto Rd. 421. 421 is a typical forest road, then turns into a grassy doubletrack after passing around a gate about 2 miles in. Stay on 421 until you get to a small intersection. With a sign and firepit/backwoods campground setting. This is the trailhead of Chestnut Ridge. Take a left onto Chestnut Ridge (brown trail #716 on the map). Stay on it all the way down. Stay to the right at all intersections with other trails. You'll end up down at a fairly well worn double track (514 on the map). Take this towards the paved road you started the loop on. 514 has a few shallow creek crossings. Once out to the road turn left and ride the road back to your vehicle.

    Hope this helps. Any questions, post it up!

  18. #43
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    Theres talk of an "Enduro" event on Elliot's this year. Cold Springs is getting love as we speak. Killer Elliots ride is to hit all 4 ways. Ride up the road, down Cold Springs which is getting love as we speak, slum back up the super steep gravel, down Elliot's over to Crawford Knob, climb the steps and left down Chimey Hollow.

  19. #44
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    Thanks to everyone for all of the replies and advice! It has been instrumental in helping us plan our trip. The goal is to have loops set up each day to give us 5-7 hours of riding each day.

    I have a few more questions if you are willing.

    Here is our itinerary with questions highlighted:

    Wednesday - arrive in Rawley Springs around 2:00 PM - Ride Mud Pond Short Loop both ways for a 3-4 hour loop. Then call it a day. Chose this loop as it is close to our cabin.

    Thursday - Douthat - ALL Day!

    Friday - Narrowback / Lookout / Trimble Mountain - Seemed to be in vicinity of each other.
    Looking for advice concerning the best way to loop this as well as feasibility....feedback is wanted/appreciated. Is this a full day loop? Any other loops to add / or omit?

    Saturday - This is a toss up.

    We originally wanted to do the Southern Traverse IMBA Epic route, but are somewhat divided on this. It appears the majority of this ride is the dirt road on the ride back. The consensus is that we would rather be on singletrack as much as possible. Out and back is an option...

    The other option is a Dowell's Draft / Braley Pond Loop. Just wondering the proper way to do this logistically and wondering the difficulty / duration of this loop.

    Which loop would you do choose? Any other suggestions / feedback, etc. for this day? What is an out and back like on the Southern Traverse? Help!



  20. #45
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    Southern traverse is kinda tough to make a loop of. Lots of road riding. Instead of 1.5 or so hours on the road after riding the ST, I would warm up for 45 mins on the road and hit Road Hollow, Bridge Hollow and Braleys, but that's just me.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by washedup View Post
    Southern traverse is kinda tough to make a loop of. Lots of road riding. Instead of 1.5 or so hours on the road after riding the ST, I would warm up for 45 mins on the road and hit Road Hollow, Bridge Hollow and Braleys, but that's just me.
    So that I understand...and it is difficult having never been to the area and knowing the lay of the land...you would do Road Hollow/Bridge Hollow and Braleys as a loop instead of doing the Southern Traverse altogether?

  22. #47
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    That is correct. And there are options if you want to get creative. You can either lengthen or shorten if you wish. That is a solid route to start with. Ride rt250 to confederate breast works and start from there. Some might argue it but that's my opinion

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase1996 View Post
    Wednesday - arrive in Rawley Springs around 2:00 PM - Ride Mud Pond Short Loop both ways for a 3-4 hour loop. Then call it a day. Chose this loop as it is close to our cabin.

    Thursday - Douthat - ALL Day!

    Friday - Narrowback / Lookout / Trimble Mountain - Seemed to be in vicinity of each other.
    Looking for advice concerning the best way to loop this as well as feasibility....feedback is wanted/appreciated. Is this a full day loop? Any other loops to add / or omit?

    Saturday - This is a toss up.

    We originally wanted to do the Southern Traverse IMBA Epic route, but are somewhat divided on this. It appears the majority of this ride is the dirt road on the ride back. The consensus is that we would rather be on singletrack as much as possible. Out and back is an option...
    Thanks for everyone's input!

    We have decided to replace the Southern Traverse with a loop of Dowell's Draft/Braley's with an option to bail out at Braley's.

    One last question, (I promise!)

    On Friday we had planned to do a Narrowback / Lookout / Trimble Mountain loop (Trimble was included in case we had something left in the tank..totally optional)...however, I was curious if maybe replacing one of these loops (Narrowback or Lookout) with Chestnut Ridge might be a better option?

    Thoughts? Opinions?
    Last edited by Chase1996; 03-04-2013 at 03:19 PM.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase1996 View Post
    On Friday we had planned to do a Narrowback / Lookout / Trimble Mountain loop (Trimble was included in case we had something left in the tank..totally optional)...however, I was curious if maybe replacing one of these loops (Narrowback or Lookout) with Chestnut Ridge might be a better option?

    Thoughts? Opinions?
    Chestnut for Narrowback or Lookout is not even swap out based on location. Chestnut is a hard loop to tie into due to its location and the fact that it's a serious loop for most riders on its own.

    One route I can think of would be to park at the Wild Oak Trailhead. Ride to the what I call the backside of Narrowback, play around Narrowback for a while, then take the paved road #257 up to Reddish Knob (long long long paved climb). Take in the view on top of Reddish and continue to Chestnut. Bomb down Chestnut, and you'll end up back on the road somewhat near the Wild Oak Trailhead.

    To rate the trails I'd go #1 - Chestnut, #2 Lookout (even though I haven't ridden the new route yet - the old one was badass/major gnar, new one is designed to be rideable so it must be a lot better, and #3 Narrowback (no big elevation, no great views).

    If I had one day to ride in the area I'd ride Lookout, take a good break then tackle Chestnut.

  25. #50
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    Yesterday, a group us headed out from SMT HQ and did Hankey, out and back on Dowells and then Lookout w/ a little bonus traverse in there as well. I suppose it would be possible to tack Braleys on to that but it would a juicy ride for sure. We discussed trying to get Braleys onto that while sipping coffee in the morning but decided not to since some of us were hurting from the day before. The options are there.
    Last edited by washedup; 03-05-2013 at 05:26 PM.

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