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  1. #1
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    Harrisonburg riding March

    Thinking of taking some time off in early March for a mtn bike vaca. Was thinking of a trip to Harrisonburg-never been...(coming from Mass where we'll still likely be in snow/mud) Few questions:
    1) How is the riding/weather in early March? Should I bring my fat bike or 29er?
    2) What would you suggest as must do or favorite routes? Looking at doing rides in the 3 hr range with my wife. She's not a fan of big drop offs or gnarly downhills but, she has good wind. She likes to climb and enjoys both singletrack and doubletrack.
    3) Are the trails marked?
    4) Places nearby we should hit for riding, eating, hiking or just to check out? We won't be camping, any suggestions on places to stay?
    Thanks-Mike

  2. #2
    cowbell
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    It's a great place to ride. There are many options just west of the burg, as well as the west side of Massanutten mountain. My last ride in that area was in the GW just above Churchville, we rode Lookout mountain and Narrow Back mountain. Reddish Knob is also in that area, and is one of the east coast must ride locations. I'm sure people more familiar with the area than I am can chime in and offer more locations and more details.

    As for bikes, I'd say bring the 29er, and weather, while it should be nice, be ready for a potentially wide range of temperatures.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossintopos View Post
    Thinking of taking some time off in early March for a mtn bike vaca. Was thinking of a trip to Harrisonburg-never been...(coming from Mass where we'll still likely be in snow/mud) Few questions:
    1) How is the riding/weather in early March? Should I bring my fat bike or 29er?
    2) What would you suggest as must do or favorite routes? Looking at doing rides in the 3 hr range with my wife. She's not a fan of big drop offs or gnarly downhills but, she has good wind. She likes to climb and enjoys both singletrack and doubletrack.
    3) Are the trails marked?
    4) Places nearby we should hit for riding, eating, hiking or just to check out? We won't be camping, any suggestions on places to stay?
    Thanks-Mike
    The weather in March can vary pretty widely so it's hard to say which bike would be better. I would probably bring the 29er since there will be a lot of climbing, but you'd be fine on either one.

    I would go by SBC (Shenandoah Bike Company) in downtown Harrisonburg to pick up some trail maps, but I would suggest riding the new Narrowback and Lookout Mountain trails for sure. Narrowback is smoother with a great downhill and Lookout is more technical but both are sweet. Both can be grouped together for a single ride. You can park at Wild Oak Trail parking lot and be between both so it makes a nice bailout if needed.

    Some other of my favs are Dowells Draft and Braleys Pond trail. Dowells has a very long climb (technically easy) with a nice flowy downhill with only a few technical spots. Braleys can be done as an out and back or worked in a loop with some other trails, but is a little more technical. Riding down either one will put a smile on your face for sure! Let me know if you need any specifics or hit me up if you want someone to ride with.

    Matt
    2010 GF HiFi Deluxe

  4. #4
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    First....stop by Shenandoah bike company in Harrisonburg.They have maps and all the info you would need.

    The weather here in March is Jekyll and Hyde.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossintopos View Post
    1) How is the riding/weather in early March? Should I bring my fat bike or 29er?
    Many of the rides take you over 4000' in elevation, March there will likely still be snow, be prepared. Hardtails and 29ers rule in this area. Or a lightweight full-suspension if you have it.

    Quote Originally Posted by crossintopos View Post
    2) What would you suggest as must do or favorite routes? Looking at doing rides in the 3 hr range with my wife. She's not a fan of big drop offs or gnarly downhills but, she has good wind. She likes to climb and enjoys both singletrack and doubletrack.
    As most will say, stop at Shenandoah Bicycle Company, get a map and tell them how long of a ride you like. One suggestion for a great time, park at Braley Pond, do an out and back on Braley Pond Trail, Dowells Draft Trail and Chimney Hollow. All 3 can be done in a few hours from the one location. Narrowback Mountain and that network of trails is a little closer and very nice. The rides really are limitless. Tell SBC what you are looking for.

    OR, Consider contacting Shenandoah Mountain Touring and have a guided ride!!! You won't regret it.

    Quote Originally Posted by crossintopos View Post
    3) Are the trails marked?
    Yes, VA National Forest Service type markings with trail name and number. Definitely need National Geographic trail map # 791, the area is vast and you could get lost without it.
    Last edited by mtnpat; 01-01-2013 at 02:10 PM.

  6. #6
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    Whoa-thanks all for the great advice, good info for me to start planning. You folks are awesome! Thanks-Mike

  7. #7
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    Suthern Traverse might be worth conisdering as well.

    The Southern Traverse | International Mountain Bicycling Association
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  8. #8
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    Looking to head there April, so thanks for the info.
    14 S-Works Epic WC
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  9. #9
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    Im headed to Massanutten in July for Vacation and getting stoked reading this. Coming from Florida im going to need to get my lungs and legs ready.

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