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  1. #1
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    A ride on the Gap side of Pandapas

    Did a ride yesterday at Pandapas (Blacksburg, VA). Had a few hours to get in as much riding as I could, but ended up taking pictures and cutting out deadfall instead (the USFS just gave me a very nice Silky Big Boy folding saw to take with me on my rides out there). Figured I'd post some pics of these trails for anyone who has not been here. A good map can be found here: http://www.weaselworks.org/pandapas/...ond_Trails.pdf

    The trails on the Gap side of the Pandapas trail system (on the north side of Poverty creek and the FS road) drain really well, so I just did that side, and rode the Forest Sevice road instead of Poverty Creek, which is a real muddy mess right now.

    I parked along the FS road at the bottom of May Apple and road the gravel road up to the far end of Prickly Pear (where it meets Royale), then did Prickly Pear > Skull Cap > Trillium > Poverty Creek > Down Indian Pipe > Back on the FS road.

    Some typical trail on Prickly Pear, Skullcap, and Trillium with some examples of the rocky sections:
    A ride on the Gap side of Pandapas-pp1.jpg

    A ride on the Gap side of Pandapas-pp2.jpg

    A ride on the Gap side of Pandapas-pp3.jpg

    A ride on the Gap side of Pandapas-sc1.jpg

    On the later half of Trillium, it gets a little more wide open and fast, following an old road bed.
    A ride on the Gap side of Pandapas-tril1.jpg

    A ride on the Gap side of Pandapas-0510131505.jpg
    This is the part of Poverty Creek Trail across the FS road from Povery Creek itself. They should really call this part of the trail something else, becuase it is very different then the rest, with a bit of climbing involved (not very hard, though). Anyway, you do most of the initial climb on a fire road, though a pretty one.
    A ride on the Gap side of Pandapas-pc1.jpg

    Got a chance to use the folding saw several times here
    A ride on the Gap side of Pandapas-saw.jpg

    Heard some scratching off the trail, and spotted this guy about 10 feet up a tree. Did not know they could climb
    A ride on the Gap side of Pandapas-pc2.jpg

    I took Indian Pipe down, which is a really fun DH, with a few (optional) small drop/jumps along the way. Nothing big, but a lot of fun and a great place for folks who do not have much experience to get the bug for catching some air.
    A ride on the Gap side of Pandapas-jump.jpg

    Towards the bottom there is a very long log pile. Again, it is pretty easy (and optional), and a good confidence booster for people who might not normally do this sort of thing. For reference, the bike is parked about halfway along it.
    A ride on the Gap side of Pandapas-logs.jpg

    I tried hitting the lower part of Poverty Creek Trail on the way back, but it really muddy, so I just stuck to the gravel road all the way back.
    Last edited by kapusta; 05-11-2013 at 06:17 PM.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  2. #2
    dead weight
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    Cool. I haven't been there in a while but seeing your pictures brings back good memories.

    Jack
    A bunch of my ride pics: http://uberfarm.com/mnf

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the pics and the map link, I really, really want to visit Tech for a weekend this summer. I only have room for one so now I have to decide whether to bring either the road bike or the mountain bike!

  4. #4
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wishful Tomcat View Post
    Thanks for the pics and the map link, I really, really want to visit Tech for a weekend this summer. I only have room for one so now I have to decide whether to bring either the road bike or the mountain bike!
    Both are pretty good around here, but I think it is easier to identify the good mtb rides. I really enjoy the road riding around here. It is narrow, twisty, and mountainous. And the best stuff is, IMO the more remote back-road stuff. There is a very robust club road riding scene here, but I am more into the solo thing.

    Between Pandapas and Carvins Cove (40 minutes from VT) you have a few days of really solid mtb.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  5. #5
    CrgCrkRyder
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    I've never ridden that side. Gives me a reason to go back and explore. Is that a groundhog or beaver that thinks its a bear?

    Great pics thanks for posting.

  6. #6
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigCreekRider View Post
    I've never ridden that side. Gives me a reason to go back and explore. Is that a groundhog or beaver that thinks its a bear?

    Great pics thanks for posting.
    Heck, c'mon by, man. I live 5 Minutes from the main parking lot.

    I like the way the gap side and the Brush Mt side are so different. Brush Mt side is all climbs to and descents from the ridge. Not very rocky, though steep and sketchy in places with some challenging roots. Gap side is all traversing the hillside, rolling up and down, but really rocky.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  7. #7
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    A ride on the Gap side of Pandapas

    When were the Gap trails built? Rode them last summer and didn't remember them being around when I was at VT

  8. #8
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    kapusta,
    From your pictures, it appears your ride of choice was full suspension. How would a fully rigid 1x9 29er work on this terrain?

  9. #9
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtskibum View Post
    When were the Gap trails built? Rode them last summer and didn't remember them being around when I was at VT
    Not sure, but I remember riding some of them in 1999.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  10. #10
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    I've ridden a rigid 29er on those same trails many times. I guess it just depends how much of a beating you are willing to tolerate.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  11. #11
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    I think I will go with the FS 29er then. I may ride some of the the New River Trail as well, but could easily lock out the suspension.

  12. #12
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    I rode the New river trail on my road bike with 32c tires, and was fine.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  13. #13
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin29r View Post
    I think I will go with the FS 29er then. I may ride some of the the New River Trail as well, but could easily lock out the suspension.
    Just came across this picture from Pandapas that reminded me I was I was riding my 29er rigid and 1x9 for a while:
    A ride on the Gap side of Pandapas-pcsnow.jpg
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  14. #14
    CrgCrkRyder
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Not sure, but I remember riding some of them in 1999.
    I was there in the late 80s to early 90s and I don't recall much of anything on that side. Must have been the early to mid 90s. I used to hike those trails all the time.

  15. #15
    Formerly of Kent
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    Nice. It's good to put some "faces to names", if that makes sense.

    We'll be within spitting distance of Pandapas this fall!

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