Typical weather and trail conditions in November?
I have an opportunity to ride the mid-Atlantic area for 2 weeks in mid/late November. l probably center the trip around the Roanoke area, but I'll be driving as necessary to tick the best epic rides in the region.
I've ridden everywhere in the western US, but I have little experience riding in the east other than the Shenandoah 100 in 2007, so I could use some guidance from locals.
What can I likely expect for weather?
Does hunting impact the riding options?
Would the VMBT (Virginia Mountain Bike Trail) be viable then? (I realize much of the trail is primitive and unmaintained and I would plan accordingly; I'm inquiring more about the pros/cons of riding it in November versus other seasons).
1) Brisk, chilly. But not anything to keep you from riding.
2) Generally good conditions, but lots and lots of leaves (broad leaf variety) which means it can get slick. Plus the leaves mask the underlying roots...so fun times!
3) Yes. Not sure about the Roanoke area, but if you venture towards the DC area, checkout the MORE site (more-mtb.org). They are usually more johnny-on-the-spot with posting hunting schedules. Sometimes they are cross-posted here.
In the Harrisonburg area, things should be good, save for a freak early snow storm. With hundreds of miles of trail, you should probably be a bit more specific about trail preferences as far as mileages/ hours riding and how technical you like things to get, so you don't end up on a 15 hour death march or spending all day pedaling double track when it's the rocks of fort valley you crave. As far hunting goes, I have never really had an issue. Just don't wear you bear costume out in woods or may find yourself without a gall bladder.
It is not my favorite time of year for riding. Leaves can make the back country trails not roll so well and a tad dangerous as you cannot see what is under them. That is also prime rifle hunting season so make sure you get an orange vest before venturing out into the national forest. Some places are much more hunted than others.
I ride Carvins Cove a lot in November, no hunting allowed and the leaves get burned in pretty quickly. Douthat State park is good too but they have some limited hunting. Sunday is the best day to ride National Forests - no hunting is allowed then. In general, the further from the road you go the less likely you are to come in contact with hunters.
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