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  1. #1
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    MoCo Epic

    When I saw that the MoCo was an IMBA epic last year I was kind of surprised. I thought there would be several other trails in Maryland that would be epics ahead of that. But anyways I was looking to ride it. Is it worth checking out?

    I am coming home finally after my summer semester and wanted to do some serious riding in. Any info on this would be awesome. Thanks.
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    The official website is http://mocoepic.com/ . Cue sheets, maps and gps files can be found there.

    Its a pretty neat loop. It isn't always easy to follow and has some road sections to string together some of the parks, but its surprising how much trail there is buried there in MoCo that I didn't even know about.

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    I thought the point of making it an epic was to show more people the possibilities of suburban trails. Most of the other epics (if not all) are destination rides in relatively remote areas, or if not remote, just accessible to smaller towns. An epic in suburban DC, though, is a little different and a big thing for supporters of suburban parks and trails.

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    i guess i never thought of it like that. it does interlink 9 parks in the middle of an urbanized area which is cool. has anyone tried the link? it really doesn't lead to anything. i was able to find a map on garminconnect.com which i will use. is the "epic" ride the 62 or 40 mile ride?

    also, are they trying to make it into an entire singletrack loop?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcapri87 View Post
    i guess i never thought of it like that. it does interlink 9 parks in the middle of an urbanized area which is cool.
    Exactly! Gets it!

    also, are they trying to make it into an entire singletrack loop?
    More all the time. The local club, MORE, is a good part of the way done on a singletrack connection between the Clopper Lake & Schaeffer Farms areas of Seneca Creek State Park. It will be complete in time for the supported MoCo Epic ride this fall. Another trail connection between Black Hill & Little Bennett is in the very early stages. Will likely never be 100% but getting better all the time.

    Re: the MoCo Epic link. Pretty sure the group of volunteers are in the middle of updating the site for the 2011 version of the supported ride. Should be loaded up with current info within the next week or so.
    Last edited by dan_hudson; 08-06-2011 at 04:03 PM.

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    I just did the MoCo Epic yesterday. Man that was a nice ride. I didn't know all those trails were in MoCo. i actually liked the road riding in the loop. nice views and some time to recover for the singletrack sections. I pretty much hit the wall around mile 32 and my mph average took a hit haha. But nice work putting that loop together. I can't wait to check out trails in that area again.

    Link to my path:
    MoCo Epic by tcapri87 at Garmin Connect - Details
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    I'm planning to sign up for the 62 mile version. First "century" for me.

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    I have pretty much ridden all sections of the Epic (not in one ride mind you) and I can say that it is pretty nice over all. I plan on doing my own little epic ride in the fall and have not decided whether or not I will do the official ride (largely because of my daughters soccer schedule-which has not been released as of yet).

    Rode the new Seneca/Schaeffer connector last night for about the 5th time. It is imo the best trail out there right now in our area. We need more folks riding it though to help get it broken in/smoothed out.

    From the parking lot take the trail to the left and ride to the gravel road w/ a gate on the left of the trail. You can either take the road down the hill to the right to the mill area or stay on the white loop through what I call the pine forrest section and keep an eye out for a trail dumping off to the left which also takes you down to the mill. You will have to get off at one point and hike down (eventually-MORE will have a trail officially tieing this section in). From there take the trail across the street from the mill (on the left). This will take you out to Riffleford rd!

    So from the parking lot to Riffleford and back is about 15 miles. We threw in another mile on top of that last night by crossing over Riffleford and doing a little loop before heading back. In total we did about 16.1 miles (my buddies road the street back up to the white trail and I hiked-I ride a SS and was not thinking about riding the street back up the hill after doing that once before). Great ride over all even though we were pushing the sunset rule coming back (got back at about 8:15 pm).

    The fact that the official MORE epic is staffed w/ aid stations just makes the ride all the better. Its not a race though I am sure there will be some hammer heads out there. It should make for a great ride!
    Last edited by 1SPD; 08-18-2011 at 08:17 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1SPD View Post
    I have pretty much ridden all sections of the Epic (not in one ride mind you) and I can say that it is pretty nice over all. I plan on doing my own little epic ride in the fall and have not decided whether or not I will do the official ride (largely because of my daughters soccer schedule-which has not been released as of yet).

    Rode the new Seneca/Schaeffer connector last night for about the 5th time. It is imo the best trail out there right now in our area. We need more folks riding it though to help get it broken in/smoothed out.

    From the parking lot take the trail to the left and ride to the gravel road w/ a gate on the left of the trail. You can either take the road down the hill to the right to the mill area or stay on the white loop through what I call the pine forrest section and keep an eye out for a trail dumping off to the left which also takes you down to the mill. You will have to get off at one point and hike down (eventually-MORE will have a trail officially tieing this section in). From there take the trail across the street from the mill (on the left). This will take you out to Riffleford rd!

    So from the parking lot to Riffleford and back is about 15 miles. We through in another mile on top of that last night by crossing over Riffleford and doing a little loop before heading back. In total we did about 16.1 miles (my buddies road the street back up to the white trail and I hiked-I ride a SS and was not thinking about riding the street back up the hill after doing that once before). Great ride over all even though we were pushing the sunset rule coming back (got back at about 8:15 pm).
    I'd be up for an "unofficial" ride. I'm planning on doing the "official" one too.

    Can you post coordinates or a landmark where the trail comes out on Riffleford where the loop is on the other side? I live down Darnestown Rd./Rt. 28 toward Rockville and have been looking for an alternative to riding 11 miles mostly along the paved path on Great Seneca Hwy to get to Schaeffer. The route I take now ends up 22+ miles on pavement round trip. I'm looking for increasing the trail ride time and don't care if the overall mileage increases.

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    Land mark wise I would say that it was where the fire break/power lines cross. We rode a gravel road back towards Seneca, went around a large gate, then jumped on a trail off the the right. It immediately went up hill and fairly steep. Then simply take a right where the trail splits and continue to stay to the right. It has a nice (rooty/rutted) down hill and drops you right back off at Riffleford. When you come back out at the street, you can pretty much look straight across and see the little bridge on the other side of the road which is the entrance to the Seneca/Schaeffer connector.

    We simply came from Schaeffer to Riffleford, made the left on the street and headed up about 1.5 blocks, took a right on the gravel road and followed the directions I explained above. It was a fun little loop and made things seem like more of a loop instead of the basic out and back.

    I am sure there has to be an area off Seneca hwy where you can jump on the trail and head out to Schaeffer. I personally live out in Montgomery Village and have jumped on the Seneca trail at Brink/Blunt and ridden all the way out into Seneca park on trail! Once in Seneca park you can ride the trail from the back side of the lake on out to Riffleford and then into Schaeffer on the connector.

    I am shooting to either ride from my house to Schaeffer or drive out to Hoyles Mill, park and ride all the way back home and then just drive back out in another car (or get dropped off to start with) to get my car. I figure it should end up being close to 30-35 miles depending on where I start at. I already have 2 guys interested in doing it one day here in the fall. Not planning to race it but to simply get out and have a good time w/ food stops here and there and just enjoy the ride.

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    I just learned that the Seneca/Schaeffer connector is NOT officially open at this point. I thought that after doing a MORE ride a couple months ago that it was but apparently that is not the case. I don't know when the official opening date will be.

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    Well, I broke down and went ahead and signed up for the 35 miler. The event sold out last year so I figured I would just go ahead and take the plunge. Should be a fun ride with the exception of the road sections where I will either be spun out or just flat out blowing up riding over the hills on my SS. None the less, I'm excited. Now I just need to get some longer rides in prior to it! Also a little concerned as to what the conditions are going to be like as this will determine what tires I end up riding in the event, hmmmm....

    Just as an FYI for all you Schaeffer fans, the new connector section will be opening soon and will definitely be used in the MoCo epic. Signs are going to be getting posted up soon and plans to cut the connector trail from either white (I believe it will to orange though) have been made. The last update I got was that they are planning to start cutting as soon as the weather cools off a little more and isn't in the 90's every day. I am guessing that they are hoping to have that done prior to the Epic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1SPD View Post

    Just as an FYI for all you Schaeffer fans, the new connector section will be opening soon and will definitely be used in the MoCo epic. Signs are going to be getting posted up soon and plans to cut the connector trail from either white (I believe it will to orange though) have been made. The last update I got was that they are planning to start cutting as soon as the weather cools off a little more and isn't in the 90's every day. I am guessing that they are hoping to have that done prior to the Epic.
    Is the connector in Schaeffer Farms itself? Or does it connect to the trail leading out of Clopper Lake?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcapri87 View Post
    Is the connector in Schaeffer Farms itself? Or does it connect to the trail leading out of Clopper Lake?
    It will connect Schaeffer Farm to Clopper Lake. It is basically an alternative to the Greenway, which bikes aren't allowed on in that area.
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    I've decided to sign up for metric century 62 miles... It will be my first day back from a trip out West to Moab, UT and CO so I doubt that it will be a record breaking performance.

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    I'm very seriously considering signing up for the 25 or 35 and have some questions.

    Anyone know what the elevations I'd be looking at are?

    1SPD, or anyone, did you decide what gearing you will use? I could either bring a 2X9 FS or a HT SS, the SS is 32:16 or 32:18, I would likely need to go 18 as I'm not really confident doing many hills with the taller cog.

    I've done around 25 on dirt in one day before but that's been about my limit for longer rides and its only been at the milder climbs of Fair Hill and White Clay/Middle run. So I'm not sure how intimidated I should be with the idea of 35 miles and/or riding without gears. I have done 30 miles on the road, but that's on very flat land where I live. I've ridden (and pushed) in bigger elevations but I just don't get to train in hilly conditions very often.

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    I don't know the exact elevations, but its pretty flat. Black Hill has some climbs, but nothing super steep and nothing sustained. If you're unsure about finishing, I'd recommend the easier gearing (or just running the geared bike).

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    I signed up for the metric century (62mi).

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    I will be running my standard 32:18. I would say that the race loop around Schaeffer which is about 10 miles has just under 1000 ft of elevation gain. The Seneca connector imo is harder than Schaeffer simply due to the fact that the first 2 miles or so seems to just keep going up. Nothing super steep but enough to remind you that you are climbing. I have also ridden around out there on a 33:18 as well and been ok.

    I too am struggling with getting the miles in right now and may have to switch over to riding my fixie for a bit to build myself back up in time. I just got back from a 5 miler out there. Got to try out my new Geo Man battery that finally got returned to me. But the ride was cut short due to the lightning which halted my daughters soccer practice early. Fortunately she was only waiting for me for about 10 mintues. If the rain hits like it looks like its going to (looks like a down pour) I doubt there will be a group ride tomorrow night as well. Which also sucks since I only have to drive her to practice tomorrow (carpool)-I would be free for the group ride finally! Stupid weather!

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    Sorry, let me clarify, I ride a SS in the woods but have a fixie/ss I can ride on the roads (think messenger bike). No way in hell am I going to try to ride a fixed mtb!

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    I just did a little bit of reading over at MORE and would like to add that if you are doing the 35 milers that the new Seneca connector is probably harder in the direction that we are going on it. However, your legs will be fresh for the most part so it should not be that bad. What will suck is the section of Berryville rd and Black Rock Rd. I can't comment too much on Berryville since I have not ridden it but any hills out on the road on a SS bike just suck. I have ridden up Black Rock though and I can tell you that it is an @$$ kicker. It is fairly steep in parts and seems to just keep frickn going. Add to that the fact that it is at the end of the ride and I am sure there will be a few tears shed. I think that once you clear Black Rock you only have about 1.5 miles left in the ride so it is definitely at the end. Not sure if we will be allowed to bail and do the hike-a-bike back up the hill to the White trail. It takes longer but it might be nicer than riding up Black Rock at the end of the ride. My goal however is to not bail out for something easier!

    The one and only time I went up Black Rock, the roads were still wet in places and I was litterally spinning out on ashphalt when trying to stand and pedal. Definitely challenging.

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