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  1. #1
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    Moving to NoVa

    Just accepted a job offer to begin work in Chantilly on Jan 7th. Pretty pumped about it!

    That being said... I'm looking for riding buddies and groups. I'll be living about a mile from Fountainhead, so if anyone makes it out that way frequently let me know! I also know a few guys that ride for Bike Lane, and hear that there is a good Thursday night group ride.

    If anyone knows of good groups, or is looking for someone to ride with let me know! I fall into the "Fun trail ride" category of rider.

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    Check out the MORE website for group rides. See you on the trails!

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    Thanks man! That's a good resource. That Thursday night ride should be easy to add into my weekly schedule.

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    MORE is a huge organization (relative to MTB anyway) and is particularly active in that area. I'd hook up with them for group rides, work days and socials and you'll have a crew of riding buddies in no time.

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    Yup, MORE is a good starting place. Weekly rides at Wakefield at least 2-3 days/week.

    There's also a weekly ride in Wednesday @6:30 starting at The Bike Lane in Reston and riding through Lake Fairfax Park.

    And quite a few regular MeetUp groups at many of the parks.

    It's a great area for mountain biking - 3-4 quality neighborhood trail networks, plus an hour to get to Front Royal (GWNF, Elizabeth Furnace) or Frederick (Watershed & Gambrill State Park) for actual mountains.

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    Sounds good to me! Making the Wednesday night ride at Wakefield, and the Thursday night ride out of the bike lane should be easy for me to do. Riding trails for the first time in the dark is always fun, haha.

    I'm planning on doing the "Figure 8 of hate" ride out of Elizabeth Furnace the Sunday before Christmas. I'm excited to check that out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MudderNutter View Post
    I'm planning on doing the "Figure 8 of hate" ride out of Elizabeth Furnace the Sunday before Christmas. I'm excited to check that out.
    Let me suggest the Original Figure 8 which takes you all the way to Signal Knob and adds some additional technical ridge riding.
    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/17578767
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx View Post
    Let me suggest the Original Figure 8 which takes you all the way to Signal Knob and adds some additional technical ridge riding.
    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/17578767
    Thanks! That sounds rad. Looks like we are gonna do that, haha.

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    On Facebook, find MORE and there will be a lot of info to Network

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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx View Post
    Let me suggest the Original Figure 8 which takes you all the way to Signal Knob and adds some additional technical ridge riding.
    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/17578767
    Let's not kill the new guy before he's even settled in!!!

    Either version of the Figure-8 is pretty awesome. It's a long day either way, plan accordingly. If you aren't used to riding east coast rocks, plan to be slower than normal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crack Monkey View Post
    It's a long day either way, plan accordingly. If you aren't used to riding east coast rocks, plan to be slower than normal.
    Yeah, bring plenty of food and water - there's a piped spring after mudhole gap near the gate on the dirt road leading to Signal Knob, it's roughly at the crossover point of the figure 8, so you could potentially hit it twice.

    Full repair kit including 2 tubes would be wise. You'll have a few stream crossings on mud hole gap, they are probably running high right now.
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    Haha, thanks for the warning guys! Most of my serious riding happens in Pisgah, so I'm used to spending some time in the back country. I'll bring my full repair kit, and a water filter just in case.

    I can't stop looking at all of the riding up there. Being so close to the mountains is going to be a game changer for me. I drive out to western NC to ride at least once a month... and that's about 5.5 hours each way, lol. Being 1-2.5 hours from good riding is going to be amazing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MudderNutter View Post
    Thanks! That sounds rad. Looks like we are gonna do that, haha.
    If you like that one, try the Big Buzzard Lollipop next. Same parking area, other ridge.
    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/22126193
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx View Post
    Let me suggest the Original Figure 8 which takes you all the way to Signal Knob and adds some additional technical ridge riding.
    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/17578767
    Quote Originally Posted by riderx View Post
    If you like that one, try the Big Buzzard Lollipop next. Same parking area, other ridge.
    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/22126193
    Since it hasn't been said bluntly yet I'll go ahead; these trails are stupid rocky. I'm a huge fan of rocks and it sounds like you are too, but just go with the knowledge that ~4 mph isn't crazy for sections of this stuff... It's near trials-level technical riding once you're up on the ridges. Super fun, but maybe not so much if you weren't expecting it.

    I've never ridden Pisgah, but even when talking to people who have not many can come up with a place more rocky and technical than Elizabeth Furnace.

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    Also plenty of rides in the area of Elizabeth Furnace if you don't have the full Figure 8 of hate in you that day. Any variety of variations. The Bear wallow downhill may the best downhill around though.

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    And yes Buzzard rock if crazy, top of Makena and top of Bear wallow are both fairly burly as well. take the time to session some parts. its all ridable, but its hard at the end of 20+ miles of ups and downs, especially your first go around

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Since it hasn't been said bluntly yet I'll go ahead; these trails are stupid rocky. I'm a huge fan of rocks and it sounds like you are too, but just go with the knowledge that ~4 mph isn't crazy for sections of this stuff... It's near trials-level technical riding once you're up on the ridges. Super fun, but maybe not so much if you weren't expecting it.

    I've never ridden Pisgah, but even when talking to people who have not many can come up with a place more rocky and technical than Elizabeth Furnace.
    Haha, thanks for the warning! It is much appreciated. My buddy and I both like tech riding, and should have all day to ride. But if we happen to get into some beers the night before I will think about trying to find a shorter route, haha. I could probably just to half of the figure 8 right?

    If we do the 20 mile route... should I be thinking 5-6 hours?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MudderNutter View Post

    If we do the 20 mile route... should I be thinking 5-6 hours?
    A buddy of mine who I consider to be a very solid tech rider (maybe not the most fit) joined a group to do that ride about a month ago. Took them about 5-1/2 hours total time (4ish moving time).

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    The wife and I visit WNC twice a year. The more technical trails in this region dont have as many fireroads and easier ways to climb and the downhills aren't as long. But its the same mountain range.

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    So 4-5 hrs is standard. You can skip the southern loop (Woodstock loop) of the figure of eight and get in a 13+ mile ride (if you include going around the reservoir on the single tract) That takes 2+hours.

    You can also go up Bear Wallow to the top, down "Hike a Bike" turn right and then up Signal knob and across Makena to bear Wallow and back down that . Its 12+ plus miles of almost all single tract. Mostly all in the sadle as well.

    I did the standard EFurnace loop yesterday (without the Woodstock loop) it took me 2:30hrs with a snack break. Stream crossing were cold but doable, and trail was fast and fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnashed View Post
    So 4-5 hrs is standard. You can skip the southern loop (Woodstock loop) of the figure of eight and get in a 13+ mile ride (if you include going around the reservoir on the single tract) That takes 2+hours.

    You can also go up Bear Wallow to the top, down "Hike a Bike" turn right and then up Signal knob and across Makena to bear Wallow and back down that . Its 12+ plus miles of almost all single tract. Mostly all in the sadle as well.

    I did the standard EFurnace loop yesterday (without the Woodstock loop) it took me 2:30hrs with a snack break. Stream crossing were cold but doable, and trail was fast and fun.
    Thanks for the suggestions!

    While I have everyone in this thread... What other rides within 2ish hours from Northern VA are your favorites? (excluding bike parks). I did the SM100 this year and really enjoyed Stokesville.

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    So I really enjoy Frederick watershed and Gambrill State park west of Frederick MD, Also Cacapon state park in WVa (south of Berekely springs) is a hidden gem, and then Rolling Ridge west of Purcelville is a great loop as well.

    there are great trails in the GWNF as well. Big Schloss and Little Schloss and Super Chunky (opa overlook trail on MTBproject)

    The trails south and east of EFurnace are all fun too though. I find 10-15 mile loops when I can and then add or subtract to get about a 2+hr ride in. Shaw, Sherman, Buzzard east of passage creek from eFurnace are all fun and rocky. Did I mention rocks....

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    Quote Originally Posted by MudderNutter View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions!

    While I have everyone in this thread... What other rides within 2ish hours from Northern VA are your favorites? (excluding bike parks). I did the SM100 this year and really enjoyed Stokesville.
    If you like really, really tough climbing and are on a short time constraint you can climb Signal Knob then take Maneka Peak over to the top of Bear Wallow and descend that. It's a pretty brutal quickie ride.

    For other places in the area, if you like that style of rock then you'll love the Frederick Watershed and Gambrill State Park. They're not as rocky as EF, but still pretty technical riding depending on the trail. Gambrill is well marked and easy to navigate, watershed not so much... But you can piece things together if you're crafty or just use trial and error.

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    For shorter Figure-8, I like to do the southern half up to Woodstock (skip the Signal Knob part, just go back on the same trail you started). It's more forrest road than a Signal Knob loop, but skips the hike-a-bike section (though I'm usually off my bike a fair bit on the Massanutten Trail section).

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    For other trails in area, most of the above has it covered...
    - The Shed is awesome for packing tech trail into a "local" ride (I'm in Reston, so it's about an hour's drive). Typical ride would be 12-15 miles, 3 hours or so total.

    - Fountainhead - 12-ish mile XC trail with a few tech features and jumps (all with ride-around). Another 6-ish miles of hiking trail on the BROT is open to bikes from the same lot (ridden as out-n-back). So, you can string together 24 miles/4 hours of XC. Great training and good spot for group rides (esp with riders who aren't ready for the backcountry stuff).

    - You already found Stokesville. 2-3 hours, but tons of trail and there's pretty much always somebody riding out of Stokesville Camp/Lodge. Like the SM100, you have to ride a lot of gravel/forrest road to get around, but easy to string together epic all day rides.

    - And locally, you have Lake Fairfax and Wakefield/Accotink - quality trail networks, though not super exciting, but close enough to sneak in rides after work. Lots of organized group rides, a few races, etc.

    - My current training ride (when I just want hours in the saddle) is to ride CCT from Reston to Oak Marr Rec Center, back to Reston on same, then do a CCT/Lake Fairfax loop. 3 hours of so of riding, not very tech, but all offroad. Beats riding on the road (I do that too, but sometimes I just wanna be on dirt).

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    If you like really, really tough climbing and are on a short time constraint you can climb Signal Knob then take Maneka Peak over to the top of Bear Wallow and descend that. It's a pretty brutal quickie ride.

    For other places in the area, if you like that style of rock then you'll love the Frederick Watershed and Gambrill State Park. They're not as rocky as EF, but still pretty technical riding depending on the trail. Gambrill is well marked and easy to navigate, watershed not so much... But you can piece things together if you're crafty or just use trial and error.
    What Dwayyo said + Michaux State Forest in souther PA. Also Patapsco State Park, not super tech but miles and miles of fun trails (See Tour de Patapsco and a walk down MTBR memory lane for the OG version.)
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    The Frederick Watershead is an 45min to an hour from Chantilly. You can pack the bike if you know you'll get of early. Trails there are like a twisty mix of Black and Daniels(rough side).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    The Frederick Watershead is an 45min to an hour from Chantilly. You can pack the bike if you know you'll get of early. Trails there are like a twisty mix of Black and Daniels(rough side).
    Well that's a heavy endorsement, are they that good? haha

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    Quote Originally Posted by MudderNutter View Post
    Well that's a heavy endorsement, are they that good? haha
    Not as steep for as long, but its a great trail system with about the same feel...but I still go to Pisgah twice a year lol.

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    This is a little out of date, things like Emmistburg Trails aren't on it, but it gives a good visual overview of where the trails in the area are

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer...8400000002&z=9
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    First, welcome! I moved out from SF CA a number of years ago and it took a while to find where the goods are but soon found that there's some good stuff around here.
    Second, you're so stoked you are a mile away from fountainhead...like hitting the jackpot. It closes a lot for wet conditions but still that place is killer!
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx View Post
    If you like that one, try the Big Buzzard Lollipop next. Same parking area, other ridge.
    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/22126193
    That one is what made me decide to come over to the dark side and install gears on my first 29'r. For some reason that escapes me now did the Buzzard Rocks trail in January with 3-4 inches of snow on the ground. Probably spent more time with my face planted and walking than on the pedals.

    There is also some good stuff in the piedmont. Check out Richmond and Fredericksburg some time.

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    My current training ride (when I just want hours in the saddle) is to ride CCT from Reston to Oak Marr Rec Center, back to Reston on same, then do a CCT/Lake Fairfax loop. 3 hours of so of riding, not very tech, but all offroad. Beats riding on the road (I do that too, but sometimes I just wanna be on dirt).
    Speaking of which, OP, since you are in FFX county, here is a somewhat complete trail map of area trails that you can link up as well. They are a mix of single track and walking trails but aren't part of any trail center. There does exist quite a bit of "hidden" single track in FFX county (I have a trail right out my backdoor which is not listed on the map for example). It's a mixed bag though but enough to build out longer training loops or add some variation.

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    Moving to NoVa

    Rad! Thanks for the map!


    So I went out and did a 12ish mile ride at EF. I went with a guy that knew the area, so Iíd have to look at my Strava to see which trails we went on... but there was a rad fire watch tower. The trails were rad! You guys did warn me about it being slow going and rocky... and it certainly was, haha. We didnít start riding until about 1pm, so didnít have time to bite off any more. I will certainly be back though!


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    Quote Originally Posted by MudderNutter View Post
    Rad! Thanks for the map!


    So I went out and did a 12ish mike look at EF. I went with a guy that knew the area, so Iíd have to look at my Strava to see which trails we went on... but there was a rad fire watch tower. The trails were rad! You guys did warn me about it being slow going and rocky... and it certainly was, haha. We didnít start riding until about 1pm, so didnít have time to bite off any more. I will certainly be back though!


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    What do you ride? That's pretty good 12miles before sunset at EF

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    What do you ride? That's pretty good 12miles before sunset at EF
    I was on my YT Jeffsy. It was fun for the area. There was this fire road descent at the end that was super peanut buttery, and a blast to ride! Got filthy.




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    Looks like you had fun. Looks like you went to Woodstock tower. That is a fun area on the southern end of the EF "Figure eight of hate" Let me know when you come out here again. You really do need to go on the EF with bear Wallow as your down hill. One of the best downhills around.

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    Sounds like Woodstock tower to Edinburgh Gap and back on Peter's Mill ATV, fun ride!

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    Yeah that ATV trail is fun. South of Woodstock tower trail is rock garden heaven

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    I rode up signal, and down a trail that I believe was called bear wallow yesterday. Thatís some damn good stuff!

    Anyone have suggestions for campsites around that area?


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    So I'm certain I know the crew of guys you biked with yesterday. Tom, Todd, Joe, Mark, Kevin. I almost went with them but went on a different local ride myself. Glad you enjoyed it. That signal knob uphill is a grind but the Makena peak crossover and a Bear Wallow down hill more than make up for it. Look me up if you get out here again. I'll assume you are now on the local email, text lists.

    Jim

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    Yup! That was the group. They were really cool guys. I just met all of them at the ride. I forgot to ask about getting in on the communications, but was thinking about that on the way home. Iíll shoot ya a PM


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    Quote Originally Posted by MudderNutter View Post
    Anyone have suggestions for campsites around that area?
    Elizabeth Furnace Campground if you want showers/toilets/running water.

    Camp Roosevelt at the south end of the valley has running water and bathrooms, more primitive than EF.

    Since it is Nat. Forest, you can camp anywhere that is not posted for free. Across from EF campground at the pull end of Mudhole Gap you can primitive car camp. Same with the other end of Mudhole, several sites along the forest road.
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    Late to the party...
    Chrisman Hollow Rd (south of Fort Valley) has primitive sites. It's south of Camp Roosevelt (which is currently closed with no announced re-opening).

    And there's a site on the north end of Peters Run ATV trail.

    As noted, you can camp anywhere that's not posted otherwise. There are a few streams, and piped springs at Edinburg Gap.

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