New to the Roanoke Area. Need some advice- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New to the Roanoke Area. Need some advice

    I am new to the Roanoke area and looking for some trails to start off with. I have been riding since 2011, but took the last two years off so I am working on getting my skills back. I rode trails in San Antonio and Jacksonville, NC and most of that was flat XC type single track.

    I went out to Explore Park today and needless to say it was not San Antonio or Eastern NC and my cardio level is definitely not where it needs to be. What would you all suggest as some good trails to gain my skills and riding fitness back. I currently ride an Airborne Goblin Evo 29er hardtail and a Giant Trance. I am thinking Carvins Cove would be good, but just need to find a loop I can get about 7 or more miles to start off. Any help would definitely be appreciated.

    Also last question would be what type of bikes are most riding around here? I have never rode this type of terrain before and coming from a mostly XC background I am thinking the Trance will handle it all just fine. I am thinking about picking up a Giant Anthem Advanced or a Rocky Mountain Instinct so I can have a more XC oriented bike to go with my trail bikes.

  2. #2
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    New to the Roanoke Area. Need some advice

    As a general rule, most everything at Carvins is an XC trail.

    Some exceptions are Gaunlet, the Trough and Royalty, which are jump trails on the SE side.


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    As a general rule, most everything at Carvins is an XC trail.

    Some exceptions are Gaunlet, the Trough and Royalty, which are jump trails on the SE side.


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    Gauntlet isn't a jump trail, just the alternate entrance OG is... Gauntlet is otherwise a pretty tame XC trail, albeit a descent. I'd argue the same for Trough and Royalty - they're XC trails with jumps, not jump trails.

    A Trance should be pretty perfect for everything at Carvin's, at least until you start sending the jumps on those three trails.

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    Awesome. Thank you for the info. Any recommendations on some good loops there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Gauntlet isn't a jump trail, just the alternate entrance OG is... Gauntlet is otherwise a pretty tame XC trail, albeit a descent. I'd argue the same for Trough and Royalty - they're XC trails with jumps, not jump trails.

    A Trance should be pretty perfect for everything at Carvin's, at least until you start sending the jumps on those three trails.
    True. You can get some pretty decent air if you get off the brakes there. Not massive jumps because of the size of the features themselves but you can carry some good speed into them. Enough to quickly overwhelm a 100mm bike. But, you can also easily ride them on a 100mm bike if you keep it under control.


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    Quote Originally Posted by groundball77 View Post
    Awesome. Thank you for the info. Any recommendations on some good loops there?
    I usually do something like Hi-Dee-Ho, OG/Gauntlet, Lakeside (or whatever they ended up calling it), Hemlock Tunnel, Jacob's Drop, Comet, Four Gorges back to Hi-Dee-Ho... But if I were local I'd probably come up with a million other ways to ride there - it's a great system with tons of options.

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    True. You can get some pretty decent air if you get off the brakes there. Not massive jumps because of the size of the features themselves but you can carry some good speed into them. Enough to quickly overwhelm a 100mm bike. But, you can also easily ride them on a 100mm bike if you keep it under control.




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    Oh ya, some of the ones on Trough can send you a long, long ways for sure!

  7. #7
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    I'm definitely no Carvin's Cove expert, but since you seemed to describe yourself as a flat lander trying to get your legs back under you, you might enjoy some of the stuff in "the lowers" portion of Carvins better. I took my wife there last year and she loved it.

    Four Gorges is a very fun XC trail that makes for a good way to get from the Bennett Springs parking lot to the other end of the park.

    You could do something like Hi-de-Ho to 4 gorges/extension to Tuckaway to enchanted forest west to Songbird and the road back to the parking lot for 7-8 miles with less than 1000ft of climbing. All of those lower trails are pretty tame but still fun.

    As your fitness gets better and you get more confident you can start going "up the hill". My only experience outside of the lowers was doing a loop from MTB project called the "upper left loop". It was basically hi-de-ho to 4 gorges to brushy mtn, to hemlock tunnel to upper/lower comet and road back to the car. Hemlock tunnel is seriously steep at the top. I really liked that loop, but looking back at it, I think I would have preferred to climb back up a little from comet and take 4 gorges back to the parking lot instead of the road.

  8. #8
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    I definitely appreciate the replies. That information will help tremendously. I am for sure a flatlander and riding out here is so different but looking forward to learning new skills. I always heard Roanoke was some of the best riding on the east coast and the Navy finally stationed me out here so it should be fun.

  9. #9
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    I lead beginner and intermediate mountain bike rides at Carvin's Cove 3-4x a week. You are welcome to join any of our rides as a way to learn the trails.

    We are doing a beginner ride tonight at 6:15 at the Bennet Springs lot. It'll be a fairly short (7ish miles) easy ride, but I can help you pick out the perfect loop.

    We post all our rides on the MeetUp site. It's free to join.

    Or you can message me directly and I'll guide you on any ride you like.

  10. #10
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    Consider yourself lucky. Roanoke has great riding of all kinds, and some really nice folks in the community.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizmuth View Post
    I lead beginner and intermediate mountain bike rides at Carvin's Cove 3-4x a week. You are welcome to join any of our rides as a way to learn the trails.

    We are doing a beginner ride tonight at 6:15 at the Bennet Springs lot. It'll be a fairly short (7ish miles) easy ride, but I can help you pick out the perfect loop.

    We post all our rides on the MeetUp site. It's free to join.

    Or you can message me directly and I'll guide you on any ride you like.
    Awesome. I joined that site a few days ago so I will keep checking it. I am definitely interested in meeting up with you guys. I tried to find some trails out at Mill because I was taking the RM Instinct out for a demo ride and only having an hour or so we tried to hit Mill. That was an experience. I am going to message you to see when the next ride is.

  12. #12
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    One of the easier rides physically at Carvins Cove would be something like: Bennett Springs to Happy Valley on state road; Happy Valley>Enchanted Forest>Little Bell> Schoolhouse>Songbird (a little harder than the others)>Happy Valley >Bennett Springs on hardtop. The paved road section is about a mile. Exchange the paved road for 4 Gorges when you are feeling better on your stamina.

    Good riding on Mill Mountain too but it is not flat at all. Group rides from Deschutes at least on Monday and Thursday, maybe other days too.

    I hear the new Morningside park is pretty good for all skill levels, but have yet to try it out.

    BTW welcome to Roanoke. When you find you are comfortable with big climbs, you will find several hundred more miles of trails await in the national forest in the area.

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