North Fork Mountain concerns about my fitness level- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    North Fork Mountain concerns about my fitness level

    I am flying from Madison, WI to DC for a weekend riding trips with my DC based friends. I haven't gotten much riding in over the Winter (the weather has been abysmal even for snow biking) I am not a trainer guy. The plan is to get out of DC early on Friday and ride North Fork.

    My buddies have been on the trainer and are pretty fit to start so I am concerned about even being able to ride, much less at their pace.

    I have been reading trail reviews and there doesn't seem to be sustained climbing but it is 24 miles with no bailouts. My idea was an extremely slow and social ride. But even dong that is this attempt advisable?

    I can always drive the shuttle.

  2. #2
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    I don't think anybody on a forum is gonna tell you to go or not to go. If it were me I'd just go and have a bail out plan in mind just in case... But that's just me.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nbwallace View Post
    I am flying from Madison, WI to DC for a weekend riding trips with my DC based friends. I haven't gotten much riding in over the Winter (the weather has been abysmal even for snow biking) I am not a trainer guy. The plan is to get out of DC early on Friday and ride North Fork.

    My buddies have been on the trainer and are pretty fit to start so I am concerned about even being able to ride, much less at their pace.

    I have been reading trail reviews and there doesn't seem to be sustained climbing but it is 24 miles with no bailouts. My idea was an extremely slow and social ride. But even dong that is this attempt advisable?

    I can always drive the shuttle.
    It's definitely a long ride, and it'll take it out of you if you aren't in shape. In saying that, you'll probably stop a TON to take pictures and soak in the views since the leaves aren't out yet. You are correct in that there isn't a lot of sustained climbs. The last part is all downhill so that should at least help. Best tip...bring lots of water/beverage with electrolytes and plenty of good food/nutrition to have before and during the ride.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice. Yeah I will be carrying lots of stuff, a camelbak with 1.5 liters and a bottle, probably some nuun and lunch plus nutrition stuff. I just don't want to be completely miserable.

  5. #5
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    20+ mile is definitely a long ride in my book. It's all ridge top, and if you were on long flowy trails out west for 20+ miles it wouldn't be a problem. I still think you'll be fine, and I think the ride (while long) is worth it for the views alone. Very cool spot. Worst case scenario, you could run shuttle and do the loop from the end/parking lot. I remember meeting someone out there one time that parks in the lot at the end, and does the climb up so he could hit the 3+ mile downhill. I think round trip it was around 7 or 8 miles.

  6. #6
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    I am hearing it's a bucket list ride. So I'll probably get talked into it. My buds will probably drop me frequently. I'll also be extremely *****y about it.

  7. #7
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    I've ridden North Fork end to end many times. Don't let the profile fool you, it's a beater - very rocky and lots of off-camber. Most start at the South end. I like the second section (after the road downhill) better.

    Give it a shot though. Start early and carry lots of food.

  8. #8
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    About halfway through the trail there are a series of campsites that you can drive into (if you research it.) Not a bad bailout point if you wanted to finish the ride on the road. You could also theoretically park a car here (would need to be a truck) and so only ride a bit of the trail.

    You access these campsites off of smoke hole road, which is also where the north end of the trail hits.

    I assume you guys are going south to north? If you go north to south, the first mile or two is UPHILL!


    I used to live in that area. PM me with any specific questions you have about it. I didn't ride much when I was out there unfortunately, but I can give you the beta on other local stuff.

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