Just 99 miles to go

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Catherine's furnace.

No it wasn't a typo.
Last weekend I went to Catherines furnace. Not to be confused with Elizabeths Furnace which I visited 2 weeks ago.
Yeah, it confused the hell outta me too.

It seems as if the whole GW forest area is sprinkled with places that are named "somebody's" furnace. Something about the area which made it a good place to put "furnaces". I'm not quite sure but they were for manufacturing something.

This was another MORE ride. This was led on by Scud. He was the president of MORE when I first joined. I believe this is a regular ride for him. I've seen them posted before but never really felt like I was in good enough shape to attend. After my acceptable performance at the other furnace I figured why not.

The drive there sucks. This was a full 2 hours and 20 minute drive. I still managed to get there 20 before ride time. I hate being late for rides. Scud (the leader) gets there late. I don't mind, I just think its funny that the leader and the guy who's been there the most manages to take a couple of wrong turns.

We end up with 11 people. THe ones I know, Barbara(SG), Pat(Philman,john, and Scott. Some others looked familar but I don't remember the names. Two new faces I'll get to know later that day Philip( the portugesian, is that evan a real world), and Eric. For the first half of the day Eric was only know as "the guy with the yellow jacket.

Barbara and some of the others take off right away. The beginning of the ride is just fireroad. 5.3 miles of it to be exactly and they wanted the headstart. I expected it to be like EF but it wasn't. I wait around and take off with Pat.
I should have went ahead.
We pass barbara and her comrade after 5 minutes. Already I can feel that I'm not over my cold completly. The road is steeper than EF and there aren't any real breaks. It continuously climbs. My legs tighten up real quick. I'm not going to be able to keep up with Pat. I let him go and watch him slowly fade into the distance.

Now I'm by myself just grinding along in the small chainring. I keep looking back to see who's going to pass me next. Luckily only 1 guy did. I keep looking at the tops of the climb thinking, "OK, it'll level out right around that turn". It doesn't.
I'm wearing myself out. I keep expecting that rest area that never comes. I finally work out a stupid system.
Instead of watching way ahead I find markers about 20 feet in front of me. Usually a pebble or stick. Pass that one and find another.
I do this most of the way to the top. It worked.
I come upon Pat and John waiting at the entrance to a trail. They're not sure weather thats were we start, so we wait for Scud. Nope, we've got more to go.
John wasn't so happy and expressed just the way I would verbally. M**F***R.
You fill in the blanks.

So we get to the top and wait around for Barabara and her comrade. Somehow they got off of the fireroad, or took another one and are temporarily misplaced. Luckily we were contact her on the cell phone and Scott got her back on track.

The next section, finally single track, ran along the ridge to an overlook spot.
This was fun. Mostly flat with ALOT of rock sections thrown in.
This lead us to the overlook.
Simply breathtaking.
The view was definately worth the grind up the fireroad.
After pictures and a small break, the group splits into 2.

We backtrack the ridge trail and then spur off onto another trail. Pretty much the same terrain but a few more rocks. I was feeling pretty good about myself. I was cleaning alot of stuff I didn't think I could.

I'd see the next section of rocks and plow ahead just assuming I'd get stuck and have to unclip and walk. I made 90% of what I thought I'd have to walk.

Next was the hike a bike.
Everyone said this wasn't as long as the EF hike,and I noticed it was nearly as rocky. The rocks and length made EF a bitch. This bastard though, was steep.
Maybe it was the cold but I was stopping every 5 minutes to catch my.

Finally the top!
After the overlook, the view from here was kinda lame. Still nice in its own right, but not close to the over look. Everything from here was downhill so I was really relieved. Evan though I was humping up the hill I was starting to get chills and really feeling like crap.

Up until this ride my favorite descent was at Douthat in VA.
No more.
Unlike EF, this thing was rideable straight from the top and their were no real sections that had to be walked.

This now ranks as my probly #1 ride.
I can't wail to go back when the health is at 100%.

This ride bought to mind the reason I want to have some fitness.
You can't have a day like I had being a couch potatoe.
You can't do this playing golf,bowling or any other psuedo sport.



steve said...

That's awesome, Tommy. I've got to get on one of those Scud rides to Catherine Furnace.

All of those furnaces produced iron by burning charcoal, limestone and iron ore together back in the 18th century.

Vecsus said...

Great Post. Never been to CF myself. Hope to get out there next year. Only about two more weeks til I get my new frame and build it up.