Just 99 miles to go

Sunday, July 13, 2008

WolfGap-Confidence regained.

Last year my buddy pat took me out here for the first time.
Its a group of trails over off of 81 in va. near the town of Woodstock.
They're tough.

Well Pats out this year, knee and shoulder problems, but I hooked up with a buddy of his Chris, who's been there a few times.

The ride starts with a fire road climb.
At least 2 miles, probably more I'm not sure.
Than you've got a technical downhill. Fun as shit.
Than a stop at the the Oriental owned general store. I still can't figure out how first generation orientals ended up down there in boonies running a general store.
These trails aren't like most of the ones you hear about.
These get very little traffic. You don't hear about alot of group rides down there.
Its rare to see any other people out there but we ran into a few.
The first group were camped out right in the middle of the damn trail.
Their dogs were the first to greet us, 2 unleashed pit bulls.
Than we got a look at the owners and their campsite and the occupants.

They just jumped over the border from WV. Some of the trashiest, skinny looking rednecks I've seen in my life. And not the good kind of skinny. The kind of skinny that says I'm slowly dieing from emphysema. Yes, all of them were puffing away on, what I'm guessing were Marlboro red.

And......yes it gets better.
They've got 2 horses and a donkey (or mule, I'm not in farm animals, sorry).That's not bad but one of the horses was about to drop dead from mal-nutrition.You ever watch that show, animal precinct, about the cops of the SPCA and the animals that they rescue?I've never seen a horse on that show that looked at bad as the one they had.
So, we refuel and head on to the next climb via blacktop. A welcome rest.

Next was, I believe, laurel ridge.
We take a badly overgrown fireroad climb to the sweetest decent of the whole ride.Not real technical, but enough to keep it interesting.I could go out there and just climb and descend this thing all day.
We take a turn onto some pavement and get a really sweet downhill for a while until we realized we made a wrong turn. That really sweet downhill is now a bitch of climb back to where we came out at and 2 miles in the other direction.

Next is the main ride of the day, Wolf Gap.
Downright nasty. We're still trying to figure out why we include this in the ride at all.
It starts off with a few miles of double track. That was kinda nice. Rolling with nice scenery.
I still take the time on these rides to look around. I don't get out to these areas where rocks are standard, so I'm still fascinated by all the rock outcroppings and boulders just lying around.
Make a right and start a whats mostly a 2mile+ hike a bike.
By itself its probably 90% rideable but after what we've been through, we don't have the energy.
Its not overly steep, but strewn with rocks that's just zap any momentum.
Near the top, just when your ready to blow, you make another right, it turns really steep, and your pushing through a bolder field for 3/4 mile.
At the top your not rewarded with a straight downhill, its more of a rolling ride so you still have to pedal. When you do get to the straight decent, its rocky fireroad that has switchbacks every 1/4 mile.
Talk about some tight forearms when that was done.

We finish up with between 10 and 18 miles of gravel roads.
A 50/50 mix of descending and climbing.

Total stats for the day, 44 miles and atleast 5150 feet of climbing.
Chris sent me a link to where he uploaded the data.
It came up with 6200 foot of climbing. I'm not sure which to believe but it was a helluva workout.

I'm feeling alot better now for the race (sm100). After the cranky monkey a few weeks ago my confidence in my fitness was shot but after this ride I realize it WAS just a bad day.
I made climbs on this ride that I needed to stop 3 times for last time.
I still doubt I'll be finishing in 12 hours but actually finishing the race is looking very likely.

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