Monday, April 22, 2013

5.19.13 Sandy Gap Ultra-Mega | FREE Event #4 in Virginia's Mountain Biking Endurance Series

The Sandy Gap Ultra-Mega VES event promises to be absolutely stellar! It features incredible classic singletrack, jaw dropping scenery and views, true backcountry adventure riding, perfect mid-point refuel and rehydrate opportunities, great climbing and a long singletrack downhill finish!

Oh yeah & the Sandy Gap Ultra-Mega is the biggest, most bad ass VES event yet. Roughly 50 miles and 12,000 feet of climbing!

And, anyone wishing to make this event into a fun cycling weekend is super encouraged to sign up for Saturday's Crush'n It - Ride n' Ribs event:

The Crush'n It - Ride n' Ribs event benefits our cycling community's friend and hero David Kilmer, by doing what he likes best: riding, eating, and having a good time! 

Wes Wilmer has kindly contributed the perfect venue for a big ride and party - his place in Botetourt County near Troutville.

There are three pre-planned Crush'n It road and mountain bike rides Saturday, and as riders return to the Wilmer Estate, Chuck Aaron will be preparing a ribfest on Grillzilla, his awesome cooking machine! It's big time fun, with 100% of proceeds going to the Kilmer family as our friend David continues to recover from a bone marrow transplant.

What's that? You want more than 2 days of fun? OK - just get to Roanoke before 6pm Friday May 17th for the FREE Big Lick Fat Cat Classic #3
What do you get when you cross an Alley Cat race with a team time trial, and throw in a scavenger hunt to boot? The Big Lick Fat Cat Classic combines all of these elements to create the most entertaining and challenging cycling event in Roanoke Valley history.

Sandy Gap Ultra-Mega ROUTE: (updated and improved 4/16)
  • Start will now be in Douthat State Park
  • Climb Blue Suck Falls Trail
  • L - Locust Gap Trail 
  • R - Stony Run Trail
  • R - Tuscarora Overlook Trail
  • L - Middle Mountain Trail
  • Continue to end at 606
  • straight to Fore Mountain Trail
  • R - FR to Bald Knob
  • L - Dry Run Trail to Covington
  • L - N Alleghany Ave thru Covington (refuel / rehydrate)
  • L - East Madison St
  • L - Smokey Bear Lane
  • R - Fore Mountain Trail 
  • L - FR to Dolly Ann Dr
  • R - Dolly Ann Dr
  • L - 606 - gorgeous climb up to the ridge of Warm Springs Mountain
  • R - 703 Airport Rd, along the ridge, ride 3.4 miles to
  • R - Sandy Gap Trail DH to Smith Creek FR
  • Straight Across FR - Sandy Gap Trail Climb to Middle Ridge
  • L - Salt Stump Trail (start of DH to start / finish)
  • R - Pine Tree Trail
  • L - Middle Hollow Trail
  • R - Huff's Trail 
  • L - Blue Suck Falls Trail
  • Ride Start / Finish
Our goals for this VES event are to have an absolutely phenomenal backcountry mountain bike adventure ride and to leave the trails in a better condition than we find them.

The route includes the Fore Mountain and Dry Run trails which will likely have blow downs. These trails are gorgeous backcountry gems that are ours to enjoy, and participants on this ride are asked to please come prepared to work together and, within reason, trail clear as we go. "Within reason" means that if as a group we can clear a blow down with reasonable ease and speed using folding hand saws - then we do it.

This is my speed trail clearing tool of choice, and all ride participants are encouraged to bring something similar that they can safely carry and use.
The Corona Razor Tooth Folding Saw with a 10 inch blade is possibly the ultimate backcountry trail clearing tool.
Additionally, groups of riders and trail lovers are forming to go out and work together to clear sections of this course in the weeks prior to the Sandy Gap Ultra-Mega. All help is great appreciated! Email if you are able to assist in these efforts.

DIRECTIONS: This event uses the same ride start location as the legendary Kyle Inman County of Bath Middle Mountain Momma MTB Race and the following directions are borrowed from Kyle's website
Douthat State Park is located 50 minutes north of Roanoke and 45 minutes west of Lexington
From Lexington, take I-64 west to first Clifton Forge exit (220 south and 629). Take 629 straight into Douthat State Park. From the south, take Daleville exit 150 off I-81 to 220 north. Proceed north on 220 until reaching Clifton Forge, and the end of 220. Take right towards 64. Go straight under 64 (the road turns into 629). Continue straight for 4 miles into Douthat State Park.
Note: if you park in the park, you will need to pay the park fee (3 bucks). If you choose not to pay the Douthat parking fee, be prepared to pay the $50 parking FINE.
Staging is in the Discovery Center area, which is located at the end of a dirt left turn (traveling north through the park). Parking is tight, so pooling of the cars is a terrific idea.
Here's a short clip of me Rock riding on the Dry Run Trail. Note: I was on a fully-rigid 29er though I personally do not recommend and will not be riding a fully rigid bike on this ride. Best viewed in HQ.

In case your whistle needs a wetting ...

Courtesy of the USFS:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Warm Spring Mountain *Ridge Trails* ... do they exist?

The questions:

  1. Can you ride on trail from Sandy Gap along the Warm Springs Mountain ridge to 606?
  2. Can you ride on trail from 606 along the Warm Springs Mountain ridge to the Dry Run Trail?
Take a look at the images below and if you can help with this mtb adventure creation please post a comment or call 540-537-4896 or email me

From Sandy Gap, heading southwest along the Warm Springs Mountain ridge, a trail seems to parallel and criss cross along 703 toward 606 ...

And then, when you reach 606, if you turned left (headed southeast) for just a short stretch ...

... it seems like you can turn right, and pick up a trail that continues out along the ridge of Warm Springs Mountain - from 606 to Bald Knob.

and just past the steep northern shoulder of Bald Knob it appears to connect with the Dry Run Trail.

I've ridden up from Dolly Ann Drive (F125) to Bald Knob and then down the Dry Run Trail ... it's a rocky ride.

This GPX file contains the section from Bald Knob down the Dry Run Trail.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

2013 Double Dawg Dare DDDelivers!!!

2013 DDD Photos - Sully's Pics | Mae's Pics |

46 miles, 6669 ft, 4:45 moving time (7hr elapsed), perfect weather, great riders and trails, beautiful climbing to the "Top of the World" ... and some sweeeet technical gnar.

There were a fair bit of mechanicals, but everyone was fully prepared for all that comes with backcountry riding, so one after another bikes were quickly repaired and remounted.

Thanks to Cliff, Mae, Gordon, Paul and everyone that helped put this phenomenal day together!

Strava | |
Garmin Connect |

The perfect tool for ruling the DDD. OK maybe not, but it was
at least tied with Johnny Robinson's new custom 611 in style.

I actually forgot to turn my GoPro on for some of the best gnar on the Moonstomper Trail but this clip is a small taste of the goodness. Be sure to view in HD and full screen.

As nice as this pic is, it doesn't even remotely so justice to how overboard gorgeous Johnny Robinson's brand new custom Six Eleven Bicycle Co. steel 650B dream bike is in person ... though it was distracting to ride alongside this incredible Aaron Dykstra work of art! And, Johnny reports that it rides even better than it looks!