Wednesday, March 9, 2011

snowy gnomes and hungry bears

What do you do when the forecast is for heavy rain in the middle of the week?

You ride early in the week.

Monday I got away for a quick ride. Just one trail, Vineyard Gap, one look at the river and out and back it was. The push up from the river to the gap sucks, but after that I think Vineyard actually flows better in that direction. What a great trail!

Tuesday I got away for something a little bigger: Laurel > Pilot with two twists. First of all I did the unthinkable and drove all the way up 1206 to Yellow Gap. I can't remember the last time I did that. It made the climb much easier and when I got to Turkey Spring Gap I stayed on Laurel Mountain all the way to the Mountains to Sea. As soon as I ducked into the rhododendron tunnel at the start of the 'gnome' section of Laurel winter reminded me that she hadn't gone anywhere yet. At first it was just a little ice but by the time I got to the switchback there were several inches of snow covering the trail. You can't really ride that section of trail anyway, so I had fun walking in it.






I carried my bike on the Mtns. to Sea and up Pilot Rock to just past the top of Little Bald Mountain where the trail becomes bike legal. This gave me a little more of the kick ass Pilot Rock downhill than I would have gotten from the Laurel Connector.

Two interesting things happened on the way down Pilot Rock. First of all, I encountered a very angry hiker who was complaining that someone had been sabotaging the trail by overturning all the rocks and logs. As I made my way down I realized that he was right, someone is out on that trail throwing around all the rocks and logs, the only thing is that someone is a bear. All the telltale signs of a bear foraging for termites and other insects were there - I wish I could go back and explain it that hiker! Second, I realized my fork isn't holding air or oil and likely hasn't been for a while, like August. Freaking forks, how do they work?

1 comment:

  1. It is still a boinger with or with out air.

    Saturday I thought for sure it was sleeting on me. I was freezing at the top of Laurel so much that I didn't even want to stop at the overlook. No view anyway.