Sunday, April 15, 2007

gearin' back down

There's a lot of new signage in the western part of Michaux, though only on the drivable roads. Can anyone guess where this is?

I discovered that being out near Mt Cydonia sand quarry, the far point of the course, with 2 bottom to top climbs remaining, is no place to be without my lowest gear.

A group of us set out to scout the western part of the Monster loop yesterday. It'd be all the stuff after Dead Woman's Hollow and before 3-Mile Trail. We were 100% positive that we started off down the right road, Three Turn Rd. We had some discussion on whether we found Long Mountain Rd or not. We took it anyways, and stopped at an unmarked fork a little ways in. Two maps, one compass, five opinions, one flat, and a safety check later, we picked a course. Another turn or two finally led us onto terrain familiar to some, and a woods climb that most instantly recalled. We hit a "T" junction with what we thought was Tobacco Patch Trail, so we did what we were supposed to do at Tobacco Patch, turn left. Problem was, that wasn't Tobacco Patch, and was just some other un-mapped trail that took us right back to the base of that recognizable climb. No one was jumpin' at the bit to repeat that climb so we decided to take the roads and get back on course on Hogshead Rd.

Out of the woods we rolled, past the trailer homes, past the sand quarry, got a positive fix thanks to a street sign, and then immediately made another wrong decision. Seems the actual roads on the ground near the CCC dam, Big Pond Rd, Lane Rd, and Hogshead don't exactly match the map. So, up the wrong road we go, and not figuring that out until we hit Red's Trail, which we should've been coming down. So, we gave up on backtracking down the mountain (some not without a fight), and decided to just go ride the familiar fun stuff, 3-Mile, Rattlesnake, Lewis Rocks and call it a day. We missed Tobacco Patch, Buzzard Rocks, Hairy Springs, and Reds Trail. Bummer, mission not accomplished.

We rode 25 miles someone said, and took about 4 hours with our stops. Four hours?? And that was with a long road descent, and road climbs? Just how long is this 50 going to take? Those road climbs hurt! I thought I was going to have to walk the last bit of Big Pond Rd. Yikes, I don't want to be walkin' any road climbs, in any race. If that starts to happen, maybe I'll have to re-think this single-speed experiment. Back to the 32x22 for me!

5 comments:

Kyle Lawrence said...

Same day as Lodi and Douthat. Someone needs to get their race planning together. Besides I think I am too afraid to race 50 miles anywhere near Gettysburg. Love the blog, keep up the ridding, let me know if you are ever down around Harrisonburg.

camps said...

Who are you kiddin?,
You're the endurance monster freak.
Too bad about the Douthat date, I guess that's gonna keep a lot of the Burg folks away.

Anonymous said...

I pre-rode the 25 mile loop today. Last week took a couple of wrong turns and bailed when the weather got nasty.
Nice new section north of big parking lot. I'd forgotten how brutal Fender and Grave Ridge trails are.
50 miler is going to take all day. I don't have the legs or behind for that kind of suffering - on top of quessing route. Best of luck.

treeskier

neal said...

7hr 23min 47sec

My guess is there's alot more than the date gonna keep people away from this one. I'm leaning towards going. The Coors Light sponsor isn't helping my decision.

camps said...

I'll make sure I have my own beer. It won't take many. Can I make the beer per hour mark?

hope to see ya there