It was a pretty tough 5-hour tour, especially on singlespeeds. We climbed up Shawl Gap from the Day Use Area, then Buzzard Rocks Trail down to the Buzzard Rocks parking lot, then down the road to Sherman Gap Trail. Hike-a-biked up Sherman for about an hour (or more?). Refueled and froze at the top, then rode the ridge from Sherman Gap to Shawl Gap.
For years I've been telling people that this 2-mile ridge section is one of my favorite pieces of trail anywhere in the GWNF. But I wasn't feeling that much love from it yesterday. I was whipped hard from the Sherman slog. The leaves were covering the rocks that I usually try to stay on top of and it was hard to take as many chances as usual. But, I drained the legs anyway, trying to clean as much as possible knowing that we had no more climbs ahead. That last bit of trail dropping into Shawl Gap brought the smile back to my face. And, just as the smile was returning to Darius' face, this happened on the last rock steps. He evac-bailed left into the rock face. For those who know this trail, you know how ugly that coulda been if he fell right-side.
Martin early on the Buzzard Rocks ridge
NOTE: No Cupcakes were harmed in the making of this ride.