Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall Commute

This is my commute to work in the Fall. These were all taken from the driver's seat as I drove to work this morning. I pulled over, of course. But you get the idea of the colors. Imagine if I actually got up early and tried to catch this in half-decent light...or if I took the time to get out of the car to explore a little to compose a shot.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Douthat State Park

Here's a cool Garmin embed of the main ride at Douthat State Park near Clifton Forge, VA. Click on the "Terrain" tab for a topographic map of the ride.

4,500 feet of climbing in 16 miles is no slouch of a ride, either.

Here are some pictures I snapped along the route. First, a great view from a spur trail right near the top of the first climb. This is the view from the Tuscarora Overlook.

The first climb wasn't bad at all. I was a little tight from sitting in the car and not getting any sort of warm up, but the entire climb was rideable. Nice singletrack and the lower slopes were graced with rhododendron bushes that would be amazing in Spring.

This next shot was at the false summit of the third climb, which was a nasty little surprise of an incline. At this point in the ride, Flickinger and I had been on the trail a little under 4 hours (about 2.5 of that riding). We had just climbed and descended off the nasty second climb. The second climb was absolutely brutal. Granny gear from the bottom, an overall gradient at 12.5%with pitches at 25% on very, very narrow singletrack. At the very top, there was a 200 yard section that neither of us could ride. Tough terrain. So, after that climb and an all-too-short descent, the third climb was a little rough on morale. Makeable, but rough.

The descent off the third climb made the entire ride worth the effort, however. Beautiful smooth singletrack, navigable switchbacks, not too much exposure and great, swoopy, banked turns down ridgelines. And a sketchy suspension bridge at the bottom to cap it all off.

Update: I googled around and found a good video of the Douthat trails. The music is a bit suspect, but if you turn the sound down, it's fine.

Douthat State Park from Sir Bikes on Vimeo.