Appalachian Assault (or Double A)

Routes: Day OneDay Two

Getting up and over and getting up and over again were obvious before start – that and the no turning back feature that has its own potency manifested in the positive by eliminating any creeping bail out notions.  We were riding bikes from Front Royal to RTR and if you did want to go back your gear was still in the support vehicle headed to the Barn.  Not that anyone showed hesitation.  The group was strong and solid and the stakes had already been established prior to depart.

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Guns Grits and Gravel – 2011 – Fire Road Throw Down

Route detail

Most of the pieces already exist.  New ones are open to investigation and interpretation.  The sequence, an assemblence of tracks, stretches, lanes and corridors; surfaces and textures visited but not yet connected.

South Branch Mountain. Shenandoah Mountain.  Elkhorn Mountain. Spring Mountain.  Foremost Mountain. Flattop Mountain.  Wolfpen Hollow.  Reynolds Knob.  Stump Knob. Peru Gap….

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Jeremiah Bishop Gran Fondo

Garmin data:

Something distinct leaves an imprint.  If it’s long, vast, sprawling AND distinct it leaves a full and winding imprint.  One that returns in slow subtle ways.  A bike race, a bike ride, a sporting event, a backwoods adventure.  Anything really – it could be a long night of metropolitan clubbing strung together in sparks and stops.  The shades and colors between a beginning and an end.  The activity and then the recollections are what define us.  We piece together what has transpired.   Sometimes a vague shadow fades to a small memory but if it’s distinct the grooves are drawn sharp.  They keep coming.  They prompt and inform us.

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I Suffer (So You Can Suffer)

Garmin data:

Or…….., so you don’t have to, or
you have the option to, or
maybe I am a glutton for punishment and just can’t help myself. 

The reality is somewhere  between, above, below and beyond.  Recently I did a RTR recon ride.  One I’m glad I did solo.  It is not that the roads didn’t check out but the conditions and the lack of certainty made for some tense moments.   

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Lost River Classic 2011

The third version of the Lost River Classic is fast approaching and all systems are go. If you’ve been before you know and if you haven’t find out why they’re saying what they’re saying.
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I Guess I’m Training

Training riding, riding training, riding for pleasure, riding for pain, talking about training talking about racing – lifting pushing, pressing resting, calculating valuing coordinating scheduling and monitoring.  The weather, the ways, the body the days – the things around you that prompt movement.  Riding the damn bike  -  still, again.

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RTR to Unison (version 3)

Route data:


It is not that pressure is being directly applied and one can stay on their chosen course and ignore other doings.  There have always been many ways to get to the same place.  On the other hand comparing notes and being motivated and inspired by the exploits of others is the humanity that pushes our humanity, for better or worse, forward.  The interwebs brings it all the more closer.  This is another way of saying the damn Winter Bike League made me do it!

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Guns, Grits and Gravel

2 wheeled ministers of fun (or pain)-   First-   Let me send out a big THANK YOU to all of you who have helped spread the word about this inaugural event going down in Lost River, WV the weekend of August 28th and 29th.   The response has been awesome.  CX is really burning like wild fire and in many ways bridging the gap between the MTB and roadie worlds. It seems to have taken hold- Not just an off season alternative- But as a real focused discipline for this new breed of racer.

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Panhandle Pedalers

The Panhandle Pedalers, a touring bike club from Charlestown WV, took a turn on the mountain this weekend for some hills (and stops) Lost River style.

They are the first West Virginia group to come through (which had me on my toes).  There was also an added surprise bonus in that they brought a true Lost River native with them; Scott Bean, who was raised in the Mathias area and whose lineage traces back to the Bean Settlement just beyond Baker.

He grew up on these roads and has a wealth of history and stories.  Turns out his family are Beans and Funkhausers, which means he is on a long strand connecting back to the barn which was built by Grover Funkhauser in 1930 and was originally a cattle operation.

His family had the Lost River General Store in the early 1900’s.  At that time it was the only place for goods and supplies in the area, which was and still is primarily farming.   The town of Mathias was accented by a tannery operation near where the Summit Bank now is, and Route 259 connecting those places was of course an old dirt road.

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Hinkle Mountain

The search for new roads.  The quest for hidden truths.   The exploration of space.  Looking for the biggest wave or the most challenging rock.   Delving deep into the cave.  Wanting to always know what’s around the next corner and what’s up and over the impending ridge.  All of the above and more, depending on what form your thirst takes, but for the inquisitive cyclist traveling a new lane is a call and a lure.

Pedaling the roads of Hardy and Grant County for over six years has been an adventure but as my reach grows my options, while being satisfied, inevitably shrink.  At the same time, as I expand my radius I look harder for stretches that may have initially been discarded as impassable, or overlooked entirely, as unmarked paths most likely leading to long forgotten homesteads.

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