Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Closing out the ride with a downhill...


Mitch Potter, a friend from Washington Canoe Club and a roboticist at Naval Research Labs, made a fateful choice to accompany me on a last-ditch mountain-biking adventure to Elizabeth Furnace in the Shenandoah Mts of Virginia. Little did he know that d2g adventures rarely fail to disappoint...

You see, Mitch had only been mountain biking a few weeks, and although he's what I'd call a legitimate world-class paddler, and a hell of a cyclist and athlete in general, he'd not quite settled into the whole new world on two wheels in the dirt. So I figured I'd give him a proper baptism...

After taking longer than we both expected to find the trailheads (hey, 2 GPS's only help if the maps have grids...), we set off on a mamoth climb to the top of a mountain. On the way up, Mitch looks over at a trail coming out of what appeared to be an impossibly steep downhill and says, "Hey do you think that's where we come out?"

Not wanting to scare him quite so early, I replied, "Naahh, that's probably a different trail..." and we kept on pedaling up and up and up...

About an hour later we were still climbing, when we stop for a bite to eat and a little chill time.

We set back out on our bikes and voila, here's this cool inviting reservoir... complete with a blow-up pool inner tube in case you're ready for a swim. Since it was about 90, I was ready, but we pressed on toward more adventure, but not until I waded in to get pics of the fishies...

We get to the top, there's a radio tower and an amazing view. We consult the maps and decide to ride the ridge line to the next peak... hey there's a trail right here...

ROCK PILE!!

Since we'd done this craaazy long climb, then hiked with our bikes on our backs for at least 3 miles, adding up to about 12 miles of travel, we figured we at least deserved a nice downhill run back to the truck... and we got a good one, although there were still rocky sections that required some hiking. OK, so there were a lot of sections that required a lot of hiking.

Does this hiking thing ever end?

I thought we were here to ride our bikes?

Who's idea was this anyway?

I gotta pee...

What the hell are we doing up here?

This sucks!

Hey, I can ride this section...

Ten feet later...

OK, just another short hike...

Damn, these rocks are big...

Wow, hey nice view...

Did you see that snake? Think it was a rattler? Cool!

OK, maybe we can ride some more now...


Mitch on the switch(backs)...
Here's Mitch finishing up his maiden adventure with d2g... the rest of the ride was a long fire road downhill... no one ever said it would be easy... but we had a great time and I know that if anyone could enjoy the pain it would be Mitch!!

Looking forward to the next one amigo!!!

-d2g Posted by Picasa

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