Happiness is a spoonful of Nutella

a long time ago time ago back in the good ol days advertisements on TV were creative and diverse. I believe it was lays potato chips that dared you to have just one chip. Nutella tempts me for a second spoonful. I resist, next time i use a soup spoon. I use a narrow rubber spatula to suck the last lick out. Devastating.

Spent the quiet night @ a trailhead parking lot outside Stokesville, VA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlan today is to ride Narrowback Mountain loop, a Shenandoah Bike recommended ride. I am parked a few hundred yards from Tillman road, close enough to ride from home. The ride uses the gravel road to and from the dirt, 3 miles out 2.5 back. Trail leaves the road on a gentle grade to join the trail running along the ridge. Single track old school w/ rock gardens. Key is momentum and stiffness which the Industry 9 wheel sets deliver. Amazingly stiff. Running 22psi on rock gardens. Trail dumped down to an unused resource extraction road that contoured to a single track traversing and climbing back to ridge top. This piece shows signs of constructive surgery to make it sustainable. A newer purpose machine built trail switchbacked down to the return road. 16.7 miles climbing 1930′ in 2 hrs 10 mins. Intersections were signed


Navigation made sense.

I rested @ the top of the last climb right at the start of the new trail. I watched a millipede do all kinds of full body writhing rolls perhaps in death throes. Small flying insects rode its back returning to its back, or never leaving, or replacements arrived. Perhaps a parasitic predator stung it. Finally it worked its way into the off trail leaves and I lost track of it.

A Girl Scout camp is just across the road. Last night the singing was powerful, w/ effort almost cult like devotion.

Back @ van I stretched. My knee did not attract attention during the ride. However. Kyle @ the bike shop is friends w/ a PA that rides and is healing helpful called me late this afternoon. I came to the wishful conclusion that the pain is caused by soft tissue and can be healed. Realistically I bruised the bones in the joint, worse is torn cartilage. My  knee is fine while I pedal.

Stayed here again. Battery power never went below 12.25 volts, some solar charge.

I hung the solar shower out to heat, hours later under cloudy skies my shower was refreshingly cool. As I was rinsing off the clouds opened up speeding the rinse. Rained w/ gusto for a bunch of minutes, holed up inside van bottled in. Door closed and the vent shut. Several days ago I degreased the vent screen and blades, way more light enters.

Another ride is nearby I might do tomorrow.

Wed starts the Tour De Burg, a alley cat mountain bike race over several days and courses. I was here 2 years ago and attended the start of he first stage. That night I was camped just below the east side of the ridge dividing VA and WVA when the derechio struck.

I need to plan, Stokesville was my goal and planning stopped. For sure more rock gardens.

Some of that, some of this

I have been staying in places in VA that lack internet coverage hence some of whatever.

Rain closed the warrior Creek trail so I drove on. But that has been covered.

Friday I drove over to Roanoke stopping at The Right Gear shop, a top 100 bike shop per Bike, as is Bike and Bean, and The Hub in Brevard. They actually had a Turner Burner size large in their demo fleet which I did not even look at. Today’s ride will be Carvin’s Cove. The shop and I hashed out the 20 questions on what I ride and what the terrain offers. I drove out to TH. There is a kiosk and a partial bike work stand w/ selected tools cable locked to a stand as was a sturdy floor pump. My route was out Hotel, climb Buck, traverse an old resource extraction road to drop down the Gauntlet, pick up an old double track over  to the bottom of The Chute to climb back up to go down Buck. Monster vert for short miles: 10.83 miles climbing 1959′. Sure enjoy riding my bike.

tough switchback on Buck
tough switchback on Buck

From there I headed over to Sherando Rec area. Twisty windy local roads. I misunderstood the driving instructions which allowed me to see stuff both coming and going. Once back on track I rolled into the rec entrance station just b4 closing. A FS official greeted me w/ the XG full sign. I was upset as I drove this way expecting a camp spot. To his credit he allowed me to sleep in a TH parking lot.

I found this Sherando ride on MTBProject. The route started straight up from the TH requiring push uphill- a – bike. The top was Torry Ridge which was a lot of rock gardens, most of which I rode, others I let discretion save injury. All by myself way out there. I decided I didn’t want to contend w/ expected rock gardens and a bail route was available which turned out to be a much friendlier trail to ride in either direction. It dumped me out @ Torry Ridge furnace that made iron ore b4 & after the Civil War. It was destroyed during the war then repaired afterwards and worked for several years more.  Old furnaces are something to behold. The Edge counted 5.12 miles climbing 1336′,

Next stop is to be Harrisonburg further up the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah NP. I drove the Parkway into the Park, I flashed my senior get in for free card. The first XG I came to, Loft, had open camp spots. It turns out I stayed here 2 years ago on that trip. I scored a mid afternoon shower, $1 for 5 mins b4 a waiting line developed. The AT runs thru the park. I saw quite a few backpackers drying out gear in the sun. I learned that the day b4 it rained for 10 hours. I spent a peaceful night, cool 61 degrees.

On Sat’s ride I did something to my left knee that resulted in much pain in the joint. I tried different stretches to no avail. Then this morning I did situps from the exercise ball and hurt my back.

Today I finished the drive to Harrisonburg, home of Shenandoah Mountain Bike CO, owned by Tim. The shop was closed because it’s Sunday. I drove around back and saw that the back door was open. I walked in, Kyle, a shop wrench was working on his bike and welcomed me in. He remembered me. I sat on a step and talked while he worked. He gave me ride beta and also an inside contact to an ortho PA to look @ my knee. I hope to be seen this week which will keep me here.

The replacement Terraduro shoes are coming apart same way as the original. My opinion is these shoes are junk. Back to the PI Lopes shoes may they last.

Rolling my IT band on a foam roller is providing some relief.

America is such a big wonderful diverse space. Go travel it. Go on the road to see what isn’t local to you. This SE is spectacular in its own country roads mountainous way. John Denver, John Prine songs.


Raccoon slide

The rain on Tues soaked warrior creek enough that it was closed yesterday. Not missing a beat, my fall back plan wato drive to Blacksburg and find what’s there. Found the East Coasters shop. I was offered the back parking lot to sleep in. I picked their trail brains and researched MTB Project for Pandapas Pond trail system. I ate dinner downtown then drove out 460 past the pond to the next FS road. I drove back until I found a wide shoulder to park on. I kept the side door and the driver’s window open and covered w/ netting. Several rigs rumbled by. This AM once light I noticed a smear down my windshield. I checked it out and saw raccoon tracks on the hood. Somehow the raccoon climbed trhe grill then up the windshield, checked out the roof then slid down the windshield leaving a track. Glad it decided to stay on top instead of inside.

I drove back to the pond packed parking lot as a local trail running club run was winding down. Almost everyone was off the trail by the time I started. I headed out. Poverty creek splits the trails from Brush mtn and Gap mtn which is more technical. I rode my first taste of rock gardens, not bad, there were several features that I elected to walk instead of investing time to solve them. OK ride. Jacobs Ladder was a horrible way to loose all the elevation climbed.

Drove back into town. Today is wash day, found a laundromat. 5 days of riding clothes worn in 7 days, per average.

Researching Roanoke rides for tomorrow where I am heading.

No internet or cell where I am camped. Gotta go to be there b4 dead dark.