RR: Big Levels, GWNF Virginia

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by John Harlow, May 27, 2003.

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  1. John Harlow

    John Harlow Guest

    It's been raining for what seems like several months here in Virginia. The local trails are totally
    saturated; they're out of the question for riding. So, we decided to try heading out in the western
    part of the state to "Big Levels" at Sherando Lake in George Washington National Forest to see if
    they're any better.

    Here are some images others have taken from bikerag; check the topo maps
    http://www.bikerag.com/va_sherando_lake_Pics.htm

    We gear up and headed up the road for the trailhead at the bottom of White Rock Gap trail. This
    starts out as an excellent benchcut hillside trail for a couple miles - then the climbing begins.
    Occasionally the trail levels off and I think we've crested, but no - around the next bend is an
    even steeper climb. The climbs are rocky and wet. Gonyo powers on in the lead, I'm in the middle and
    Suzanne rides her pace behind us. We finally make it to Torry Ridge trail (after 1600 feet of
    climbing) just to discover what REAL climbing is like. Despite being only a mile to the "jeep
    trail", this seemed to take as long to climb as the everything we've done so far. There is a section
    which looks like a stone fortress blew up - the trail is nothing but huge sharp boulders. We finally
    make it to the top (2300 feet now) and finally it's reward time! We haul ass a short ways down the
    jeep trail to the top of the switchbacks. Gonyo warns us this trail is steep and rocky with sheer
    drops down the mountain. I soon learn he wasn't exaggerating.

    We begin the descent and speed gains ever so rapidly. Too rapidly, I'm quick to find as I discover
    my ever reliable Hayes disks begin fading out as their temperature starts approaching the point of
    destruction. I stop for a bit and spray a bit of water on the rotors from my camelbak just to have
    it instantly boil off. I think this might be one time rim brakes or larger disks would be
    advantageous as they have more surface area to dissipate the heat...

    In what seems like seconds, we're at the bottom. From there the path parallels the creek, sometimes
    crossing it. We stop to take photos of some crossings; my camera has a movie mode to take small MPEG
    videos. Suzanne approaches a crossing and is a bit apprehensive as it has a high bank, and the creek
    is rocky and deep. Reluctantly, she follows our suggestion to "go for it". Things go great until her
    front wheel hits a rock in the creek - faceplant right in the water! What's worse is we have it on
    video. http://www.johnnyhouse.com/mov00175.mpg

    Fortunately it wasn't too far to get back to the truck. We rode the "tunnel of crap" (a muddy, bushy
    section which is so overgrown we have to walk and drag our bikes through) to one final jeep trail
    with several whoop-de-doos.... Those are great for getting some air!

    We get back and wash off a bit and change clothes for the ride home. All in all, a great ride - zero
    equipment problems, one tumble by Gonyo resulting in a pinched finger, a soaked Suzanne and me still
    wheezing.. great fun! Can't wait to do it again!

    Huge jumble of pics of the ride on http://www.johnnyhouse.com/big_levels.htm
     
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  2. Penny S.

    Penny S. Guest

    John Harlow thoughtfully penned:
    >> In what seems like seconds, we're at the bottom. From there the path
    > parallels the creek, sometimes crossing it. We stop to take photos of some crossings; my camera
    > has a movie mode to take small MPEG videos. Suzanne approaches a crossing and is a bit
    > apprehensive as it has a high bank, and the creek is rocky and deep. Reluctantly, she follows our
    > suggestion to "go for it". Things go great until her front wheel hits a rock in the creek -
    > faceplant right in the water! What's worse is we have it on video.
    > http://www.johnnyhouse.com/mov00175.mpg

    video... that is so mean!!!! And never ever do what a guy says, "go for it"

    S'ok, we still have a photo from 20 years ago on an XC week long tour, where I am augured into a
    snow bank and all you can see is the pack and my lower extremities. Of course instead of helping me
    out he had to dig the camera out and take a photo....

    Penny
     
  3. John Harlow

    John Harlow Guest

    "Penny S." <pennydeletes[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > John Harlow thoughtfully penned:
    > >> In what seems like seconds, we're at the bottom. From there the path
    > > parallels the creek, sometimes crossing it. We stop to take photos of some crossings; my camera
    > > has a movie mode to take small MPEG videos. Suzanne approaches a crossing and is a bit
    > > apprehensive as it has a high bank, and the creek is rocky and deep. Reluctantly, she follows
    > > our suggestion to "go for it". Things go great until her front wheel hits a rock in the creek -
    > > faceplant right in the water! What's worse is we have it on video.
    > > http://www.johnnyhouse.com/mov00175.mpg
    >
    > video... that is so mean!!!!

    Heh - she's also sending it to her coworkers, so I think she's pretty much OK with it...

    > And never ever do what a guy says, "go for it"

    So true! Especially with a camera rolling!

    > Of course instead of helping me out he had to dig the camera
    out and take a photo....

    ...you *did* notice me rushing in to save... the bike? ;)
     
  4. Jimbo

    Jimbo Guest

    "Penny S." wrote:

    > John Harlow thoughtfully penned:
    > >> In what seems like seconds, we're at the bottom. From there the path
    > > parallels the creek, sometimes crossing it. We stop to take photos of some crossings; my camera
    > > has a movie mode to take small MPEG videos. Suzanne approaches a crossing and is a bit
    > > apprehensive as it has a high bank, and the creek is rocky and deep. Reluctantly, she follows
    > > our suggestion to "go for it". Things go great until her front wheel hits a rock in the creek -
    > > faceplant right in the water! What's worse is we have it on video.
    > > http://www.johnnyhouse.com/mov00175.mpg
    >
    > video... that is so mean!!!! And never ever do what a guy says, "go for it"
    >
    > S'ok, we still have a photo from 20 years ago on an XC week long tour, where I am augured into a
    > snow bank and all you can see is the pack and my lower extremities. Of course instead of helping
    > me out he had to dig the camera out and take a photo....
    >
    > Penny

    As long as he didn't call out... SMILE!!!!!

    Jimbo(san)
     
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