Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's Festival Time...

This past holiday weekend was the Shenandoah IMBA Festival. I was pretty excited to head down and ride some of the sweetest trails and not be racing.

Todd scored us a sweet campsite. Joining him was Kurtee, Matt and Rob. I got down there a couple of hours later with Amy.

Once we were set up it was time to ride. Friday's ride was a shuttle run up Reddish Knob. After boring everybody with the story of the time I rode my road bike up Reddish, and setting up the shuttle back to the top, it was time to ride. Part of the trail is in the SM100, but the top part is not. It was pretty damn sweet, a couple of little kickers to make you work, otherwise it was all down hill. What a great way to start the weekend. After a night of beers and trash talking it was time to crash. I didn't sleep well, mainly because of the Whippoorwill, with out a doubt the most obnoxious bird on the planet, just ask anyone there.

After pancakes and bacon we kitted up for the huge ride, Dowells Draft and Braleys Pond, both these trails are in the SM100 so I was excited about this ride. This day was a boat load of fun, but it hurt. The first climb was really brutal, then it got pretty hot. But, I wasn't racing so it didn't matter. I was shattered at the end none the less. So much so I wasn't sure what to expect the next day. Plus my stomach was a little jacked up.

Saturday night the boys helped out with the pot luck dinner. Rob and Peaches turned out some damn good fries.

Sunday was the Southern Traverse. This was a trail I have never been on, so I was hoping the legs would be OK. After a few detours we pulled into the parking area. The ride started with a nice 3-4 mile road climb, a good warm up for the much steeper trail we turned onto, that went on for a few miles. But soon the grade eased up and we were moving pretty good. Bike Line Rich and Matt were setting a pretty stiff pace, that had dangling a little, but after a short regroup I felt a lot better. I have to say this was my favorite ride of the weekend, my legs came around and the trail was unbelievable. It rolled up and down, but never got real steep again. One more stop for a beer then off we went. I was feeling pretty good so I took off, I didn't hear about Rob's flat. After a couple of little climbs the trail turned down, and was the fastest piece of single track I have ever ridden. So much so that I blew by the look out, I couldn't help it, I was having way too much fun to stop. After we were all together again we had a 15 mile road ride back the the cars. It was nice rolling scenic road through the valley. At one point we picked up a tail wind, so I put my head down and took advantage. Kurtee jumped on my wheel and we were off. I have to say I kind of enjoyed the ride back, not as much as the trail though.

I was really looking forward to dinner and beer, since I was feeling better than the night before.

We all agreed to not ride Monday, but to hit the road early and hope to beat traffic. Which worked out. I have to say I haven't had that much fun camping and riding in a while, maybe ever. there were plenty of laughs, most at jokes that you had to be there to appreciate. There should be some pretty interesting pictures and video here in the near future. I may have to give up racing and hit the festival tour.


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