Summer Mountain Biking
September 17, 2007
It's been a long time since my last post! Still getting used to (rather "accepting") the new forum - old dogs like old tricks. I've done a lot of mountain biking this summer - a good amount in WVA. Here are some of the spots I've hit this summer:
Canaan Valley State Park - a great 9 mile loop through meadows and forest. A few short steep rocky climbs - nothing to long - and some decent downhills. Rate this an easy to intermediate ride.
Dobbin House Trail (Blackwater State Park) - short (5-6 miles)but rocky. You can extend the loop out to Pace Point where there is an awesome overlook way above bird cruising height. Pretty much no climbing on this ride. Hooks up with a lot of other technical trails in the Mon. You can ride here forever. Rate this intermediate.
CVI Property - This is the land just past the little bridge left of the Shop'n'Save in Davis- off Camp 70 Road. The local MTB crew has been hard at work in this area adding new trail, shoring up some of the boggy spots. This area includes the legendary moonrocks. It took me a couple rides over here to figure out the good loops, now I am hooked. Plenty of technical stuff here and some great downhills. As usual for WVA - plenty of rocks and roots. You will love your Full suspension here. The first time I saw Moonrocks last season I walked them. I could not figure out how I would ever be able to ride that stuff. New year, new rider. Last weekend I actually climbed to the top (ok, I hiked the middle section before getting tired of walking and WTF got on and rode the steepest stretch). Great riding over here. Loops from 6 to 13 miles. Rate it Intermediate to Advanced
Big Bear - This is not in Canaan but instead is about 3 miles south of I-68. Closer to Deep Creek Lake. This place is without a doubt the best riding I've experienced. Lots of fast and flowy technical terrain. Plenty of rocks, but the layout of the trails and the technical features just encourage ripping. Lots of nice features for airtime. A few long and tough climbs. Don't miss this place. Loops from 8 - 23 miles. $5 trail fee, but it is worth it. These trails were layed out by mountain bikers and ride great.
Other Canaan mountain biking updates. Check out the Blackwater Bikes site (www.blackwaterbikes.com). They now have interactive maps for about 10 rides in the area. Speaking of BWB - they have some pretty cool bikes available to rent - including Cannondale 29ers and a Scott Ransom (6" travel all-mountain rig). I rented a 29er from Roger a month ago just to get an idea what all the buz was about the big wheeled bikes. Fun bike to ride. As long as you can turn the peddles - the 29er will keep on rolling.
Anyone else done some Ski country mountain biking this summer?
Good to hear from you buddy! I was thinking about all the leg work involved with all that biking & was wundering what you did for an upper body workout...But then I remembered my Dirt Biking days & there was a good amount of arm work involved in that sport as I'm sure MTN Biking has also....Soooooo I guess when you get home the only thing you need to do to complete the workout are a few 12 ounce curls!!! PS. I would have posted a funny face but the new system is not dialup friendly
You are right there is a decent amount of upper body strength required in mountain biking. 12 oz curls are my trick - tall boys when I'm really focusing on an event! Seriously, I hate the gym and any exercise indoors. I bought a basic kayak this year to get some upper body action but haven't used it too much.
Dial up? dial up? Did you move to the third world or something? I never knew. I'll take it easy on you from now on by
awesome info on some good loops and perfect timing since im taking my bike up there this weekend
I've never been mountain biking up there, and am a beginner anyway, so i was looking for some easy stuff in the area. Probably would be more comfortable doing some "mountain trail" riding for now.
how is the trail system at tline? i believe its open to anyone, you only have to pay if you want to take the lift up. drop me a line next time you are headin up to the valley
Crunch man - Tline used to have a really nice trail network but it sucks now. It has been destroyed over the past three seasons by ATVs and horses. What they offer now is mostly riding down the ski slopes which IMHO isn't really all that much fun. Here are my suggestions for easy rides:
1) Blackwater Canyon Rail Grade - 10 miles DOWNHILL from Thomas to Hendricks. This is an unimproved rail trail, not technical, very remote and beautiful. Great if you can arrange a shuttle back from Hendricks or Parsons - otherwise, it makes for another 10 miles uphill to get back to Thomas. Do it now - part of this trail could be developed into a logging road by this time next year.
2) Camp 70 road - This is the forest road just over the small bridge to the left of the Shop 'n Save. I believe it's a 10 mile out-and-back. The road starts paved and gets rougher as you go further in. Some fun creek crossings, but pretty easy overall. Nice thing about this road is that there are several single-track trails that spin off the road and give you a chance to sample some more advanced stuff. There are some easier single track options through this area, stop by the bike shop - Roger or Matt can point you to some of the easier options.
3) Canaan Loop Road - All of FS 13 is decent biking. Really pretty area, the stretch closest to Blackwater Falls is pretty rough, the rest is just gravel fire road. Pretty hilly and long - over 20 miles if you make a loop of it (that involves some riding on 32.
4) Canaan Valley State Park - This is real trail riding - mostly singletrack - but nothing extreme. There are some short steep technical climbs and some fun downhills. Great work out - 9 miles and about 1000' of climbing. Start at the Nature Center (by the Putt Putt). Cross over the Park Road to the Back Hollow Trailhead marker (turn left, marker is on the right side of road). Get a map at the Nature Center - it's easy to put together a couple nice loops using Back Hollow, Middle Ridge, and Club Run. I ride here all the time.
5) Dobbins House trail would be my next choice in escalating difficulty. This trail is short and has no climbing - that's the easy part. The rest of it is very rocky and technical. More typical of West Virginia riding than the other rides listed above. Only about 5 miles.
Most weekends I have to balance my riding with family time, so I usually go early Sat and Sun AM - around 7:30. I ride at CVSP so much because it is so close. I am going to try and ride there tomorrow and Sunday this weekend - just keeping an eye on the weather. PM me if you want to join in.
SCWVA - Wow that looks like a great place to ride. Were all the trails that buff? Those views must be jaw-droppers in person. How much climbing on the Flume trail? Is that a loop? From your photos, Tahoe's trails look so un-West Virginian. Where are the rocks? the roots? the mud? The lush rhododendron forest crushing in from all sides.... What a contrast. I've never ridden out west, but that is one of the items on my list to do.
Anybody been to the Whistler Mountain Bike Park? Supposed to be the class for ski resort mountain biking. Any reports from Snowshoe? Last I heard they were selling thousands of season passes for mountain biking. Attracting lots of visitors and business to the mountain during the alleged off-season. Sure wish something like that would catch on at Canaan or Timberline. Could really be great.
I spent a week at Whistler last July. The park and trail system are unbelievable. I was also there for Crankworx, which was pretty amazing. I enjoyed Whistler as much or more in the summer than I did skiing there in the winter. Highly recommended.
The views were unbelieveable. I think Tahoe is more beautiful in the summer than winter. Believe it or not, winter is the off-season in Tahoe. Lodging is substantially less expensive in the winter.
The Flume trail started with a 4 mile climb on a fire road up to a mountain top lake. From there you worked your way around to the lake side of the mtn. When you first see the lake it's breath taking. This portion of the trail was about 6' wide with rocks/cliffs on one side and a nasty drop off on the other. If you fell off the side, you'd probably slide for a little bit before you would start to cartwheel down the mtn. This is very easy to do, because of the unbelieveable views.
Most of the trails were very sandy and dry. Not a greasy rock or root to be found. No mud, very unWV like. Lots of climbing.
I've been logging lots of miles at Laurel Mtn. the last few years. IMO, it's the best technical riding in Western PA, hands down. Quebec Run and now closed Roaring Run were a very close 2nd.
If anyone wants to come up and check it out, let me know. We ride every weekend there. Now that the weather is cooler, we'll start riding between 10am and noon rather than 8 am, so easier for those making a 2-3 hour drive for some killer technical single track.
I so need to get down to the 'Shoe some time and check it out.
Black Bear ---> Rocky Gap
Throw in Outcrop and Silver Mine to make it a loop.
Anyone who does ride there regularly, on the first section of Outcrop (lower side), about a week or so ago, the group I was with was attacked by ground bees. It happened early in the trail where a sizable log is fallen across the trail (the log has been there most of this season, but it was my first run in with ground bees there). We were too busy attempting to get away to notice exactly where they came from. The reason for my warning -- if you have never been stung by ground bees, its not a lot of fun. I would recommend staying away from that side of Outcrop until we have had some more colder weather.
Hmmm. I ride there every Sunday and always include Black Bear to Rocky Gap and all of Outcrop to Silvermine and then back to the short section of Black Bear to Hemlock returning to the 90* rock garden on Silvermine and never encountered the bees. They must be gone. Just rode those trails again Sunday and nothing.
We usually do all the above as well as go up Towhee to Mainline, across Summit Road to Summit trail, down to Spruce Run before crossing back over Summit Rd. to the Outcrop/Silvermine area returning to the Picnic Area parking lot.
Rocky Gap is just so much fun I can't explain it.