Thursday, June 26, 2008

Little Bunny Foo Foo

Just as Joe has suggested, I think some local university experiment has gone awry. The bunnies are everywhere. I think they have been cross breeding with the squirrels as their level of perceived danger has apparently dropped to nil.

Last night was a hell of a ride, at first I felt weak and slow but as the night progressed so did my legs. We took a nice long route around the forest:

Fawn Lake Road -> Down Airstrip Trail -> Shelter Rock -> Conservation Road -> Johanna Road -> Lake Dense out and back (Geo-cache) -> Johanna Road -> Twin Oaks -> Briery Fork -> Grassy Creek -> Wintergreen Falls -> Sandy Trail -> Tarklin Branch -> Flatwoods -> Rifle Range -> Hickory Mountain Road -> Ridgeline -> Jim Branch -> ???? -> Lake Imaging -> Buck Forest -> Conservation Road -> Bridal Veil Falls Road -> Barn Trail -> Airstrip -> Fawn Lake

I won’t mention much about this ride besides that I was in the back most of the time except on the downhills. I have been feeling really good on the downhills at Dupont. The first to note would be Twin Oaks, we were flying and I have found a no brake line all the way down that fast trail.

Next up was Grassy Creek, this is an alluring trail that sets you on a high speed train down a sandy path when all of a sudden you are rolling through a massive mine field of rocks. Ahead of Dennis riding his full squish I just pinned it and held on for my life grunting when I would take a big hit on the rocks. I felt both tires mash against the rims multiple times, thanks to the tubeless.

After a nice break at Wintergreen my favorite falls in all of Dupont, I could hear Ridgeline screaming out our names. When we got to the Ridgeline trailhead, I let Dennis and everyone else know that passing on the alternate lines was in full effect. Let me explain.

Ridgeline is an extremely fast twisty trail that sends you along the fall line and then away from the fall line and back again to maintain speed. This is combined with banked corners and lots of grade dips to keep you on your toes. There are also some sections where the designer created multiple lines and you really have to know your stuff to pull the quickest line.

When we took off Dennis threw the geared gauntlet down on the flat section leading to the downhill and gapped me. When we hit the twisty downhill I was probably a good 30 or 40 bike lengths behind Dennis. Every one of my thoughts and motions was set on catching Dennis, I knew if I didn’t catch him at the top of the alternate lines I wouldn’t be able to pass.

I could see him and realized that my watching Dennis was causing me to slow my pace so I shook my head out and whispered in my head “ride your line.” Next thing I knew I was coming up on Dennis fast going into the couple hair pin turns that actually cause you to slow down. My brakes squealed a little and Dennis realized I had caught up as he would say later “I was looking over my shoulder all the way down, then I heard your brakes and thought, Damn.” At that moment Dennis said “shit” and I now knew I had to make a fancy move if I wanted by.

There were only a couple spots left where I could pass so I just sat back and enjoyed the show of us railing through the woods whooping it up. I thought, maybe he will take the high line at the big banked turn, he went low as did I. Next up was the log ride, Dennis shot left of the log and I right but when we merged I was still about a half wheel length away. The last turn on Ridgeline has an alternate line but I know the inside line is the fastest. Dennis goes inside and I go outside but the only way I would catch him was if he screwed up. He didn’t and we shot out of the woods giggling. Next time Dennis, next time.

Some views from Airstrip: Stone mountain off in the distance. This is the highest peak in Dupont.

Another awful sunset on the strip to end the night.


Anonymous said...

Good stuff, man. I miss that giddy, euphoric buzz feeling after a high speed run with somebody of equal skill. Thanks for bringing that back (almost).

-mike r

duma's dad said...

best dupont ride in awhile. good stuff. i had absolutely no idea where we were most of the time. thanks for taking us back around twin oaks!

brado1 said...

good stuff there T'mto diggin' the sunset airstrip overlook pic (wish i could've made that ride.)

Anonymous said...

Great pictures and mental images...