Bikepacking to Stokesville

Last week, we led a group of riders out to Stokesville Campground for an awesome overnighter!

Click though this slideshow for some choice shots of our ride:


The group had a blast zig zagging through backroads out to the national forest. We fueled up at Stokesville Market before making camp and relaxing for the afternoon. Overall, a grand old time was had. Join us for the next one!

- Val

30th Annual Massanutten Hoo Ha

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The Hoo Ha has provide mud fun in the past!

The Hoo Ha has provide mud fun in the past!

This weekend a special annual event will happen on the local cycling calendar, the Massanutten Hoo-Ha. The 2018 running of the event will be the 30th time in as many years that this cross country mountain bike race has taken place on the Western Slopes of Massanutten, just outside the sleepy town of Keezletown.  The Hoo-Ha event is one of the main reasons I first came to Harrisonburg and then later decided to make "The Friendly City" my home.  In the late 80's & early 90's most mountain bike races were taking place in our neighbor State of West Virginia, the Hoo-Ha helped bring mountain bike racing to the Commenwealth.

It was 1989 mountain bike races were more then a race, these events were a tool to provide new riders like myself with a place to ride, a place to meet new riders and a chance to explore this new sport of mountain biking.  In the late 80's there was not much info on mountain biking, there no apps or  websites to rate mountain bike trails; races were the faucet for mountain mountain beta.

Early XXC years..Less travel, just as much fun!

Early XXC years..Less travel, just as much fun!

Driving though Keezletown for the first time and looking for Happy Valley Road made this suburban boy feel like a fish out of water. After several wrong turns our confidence was low and our fears were high as we looked up at the looming mountain top of Lairds Knob, fortunately then and now we do not top out on the highest peak of the Massanutten Ridge. 

The early races of the Hoo-Ha and Yee-Ha (the spring cross country race) the course was much shorter, usually 4-7 miles per lap. The single track we are all use to riding now did not exist in the 90's , so most "trails" were the gravel roads, old logging roads and paths through the heat packed fields that we now avoid.  The race venue which was based out of the Pond hosted some the finest post race hang outs that happened at any mid-Atlantic race.  The pond jump was always a crowd favorite, too bad the old ramp/dock does not exist anymore, we will just have to think of new way to celebrate a great day of racing and riding.

Come out this weekend and join the fun while celebrating 30 years of goods time on the Western Slope. 

- Thomas

The Hoo Ha poster at SBC..The lake jump was the race highlight!

The Hoo Ha poster at SBC..The lake jump was the race highlight!

Bikepacking to Hone Quarry

Last month, we led a crew of twenty riders from the shop out to Hone Quarry for an overnight Bikepacking trip! 

The send off 

We had experienced bike tourists and beginners alike. It was awesome to see the different ways bikes were packed.

Arlo's customized rigid dirt tourer
David's Long Haul Trucker, with trailer in tow
Marshall's Krampus
My Stache
David's ECR

We left town on 33 and dipped off onto rolling back roads

Fun in the sun
Everybody's happy

Two dads and their boys!

Gravel imminent 

The much awaited 257 Grocery refuel in Briery Branch


Relaxing at camp


Sharing stories around the campfire

Breakfast bagels

Camp coffee

The ride back to town

 Stay tuned for our next group overnighter!



The Roubaix home base at the "Chambers Farm"

If you have never seen any footage of the European road racing classic, the Paris-Roubaix,  I highly encourage you do a little a searching on Al Gore’s internet and find some time to watch a few minutes of this cycling frenzy.  Have your bike close by while you watch, hopefully these videos will stir your cycling heart and make you want to ride some of the fine gravel roads we have in our surrounding counties, just like it did for me 15 plus  years ago when we dreamed up the Harris-Roubaix. For years, a few of us would gravitate to the gravel roads while out on our afternoon road rides, but it was often hard to convince the thin tire lovers that gravel roads are an option for road bikes.  There is no better way to get folks out of their comfort zone than hold an event, that is why a few us started the Harris-Roubaix almost two decades ago. The venue has changed from its original meeting point at the Greenmount Church and the group has increased in size from the 10 or 20 so folks who would join in the first few years but, the great gravel roads of the North remain.

The Roubaix is a fun family day on the bike.
Our great local events have few key ingredients; options for many level of riders, smiling faces and food, all these are at the heart of the Harris-Roubaix event.  After dropping off their potluck donation at support vehicle the riders will enjoy the a slow group pace ride from Court Square to the “Chambers Farm” just east of Singers Glen. After regrouping at the farm the official Roubaix route will start consisting of paved and gravel roads with a loop distance ranging from  12 to 17 miles. The “racers” of the group will set a fast pace while they battle to lead the peloton into the first “Roubaix” (gravel road) section of the ride. For the majority of the group the riders cruise the north hilly valley roads with their heads held up high while the soak in the beauty of the fresh green fields. The lead riders will cruise by the fire ring and  pot luck tables then head out for another lap, hoping they will be crown the king/queen of that years edition of the Harris-Roubaix, given to the male and female rider who finishes 3 laps first. Most of the peloton will be enticed by the food spread, lawn chairs and friendly conversations and get off their bikes after a lap and enjoy the afternoon among new and old friends. This year’s Roubaix is right around the corner, Sunday April 8th.  Grab your road bike, or any bike, air up your tires, bake some food and join our local bike community in what has become our spring “Classic”.

-Thomas Jenkins...a lover of 28c tires and great gravel roads!

Super Bowl Sunday Ride...Why is it always so good...even when it is not!
For 25 years I have annually returned to Flagpole Knob in the tradition of the Super Bowl Sunday Ride, a ride that is well over 3 decades old.  

Super Bowl Ride 1996
This year the pilgrimage to the wind swept clearing was extra special due to the weather conditions, the determination of folks to make it up the mountain, and the encouragement and help riders gave each other to get back to safe conditions.  

Snowy Conditions on this year's Super Bowl Ride
Leaving from my house this year started more innocent than most, with temperatures in the upper 20’s and a few snowflakes dropping from the sky. As I rolled  into the Mr. J’s parking lot to hook up the “Ride out” crew I  noticed only a few bikes leaning against the storefront glass. Did folks know something I did not? Where was the 20+ possie that usually rolls from town? Five hours later, we who did roll from town would be grateful that our crew was small. The ride from town is always chill and friendly but the pace slowed even more as we rode the last several miles up to the Briery Branch Community Center , I think we were trying to savor the beautiful snow covered roads and keep our conversations rolling.

One of first years of a big crew riding from town, 18 degrees at roll out time. 

For several years now the Briery Branch Community has served as the official starting point for the Super Bowl Sunday Ride replacing the old “Hamburger Heaven” restaurant which was located across from the 257 market.  The Community Center provides a large parking area for pre and post ride conversation and enough car space for the 100 person ride.  Instead of a tightly packed gravel lot we road up to just a few cars spread out with their riders doing the last minute preparation for the mountain.  The crew rolled out in waves along the straight stretch of road that heads west from the Branch. This is always the first opportunity to gauge the size of the ride crew, it is when my excitement for the ride buzzes strong and brings me back to my first several Super Bowl Rides.  It is the feeling of a happy and confident team heading into battle against the mountain and elements that brings me smiles.
The tires of our two wheel group broke fresh tracks once we passed the “Deer Parking Lot” just after Tillman Road, not even the four wheel drive crews had ventured up the mountain yet. The frozen lake of Briery Branch is always the perfect first pit stop of the ride. It is here riders remove layers, eat some food and peer up to Reddish Knob glooming 2000’ above. This year the mountain top was hidden in the snow clouds that were blanketing the mountain we were beginning to tackle.  Our 10am departure timing was perfect as we rolled up and join forces with the crew that ascend Wolfe Ridge and come down the Lynn Trail. Their stories of snow covered trails and hiding layers of ice would be pale in comparison to the conditions we would experience over the next 2 hours of our ascent.

Enjoy the warm sun after the skiing  to Flagpole on Super Bowl Sunday!

Every year as I ride up the steep 4 mile climb to the saddle I think of all the riders spread out over the mountain ascent. It is this thought of so many different friendly folks of various skills, fitness and equipment that keeps me coming back each year.  I usually pace this portion of my ride so I can get to the next stop at the saddle with a little time to spare, but not enough to let the cold settle over my body. It is the last 2 turns before the saddle that let you what the real conditions are on the upper slopes of Shenandoah Mountain. With the snow getting deeper and the ice layers spreading wider through these two turns we knew this was to be a “real” year for the ride. The tire tracks from the saddle showed evidence that folks were not hanging as usually done at the State line rest stop, and there certaining was no food truck to warm your insides. The next 3 miles were a battle of ice, snow and wind, a time when winter riding lessons are learned and forever etched in your mental mountain bike manual. As the conditions intensified the smiles grew wider, folks dug deeper, and the pain of the wet and cold conditions increased. The periodic hollar of a rider could be thought of as a scream of joy or even “rebel yell” as the battle was just really just beginning.
A little football time on Flagpole..I think New England won that year!

I laid my bike down on the last flat pitch before Flagpole, it was time to put of all the layers for the cold descent to follow, this needed to done before being exposed at the mountain top. The final pitches were a sure walk for all, with snow falling at a rate seldom scene.  At this point we knew we would make to the top, another year of praying to the mountain bike gods on top of Flagpole. Some made the decision to continue directly to Red Diamond, some folks entered the lower slopes of the Knob beforing turning their bikes down hill. I knew I  had the gear, experience and will to take a few minute retreat to the fire ring on top, so along with Mike Carpenter we made the final push, never had the last bit seemed so challenging.  

As we were traveling off the the mountain on Red Diamond we had a change in conditions that I have never experienced in my many years of mountain biking. We went  from 6” of fresh snow  to slush and river bed in just over a few minutes. The discomfortment of dumping snow was replaced by the pain of pouring rain and spraying tires. I sat at the bottom of Red Diamond for 15 or 20 minutes waiting for riders, giving words of encouragement and getting a pulse of what still remained on the upper slopes. Every time I thought I was unforgettable I glanced at other riders that went by and knew I was in good shape. There were folks who braved the conditions in cotton, 3 season gloves, sneakers. Attire for a fall ride not a full winter assault of Mother Nature.  These are the heroes of the Super Bowl Sunday Ride, folks who braved the conditions and did so without complaining.  During the next few miles of drenching wet conditions I was so happy to see our mountain bike community join forces and returned with vehicles to bring the last riders off the mountain. The warmth of a vehicles and comfort of a new or old friend ended this Super Bowl Ride experience with a smile.  
Yes, we had a little help that Ski...The trucks got us just shy of the intersection at the gap, then the 5' drifts got them too!

I am constantly  asked by many folks why would one ascend to the highest mountain top in Rockingham County in the middle of winter. I usually hold back from giving the 2 hour answer and verbalize the quick single sentence response, “because of the number of great folks spread out over a mountain dealing with whatever the mountain has to offer that day”.  

What happened to you bike after taking a 5 minute break this year!

See you next year on Flagpole!


Cycle Central... Powered by SBC!


For years SBC has been advocating for more cycling opportunities at JMU. In 2016 JMU expanded UREC, and with this expansion the University provided an opportunity for JMU's first cycling hub - "Cycle Central powered by SBC". Cycle Central is a small bike shop in UREC operated by SBC. At Cycle Central we offer sales, service and bicycle information/support for the beginner to advanced cyclist. Cycle Central is not just for students, but also also for faculty, staff, and anybody with UREC access.

A university is an educational institution, the learning goes well beyond the classroom. At SBC we believe cycling is one of the life long lessons and experiences that a University needs to share with it's students.  Making bicycling more accessible for students, staff and faculty will increase ridership and exposure to cycling. We don't believe every person has to ride a bike but we do believe we all need to learn to coexists and share the space we used for transportation and recreation.

At Cycle Central we have the ability to fix most any level of bicycle repair that your machine might need. From simple tire inflation, brake adjustments, shifting adjustments to full overhauls, we can do it at Cycle Central. We will also get your repair turned around as possible with most repairs able to be done the same day or within 24 hours. At Cycle Central you will find a well rounded selection of bicycle accessories and parts, our offerings are increasing on a daily basis. If we do not have it at Cycle Central we can check our inventory at our downtown location and have items transferred that day. 

We believe Cycle Central is the next step to help Harrisonburg and JMU become a bicycle community.

Come by Cycle Central and say "Hello"!

Cycle Central in UREC
M-TR: 4pm - 8pm
Fri & Sat: 11am - 5pm

City's Youth Try...What a great event!


Ethan all smiles as he finished the bike leg!
Some events you just need to be there to get the full feel, The  City's Youth Tri is one such event. Go once and you will be motivated to put it on your calendar for next year.  This is the 4th year the City has put on the Youth Triathlon, a unique event, designed to introduce kids to Triathlons.  With age groups ranging from 5 to 17, there is a spot for any kid. There is no emphasis on winning or losing but just getting kids to finish and try something new.

SBC, tuning up the bikes for the kids.
Ethan & Carter after their first Tri

SBC has participated each year making sure the kids two wheel machines are ready to take them from the swim leg to the run leg of the event.  Supporting local events like this is an important part of the SBC business. The event is held each year at Westover Park. A big "THANK YOU" to the City Parks and Recreation Department, the HPD and all the volunteers who made this such a memorable day for the kids and the parents.

SBC is now selling Trek's Roscoe. This bike is extremely fun and perfect for riding trails without breaking the bank! The Roscoe has a slacker head angle, 120mm fork, 27.5'' wheels, plus sized tires, and a 1 x 11 drive train. 

Come to the shop and test ride it! You won't regret it. 

HDR"s Friendly City Fortune!

If you haven't heard about the $250,000 raffle that Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance is  hosting then you better listen up! For $100, you can enter for a chance to win some crazy prices (cars, bikes, cash, getaways,etc). All the proceeds will go right back into supporting the growth of downtown Harrisonburg through beautification projects, community-building initiatives, and business assistance programs. Shenandoah Bicycle Company will be contributing a Trek Lift + Electric Bike! There are still tickets left so stop by SBC and get yours before they're all gone. 

Also, make sure to come by the shop any time before Friday this week to enter a drawing to win a FREE Friendly City Fortune raffle ticket. Harrisonburg Radio Group will be here on Friday from 11:30 am- 1:00 pm to announce the winner! 
Here are some of the awesome prices you could win in the raffle! Winners will be announced on July 4th. A price will be drawn every 5 minutes for 4 hours so you have a big change of winning!

Confident City Cycling Class!

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Hello everyone! The Confident City Cycling class will be held on Saturday, May 20  at Westover park. It will be led by League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructors. I took this class last year and it was an awesome experience. I had just bought my bike and I was still nervous about riding it around town. 

This class gave me the confidence I needed to get out of my shell and to make good use of my beautiful bike. I was a beginner, but the amount of experience each student had varied. The instructors were very helpful and answered all my questions. 

Among other things, we learned about the importance of checking our bikes over before each ride to make sure everything is ready to go. We did exercises that prepared us for situations we may face while driving in traffic and in trails ( such as roadkill, angry drivers, and rocks). I was also taught how to change a flat which helped me feel less anxious about riding long distances. 

Take this class! It's freaking awesome. Here's a link with more info!

Night Riding

Night Riding...Don't let the couch eat you this time of year...

With the days being shorter this time of year, sneaking in a post-work ride can be tricky.  Luckily, bike lights have drastically improved over the past decade.  With the bursts of spring-like weather we've been having this week, night riding is a very viable option to prevent the beer belly from growing too much. Here are a few more reasons you should consider snagging a light and heading out under the stars this year...

Watching the sun dip behind the ridge before diving into the forest.
Reason #1

The ability to ride year round here is a major bonus to living in Harrisonburg. It's not uncommon to find yourself getting burned out at some point though.  Take a trail you've ridden hundreds of times during the day and it will completely change at night. The same features are there, but it's incredible how different the trail appears when the only light you have is much more focused.  If you find yourself getting tired of the same rides, grab a light.   

Checking out the stars rolling out of Hone Quarry

Reason #2

There's no better vantage point for a sunset than on top of one of the many ridge lines west or east of town.  It's hard to beat cruising up a mountain as the sky changes colors without feeling rushed for time.  Sunsets around here worth watching and some of the best places to enjoy them aren't accessible by car.  Grab a light for the descent back down the mountain.

Reason #3

On a clear night the sky puts on an incredible show of stars.  I guarantee it's much better than the latest Netflix drama. Hone Quarry was my destination of choice last Wednesday night with a great wide open view above the reservoir. At some point in your ride turn your light off and look up.

A Few Tips...
If you've never ventured out onto the trails at night, here are a few tips...
  •  Get a reliable light. There are many cheap lights out there that are very bright; however, the batteries are generally unreliable. I use Light and Motion's Imjin 800 on my helmet and have been more than happy.  It's super light-weight and relatively inexpensive compared to other lights out there.
  • Depending on what type of trail you're riding, it doesn't hurt to have two lights...One on the helmet, one on the bars. Your helmet light is crucial for scanning ahead into upcoming turns. I typically put my brightest light on my helmet, but that's something to play around with. The bar light is helpful with depth perception because you can direct it downward more to fill the gap where you're helmet light doesn't hit. 
  • This time of year especially, bring extra layers. As the sun sets, the temperature drops a good bit.
  • Find some friends to ride with.  Motivation is much easier to find with a group of people.  Thomas leads a night ride from the SBC parking lot every Monday night around 8:30. If you don't have any night-riding experience this ride would be a great intro.  Massanutten is another great place to start.  Don't let the lack of sun get you down...
- Andrew

Winter Riding...learning by years of mistakes...

When the window to ride is open I have to jump in with both feet, regardless of the weather. My window to ride was open this past Sunday morning. Even though the temperature was reading 8 degrees at the house I was motivated to grab my Salsa Horsethief hit the snow on Shenandoah Mountain. A last minute connect with Andrew from the shop and I had a motivated riding partner

Andrew climbing up near the Reddish Saddle

Over the years I have made a lot of mistakes when it comes to winter riding. What I have learned through these mistakes is something I would like to share so hopefully you will get to experience a beautiful winter riding day on the mountain.

Final adjustment time before the downhill.

Thomas's top ten tips to making the winter ride a little bit better!

1- Taping the brake levers:  I run a thin layer of cloth tape on my mountain & commuter bike brake levers to help insulate my hands from cold metal. Constant touching of the cold levers will sap your hands of heat. 

2 - Warm cloths: Make sure all your riding gear is warm when you go to put it on...a riding bag in the trunk does not count.  

3 - When to get dress: Don't get dress in a parking lot, you will lose all your body heat. If  it is a close drive to your riding destination then get dress in the warmth of the house. If it is longer drive I like to get partially dress at home then do a quick pull off 5 or 10 minutes from the destination, this will allow me and my cloths to get acclimated, I am also ready to roll when I arrive. 

4 - Gloves: Very seldom am I doing a ride with only one set of gloves. I usually have two pairs to cover a temperature range, doing a quick swap out before my hands get too hot or cold. I will sometimes store the extra gloves under my vest to act as a warmth layer and get the second pair of gloves warm (putting cold hands in cold gloves does not help).   Bar Mitts...there is nothing better for days like it was today! On cold mornings our family even uses them on the trail-a-bike for taking the 5 year old to school.

5 - Shoes:  I sometimes use toe covers but most of the time nothing is better then a good pair of winter shoes. This is not low cost purchase, but when I did the math the two pairs of winter shoes I used over 14 years cost me less then $40 a year (just got my 3rd pair last year). How many times have you told yourself on a cold ride you would do anything for warm feet! 

Decision time..."freshies" either way!

6 - Helmets: Do you ski or snowboard? If you do you probably have a warmer helmet. When the weather gets really cold I grab my snow board helmet instead of my bike helmet. It has great coverage and warmth. 

7 - Neck gator: We don't put enough importance on keeping our necks warms. So much of our daily living (and riding) tension is held through our next and shoulders. Keeping this area is key to a healthy ride and life! I love a merino wool multi tube that goes around your next. It keeps this area to warm and is easy to pull over your face as needed. 

8 - Go wool base layer:  A good merino wool base layer should be what you have covering your top half.  A merino wool base layer is comfortable and keeps you warm when it gets damp from sweat. Just remember to gentle wash in cold and never put in the dryer. 

9: Vest: No matter if it is in the 50's or single digits I am always wearing my vest.   A vest is a great  way to keep your core warm and preventing you from over sweating.  

10: Adjust & eat at the right time: Adjust you cloths and eat before it is too late: Almost every ride I will have a few "time to adjust" break points.  Make this clothing adjustments before you are a slightest bit too cold or too warm. If you get too cold it takes your body way to much energy to try and get warm again. Our bodies also consume a lot more calories when it is fighting to stay warm so remember to eat when you are not hungry yet.  When you take these adjustment brakes do them in sunny and wind sheltered spots. 

SBC Long Sleeve T-Shirts Are In!

Hey everyone, we are excited to announce that we are selling SBC long sleeves t-shirts! They are super warm and very comfortable. They are produced by Green Label, a family owned and operated business located here in the Blue Ridge. Their goal is to provide 100% organic certified cotton, pre-shrunk shirts while respecting their workers and the environment. All the shirts are made in the USA and are low impact dyed without using PVCs or other harsh chemistry.

 Jason here is pondering the meaning of life while looking rad with his new SBC long sleeve! 

Supporting the trails...anyway we can!

Since the day SBC opened it's doors 17 years ago we have been passionate about supporting our local trails. We are always happy to be out there digging with the community and encouraging support for the trails.  This Holiday season we will celebrate SVBC's accomplishments in the National Forest by giving away a full Shimano XT Groupset (Brakes, Cranks, Shifters, Cassette, Derailleurs & chain).

Attend one of the four National Forest Trail Work days in the month of December, or make a donation of  $75 or more to the SVBC trail fund, and you will get a chance to win the XT kit from SBC and favorite parts partner, Shimano!

We love the trail work crews...Hearthstone Ridge - Fall 2016.

Don't Let Jack Frost Nip at Your Toes

It's cooling down this week......

What does that mean??? Awesome winter apparel, including our great warm and waterproof boots to keep you warm and protect your precious feet!

The 45NRTH Wolvhammer Boots on the far left provide a mountaineer boot functionality while still keeping simplicity and style. With fleece lining, a gusseted tongue, and a ballistic nylon shell, winter weather is no match for these boots. 
The 45NRTH Japanther Boots on the far right provide high level water resistance with its waterproof membrane and rubberized shell.These boots are perfect for those sloppy, snowy days so you can keep doing what you love even on the wettest and muddiest days.
The Bontrager OMW Winter Shoes in the middle provide great waterproofing and insulation with the fleece-lined removable inner-bootie to protect your feet from those nasty riding conditions.and they have a roomier performance fit, so you can wear those fuzzy holiday socks.

Come in to try on some of these winter shoes so your feet can stay nice and toasty!

A recap of a ride we all should think about doing!

Our good friends Paul and Owen Johnston spent part of their summer vacation riding bikes together. We always love hear our customer stories of their riding adventures, this is the first, but not last, of Owen's bike riding tours -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

My Dad and I started our journey on the Cumberland Gap trail on 7/26/2016.The Cumberland Gap trail is a 150 mile rails to trail from Cumberland, Maryland to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a great ride for the family.  The trail is well maintained with great places to eat and camp.  On the way up the mountain to the eastern continental divide, I was surprised at the gradual grade going up.  Although it’s not a big grade, you can still feel the downhill after you get to the top.  When you’re on the trail you can see some of the best sites I have ever seen. 

There are many beautiful bridges and big tunnels. Big Savage tunnel was one of my favorites, it is the longest tunnel along the trail, over 3,000 feet long! This particular tunnel was in built in 1911. Each day my Dad and I rode about 45 miles.  Except for the last day, because we didn’t have to set up camp, we road about 60 miles.  On this trip we decided to camp with a tent but we now realize it’s easier to camp with hammocks. We decided to camp the two nights in Adelaide and Husky Haven campground in Rockwood, PA. When biking through neighborhoods, I was surprised about the generosity of the people who live along the trail. Although there were lots of them, two families stood out to me.  In Rockwood, one family turned his dog’s play space into a camp ground and provided showers, water, and bathrooms along with fun games like pool and darts.  He even had a phone charging station. The other family who lived along the trail in Van Meter, PA offered us home grown vegetables, cold beverages, and made us bacon and eggs for a good price.

 The first two days were nice, sunny, and cool.  However, on the last day there was a terrible rain and trust me, when the rain stops, you will feel so much better if you change your clothes.  It may seem like a waste of time, I was skeptical too, but do it. It is worth it. We finished the ride on 7/28/2016 at Point State Park in Pittsburgh where we were met by my mom, my brother Peter, and my Grandmother and Dave.  We had a great experience on the Cumberland Gap trail and would love to do it again.

Owen Johnston

New ride with old Friends


The early 90's mountain bike crew: CJ, Adam & Matt Krop with Chris Scott
Even though I have had my Salsa Horsethief for over a month I finally have it set up and riding perfectly. With the addition of my new Industry Nine wheels and Shimano brakes the Thief is dialed! No better place to test the updated Horsethief then Lookout Mountain and Timber Ridge. No better crew to ride these trails with then your buddies who you first explored this forest with over 20 years ago.

The Thief taking a break after the might Sand-springs climb
It is always a treat to showcase the work on Lookout, the reroute of 6 years ago has now blended perfectly with the old ridge line sections. I remember riding this trail the first time with Adam Krop in 93', except we did it "backwards" in the rain.  Lookout is usually enough to satisfy most folks but yesterday's crew wanted to hit some old school trails so we ascended up Sandsprings to Timber Ridge in the hottest of conditions. The down hill on Wolfe Ridge was rolling fast even with the summer growth that is coming in from every side.

A bear was hungry.

This might be the last time riding Wolfe in it's current state, the next phase of improvements is about to start next week.  More to follow soon!

Enjoy the summer heat with good friends!


A year of a improvements to the George Washington National Forest.

Almost 2 miles of this on the Lower Hankey Project

This year is going to be an exciting year for trail projects in the George Washington National Forest (GWNF).  Our friends with the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) have been working hard for years to line up funding which is all going to fall to the ground in 2016.  The first and probably the largest project for 2016 is in the books, the Upper & Lower Hankey project.  If you have not been able to get out and experience all the work done by our friends at Elevated Trail Design we encourage to you grab your mountain bike and head to the GWNF.

We have been talking about the Upper Hankey Project for the past two months, and a lot of folks have experienced this new mile of trail that replaces the "death shot" on The Wild Oak Trail (TWOT) near the upper portions of the Dowells Draft Trail.
Map of the Upper Hankey Project. Red=New, Blue = Old
The Lower Hankey Project will open people up to a whole new trail experience, as most folks in the mountain bike community have not ridden this portion of the Wild Oak Trail . This portion of the TWOT had numerous steep sections which kept most mountain bikers away from this area of the National Forest.   The improvements to the lower slopes of Hankey Mountain has created a great trail loop that will allow folks to enjoy the Dowells Draft Trail with less road!

Lower Hankey Project 
A unique thing about these the Upper and Lower Hankey builds is that they are connected by a hidden gem of the trail called the "Besty Trail", AKS "Magic Moss".  The Betsy Trail is a short 1/2 mile trail but is what I commonly refer to as "half track". Half track this is when the tread is so narrow that you can't quite call it single track.

The thin trail of the Betsy Trail....with moss everywhere.

So what are the other projects in store for the National Forest this year?

  • Carr Mountain (30 North/West of Harrisonburg): six miles of new trail in a very remote part of the GWNF. The Carr Mountain Trail will be part of the larger Great Eastern Trail
  • Wolfe Ridge Trail: Over the years this trail has seen numerous improvements, this time expect another mile of tasty trail to be built. Work will also include  small improvements on the ridge section of the Wolfe Ridge Trail. 
  • Chestnut Ridge (TWOT): This trail descending from Little Bald Knob is always a highlight for the SM100 event, these improvements will keep the trail in top shape.
  • Camp Todd (TWOT): Probably one of the longest continuous sections of single track on the TWOT is between Camp Todd and Little Bald. This beautiful section of trail will see much needed maintenance.
  • Southern Traverse: This 17 mile section of the Shenandoah Mountain Trail will see much needed love. The trail became popular after is was designated an IMBA Epic Ride

See you out on the new improved Trails.


West Virginia Extreme Loungin'

Creature comforts and primitive camping on the mountain top make for much needed restorative rest. 
On the outskirts of Harrisonburg day trip distance is the profound North Fork Mountain just North of Franklin, WV.
The cliff lined ridge provides users outcroppings with views of Seneca Rocks, Spruce Knob, Mount Porte Crayon, Dolly Sods and much more. The ridge trail terminates on rt 33 to the south and on the northern tip near Cabins. 
Views from High Knob are spectacular.
Kiki's first time up on North Fork.