Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Adventure of the Day: Mountain Biking near Strasburg, VA

Last Saturday T-Rav* and I took off and went mountain biking near Strasburg, VA. It was pretty amazing.

First of all, where is Strasburg?  Here it is:
It was about an hour drive from our homes here in Arlington.  We got out there with this idea, "Hey, lets go mountain biking..." and we were kinda thinking of going to West Virginia, but Trav had gone hiking in this area before so we decided to give it a shot.

First we stopped in at the nearby Front Royal visitor's center and asked where some good mountain biking could be had.  They gave us some directions, and we took off for the nearby National Forest.

So we're driving through this wooded area, see a couple parking lots/turnoffs, and finally pick this one.  We get out, get changed into our biking gear, say hi to this dude and his family in the parking lot, then start riding.  Basically we rode straight uphill on a fire road for 2-3 miles, then we hit this cool little trail that crossed some creeks.  Eventually, made it to the far side of the ridge, rode uphill a little more, then hit the Strasburg Reservoir.

We met this couple there, who told us that if we went up the fireroad it would eventually get us back to our car.  Well, it didn't.  We just kept going up, and up, and up.  Eventually I called uncle and we started pushing, at which point it got even steeper.  We finally got to 'the top' of the road at this old tower, and met a Philmont Scout Ranch t-shirt wearing BoyScout leader who told us which way to go. 

So we take off, and its a rough rough trail.  We basically carried our bikes for ~ 2 miles over boulders.  As we kept going uphill.  Oh, and it started to rain.  Finally, we started going downhill.

I don't, however, have Travis' balance, and fell several times.  I got ripped out of my seat by a root that grabbed by pedal.  My front tire locked up once on a rock and I went over the handle bars, resulting in the very first time ever that I've dented a bike helmet (I'm still debating if its bad enough to justify buying a new one).  Then, as we're creeping down the mountain, finally able to ride, we meet this hardcore mountain bike girl, who cruises by us like its just another day.  We'd been biking/hiking about 3 1/2 hours (12 miles ish) at this point, and were exhausted.  Still, she said we were almost there, and the trail got way better just ahead. She was right, although she sailed past us even when we were moving at a decent pace.

Back to the car, we downed some gatorade, got changed, and headed to Front Royal for some Roy Rodger's (a fast food chain we'd never heard of) and back to DC.

All told it was a pretty great trip, but it tore Travis and I up plenty.  I passed out for a couple hours when we got back, and found all sorts of cuts, bruises, etc. I hadn't known about.

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