May 21, 2008

SDS: Stay in School

the valley between the ridges
You just don't know, and I can't explain, and the pictures won't do it justice.
This weekend was the 5th edition of the Stokesville-Douthat-Stokesville mountain bike ride.
145 miles in two days, split into 12hr days of 75 and 70 miles. A true MountainTouring Production.
If you touch your index fingers together and then your thumbs together, imagine that where your thumbs meet are Stokesville, (where we started), and the point of the index fingers are the lodge we stayed at in Douthat State park. If you rode along the right hand, that would be the western ridges we rode out on and then coming back along the left hand would be the eastern ridges, with the huge valley in between. About 50miles across the valley. 30,000 feet of climbing total, which translates to an equal amount of descending. Despite the two flats in Michaux two weeks ago, I decided I couldn't pass final judgment on my new WTB Weirwolf tires. Their volume seemed perfect for the not to safe high speed descending we would be doing. Glad to say I had no flats, and the tires really excelled in the rocks. Some of the slow rock crawling i had to do to make passes on people who put their foot down in the gardens were some of my best moments. I give these tires credit for hardpack and wet rocks ability.
Easily the best two day ride ever. Not to many people on my list were ready for this but I wanted a partner to drive down with, so I called Pete, one of the toughest cats I know. I figured he could handle the numbers, the hike-a-bikes, the hour long pushing through overgrown trail sections. By the end of the trip, when it was announced that the last climb was "only an hour" it was actually a relief. Our perspectives were skewed. Thank you Chris Scott, Mike Carpenter, the ladies and everyone else responsible.
Day two, started misty then went wet, and thats when fires were built. According to Carp, he saw deep into our souls during the hour climb when the rain and cold were at their worst.
The cell tower on the top of Elliots Knob had a vent that blew hot air.

One of several hike-a-bikes.

End of Day one

Mathew Lee, Tour Divide record holder, the only causality.

This is not right.


Andrew Brautigam said...

jealousy is my middle name

Fxdwhl said...

sweet pics and it sounds like a hell of a ride!

Jimmy K said...

thanks for all the photos Harlan.

this is definitely a top 10 blog entry of all time.

Patrick said...

So much fun riding with you this weekend. Do yo have full res versions of your photos posted on smugmug or something similar?


Frenchy aka Bike Boy said...

Great photos: I love the zip tie set up.

TSWimba said...

Damn that looks like fun. Anything Chris S. or Thomas J. puts together is a blast. I'd love to know the full route.

Nice pics also.