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Posts Tagged ‘Elkins’

Went to Elkins yesterday to hop on the Allegheny Highlands Trail,what I like to call it, the Elkins Rail Trail. There’s sparse snow on the ground, and the trail is starting to feel kind of sloppy due to the excess moisture. With the terrain slowing me down a bit, I wasn’t expecting to be going that slow, but I still pushed my hardest.

That is my problem. When casually riding, I still end up in Zone 4-5, trying to finish as fast as possible, regardless if my goal is time or distance. I mean… this is a rail trail… Isn’t it supposed to be about fun and leisure, not blowing up at 186bpm for no reason other than trying to go faster? I don’t race, but this is still off-season.

How do people tell their selves to go slower? Do they bring along their girlfriend/wife (ba dum tsssssh!)? About 2/3rds of the way through the ride, I told myself that redlining this is silly, and I should just be going aerobic… I planned on keeping my heart rate around 140-150.

Didn’t happen. I don’t even think I grabbed my waterbottle until mile 12 or something? I did stop at the Tucker County border (unintentionally) and took some photos and video. Awesome rock walls with ice and snow aplenty. I had to jump over a two foot wide creek to get some of these shots, and this made me feel like a genius wearing carbon road shoes… I never said I was brilliant.

joey's bike shop

Elkins, WV

The Purple Fiddle

Kingsford Charcoal

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Went over to Elkins, and hung out with the Millers, and Joey/Mandi of Joey’s Bike Shop this past Sunday.  I attended their semi-regular Shingletree Shuffle group ride, and may I tell you, it was possibly one of the best ‘cold rides’ I have ever done with a bunch of other people. I’m starting to believe that Elkins, and its surrounding area has some of the best riding territory, bar none.

By the way, here’s some footage; sorry for the shake, I was holding the camera in my hand:

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If you didn’t know about ToTC, check this out: http://wvcycling.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/tour-of-tucker-county-go/
All photos can be clicked on for larger size~

Check back for more photos, and video footage once the material is processed.

Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO! Tour of Tucker County, GO!I

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After finishing a scheduled appointment in Elkins, I pulled out the cross bike that I ever so conveniently stashed in the vehicle the night before and headed off to complete the Elkins to Parsons section and turn around. I had been on the rail-trail once before, with a friend of mine, and we pedaled at blistering speeds. he ended up taking a corner in the gate sections too hard, and ended up crashing.

I’ll sadly admit that I also hit a car barrier when I clipped one of palisades with my MTB handlebars, and ate dirt; it was not a pretty sight. To my defense, my handlebars were (I’m guessing..) 76 cm apart, when my handlebars were 60 cm wide… Yeah…

This most recent ride on my cross bike with 42 cm wide handlebars made cruising all around a breeze. Little hesitation was taken for slowing down for these barriers, and I was fortunate enough to not see another bicycle on the trail the entire time. This parked Jetta was as close as I came to passing another two-wheeled object on the trail:

There were many people jogging and walking on the trail, and even a family pushing their gaggle (three) baby strollers along a paved section. Being on the rail-trail is a desirable thing not only of exercise, but due to the scenic nature and geographic variety along the way. Most of the path follows the river, and you also ride past a lot of farm land with different kind of animals; I like making noises at the cows… but they too often run away in response :( Several spots along the trail were also carved out of a hill or mountainside, displaying jagged rocks, or layers of history to be seen and appreciated.

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The photographic opportunities on the rail-trail are limitless. I only brought a Kodak Zi8 portable webcam with me, but I was still able to get some great footage/shots of the area around me:

Video:

Macro:

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This looked like I could eat it! :o Spring Garden Mix, I say!

Bike Photo-ops

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Right before reaching Parsons, you come across a small industrial complex with the smell of pine, then you see a mountain of sawdust and wood mulch. It might have been the biggest mulch pile I have ever seen in my life…. I want to say it was 9 to 12 meters high, it was ridic. This was all behind closed gates for the Kingsford corporation! That’s right! The little charcoal briquettes that people use for campfires are made in West Virginia! This alone was worth the trip!

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I finally made it to Parsons, and I know this by seeing the Sheetz. Several people replied to my question of “What is there in Parsons?” by saying: “Sheetz.” I’m sure there are more interesting places to go and visit, but my lycra-clad self wasn’t interested in romping around off the bike for too long.

The ride back to Elkins was met with strong headwinds which were more demoralizing than anything. I was ready to get back to Elkins and scarf down some Taco Bell. Since it was an out-and-back, not too many things were worth highlighting or speaking about that were not yet covered. I did see a creepy old waterworks plant with an open door. I was tempted to go in, but there might have been some Parsons equivalent of Crazy Carson in there or something…

I also saw another place which I swear had to be a crack house or something. There is always a nice Nissan 350Z parked by it, but the trailer is so crappy looking… Must be a meth dealer or something :o

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All in all, the ride was great. The terrain is very forgiving, and about 1/5th? of it is paved. Pace on a mountain bike can be kept at about 24 kph, without overexerting one’s self. I would suggest anyone looking for a good recovery ride to come and try it out; or if you are wanting to make a day out of it, ride all the way to Thomas!

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Hah, the title reeled you in, no?

While going down the rail-trail in Elkins, I was cruising along and kept riding past old farmhouses with tons of crap laying around them. I thought to myself

This would be a great area for the American Picker dudes

Lo and behold, I end up just pacing myself faster and faster without noticing, all while pretending to be Mike Wolfe and freestyling all over that rail trail like there was money to be made. It was a blast.

Take a look at some of these dumps!

Is that a TV outside???

This isn't a beater, Its a classic! >.>;;

Gold Mine :O

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On my continuing quest of visiting every bike shop in West Virginia, I stopped in Elkins to see what Joey’s Bike Shop was all about.

After Arriving, Joey and I got to talking, and the interview enlightened me with this information:

Joey’s Bike Shop was started three years ago, and Joey and his wife are the sole proprietors and employees. Why’d he start the shop? (more…)

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While Route 33 itself is not a road that is the best for cycling, it is like a vein home for so many road and mountain rides as a way to get home.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about Rt33 as it pertains to WV:

US 33 extends 248 miles (399 km) in West Virginia from the Ohio River to the Virginia state line. Shortly after entering West Virginia, US 33 intersects with I-77.

After passing through the town of Ripley, WV, US 33 joins US 119 at Spencer, WV. The road then passes through rural areas of Roane, Calhoun, Gilmer, and Lewis counties.

US 33 Intersects Interstate 79 at Weston, WV. US 33 from Interstate 79 east is 4 lane, built to Appalachian Development Highway System and is part of Corridor H. The 4 lane continues on through rural areas of Upshur, Barbour, and Randolph counties.

At Harding, WV, US 250 joins US 33 for several miles. At Elkins, WV US 33 joins SR 55, and returns to a 2 lane road, except for a seven mile (11 km) section of 4 lane across Kelly Mountain between Canfield, WV and Bowden, WV. US 33 joins SR 28 at Seneca Rocks, WV, and continues through rural areas of Pendleton County, WV.

US 220 joins US 33 for a brief time through the town of Franklin, WV. The road continues on into the mountains where it crosses the state line into Rockingham County, VA.

Off the top of my head, I can think of five to ten routes that end up taking me home via this freeway with signs all over the place showing that it is a registered and dedicated bicycle path. Some may say that it is dangerous, but a two lane road with a six-foot (or wider) shoulder to ride on keeps me feeling pretty secure. The stretch of road that I am usually on is about 41 miles long, or 1/6th of its entire WV length. This span is from Weston to Elkins and goes right by my home of Buckhannon. Every once in a while I use it to test new bikes, or TT equipment for reviewing, or to climb the nasty Buckhannon Mountain.

(more…)

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