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Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

I visited Braxton County for Christmas, and ended up doing more than just riding while down there.

First off, what’s up with the weather? All week, it’s been in the 40’s and 50’s, when last year, we had 18 inches of snow!

snow in west virginia

December 20th, 2010

snow in west virginia

December 20th, 2010

Heck, Yukon Charlie can even tell you that I bought a pair of snowshoes this year, thinking that there was going to be a time where it no longer made sense to ride in the snow…

Well, in Braxton, there’s not a speck of snow, unless you count the morning frost on the grass and your car’s windshield. This weather just invites you to go out and do something, anything that makes you appreciate and thankful that it isn’t snowing.

First day, the girlfriend and I went on a dirty-road ride to some general store-esque shop that provides goods for the local residents, since the closest Kroger or something of that sort is 15-20 miles away. If you’ve ever been to Duck, West Virginia (Yes, Duck.)… I’m sure you’re familiar with Nottingham’s store, off of Route 4.

I took a ton of photos of Llamas, self-made town signs, and rope bridges to get to their home. Most of these pictures were taken with a disposable camera that I got from an Amgen Tour advertiser and decided to use it while I could still get it developed.

This footage shows the lovely scenery that exists in WV:

Here’s a few of the pictures I took:

bike rides in braxton countystrange creek, wv nottingham's store route 4 braxton county bike rides in braxton county

cycling in braxton county strange creek new bridge frametown wv

The new bridge in Strange Creek

strange creek methodist church rope bridge

A rope bridge to cross to someone's house. This was behind the Strange Creek Baptist Church

The next day, we took the dogs out to the meeting point of the Elk River and Birch River, hiking around on the girlfriends cattle trails and tractor paths. Her dog was very excited, ran around in one of the really shallow areas, and we climbed a small waterfall and decided to take some pictures.

elk river birch river strange creek frametown gassaway bike ride hike

Waterfall!

golden retriever dog duck hunting hunting dog

She was ready to roam the whole farm!

hiking rock climbing bike rides elk river birch river strange creek frametown

I wanted to take some *film* photographs from the ledge!

While hiking isn’t my forte, and I don’t think I could do it on a day-to-day basis… It was fun romping around and exploring land that I’ve never ventured on before.

The refreshing part of this non-cycling excursion was just enjoying this weather!

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Even the worst rides have great opportunites for taking pics.

For exaple, today’s ride ended up taking me on trails (or lackthereof) that were so rutted out, there were creeks, craters, mud bogs, or rock gardens, luckily, the elevation of an average 8% (felt more like 20% up or down) allowed for some pretty sweet downhills after the steep hike-a-bikes.

 

I went exploring at our local airport, hearing there was a trail around it…. FAIL. There was nothing but tall grass that went over my handlebars.

After that, I was looking for a way out, and ended up on a deer trail that led me onto a private farm. There were a few cool things to take pics of, but this one was the best op:

Eventually, I made my way onto a familiar road, after having some hereford cows mooing at me for being in their pins (on accident). Decided to take a detour on a gas road I had not been on for a while. This linked up to a VERY STEEP power line trail. Another crappy travel, another great pic:

A view of a good portion of Buckhannon‘s downtown! Look at the powerline angles! 😮

By the time I got home, I was tired, hungry, and cut up like no one’s business. I even managed to find a tick on my arm 😦

After stopping, I could really tell I was bushwacking in deep grasses…. Take a look at my rear hub:

I really wish I would have gone on a road ride with my buddies, but every once in a while, it never hurts to try to break new ground, no?

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The velomihottie is also a runner, and was outside in the rain at 6am this morning. This kind of dedication to one’s sport is awe inspiring. Don’t get me wrong now, I haven’t picked up running, but I was motivated to go out and ride in today’s heavy downpour. By the time I got home from work, and was kitted up, the roads were already steaming and evaporating the rain off of the hot surfaces. Very eerie!

I’ve been working on a local trail for about two days now, and since it rained today, this was the perfect time to see how well my modifications to the trail have held up. There are about twenty-something coroplast arrows creating a trail path that maximizes the available land, while creating a very efficient and fun topographic course. All I did was cut up some coroplast boxes, make a cardboard stencil, and spraypaint each one with the little arrow design. To create a little less than thirty of them took about half an hour from idea to completion.

mtb trail coroplast signs arrows directions

I’ve been placing them about five feet from the ground, 6-10 feet before a turn on flat sections, and about fifteen feet before a downhill section:

Very easy to see, no?

I’ve dug up some edges around ponds like the one above to allow the water from the rutted out ATV potholes to runoff down the hill, or disperse into wooded/grassy areas. This took a lot of time, but I’ve been wanting to do a lot of this since 2009 or so.

I’m having trouble determining what to do for one section of trail that the ATV’s have decimated with their tires, and there is about a fifty foot section of horizontal ruts full of water. Video below:

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Now that the cross season is winding down, what are most of you guys doing to keep fit with snow right around the corner?

We all know about weight training and indoor trainers/spin classes, wbut what else is out there? Is running even an option? What about rowing machines? I hear those are intense, but pretty expensive

It would be nice to have something like a Surly Pugsley, and just be able to float on top of the snow and still pedal.

surly puglsey

Big Wheels 😮

As much fun as this would be, being on the bike year round can possibly be a deal breaker, and potentially lower your interest for riding midway through your next season.

Who has time to start a new off season hobby though? Cycling is expensive enough, what is it like trying to pick up a second sport that helps with the cardio aspect during the winter? I’m tempted to get a pair of skis, and while I’m hoping it isn’t that expensive, I still know it is going to cost more than a pair of running shoes.

Hiking! Even Chris Carmichael believes that this one is a winner. In his book, Time Crunched Cyclist, he states:

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

But, you say, you’re a cyclist, and you’ve made the choice to focus on the sport you love. That’s great, but more well-rounded fitness gives you more options for activities and adventures and won’t take anything away from your abilities on the bike. I live at the foot of Pikes Peak, and I know cyclists who have lived here for a decade yet have not experienced the sense of accomplishment and wonder that comes from hiking to the summit. It’s not a particularly difficult climb; in fact, it is conquered every year by thousands of out-of-shape tourists. But it’s a nearly impossible challenge for highly specialized cyclists because the 13-mile trail is too hard on their feet and hips, and they struggle under the weight of packs if they choose to turn the adventure into a 2-day camping trip. I’m all for maximizing sport-specific performance, but unless you’re making a living as a cyclist, I also believe that the benefits of nonspecific fitness are worth pursuing.

Okay readers, tell me what you are going to do this off-season, and for what duration/intensity?

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