Posts Tagged ‘Lewis County’

Went on a really fun ride in Lewis County / Weston today, and ended up by Stonecoal lake. The waterfall was flowing very fast, and since we were ahead of schedule, Tiffin and I decided to stop for a photo opportunity.

Last year, the waterfall was trickling like a leaky sink by August, so it is always exciting to see it flow this fast!

Click for Larger Image

Thank God for this beautiful weather, and I hope the snow stays away! I need to lose a couple pounds!

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Went of a long ride today which took me to a part of the next town that has not yet thawed out. Going a bit further, I passed by the largest body of water I have ever seen that was frozen over. I had to take photos, unfortunately the roads turned to pure packed snow/ice mixture. It was a mess.

A mess it was.

Frozen Lake Footage:

I rushed up back from the shoreline when I heard a vehicle approaching from afar, making sure that my carbon fibre wonder was going to be okay and in my sight. (That’s right, I treat it like a child.) When the vehicle arrived, I was still messing around with my camera, trying to place it in my waterproof bag, and put it in my rear zip pocket. The big, roaring junky old Bronco stopped in front of me and a little old lady started talking. She went on about of I went out toward her way, there were some loose dogs. I asked her if she lived in the area I was headed to, she said no, wished me good luck and went on her way.

I thought to myself, Well, wasn’t that awkwardly nice of her warning me of some loose dogs? I personally wouldn’t have thought about warning a cyclist about that. Not that I’m a jackass or anything, but it just wouldn’t have came across my mind. I was glad she was willing to stop and take the time to do so; it really made the ride worth a little bit more that day.

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Mother Nature did not let us down by giving us more than 30 inches of snow in the past few weeks. I have been growing restless of the trainer more and more each day; luckily the weather is temporarily breaking, and I was very thankful for this lovely Sunday Ride!

West Virginia weather has been as fickle as a paper doll, as predictable as a woman, and as nasty as that one mother in-law that you hesitate inviting every year for Christmas. The snow has been coming down either in several day stints, or in major ?downpours? (is that how you say it for snow???) then pittling around for a few days after. There is still a foot of snow on some places outside, and it is starting to ice over. Many are predicting that mid-March, that we will have another blizzard-type condition of white, cold, powdery, motivation-killing snow.

I decided to ride along the local testing grounds to see if my fitness has waned or improved. According my garmin connect profile, my cadence has increased overall, speed has not; surprisingly enough… I am faster on the climbs. This does not mean I am becoming a grimpeur, but I guess some of this winter training is working.

Another great thing about the testing grounds is that you get to see changes or improvements to the area. I saw a collapsed house that I was expecting that to happen for years, I saw that farmers have their new collection of livestock, and that either horses like relaxing at the top of giant hills, or someone has placed a horse-shaped sillhouette at the peak of their property. The deer are also back out; somehow knowing that hunting season is over and they can continue their scurrying through these rural areas with little or no reprecussions of being shot just like Bambi’s momma.

At least there are quality places like this that you could have your trophy’s head placed above your mantle:

For a few weeks, the birds have been coming back in flocks, as they do every year; the ducks were no exception. I have no clue… even if it is their nature to swim around in the water… why a duck would be in water just barely above freezing point. It blows my mind. I hate tap water temperatures this time of year while washing my hands, I would hate to imagine how that feels.

When coming onto Macedonia Road, I stumbled upon several areas of road that were substandard to ride on, even with a cross bike. If I had not taken off my sunglasses, I would have believed to be riding on portions of rock gardens meant for a downhill or cross country course. 😉 Winter has really taken its toll on some of the local areas in more than one way:

At the end of this stretch of pavé, I was met by these fellows, spiked collars and all. Luckily Innotek Invisible Canine Fences™ were at work!

The Scenery and It’s People

I think the one thing I appreciate the most about West Virginia is the scenery that is provided by the widely varying terrain all around us. Everyone has something close enough to them, possibly even in their own back yard that can be appreciated and seen as a striking testament to West Virginia’s Beauty.

Sometimes nature and humans combine to create an even stronger presence on locals. For instance, take a look at this uplifting piece of local folk art (Grafitti = Art in WV?).

Nothing Could Be Truer

Right before the long stretch to montagne d’Buckhannon; A.K.A Buckhannon Mountain, A.K.A Big Bad Mamma Jamma, I passed upon an anomaly that cannot just be by the stroke of luck alone. Bum the Wonder Horse (you can read about him here.), a local celebrity was on top of one of the highest hills… or at least I think it was a real horse…

Take a look for yourself:

Bum The Wonder Horse's Home

Is that Bum The Wonder Horse??? (click for larger image)

It has to be!!!

After double-taking so many times about this Mystery Horse on a Mountain (hill), I finally reached Buckhannon Mountain. I have seen men and women broken on this mountain. When one really wants to, even though it is only 1.5 miles… This is the place you can create a gap of seconds or even minutes on someone who may not be as willing to tolerate pain as much as you, hence why Buckhannon Mountain is the local proving grounds.

"The mountain and I have an understanding. It kicks my ass, I crawl up it." - Local Resident


I have been too soft on myself this winter and now I am becoming soft. More miles need to be put in, and more physical tests of endurance need to be made before summer. I’m going to be ready, will you be?

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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.


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