Saturday, March 24, 2007

Twist 'n Flow

Greetings from sunny Virginia, finally catching up on the blog update while on vacation. We arrived last Sunday afternoon to some slightly chilly VA temps (still in the 50's though.) The weather has steadily improved all week and so has the riding. With the help of my friend Chris Martens, a former Michigander, now a Williamsburg 'local' we began our Tour de VA. Monday we went to a Park/Trail called New Quarter, a good initiation to the local MTB scene. The trail is fairly twisty & technical with a few roots to contend with but a great amount of trail in a relatively small area, around 6-7 miles with some pretty good descents and climbs even a few bridge & ramp features at the trailhead.
The next day Amber wanted to get familiar with her road bike 'on the road!' We found a new multi-use trail and set off. Not exactly what we had in mind for a road ride, kind of like the bike path from Bay Harbor to Charlevoix, paved, away from the road & traffic with a few wooden bridges...and it is a work in progress. We did a little bit of packed gravel sections between paved ones hoping they would connect-almost a little more cyclo-cross but it gave Amber a good feel for her new bike and type of riding.
Wednesday turned cool again, overcast with temps in the 50's - a good day for a Mt. Bike ride at a place Chris directed me to, Freedom Park. Due to the cool weather, I was the only bike out on the trail. Definitely a good find and well maintained by a local MTB club, this park will eventually have around 25 miles of trails but the current offering is quite adequate. I logged about 10+ miles with only minimal repeats, but that was only because I turned around, rode the trail backwards to a fork for some fresh trail and more miles, well worth it! The only complaint I have is that the map at the trailhead is oriented upside down so it is a bit hard to get your bearing. Thursday, Amber and I met Chris back at Freedom with our road bikes. The park is a great place to park, the entry drive is about a mile long and you can ride a great loop that follows some country roads and returns to the park entrance making approximately a 10 mile round trip. Amber & the Chris's rode one loop then Chris & I did a repeat loop while Amber took a break & hiked some of the trails. We definitely pushed the limits on the second lap & it shows that Martens has been road riding much longer than I have...he kicked my butt.
Friday promised to be much warmer so we planned a day off the bikes and took a trip to Virginia Beach, about 45 minutes SE of W-burg. Today Chris & I returned to the Mt. Bikes with a journey to York River State Park. A $3 entry fee was worth the experience, this was the most fun I've had on my bike in a while (I'm glad it's spring & there's more fun to be had.) The trail has two sections, a beginner/intermediate called Laurel Glen only about 2 miles but much more intermediate than beginner with a fast descent and wicked return climb. The second section is called Marl Ravine and was definitely intermediate to advanced and where the trail isn't twisty it flows beautifully. There were a fair number of roots to negotiate but that just kept us honest. This ride was my payback to Martens for him kicking my ass road biking...it is good to be from a hilly area. The Marl loop is about 6 miles and a blast, well planned & maintained with a good amount of ups & downs to keep you in line. I have been pleasantly surprised at the geography variations in and around W-burg as well as the trails. If I have an opportunity, I would definitely return with the bikes. As for me, that seems long winded enough and sorry for the lack of photos, the biz center computer lacks the upload option. I'll try to include a few upon my return. Hope to be riding with every one in MI soon...we've got to get in shape for the TT3-day ride!

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