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Old 04-18-2011, 04:24 PM   #1
Dorito OP
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Thumb H14XL Goes Trans West Virgina Trail with the SMIBs & Cat Herders in Tow!

So it all started on a very cold dreary winter day. Out of nowhere, I received a PM from H14XL and a idea that we should go a on a ride-about on the Trans WV trail sometime in spring. I think we all needed inspiration of something to get us through the thick of winter. His inspiration for the route was from the work that Chip had done. So, the colder the months got the more people signed up. I think at one point, we were about 18 strong.

The months dragged on, and finally spring had sprung. You know the old adage, April Showers bring May flowers. Well, shower it did on Saturday. But with 13 smiling folks we didn’t let the buckets of water falling from the heavens ruin our weekend. We had 3 days and about 750 miles planned. With the exception of the home to rendezvous point and back, there was no flat slab. The trail meandered through the hills, and over the valley through the dirt and mud, but it was all fun.

Day T-1, the majority of the herd gathered at H14XL. From what I heard, the hospitality was wonderful and the stuffed shells to die for.

Some trailered in, to preserve the knobs on their new dirt tires (this will be a very important point in 2 more days). Some slept in the trailers, and other like myself, blaster and blooch rode in the morning of Day 1. Poor blooch had his fate was sealed when the riders were up, and he was lucky number “13”. His radiator was leaking something fierce. Being a superstitous man and not desiring to meet the kind the folks at 1-800-Tow-my-ass home, he made the better judgment and headed for home. I half expected to see him on Day 2 with his other steed, but alas no arrival. The riders:

Badguy
Blaster
Blooch
Dorito
EOD3MC
H14xl
Jax
Krotchity
Mtnflow
Pomo
Twohawks
ScottP
Stacey
VaCommuter

Day 1, as I learned to hear in the Shane Watts dirt riding class (as the weather got progressively worse), to describe the deteriorating conditions as “EPIC”. Oh my, how epic the water was. But, 12 riders eagerly launched down the gravel driveway to our new adventure. The torrential downpours made helmet fogging a beast all day. The dirt roads held up well enough, with the exception of the Alternative track. By the time we were within 30 miles of the hotel or the alternate, the group had divided in half. The one group headed to the hotel and the second for the alternate. On the way to the hotel, we stopped at this pretty rock formation, even found a poorly hidden geo-cache!

However, I knew that the alternate would be formidable H14XL had ridden it a few weekends previously. The water holes get progressively worse, until the last one which was described as a 40ft pond. But as soon as I hit the tarmac for the hotel which followed the river, I knew the alternate riders would be ill-fated. The river was gushing and rushing and very brown with silt. It was somewhat an “angry” looking river. The alt riders soldiered on, and down to the first water crossing. H14XL noticed the water was at least 12 inches higher than a previously, but someone still decided to do the correct thing and get a measuring stick. Sure enough, there was no traversing the alt today and they would soon arrive back at the hotel. Day one was from Harrisonburg to WV almost exclusively on dirt. I don’t think we had a dry soul by the time we arrived at the hotel that night. Gortex gloves filled with water and were much like fish tanks. Dinner was quite night at the hotel pub, then off to dry off clothes for day 2.
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Dorito screwed with this post 04-19-2011 at 11:29 AM
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:24 PM   #2
blaster11
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Is it a clown car, or a bike staging area (notice everything is DRY?)


ScottyP --Pre trip:


EOD3MC Pre-trip


Vacommuter


TwoHawks


Blooch


Jaxobsessed


OK, I just had to put one in of the HP with the new tank and Giant Loop. Mileage was greatly improved and the Giant Loop rode like it wasn't even there so both mods were a success, now I just need to find a more aggressive tire than the TKC's for this kind of stuff.


Too wet to line up nice for a photo..


Devil's Rock


Just a neat barn

Marlinton Hotel


Sexy Jack legs in the background


Faced blurred to protect the innocent




Doing our best to dry our stuff out for day 2


Which bike is not like the other bikes...


Dinner at the hotel restaurant






A little food porn




Our fine waitress Dakoda


We meet these two guys from Jersey at breakfast on day 2




Just hanging around waiting for some guys at the beginning of day 2


Covered Bridge




Team Turtle (Definitely need more aggressive tire if she is going to do anything more than dry conditions, those are Heidenau)


Getting some measurements for a new vertical kickstand prototype (bike courtesy of Team Turtle)
















The Pearisburg Cabin
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blaster11 screwed with this post 04-19-2011 at 06:59 AM Reason: added more pictures
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:25 PM   #3
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Day 2--

In true cat hearder style, agreed that 1000 would be the start for day 2. Sprly enough, at 0800 all but 2 bikes were ready to get some chow and hit the rode. So we drove a few miles back to town and had breakfast, went back to the hotel and then waited for the last to join us as 1000. There were two alternate tracks on day 2. The first alternate, was a bit sloppy from the rain but was short enough to get everyone’s blood pumping and feeling a bit cheeky. However, the next alternate would leave more than one rider forlorn, and realizing that the terrain had beaten them. One rider hadn’t dropped a bike in 19 years, and laid it down.






Before the mud:


For me, it was an altogether demoralizing ride. I was never so happy to see the 4 mile track end. It took and army of men to push, pull and finally ride my bike out. I probably walked a 1 ˝ mile of the track on foot. I was very grateful to whore my bike out to any willing soul that would get it back to something a bit tamer. The rain on the previous day had left the clay just slick as snot. Combined with my tire combination and novice dirt skills I was totally unprepared for what that alternate had. Maybe after a long drought that trail would be friendlier, but that day it just beat me to a living pulp. On one of many occasions, one rider took it through a mud pit and then down a rocky section. He said he hoped I didn’t mind he took it a bit futher. Hell, he could have rode that bike off a cliff and I wouldn’t have cared at the time. It probably took 2 additionally hours to navigate the group though the alternate, and finally decided to slab back to Hinton to grab the two riders with enough sense to skip the alt.

Team Turtle Recovery Unit (Notice the matching mud patterns Dave had mud center to right and Bruce Left to center)...


And another Team Turtle Recovery unit..



After that a quick dinner and then off to the swanky cabin. We didn’t arrive at the cabins until 2000 or so, and it’s kind of a shame because it was very nice and I would have enjoined just hanging out a bit.







However, my hat is off to a great group of guys. Thank you for your support. EOD3MC monkiered his support as "Team Turtle Recovery Team"..
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Dorito screwed with this post 04-19-2011 at 04:32 AM
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:45 PM   #4
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Day 3

Decidedly there are some very talented riders among us in the group. I reckon that a few of them could probably ride a greased rodeo pig through a ring of fire. However, through various events day 3 the day began with 4 less riders. One had a flooded basement to deal with, another had work so he left the evening before, and Blaster and I decided to live to fight another day. Nursing a pulled leg muscle after trying to carve a new trail for me around the alternate the day before, we decided to leave the group and highway slab home.

To Kevin and all the riders, thanks for an awesome time!!

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Dorito screwed with this post 04-19-2011 at 04:35 AM
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:16 PM   #5
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I'm so bummed I wasn't there to suffer through the mud with you guys.

It seems as though the quote in your Sig is quite appropriate.
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:56 PM   #6
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Lets all go riding in the rain...


Enjoy the views from reddish knob...


Dodge some storm damage...



Recruit members for the Team Turtle Recovery Unit (TTRU)..


It quit raining for a minute and we didn't know what to do...


We checked out the first Alt and decided it would be more than we wanted further along, so we'll hit it a dryer day...


Headed back to meet the others at the motel, end of day 1
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:22 PM   #7
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On saturday we rode in the rain until it stopped around 3. The Sun came out long enough to dry some of our gear at the motel. Walking to the motel's dinner Dave and I noticed little bits of hail hitting the parking lot. Sunday morning (day 2) we saw a few snow flurries but it turned out to be a perfect day of sunshine. You have to be prepaired for anything in WVA.

Riding in the sunshine...


Taking in the sights...


Found some dirt..





Found some mud...










The mud bit just about everyone, very snotty..



TTRU in action...




Go Jax Go...




Stacy nailing his line...
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:40 PM   #8
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Day 3.

We lost a few riders to work schedules, flooding, and injuries but the eight of us pressed on....

The pad....sweet.


We found some more storm damage....



Not a problem ...













Badguy was doing his part by picking up litter along the way, way to go badguy....



It's a piece of glass if you can't tell..






Good times...maybe the other guys will fill in the gaps.

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Old 04-19-2011, 03:47 AM   #9
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Jack, maybe I shoulda cut the spigot back some.


Kevin, any ideas on waterproof Route Sheets?
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:33 AM   #10
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More pictures added and sizes increased for your viewing pleasure.

Thanks for all the help guys I had a great time!!!!!!
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:53 AM   #11
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Looks like a blast!!!
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:43 AM   #12
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Fantastic ride and team spirit! TeamTurtle definitely merits the big heart award! Thanks for the detailed report and pics
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:41 AM   #13
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Wow, a hack on trails like that? Awesome!

I'm sorry I missed that trip, looks like it was a great time. Hopefully it'll be repeated soon, and I can tag along!
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:17 AM   #14
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Laugh ...a few more photos



Dryin' out



Home away from Home






Our most disinguished host and guide!



So sorry I had to leave early on the last day... to come straight home to the aftermath of a flooded basement... Breakfast stop in Goshen VA








Thanks again to Kevin and all the riders....it was a memorable trip for sure!

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Old 04-19-2011, 09:51 AM   #15
H14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intothenew View Post
Jack, maybe I shoulda cut the spigot back some.


Kevin, any ideas on waterproof Route Sheets?
After Saturday I am convinced nothing is waterproof.

It wasn't just the fact you had the spigot wide open, you threw the whole bag at us. We had rain, sleet, snow, hail, and lightning. This bunch of diehards I believe would do it again though in a second. I spent Thursday and Friday waiting for word of last minute cancellations but not a one. I don't believe you could put thirteen people together and have a better group than this. Folks stepped up to lead, sweep, ride, push, pull, or lift other rider's bikes, and share their beer(thanks Jax). Oh, and their flask as well(thanks Mtnflow and Twohawks). Dorito already thanked the people that helped get her bike out of some very rough spots, but when we found ourselves late in the day far from our destination and absolutely whipped physical and mentally she bailed the rest of us out by finding a new route and led a pretty haggard group to the cabins. Thank You Dana.

Not a very good picture, but this is what the radar looked like when we left Saturday morning. We were heading for the yellow/orange stuff hanging over West Virginia.



We never saw another bike, but then again much of the day you could barely make out the rider in front of you so maybe they were out there.
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