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Old 09-04-2012, 03:35 PM   #121
jdrocks OP
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The turn on Boyer put me back on a Blue Ridge Trail road, transitioning to MineMountain, and I was back in the George Washington.



The maintenance on these roads had always been hit and miss, the steep grades can easily wash out in a single big rain event. Once high velocity sheet flow cuts into the road surface, the end is near, the next big rain might close the road.



There was a “Private Road” sign nailed to a tree marking the boundary of a development someone had started a while back by subdividing a piece of mountain land, there are numerous examples around the general area. As far as I knew, the road was public, I didn’t stop. The road was well rutted in places, no problem on the bike, but a slow, jarring ride in a vehicle. Plenty of “For Sale” signs along this road, no kidding.

MineMountain intersects with WoodstockTower in a switchback corner, still gravel, still climbing. The BRT route would have jogged slightly southwest to pick up Powell Mountain Trail at Little Fort, but I remembered this as a user fee trail and I didn’t have a day use permit. No matter, WoodstockTower is an interesting stretch of road. Climbing to the top, there’s a monument with a brass plaque inscribed “WoodstockTower”, one of the first Civilian Conservation Corp projects from back in ’33. The plaque had been badly defaced, looked like some freakin’ dummy even built a fire on the ledge in front of it, a vacuous mind at play. Where’s that ballbat?



Once over the top, WoodstockTower descended generally west down the mountain, caution required through half a dozen off camber switchbacks, any vehicles climbing the mountain are 100% guaranteed to be in your lane in these corners, swinging so wide that they will chase you off the road.



So, I was prepared when I saw a car creeping up the mountain, pulled over and stopped uphill from the switchback, right foot on the edge of the ditch, and one of those old Cadillacs, big as the QEII of the same era, still nearly ran into me with a hay wagon turn. The driver was geriatric, way too small straw cowboy hat stuck on his head, squinting through the windshield…man, someone should have yanked his drivers license 25 year ago, ya know, back when he was still in his 90’s. His window was down, and he passed so close I could have reached over and shook his hand, except he was so intent on the road, I don’t think he ever really saw me. HI-VIZ doesn’t work worth a damn if you happen to encounter the functionally blind, like blind as a freakin’ bat.

The road did have some straight downhill sections, didn’t pay to build a bunch of speed, there was a 180 degree switchback waiting on the other end. Down to the North Fork of the Shenandoah, nice ride, uneventful, and that Cadillac was the only vehicle I had seen since the turn at FortValley. One vehicle in the entire distance, and it nearly ran slam into me.



The bridge was a good vantage point to get a look at the river, low water in a tranquil setting.





Burnshire, then Cemetary, and the residential neighborhood got denser, a few jogs, and I was down to highway 11 in Woodstock, no lack of traffic here.

(to be continued…)

jdrocks screwed with this post 09-04-2012 at 03:49 PM
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:38 PM   #122
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:05 PM   #123
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enjoy the read, i'd like to get down to one of your RTBs one day.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:34 AM   #124
motopreserve
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Love the report JDRocks! Have been trying my hand at foraging for good gravel up in Vermont, ever since I first got my V, and read your reports (and build thread) this past Spring. Look forward to more...
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:38 AM   #125
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by motopreserve View Post
Love the report JDRocks! Have been trying my hand at foraging for good gravel up in Vermont, ever since I first got my V, and read your reports (and build thread) this past Spring. Look forward to more...
thanks, yeah, you're close to some very good riding when you want a break from the city. your Versys will handle graded gravel right out of the box, and some simple mods will make it even better.

pm ADV inmate markbvt, he knows all the roads up there and i'm sure would be happy to point you in the right direction.

more report on the way.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:50 AM   #126
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Thanks for the heads up to markbvt. I'll give him a shout.

Not sure what mods I'll get into for this bike, but some new rubber with some grip is up next!
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:27 AM   #127
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Not sure what mods I'll get into for this bike, but some new rubber with some grip is up next!
the TKC80 front is now available for your stock 17" wheel, a good gravel tire. the introductory price is a little high, but i expect it will come down. i've run quite a few TKC rears in 150/70-17, another very good tire for your bike.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:41 AM   #128
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I thoroughly enjoy reading your reports! Best read I've had in a while!
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:59 AM   #129
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the TKC80 front is now available for your stock 17" wheel, a good gravel tire. the introductory price is a little high, but i expect it will come down. i've run quite a few TKC rears in 150/70-17, another very good tire for your bike.
I don't want to get this thread side tracked - but thanks for the tips on the TKC's. I have read all the tire reports I could get through on the versys forum, and while these look to be a nice choice, I'm wondering if there might be something with a little better life/ratio (road vs dirt) for the majority of my riding - which is the gravel around here, otherwise known as Brooklyn pavement! :)
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:22 AM   #130
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hey nuggets, you should be riding out there.

new installment on the way.
I got out that way in June. 5 days camped off the bike. Absolute blast.

Got little ones at home, so this dog has a short leash.

As soon as #1 can reach passenger pegs, GAME ON

Ride report is awesome
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:27 AM   #131
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I thoroughly enjoy reading your reports! Best read I've had in a while!
thanks. Hardleys, and some bizarre bicycle madness coming up.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:31 AM   #132
jdrocks OP
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I don't want to get this thread side tracked...
heck, all my threads get side tracked. PM any questions, glad to help.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:34 AM   #133
jdrocks OP
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I got out that way in June. 5 days camped off the bike. Absolute blast.
now you know your way around, ya just need to finagle a pass to get back out there.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:48 AM   #134
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now you know your way around, ya just need to finagle a pass to get back out there.
While we are sidetracking your thread; that trip never had a ride report thread, but DAAANG put together a ride report video: http://youtu.be/vZoqYde0WVQ?hd=1

Maybe you would like to try all those water crossings (all on the same road) with the RAT?

Might want to bring a friend for that one just in case.

PM me for locations.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:57 AM   #135
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by nuggets View Post
While we are sidetracking your thread; that trip never had a ride report thread, but DAAANG put together a ride report video: http://youtu.be/vZoqYde0WVQ?hd=1

Maybe you would like to try all those water crossings (all on the same road) with the RAT?

Might want to bring a friend for that one just in case.

PM me for locations.
i'm more of a preservationist these days...as in, preserve the bike, preserve the rider.

comes from traveling so many places where it would be very inconvenient to break, or get broken.
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