Our local XC trails were like this.
From Scott’s camera…
Our local XC trails were like this.
From Scott’s camera…
So the annual Icycle race is this weekend at Fontana Village. I usually swill a six pack during practice and then feel really crappy for my race run. Good times huh? Anyway, this year has been a little different for me as I approach the end of January. I rode almost constantly last year through the winter and I suffered the worst burn out I have ever had. By mid-summer I didn’t even want to race anymore. It forced me to take off a solid month off the DH bike after a very poor showing at the first Snowshoe race. Even with a month off the DH bike I came back and had my best race of the season at the second Snowshoe race. I felt revitalized and attacked the course. So I have to some how balance fitness and a mental aggression. Enter the moto. While riding a moto, I can jump back on a bike and feel pretty comfortable handling a cycle which weights 160 lb less. Here has been my mtb riding since Dec 1.
1 XC ride Jan 1.
1 XC ride Jan. 26.
2 skatepark rides on the DJ
Most notably is the lack of DH. Heck, I don’t even have a DH bike built and mostly that has been by design. Living 20 minutes from Windrock’s DH runs puts me in a position to get DH runs, as many as I want, very quickly. When the time comes, and it will, I’ll be back on the mountain. At this point I am just polishing my skills anyway. This last year I found out that I can have all the fitness to win races, but when my mind didn’t want to unlock that fitness it wasn’t any good. I came back in the latter part of the season and was much more pleased with my race results compared to the early season. I put it all on burn out. This isn’t my job and I’m not gunning for a spot on the national team. So what is the point in pushing myself to a point where I don’t enjoy it anymore? The answer is none.
This year, I’ve got a different plan. Starting in mid Feb. I’m going to start to pick up the XC ride frequency and dirt jumping. By April 1, I hope to be doing regular XC rides with good interval sprints. I’m going to stay off the DH bike until then as well. The moto, XC rides and dirt jumping will keep my skills sharp enough. I want to head into Massanutten and the US Open fit and hungry. Add all that with regular moto and a couple hare scramble races and I think I’ll be okay.
So Devin and I keep exploring more of the Windrock’s property for the good stuff and we have found the cash cow. So far we have ~15 miles at Brown’s Flat and ~20 miles at Duncan’s Flat. We kept hearing that there was triple that up above Lake City and I’d saw we are on our way to finding it. So far I’d say we have found ~20 miles of trail and every time we look around the next corner we find more. Saturday we met up at 10 and rode a hard 30 miles of singletrack and doubletrack for a solid 5 1/2 hours. We doubled back on ourselves a couple of times, found a few dead ends, but we never got lost. We found this place called the Caryville Flats and I have to say that I have never seen anything like it in this part of the country. Very unique. I am sure its creation is coal mining related, but I can’t wait to check it out again.
This little section of trail isn’t tough, I just like the background.
This is much harder than it looks on video. You sort of have to ride a small rock spine down into the creek. The consequence is that you’d high-side and tumble a good ways down into the creek. But just look how steep the terrain is.
This is the Caryville Flats. The video doesn’t do the depth of field justice. Its much larger than it seems.
As I have said many, many times I have too many hobbies. I guess that is better than just watching TV. But with the cold weather forecasted I set aside a long weekend to hunt with my dad down in North Alabama and SE Tennessee. We have hunted Lake Guntersville in Scottsboro, AL for about 3 years now and while you might see a thousand birds we have yet to bring home enough birds to make it worth it. The water gets pounded by hunters and the ducks get super wary. So getting birds to decoy is near impossible. We hunted Friday afternoon and all day Saturday and didn’t take a single bird. We got up and headed to Nickajack Sunday morning. Nickajack is the lake just above Guntersville, but is in Tennessee just outside Chattanooga. We were the only hunters and saw lots of birds working closely to the decoys. Had I brought some mallard decoys I think we could have limited out on mallards. But in the end we got a banded canada goose, a lesser scaup, a greater scaup, and a drake mallard. I think we will hunt more of Nickajack and less of Guntersville.
I suck up rocks.
Again, another Damian banger. He may not think so, but I do. This was at a Snowshoe race two years ago. Its doesn’t seem that long ago, but I guess it is. This can be an awkward rock just in a hard right hand turn into a jump. I tried to stay low and carry speed. But notice the socks.
Been on the dirt bike a lot lately and I am feeling the fire and excitement of getting back on the DH bike. Which ironically is why I got the dirt bike. I was getting burned out on the DH bike and needed a new challenge. Its good to feel excited and energized towards the big bike at this point. I’m going to let it grow until late February though. I’m still going to just ride the moto, a little skate park, and occasionally a trail ride or two. Its all part of my plan.
We have been looking for this guy for a couple years.
So Devin, Forrest, Ben and I had planned to team up and race the 8hr hare scramble down in Sparta, Ga. The weather didn’t look too good, so Ben backed out as we packed up (don’t think too harsh of him…). Since Durhamtown Plantation OHV Park was close by the race venue, we planned to hit it on Saturday. We got there too late to ride, but with the potential mud fest for the race and the prospect of riding the vast Durhamtown Plantation we decided to stay and just ride there on Sunday instead of racing.
It ended up being a good choice. The trails were muddy and slick. I can only imagine how impossible the race track would have gotten. DP is a really nice venue. They have 6 MX tracks and miles of singletrack and ATV doubletrack. The singletrack is TIGHT and I mean TIGHT. I had a few tree close encounters and busted up my plastic pretty good. However the best part of the weekend was getting a change to ride a good beginner friendly MX track. I rode a MX track years ago but never got comfortable on my old 125. The movie is anything but awesome. Considering I have only spent about an hour on a track ever, I am pretty impressed with myself. If nothing else, I had a blast.
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