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Old 01-01-09, 05:11 PM   #1
buelito
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2009 off to a great start

A friend and I drove to Front Royal, VA to do a new year's day ride on Skyline Drive. About 10 miles from home I suddenly realized I had left my shoes at home, so we made a u-turn and went back for them. So much for an 'early' start... we had hoped to be riding by 10 or so in the morning-- letting the sun 'warm' the day a bit. As it was, we didn't start riding until 11, and if the day warmed up, I didn't notice. It was in the mid 20's... my bottles froze (although the gatorade was more of a slushy). We ended up riding 46 miles. It was a gorgeous day, blue sky, visibility was incredible-- more than usual--and traffic was sparse. We did see one other biker on the return half of the ride. I was adequately dressed for the weather, but tended to overheat on the long climbs, and to freeze on the long descents. What little was flat and 'false flat' was pretty good. Of course neither one of us brought a camera

This was a day of firsts... yesterday I bought a used SARIS roof rack on craigslist, and used it to transport our bikes to the start. The bike I rode was the one I bought for $200 on craigslist over Thanksgiving-- it was the first 'non-commute' ride on the bike. It performed really well, but I have to move the seat back about an inch... I didn't realize how the seat position on the bike was affecting my climbing while seated. I came very close to sliding off the seat. I did a lot fo the climbing standing.

All in all, a great start to the New Year--

I hope everyone has a healthy and happy 2009-

train safe--
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Old 01-01-09, 10:27 PM   #2
Kurt Erlenbach
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Congrats on a good first ride. You're already 46 miles ahead of me for the year.
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Old 01-02-09, 01:40 AM   #3
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Just wish I could get out on a ride but still a couple of days before I go back to work. Doesn't look as though the weather will play ball for me though. Think I am becoming a woose as all I want is a bit of sun so that I could feel warm on a ride.

Saddle position is very important for me and although a stretched out position may feel comfortable on the flat- uphill and that saddle has to be right. Just far enough forward for the knees to be above the centre of the pedals and I am fine. Any further back and those slopes get tough.

And as you say- A Good start to the new year
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Old 01-02-09, 03:31 AM   #4
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Cool! I was out riding in that area yesterday too. Rode from Marshall to Hume to Front Royal and back via Dismal Hollow etc. 63 miles. Didn't see any other bikers though. It was cold, but the sun really helped. I may try to hit Skyline Drive again soon if it's a warmish day. It's kind of a drag having the waysides closed, so there's no place to get warm if you stop for any length of time.
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Old 01-02-09, 07:49 AM   #5
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It's kind of a drag having the waysides closed, so there's no place to get warm if you stop for any length of time.
Actually all the rest rooms were open--at least at mile 5 and 24-- and the ranger at the entrance said they would be open 24/7 as of January 4... our stops were minimal, given the cold,m but we did stop at several overlooks to admire the view--we could see to the horizon, where there were some clouds, but really the best visibility I have had on Skyline in years. Congrats on 63-- it was a cold day

train safe-
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Old 01-02-09, 09:25 AM   #6
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Wow-didn't realize you were so close to Skyline Dr. Must be nice!!

I got in about 40 miles.......didn't see anyone else riding.

It was cool-temps in the 30's and clear/sunny skies but very little wind. My fingers were my only cold spot.
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Old 01-02-09, 09:27 AM   #7
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Sounds nice, if a bit cold. Skyline is a great ride. So, 46 miles is probably the north entrance to the top of Hogback, or on to How Wallow flats? The climb up Hogback---both sides---always kicks my butt much more than it looks like it should from the distance and pitch of the climb.

I have a real fondness for Skyline since it was the first time I road anything that could be called a "climb". Some of the best riding in Va.
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Old 01-02-09, 08:12 PM   #8
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... So, 46 miles is probably the north entrance to the top of Hogback, or on to How Wallow flats? The climb up Hogback---both sides---always kicks my butt much more than it looks like it should from the distance and pitch of the climb.
Actually, because of the cold, and the fact we didn't want to start out too hot (sweating up the first 5 mile hill), we ended up driving to the top of the first hill and parking the car there--at mile 5. We then rode to an overlook past mile marker 28 and back... we did the tough climb you describe--on both sides. Also, we saved ourselves from freezing on the last 5 mile downhill--which in the summer is a blast

Skyline is one of my favorite rides too--

train safe-
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Old 01-03-09, 05:38 AM   #9
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Thanks buelito! I didn't know that about the restrooms. I figured they'd be closed too. I think I may do Front Royal to Elk Wallow and back today!

Heading back up Hogback after a restbreak is a killer, eh?
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Old 01-03-09, 08:49 AM   #10
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Still snow on the ground so I went out for a 14 mile run instead of riding. Got attacked by a German Shephard at mile 6. Got some nice bruises and welts on my butt now.

It can only get better from here now....
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