Old 11-19-18, 05:05 PM
Spaghetti Legs 
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Central Virginia
Posts: 3,090

Bikes: Numerous

Mentioned: 54 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 742 Post(s)
Nova Eroica Virginia ride today.

Thought about posting this in the "where did you ride today?" thread but thought it might get some appreciation here. I recently rode a new route which ended on the slopes of Shenandoah NP. I'd noticed a couple of gravel roads branching off on that ride and a map consultation showed that with some courage I could use a road called Simmons Gap to connect this route to another one of my paved routes. I got my Wilier which is equipped with Vittoria Open Pavé tires but, to my later chagrin, also sporting a 53/39 crankset. I knew some climbing would be involved but boy howdy! This was a 38 mile ride with a total of about 11 miles of dirt/gravel. 2875 feet of climbing but half of it was done in about a 6 mile gravel stretch. There was 3 miles of about 9 -10% grade. The road forked and since I had left my carefully drawn map back in the car, I took a wrong turn which led to a flood road from the stream pictured above. There were gateposts for the national park so I turned around and went the other way at the fork getting ready for some gravel descent but alas was quickly faced with a pitch of about 20%. Got up a little ways, but in true Eroica fashion walked about a quarter mile. After a short descent there was another 18% pitch and I actually let out an audible whimper but managed to stay on the bike and muscle over it. This was followed by several miles of white knuckle steep descent and I actually contemplated which would be better, mid 2000's Campy brakes on carbon wheels (today's set up) or mid 80's Record brakes on Mavic G40's. Probably a wash.

At any rate, if any Virginians out there want to get a taste of what the Cypress Ranch climb and descent are like, this is a good approximation, although I think this might be a little harder. Drop me a line and I'd be happy to show you the route. BTW I know the bike isn't vintage but I wore my wool Fausto Coppi Ursus jersey; so that counts.

Summit View

Stream on border of Shenandoah NP
Looking back on the mountains I just rode through
N = '96 Colnago C40, '04 Wilier Alpe D'Huez, '10 Colnago EPS, '85 Merckx Pro, '89 Merckx Century, '85 Moser, '86 Tommasini Professional, '04 Teschner Aero FX Pro, '05 Alan Carbon Cross, '86 De Rosa Professional, '82 Colnago Super, '95 Gios Compact Pro, '95 Carrera Zeus, '84 Basso Gap, ‘89 Cinelli Supercorsa
Spaghetti Legs is offline