26 December 2015

Stay Off The Trails!! Until It Dries Out!!

We have been seeing a lot of rain for the last four days. Most of the mountain bike trails in the Richmond Virginia area have seen a total rain fall of over 3 1/2 inches during that time. A good guide is for every inch of rain that a trail system gets riders should stay off the trail for 24 hours.

With  mild temperatures and people getting new bikes for Christmas or folks are off from work they want to get out and ride. I ask of you to take a few more days off the trail. Ride the road or better yet ride the Virginia Capital Trail. 

Here's the thing. Riding wet and muddy trails is not cool. This does not set well with land mangers and makes for more work for trail volunteers to fix. That's right fellow bikers volunteer to work on making and maintaining the trail systems.

Here are some resources to you can use to check out the conditions of the trails and join to help keep up the places that you like to ride. If you don't have the time to help then donate! Your money will help support the trails.


RVA Trail Report


18 October 2015

Advanced Night Orienteering

Tools of the Trade

Last night was the Central Virginia Orienteering Club's Advanced Night Orienteering Course event.  The 20 point score-O course was set in the woods in the nortwest corner of Pocahontas State Park.  The area had few man-made features other than an old forest road. This course was not for the beginner or someone with limited experience with a 2 hour time limit.  

We had a Waxing Crescent moon with about 22% visibility with temperatures in the 40's. What a great night for orienteering! 

From the start point control #1 was only about 20 feet down the forest road but took a right turn into a briar patch. That made control one hard to get to and find for some people. 

I remembered years ago I did a course in this same section and remembered that there are some steep gullies  and most of the controlS would be around these areas. 

In the day light this is an open and fast forest but at night it's time to slow down. I did not run this course other that on the forest road. It is just to easy at night to fall in a small hole from a pine stump that you did not see.

It is a little harder to read the terrain at night. I believe it is harder to figure out where you are at when you cover a section that is flat. If you are not following a bearing then you could miss the feature  because you are walking to high or to low.

Somewhere around control 6 or 7 I ran into a guy that I did my last event with. He had started the course before me and had over shot a control and was on his way back to pick up the missed control.  

We later made the mistake and followed the lights of another team and lost sometime because the control was not in the location where we saw their lights. Just remember do not follow the lights. They can be lost and so will you! 

Control 17 and 18 was our longest leg between features. Had to follow compass bearing and we were dead no the mark. 

Okay I guess I should have talked about my lights. I used a Princeton Tec Remix which has a white light and two settings of red light with the power of 150 lumens that ran off of 3AAA batteries.  I also carried a Surefire Z2 Combat light which is a single output LED with a max output of 320 lumens. The Surefire for being a hand held flashlight was a great help. I only need to figure how to dummy cord it to myself. I dropped the light twice.

On the way back to the start point was a little tricky because of the lights of the cars stopping at a corner and the front porch light of a house across the street which I thought was the lights at the finish. 

If you have not done night orienteering you need to build your skill up and give it a try. I had a great time and think it was one of the better courses that I have done.

11 October 2015

Public Service Announment- Night Riding at PSP

Night riding has started at Pocahontas State Park for everyday of the week unless the trails are closed. One issue that has come up is the riders are not placing  the  Night Mountain Bike Permit Form 
in the window of their vehicle.

Failure to not have the permit will lead to a ticket for trespassing from the Park Ranger and could lead to night riding being cancelled for all.

So make sure you have your parking pass and your night mountain bike permit if you are going night riding

That is all! 


05 October 2015

UCI Road World Championship- Richmond 2015 #3

I end my last post of the UCI Road World Championship with pictures from the Men's Elite Road Race. I was able to score a nice spot at the last switchback on the climb of Libby Hill.

There is a marker on Libby Hill that reads:" The curve of the James River and steep slope on this side are very much like the features of the River Thames in England, a royal village west of London called Richmond upon Thames.

William Byrd II, an important planter, merchant, politician and writer, was asked by the House of Burgesses to plan a town at the Falls of the James in the early 1730s.

As he had traveled several times to Richmond upon Thames, it is believed that the view led him to name this new town Richmond."

It's time for the race

From Richmond is Ben King. He lead the break away from the start of the race.

The crowd watches the race from the big screen

Main field entering the cobblestones

The Rock Stars of cycling fans! Everyone wanted to get their picture taken with them

If only these people knew he's not George

The cobblestone climb at 23rd Street. This was part of 1996 Tour DuPont race course

Close up and fast action at 15th and Dock Street

I have hundreds of photos but these are some of the highlights. This was a great day of cycling and I will remember this day for years

30 September 2015

UCI Road World Championship- Richmond VA 2015 #2

I was able to catch a little bit of the Men's Elite Time Trail this past week. The course started north of the city but I picked my location to watch at N. Lombardy and Monument Ave. For those of you that are not from the area Monument Ave is a tree line mall Avenue that runs east and westbound in the city and has monuments of Virginian Confederate participants and Richmond native and tennis star Arthur Ashe located at cross streets and round-about or if you call them traffic circles.

The backdrop for these pictures is the General JEB Stuart Statue and the St. John's United Church-Christ.

Well there you go! I think that location offered everything that a European course would offer. Crowds, traffic circle, statue, a church and outside dinning.

No cars! I have the road to myself back to work

22 September 2015

UCI Road World Championship- Richmond VA 2015 #1

The UCI World Championship has come to Richmond Virginia and I have only been able to get out to see the time trials for part of the last two days. Which has been the Men's under 23, Men's Juniors, and Women's Elite Time Trials events.

So here are some pictures from the past two days-

This was a great looking BMW GS 1200. I talked with the driver for a while before the cameraman had to take some pictures on the course

Shimano Support Car

I had parked over at one of the parks and took the long route to get to the course. Part of the route I took is part of the East Coast Greenway.

This might have been better than the time trial. This is only the second time that I have ever seen an owl in the day time. Super cool to get this picture of him.

Day two-

You cannot see it in this picture but there are two man hole covers about a 100 meters from each other that cause the rider to have the be on the far side of the road to miss the first cover and then cut in to miss the second one. About in this spot if the rider got on the brakes to hard they would start to fishtail before starting into the left corner. Very tricky for some of the riders.

Beautiful custom Ellis. You have to take your time to see this is a great bike. Single speed with a White Industries ENO crank, and hubs. Beautiful lug work and my favorite custom barrel adjusters. Never seen anything like it!


Resurrectio is a Bridgestone.

This is Kristin Armstrong. She was the second rider on the course and overtook the first rider at the bottom of Governor's Hill and was going into her second lap!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures

18 August 2015

Post Crash Check- It's Time for a Replacement!

Well, I successfully managed to damage my helmet while I was out riding the other day. I misjudged my speed on a roller and hit the face of the next jump. I heard the helmet crack when I hit the ground. Once I got myself together I couldn't see any damage to the helmet.

So I took other look tonight and as you can see from the picture above there is an impact mark to the front. It was hard to see on the inside but in the picture below my finger is pointing to the crack.

I have had all types of name brand helmets over the years and I liked this one the best. It is a Uvex Sport Boss RS. My replacement will be a Uvex. Why you might ask? It fits! A helmet is no good to you if it does not fit you. For me the Uvex fits like a glove and it is light weight.

If you take a spill take the time to check all of your equipment to make sure it's safe!

15 August 2015

New Kiosk at the New Swift Creek Trail System- Pocahontas State Park

Today helped out with an Eagle Scout project led by Alex that involved final construction and installation of a kiosk at the new Swift Creek Trail System.

The Swift Creek Trail System is part of the Richmond Regional Ride Center. The kiosk is located at what they call the hub, which all the trails of the Swift Creek Trail System meet-up. The park is having a map made that will show the trail system on it.

I really enjoyed working on this project. I am not sure if it was the build itself or being able to see the riders enjoying the trail system and being thankful for the work being done.

This group came up from Williamsburg to ride this morning

I was really cool to see the little 6,7 &8 year olds eating up on the Blue Berry and Gateway trails.

Believe it or not, these two had been riding the single track!

On another note the trail system is getting riders that are new to the sport and might be under prepared. Like having water when its 85 degrees! If you see someone like this help them out when they tell you "I am okay". You know what it looks like when someone is in double.

10 August 2015

Pocahontas State Park Orienteering- The Green Course!

I think up until now I have only done orange course at all the Metro Richmond area orienteering events. This pass Sunday there was a green course offering and I took it. One of the things I first notice was that this course cover a lot of area and had 16 controls.I wish I could provide a picture of the map but I must have left it on the table at the finish line.

While I was helping put maps in plastic bags I notice this guy and I felt like I knew him from somewhere. I went up to him and found out that we were both in GORUCK Class 800. The guy he was with was also a GORUCK alumni and since we had that brother hood decided that we would do the course together.

Most of the course covered the area of the Lake View I & II trail system. You could use some of those trails to move from control to control but we found it to just be better to navigate off trail. Couple of the controls had some distance between them and I had to use pace count. I think this was the first orienteering course that I have had to use pace count on.

Control #9 was the first control we had an issue finding. We found a control at first that we thought was the one we were looking for but it was one from the yellow course. During the search I found a ruin that was on the map that I could use as a recovery and attack point

Old Home site somewhere off of Lake View III

I don't think I would have ever know about this old home site in the park if I had not done this course. We soon picked up controls 10& 11 and then had issue with control 12. After searching for sometime we abandoned the search for control 12. We had about 35 mins to make it back to the finish area.

They call this sport the thinking game and I think at control 12 we were not thinking too well. So we ended up only getting 12 out of 16 controls and I think we had been on the course for about 3 1/2 hours.

09 August 2015

Giving Back- Trail Work

Trails don't build themselves and maintaining those trails does not happen magically. Volunteers hit the Morgan Trail System at Pocahontas State Park yesterday. Sometimes you have to give up riding to help take care of the places you ride.

Back when we built these trails we did not have the help of the SK. The only thing that stops this thing is hitting a yellow jacket nest!

While we were working on this section an Eagle Scout Project was working on putting in some trail features