Monday, May 11, 2009
Stokesville-Douthat-Stokesville is a two day tour through the George Washington Forest to Douthat State Park and back. Its mostly off road. It is organized by Chris Scott of SMTouring. We camped out at Stokesville on Friday night, then started riding at 5:30 am. We saw the sun rise over the burg.
We rode out of the campground to Stribling Springs, then Hankey's to Dowell's Draft. Then it was all of the Shenandoah Mountain Trail to the lunch stop next to the Cowpasture River. From there it was a road ride to the back entrance of Douthat State Park. We all climbed up the infamous "Little Mare". It was a long, long steep climb, but it was in great shape. I flatted and kept pumping it up to hope the Stans would seal. I started to get worried being towards the back like a lone sheep in a forest of wolves! But I made it back to the group and did a proper innertube change.
I felt good enough to do the full day's ride. It was great riding with Churtle who is going to be on my team for the 24 Hours of Big Bear in June. She has mad, mad endurance and is the Women's Leader.
We made it to the Creasy Lodge in Douthat to hot lasagne and hot showers and of course Dandy Oates' natural light. Tim and Ruby pulled in moments later. Tim worked on my bike and cleaned it up, which always makes me very happy. I did put on another tubeless ready Super X. Some of the last of the stash from my days with Trek.
Day 2 started out with a trail directly behind the lodge. Tomi started the day out rough with riding over Chester's dog shit and then endo-ing into a creek crossing. But he laughed his singlespeed all the way to the top of Beard's Mt. Once we got out of the park we were way out there in the GW. The views were amazing. I was too strapped to be stopping to take pics, so I just took pics when we stopped.
The road ride to lunch was so scenic. I was surprised to see the crew ramping it up over the hills, but I forgot there was a sprint sign and bonus points up for grabs. Lunch was heaven sent again with steak and lasagne leftovers and my favorite, mountain dew.
Pat Miller and I rode with Tim "freshlegs" Richardson up to the Elliots trailhead. I busted my butt to stay with my boyfriend so we could ride together and then of course was shelled for Elliots and Crawfords. Elliots has one of my favorite downhills. Its just awesome. The rest of the ride isn't that special for me, but I do love the view from the tower. Crawfords' is even less special with the 5 hike a bike hills. Which were all rideable by freshlegs. Yes, Tim cleared all the bitches. That is hard to do for sure.
I flatted on Elliots and decided for the way that I ride now, I don't think that racing tires are for me. But I had an awesome ride down Chimney Hollow and then spun home mellow on the road while the rest of the crew went up and over Dowells and into the back of the campground.
This morning my neck is really sore from craning and carrying the heavy camelback. And I was having some really weird pain in my foot at the base of my toes. I think that is related to the broken leg somehow. But I can bend down and basically can't wait for the Giro! I thought a lot about how lucky I am to recover fully from my broken leg and to be able to do all the cool stuff that I do.