driving down from cold NH on Friday, 3/11 for Spring Break in search of warmer weather and singletrack, esp. enjoy AM/technical stuff.... possibly will go to Pisgah, NC, but hear that there's equally excellent riding in Virginia, which is closer, and since I dislike driving long distances, perhaps Virginia will be the ticket.
Any and all advice much appreciated: where to stay (cheap motels), camping, local bike shops, cool towns, and especially, excellent 3-6 hour rides - I have to be back home by Monday, 3/21.
thanks, --Bob ([email protected]
I think that for lots of longer riding options for the better part of a week in close vicinity of each other that are well mapped for out-of-towners, I would head to NC. However, VA is on your way, and I would definitely consider hitting it up on the way down and back.
Douthat State Park is a great place to ride, and very well marked and mapped. Super easy to find your way around, they have good maps right at the office. There is also good camping there. Not technical, but lots of climbing and great descents, and some spectacular views.
Carvins Cove (right outside of Roanoke) is now also well mapped and marked, and good for one long day. Do a search, there is a LOT of info on Carvins Cove on this board. The terrain is all over the map from very old school rocky/rooty to new school flowy, twisty. also a very beautiful place. You will likely run into a lot of local riders if that is something you are looking for. Just post up here and you will likely find someone to ride with or at least point you in the direction you want to go.
While you are on your way down to the Pisgah, do yourself a favor and check out the trail systems at Kerr Scott Reservoir in near Wilksboro NC. In particular Warrior Creek. I have never ridden anything else like it (and I have ridden all over the country). Warrior Creek loop is 12 (maybe more now) of ultra-twisty super-bermed goodness. Some parts of it just blew my mind. Again, not exactly technical in the rocky sense (given my choice I'd do it on a short travel HT), but something every rider should experience. The folks building those trails seriously know what they are doing. Overland Victory Trail is also worth checking out. It is like WC, just turned down a notch. I think the builders cut their teeth on this one before creating the masterpiece that is Warrior Creek. If you want a very long day, you can do those as well as Dark Mountain. All three of these trails systems are within a few miles of each other. I did OVT (out and back) WC, and a part of DM in a day, probably could do the rest of Dark Mt if I was really on my game. Again, very well marked and mapped, super easy to find your way around.
If you want some very
technical rocky riding, look into Dragon's Back, near Roanoke. Brutal climbs up to a ridge that you ride along packed with challenging rock formations (the spine and scales of the dragon). I will just worn you when you plan this that the mileage is deceiving. These are very slow, slogging miles.