Echols Dorm: Brick Wall By Side Door
This ride is one of my favorites in VA and is considered one of the best climbs in the state, and because it’s a loop it also has an excellent down hill section. This 21 mile loop starts on FS road 42 at 1,595′ elevation, and takes you up to the top of Bald Mountain (3,587′) via a mile long series of switchbacks, then continues down the Blue Ridge Parkway for a few miles to Slacks Mountain. From here the trail drops 1,677′ to Sherando Lake. The scenery throughout the ride is spectacular (especially with the Fall foliage) and the ride itself is quite gruelling, so you should only sign up if you are in good shape. You don’t have to be an intermediate level rider, per se, since you can always walk the difficult sections, but I will require you to have some prior trail riding experience on a mountain bike with suspension. My pace will be moderate but you can ride at your own pace since we’ll meet and rest at all intersections (see below). Be sure to bring plenty of water and sugary snacks.
We leave Echols at 9-ish and will hopefully be on the trail by 10. Since the ride will be long it is best to eat a nice hearty breakfast and come very well hydrated. Because of the wide range of experience levels from people on the trip, each will ride at their own pace and we’ll have numerous stops to let everyone rendezvous and rest. I expect the ride to take 4-5 hours, so please bring enough water and food to sustain yourself. Bring some cash to stop for eats on the way home.
You should NOT sign up unless you have a fair amount of trail riding experience, are in good shape, love aerobic exercise, and are a sucker for punishment. Email or call me with questions, firstname.lastname@example.org or 434-962-9737.
The Club Provides: Bikes, spare tubes, helmets, bike transport
You should bring:
Your bike and helmet, extra tubes, water, water, water, snacks (bring a nice sugary treat to eat at the top of the infamous switchbacks), proper attire (no baggy pants – the chainring will eat them!) rain gear, money, water!!