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Monday, May 30, 2016

WV Bikecamping Adventure 2016 RECAP #gravelgrinder #bikecamping #coffeeoutside

Leaving Shifflett's Grocery/Bar in Bemis

Doug F, Doug M, Bill F, Peter D, Nathan F and I decided to go on an adventure in WV. After months of planning the group expanded and then shrank as reality sunk in and life got in the way. During the trip we would question how many ounces were in a cup, reference Bob's Burger multiple times and thank the fact that cell phone service was non-existent. We also had serendipitous situations and met some of the most friendly and accommodating people along the way. You learn a lot about people when you spend time with them in close quarters and I had a great time with great people I am honored to call my friends. ~ Ray

Day ONE [Elkins, WV to Laurel Fork Campground]
It rained off and on during the ride and the uphills and downhills were slippery and rocky. The rough roads tested our packing methods and equipment. My saddle was knocked out of adjustment throughout the ride because the saddle bolt kept backing out. The descent into Bemis was especially rocky and featured a stream in the road bed for several sections.
Heading into Bemis, WV

The Shifflett’s bar/grocery store in Bemis was packed with people celebrating something and we took up their offer of fresh fried trout and sides plus a cold beer to wash it down. The bar was also way warmer than outside and we realized it as soon as we headed out. At the bottom of the next hill we passed through Glady, WV. After a final gravel climb and descent we made it to the Laurel Fork Campground. After dinner and discussion we fell asleep to the rush of Laurel Fork. It rained throughout the evening. Day one ended with 25 miles and 3500+ ft climbing.

Day ONE photo slideshow

Day TWO [Laurel Fork Campground to Gatewood Group Campsite at Spruce Knob]
After we left camp we slowly climbed through an amazing valley full of streams and farmland. Over the ridge we encountered a lamb that had escaped from the field and the sheep dog decided we were a threat to the flock. At the next turn we trekked down to see the Sinks of Gandy, where Gandy Creek drops into a cave through the mountain. At the Spruce Knob campground we found our water source to be dry. After investigation by Peter we discovered that work was being performed on the water pump on the ridge. The super nice campground manager brought up water and firewood to our campsite later on in the day. The afternoon brought more rain and we huddled under the tarp with hot coffee in between naps.

Top of the world at Spruce Knob

The skies cleared up by late afternoon giving us the chance to climb to the top of Spruce Knob for some amazing views. We headed back to camp for dinner and a nice bonfire. Day two ended with 28 miles and 2900 ft climbing.

Day TWO photo slideshow

Day THREE [Gatewood Group Campsite to Seneca Rocks]
We left the top of the world (Spruce Knob) and headed down, down, down 31 miles with 4000 ft total drop and only 1400 ft climbing. The route took us along the Gandy Creek where a lot of dispersed campsites are located. From Whitmer we climbed over the ridge and down another wonderful valley with rhododendron’s and waterfalls. At the bottom of 33 we ate lunch at the Front Porch Restaurant in Seneca Rocks.  Doug headed over to the campsite early and when we arrived we found out our campsite was too small for the group. The manager at Seneca Shadows Campground allowed us to move closer to the entrance which made it more convenient for our group. After setting up camp we headed back to the rock. 

The view from Seneca Rocks

The weather was great so we climbed up to the top of Seneca Rocks which is a 1000 ft climb in 1.5 miles and then kept climbing. I swear the rocks sway up there. Back to the Front Porch to eat. We couldn't finish the three large pizzas and we forced Peter  to ferry them back where it became breakfast for some. A nice bonfire and some bourbon ended the day.  [Route]

Day THREE photo slideshow

Day FOUR [Seneca Rocks to Dolly Sods]
From Seneca Rocks we followed the Potomac River valley north to the climb to Dolly Sods. Temps were in the 80's and 90's. We stopped at a local general store for snacks and drinks and rest before the 4 mile 2,000 foot climb to Bear Rocks end of Dolly Sods. I pushed sections of the climb and rode the last 1/3. After setting up camp at Red Creek Campground we checked out the view as the sun set over the mountains. The other campers at Red Creek looked like historical figures. We saw Jane Goodall, Ernest Hemingway and met a woman that looked like the female version of Stephen King.
Sunset at Dolly Sods

Yes, we setup photos to look like Doug Fisher fell off the edge and Michelle was not happy. After some hiking around some more we gathered some wood to start a nice fire to end the day. Day four ended with 28 miles and almost 4000 ft climbing. [Route]

Day FOUR photo slideshow

Day FIVE [Dolly Sods to Blackwater Falls]
We woke up early to have breakfast and coffee at sunrise over the ridges. From the Dolly Sods plateau we dropped down into the Red Creek area and headed up over the ridge to Canaan Valley. We had two flats in that area. We fueled up at Big John's with a lot of meat and cheese. Climbed out of the other end of the valley to Canaan Valley Loop Road. Canaan Valley Loop road follows the ridge and drops down through amazing scenery and climbs back up to a high clearance vehicle section with mud holes, rock gardens and stream crossings. 

We stopped at Lindy Point Overlook before checking into our cabin. After cleaning ourselves up we headed down to Davis for dinner at Sirianni's Pizza Cafe. During dinner the owner of Blackwater Bikes stopped in to see if we needed anything. We talked with him again after dinner as we walked to the store for supplies. There was a beautiful sunset as we headed back to the cabin, Day ended with 32 miles and 3300 ft climbing plus the trip into Davis which I didn’t record.  [Route]

Day FIVE photo slideshow

Day SIX [Blackwater Falls to Elkins, WV]
We left the comfort of the Blackwater Falls State Park cabin and headed into town. Along the way we trekked down to see the falls which were running fast with all the recent rainfall. We fueled up at Bright Morning Inn before hitting the trail in Thomas, WV. The trail is single track with a few tree falls to navigate around.

The trail opens up to double track and is paved near Parsons. Snacks and lunch in Parsons at the Sheets. The trail is paved out of town and then turns to gravel up and over the ridge before leveling out into Elkins. We dropped 2900 feet over 40 miles and had 1600+ ft climbing. [Route]

Day SIX photo slideshow

How to make a VanMoof SmartBike @VANMOOF #letsride

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Video: Vittorio Brumotti shows off before Giro d’Italia stage 14

Monday, May 16, 2016

Ride the Elevator is TOMORROW 5/17 @yaybikes @ElevatorBrewing @ftoncycleworks

Join us for Ride the Elevator 2016. This will be our SIXTH YEAR! This is a FREE ride from Goodale Park. We'll begin gathering at 5:30pm and leave at 6:00 pm. Running late? Feel free to join us mid-ride at Franklinton Cycle Works (around 6:30pm). From there we converge on the Elevator Brewery at 171 N. 4th St.

Elevator Brewery is sponsoring this 6th Annual Fundraiser to support Yay Bikes! and Franklinton Cycle Works. Come tour the brewery, and bring in your bike. Entrance fee is $10, you will be handed a beer to pose for a mass cheers photo.

At beer 30 (7:30pm) we will pop open our beer and smile for the camera. Afterwards we will get Dick (the owner) to open the taproom and we can all hang out!

[Learn more about the ride at Yay Bikes!]

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Provo family of 7 enjoy being car-less @heraldextra

In New York City, going car-less is the norm, but in Utah County, it’s a lot less common. One Provo family, though, has been proving it’s very possible — with a little bit of planning.
Karen and Joe Spencer have been carless for almost six years now. While some might think it’s environmental, or some sort of statement, for the Spencer family, it was purely financial. In late 2009, the family was living in Provo, where Joe Spencer had an internship while working as an adjunct faculty member. Money was very tight, and as Christmas approached, they came to a point where they had to decide to fix their one car or pay the rent.
“We also just found out I was pregnant with our fourth child, and the car didn’t have room for another car seat. So we sold it and paid the rent,” Karen Spencer said on a mild, sunny May afternoon.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Muc-Off - Danny MacAskill's New "Old-skool" style video

When Mama's Happy @advcyclingassoc

Columbus based Bourne selling 4Toz bicycle #letsride

The 4Toz Flyer steel frame and fork design was created in-house and built by BOURNE workshop x BREW racing frames.
You'll travel like royalty to the local pub with a leather B17 saddle by BROOKS controlling your journey through a smartly appointed cockpit with cork grips, levers by PAUL's components, headset by Chris King securely connected by Thomson stem and Easton bar. 
A 48-tooth SRAM courier crank transfers H-power to a Sturmey Archer 2-speed kickback hub that turns up the heat on the pavement through fat 20" MAXXIS Hookworm tires while front and rear AVID discs bring you back to earth when things get a little too real.
You won't want any excuses to end your fun once it starts so pack all you need on the front and rear racks because it's going to be a long day!
p.s. If your itinerary includes a trip to the store or pub look at the 2SIXrack by BOURNE.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Giro d’Italia 2016 preview @cyclingweekly

Benefits of cycling to work outweigh damage caused by pollution, study claims @cyclingweekly

A study by Cambridge University scientists has shown that you gain more health benefits from cycling to work than you sustain damage from the air pollution.
The levels of air pollution, especially in the UK’s biggest towns and cities, is often cited as a reason why people do not take two-wheeled transport to work and is blamed for causing 10,000 deaths per year.
The study, published in Preventative Medicine, claims that only one per cent of cities around the world would have air pollution levels high enough to negate the benefits of active travel.

Strava Metro | #CommutesCount @strava

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

PinkBike Opinion: The Eagle Has Landed @pinkbike

SRAM's 12-speed Eagle proves that a one-by drivetrain can match or better the range of a multiple-chainring transmission, which in turn, has doused any hopes that the front derailleur's smoldering embers will ever be rekindled. Eagle was a must for the Chicago-based parts maker, because its premier XX1 ensemble could not match the range of Shimano's sharp-shifting two-by drivetrains, and descriptors like "virtually," "similar to," or "nearly," are not the vocabulary of a winning team. The addition of a 50-tooth cog to its 10 by 42, eleven-speed cassette provides a 500-percent gearing spread, which exceeds Shimano XTR and XT's ranges and thus, should silence all doubters, even the staunchest two-by holdouts in Germany. That twelfth cog, however, may have consequences that reach beyond range and MSRP.

[Keep reading at PinkBike]

calpe/behind the bars

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Country's Largest Bike-Share Operator Is Now Making Its Bikes In Detroit @FastCoExist

If you rent a bike from Citi Bike in New York this week (and look carefully) you might notice something new: some of the bikes are now made in Detroit. The company that manages the bike-share program—along with many of the other major bike-share networks in the country—has decided to start manufacturing bicycles in the U.S.
In part, that's because bike share is growing quickly, and Motivate, the company that runs the programs, wanted to be able to respond equally quickly with production. As recently as two years ago, bike share was struggling; Motivate, then known as Alta, was on the verge of bankruptcy, and it wasn't clear if fledgling bike-share fleets would all survive. Executives from Equinox and Related took over the company, renamed it, and turned things around.