It was great seeing a ton of you all out riding your bike yesterday. I counted over 30 cars in the Community Center parking lot when I rolled out and I know more were on their way. Halfway up Briery Branch I ran into David and Erik who came from Stokesville and then at the Saddle we found Chris who rode from town with a bunch of folks. All in all, people were coming from every direction to take part in a great event!
The weather was strange to put it bluntly. It was cold to start, but the weatherman promised it would warm up and it did. It was very common to see people pulling over on the way to the saddle to shed a layer or two. By the time we reached the saddle I had removed my jacket, ear warmer, and gloves - I was hot!
At the saddle we all refueled and discussed how nasty the ride to Flagpole would be with all the riders on the trail and the flowing river of melting snow. Things were going to get dirty, fast. Anyway, in a decision I ultimately regretted, I swayed a few friends to join me and break from tradition to ride to Reddish instead of Flagpole, thinking the ride down Timber, Lynn, and Wolfe would be less congested and really fun in the snow.
The ride to Reddish was a workout like none other, as the perfectly packed snow I'd imagined was slush in some spots, not quite slush in others and ice everywhere else. My hopes of riding on nice packed snow quickly melted. Eventually we made it to the top. The view was amazing (as always). So, after a few shots with the phone, we were off again.
Going down was similar to skiing, but without the control. For some reason we thought the trail would be better, but alas, it was not. Our big (but not big enough) tires were no match for the few inches of soft/icy snow. We had to turn around and bike (ski) down the mountain and pray we didn't have to many endovers.
I eventually made it down (without any noteable wipe-outs) and have sworn to stick with the group in the future (there was most likely a reason no one else took the path to Reddish).
As for the the other guys, they made it to Flagpole and had a grand time coming down Red Diamond, where the snow had all but melted and left soft, but perfectly rideable trails.
Chris' ride to and from town was right at 60 miles long.
Dave and Erik's route in the mid 30's.
And my adventure was right at 26 miles.
Overall, good times were had and the tradition lives on!