The trails west of Edinburg, VA near Big Schloss are easily one of my top riding destinations in the region. The trails are very very rocky yet ride-able set a mixture of pine trees, rhododendrons and deciduous trees. There are huge climbs next to wild trout streams complete with killer overlooks at the top! These are expert level trails set in the back country but the scenery is second to none. I did a figure 8 loop with a refuel at the car before throwing in one more big climb, some ridge, and the ripping Stack Rock descent! check out my route HERE
While descending the big schloss cut of trail for the first time of the day one of my cleat bolts decided to jump ship, leaving me with a rotating cleat and a shoe that wouldn't clip out. I took my foot out of the shoe and worked the shoe free but then I sat there in despair wondering if my three mountain ride would become a one mountain easy pedal.
Not willing to admit defeat so early into my all day adventure I began looking to my bicycle in hopes of finding a "non necessary" bolt I could borrow to hold my cleat to my shoe. After finding nothing but a bottle cage bolt I decided I would remove the bottle cage and sacrifice one of the cage bolts and commit to carrying my bottle in my jersey pocket. I didn't even get the bottle cage bolt all the way off before I had the epiphany.
AH HA! The plates that hold the cables to the frame looked to be secured by none other than a wedge head cleat bolt look alike! One problem, it was three times as long as a normal cleat bolt! After installing the long bolt and putting my shoe back on, I noticed the bolt sticking up through my shoe insole but by some divine alignment the bolt went right between my big toe and second toe. I would indeed be able to finish my ride with only a minor discomfort when I was off the bike walking.
On the second loop I came into the same cut off trail however this time from the north, This was my mulligan so I could redo the 12 minute downhill that was paused by my earlier cleat woes. After a flawless run, I got on judge rye road to climb the gravel for what seemed like an hour. Then I headed south on the north mountain trail and down the stack rock trail. Stack rock is an amazing CCC built trail that begins with tight steep rock littered switchbacks and finishes off with a fast straight corridor of rock bars made for jumping!
After finishing my ride with 4 hours of ride time and just shy of 6500 feet of climbing I called it a day and headed back to town to make it out for the last hour of trail work at the massenutten western slope trails and round out my awesome day off!