Drove down to Harrisonburg on Friday night for our Saturday recon ride. Met up with Mike Bender for dinner the night before and to talk about the route for Saturday. We went to a local brew-pub and had a good meal and couple good beers.
Saturday morning we met up with a couple of other riders at the Stokesville market. The general plan was to ride the start of the race through checkpoint 2, about 25 miles. After that a couple of us were going to drive to the other end of the course to ride the "Braley's Pond" loop (checkpoints 3 to 4).
The first part of the ride includes the first 2 large climbs of the day, Narrowback and Lynn Trail/Wolf Ridge. With a couple of navigation stops, it took us about 3 1/2 hours to finish the first section. The cookie trail on Narrowback was a lot of fun and the Wolf Ridge trail almost made the ride/walk up the Lynn trail worth it.
The climb up Bridge Hollow at Braley's Pond was better than the Lynn Trail climb and the downhill was, well it deserves a post of its own... Overall the day had 42 miles in about 5 hours riding, with at least another hour of waiting around and refueling.
On the way home I stopped by Mitch and Amy's new store in Front Royal. It looks like they've got a lot of work to do but it's a cool space and I'm sure it'll look great by the time they're done. Their Store: Vintage Swank (online only until October)