good times this weekend at stokesville... jj and i rolled down saturday morning and met mike miller at braley pond to start our first ride of the weekend. we were supposed to meet up with darren and evan, but we were late getting down there, and even later getting started riding that we figured they'd gone on ahead. part one of the ride was the braley pond loop and it didn't disappoint.
after a quick break at the cars we left for the ride over to hankey/dowell's. the hankey climb felt good, but it's always longer than i remember. once we cleared the top of hankey and started along the ridge my handling skills felt like they were improving a bit (i felt rather rusty on braley) and by the bottom of the run i'd promoted dowell's draft back to the top of my all-time-favorite-downhills list.
we ran into darren & evan at the top of dowell's... they were climbing back up after riding over hankey from the campground and then doing the braley loop backwards. it turns out evan had a mechanical on the way over to meet us in the morning and they didn't get there until a half hour after we left braley pond.
over to the stokesville campground, set up camp, popped the top on a brooklyner-schneider hopfen-weiss and got serious about relaxing. evan came by and shared some of his beer & a nice pepper salami, then we had the potluck, some presentations on mountainbike issues in virginia, and then the campfire.
sunday morning we had a pancake breakfast then set out to ride the first 30 miles of the course with darren. narrowback is always a longer climb than you think it'll be and cookie trail was a lot more fun without the sm100 hordes stacking up on every other rock. at the bottom of the downhill to tilghman rd we had a double wammy. darren's pedal had seized and then started unscrewing itself and my brother's allergies were killing him so we hit the road back to camp.
after a trip into h'burg for some claritin and some recovery time, jj and i took a ride up lookout mountain. the climb up and out the back of the campground is about as tough as they come, but the lookout ride was a lot of fun. probably the rockiest downhill that i know of in the stokesville area and but then it's got some super swoopy sections near the bottom.
back at the campsite more food and beer followed, maybe a bit too much beer... monday morning we decided to call it quits a little early. we stopped by the new pump track in harrisonburg on the way back to see what thats all about. not the place to ride a 5" dual-suspension bike, but fun none-the-less.
back home we had my parents over and we finally get to the headline of this piece... heather and i picked up a bunch of whole trout fillets. i stuffed them with slices of lemon, onion, a whole mess of herbs - mostly from our herb garden (note to self: plant some tarragon) - and threw them on the grill. flipping them proved to be a little challenging, and a couple weren't quite as nice coming off the grill as they went on, but for something we'd never tried before we were very happy with the results.