6: loop

Sep 19 2017

Continuing full rigid MTB immersion project. No strava log or pictures because I broke my phone and my edge. garmin edge.

“Could I be getting worse?”

To get oriented I read some quick directions on this page.


(their total elevation for this ride is funny. you’ll be doing 2-3x that.)

This route turns you around at Valley Green but I think the stuff North of Wise Mill on the West side is really fun.

East side above Valley Green is challenging for rigid maybe for suspension too.

The Roxboro side is easier to follow because it’s just the Yellow Trail with some variations traveling north and south. Gtown-Mt Airy-Chestnut Hill side requires a little more attention switching between the White and Orange trails.

Entered at Rittenhousetown. Felt good heading in. Made it through the first section with no problems. Lost the path at Monastery Stables and ended up going in a circle with a climb/walk up Kitchen’s Lane gravel to get back on the trail. Rocks were slippery but the dirt was generally dry. I knew climbing was going to be an issue at this point. It hasn’t been really dry in a week. This is affecting my confidence and my climbing, definitely evident during my first attempt at the whole loop.

Very humid! My glasses were coated with moisture and sweat, which made it harder to see the trail conditions. Jersey and bibs soaked through quickly. Shoes were feeling swampy!

I got turned around a couple times. Climbed out into Blue Bell Park and had to drop back in. Above Allens Lane things started to get real rocky and harder to handle on a rigid bike. Took an L trying to bunny hop a bigger log, scratched myself up. Went down a path that led to nowhere. Sweated back up onto the trail. The rocks were slippery near the creek crossing. Watched an older dude negotiate the down section on a FS bike with not much difficulty. Made me feel like trying harder. I was able to jam up most of the hill on the other side but ended up walking the end of it.

Walking- so much walking.

By the time I got to Valley Green I was fairly worked. Legs were stinging from sweat and scratches. Glasses were fogged. Wasn’t sure exactly where I was going. Climbed up around the lookout point and saw Nate Climbing up the other side. Got some directions and some pointers. Nate had on a Landlords jersey and it was his birthday. I looked at his strava entry when I got home. Personal records all over the place.

Nate said “Don’t kill yourself!”

Lots of Chestnut Hill ladies with little dogs in the path. Caught a flat right after passing one. So she got to see me dripping sweat all over the place while I changed it. Changing a tire in 100% humidity is a chore. Patching a tube in 100% humidity is a mission. On this first flat I did have a spare tube. But now a day later I’m doubting the integrity of the patch that was on there from a previous ride.


Rocky as hell up there. Was worried about my tube. Normally I would have just ditched and rode Forbidden Drive home but I had set out on this full loop mission. Went further and the trail seemed to get rockier.

I ditched the east side at Covered Bridge.

I did this climb up from FD up to Summit area before. Not this time. Walked up most of it. Jungle humidity. By the time I was at the top I was feeling maxed out. Ate a couple of gel blocks. Drank some water. Got my head together and got ready to enjoy the way back down to Germantown.

Disoriented and ended up on a lower path and dumping back out above Forbidden Drive. Climbed back up again Managed the first section and then rear wheel started slipping out. Pushed it up past another dog walking lady. Big dog this time, like a mastiff or something.

I’m going to make an observation that there are bigger dogs on the ROXBORO side.

Started encountering riders headed North on the trail while I was rolling south-lost up a couple lines because of this. I’m courteous, I understand when you’re focused on the rocks but yo, don’t forget to look up. Kept missing out on fun and then I punctured again. I could hear this one. Pssssssssssssssssshhhht.

At this point I was like “fuck. This sucks.”

I had to get out the patch kit. I use the sticker type patches. I’m not messing around with vulcanizing fluid in the woods.

Ok first issue. Finding the hole. The tube was wet when I pulled it out. Had to inflate it a couple times and then really look/feel. Finally caught it. Tried to dry the spot of with the side of my glove but no luck, might have made it worse. Patch would not stick. I had a Magic Ink marker in my bag. ( Thanks John Smith. ) Drew and filled in a square a little bigger than the patch over the whole. The ink evaporated the water. Waited a couple seconds and the section was perfectly dry. Scratched it up with the sandpaper and the patch stuck.

Now I was just thinking about getting home. Jittery, unfocused, sweaty, tired, annoyed ETC. Almost wrecked on the last corner before the descent to Jeanette gravel. Bounced around a little bike went almost sideways, saved myself somehow.

Bailed at Jeanette for real and rode Forbidden Drive back up to the path.

Definite adventure. Rossin Adventure.

Need to get some new supplies! Just looked at my bike and the rear wheel is flat. :/

No MTB ride today.

SPD starts tomorrow.