Friday, March 20, 2009

Dupont trip

Last Wed Alan, Andy, Flat Stanley and myself all loaded up in my truck with our bikes and headed to NC for a little riding in Dupont State Forest.

Andy w/Flat Stanley
photo cred. courtesy of Flat Stanley Productions
We had a map, a route, plenty of water, snacks and eagerness to hit the trail. I have been wanted to get in a long ride in Dupont for some time, it's such a large place with so many good trails it's hard to get them all in one day. After looking at an IMBA epic route Flat Stanley did a little improvising that hit all the high lights and skipped some of the lows.
photo cred. courtesy of Flat Stanley Productions
We couldn't have asked for better weather, although it was a little bit chilly at first the sun was out and the temps rose to the upper 60's with ease. I broke out my old camebak for this ride not wanting to run out of water. I didn't think 2 water bottles would get me through the day and plus I was going to be carrying a few extra snacks and some various camera equipment to document the trip. My camelbak sees very little action these days, the bladder has been shot for some time. It developed an algae problem after I refused to clean it properly and I managed to destroy it by trying to clean it improperly. Most of the action it sees is a way to carry my very heavy battery for my lights during night rides. Wed. it served it's purpose pretty well, I shoved a full water bottle down in it along with Flat Stanley, a PB&H, some trail mix, gels, a PayDay, extra batteries for the Hero cam and a pair of dirty socks. Why the dirty socks you ask? Well as we were gearing up for the ride Andy asked us if we remembered extra socks for the stream crossings. Alan and I both looked puzzled by his comment. The streams beds at Dupont are mostly a solid slab of rock that's very slick from moss and the current is strong enough to take you down even at calf high. Normally I just cross with my shoes and socks on except for the time I tried to ride across which didn't work out but made for a very funny video.
Andy explained that you get alot more traction with socks on vs. barefoot. I really didn't believe him at first but I realized I had a pair of dirty socks left in my bag from who knows when so I stuffed them in my camelbak just in case.
We started of the ride just out of the parking lot on the "Kid's Loop" which was oddly named for a cool little skills area. I had no idea it existed because of the funny name and the fact that it can't be seen because of the evergreen trees.
photo cred. courtesy of Flat Stanley Productions
After Alan slid off one of the elevated platforms and bent his rear derailleur we decided we had better hit the trails before we did anymore damage to bikes leaving someone sitting in the parking lot all day.
I thought I had seen all the waterfalls Dupont has to offer but evidently not, we ran across Wintergreen Falls within the first 15 mins of our ride which were all new trails for me. After several miles of doubletrack riding we hit the Reasonover trail which is a great fast downhill run that takes you right down to one of the many lakes Dupont has to offer. After checking out the lake and a couple of abandoned cabins we hit the airstrip and the Airstrip trail which is another great downhill run which gave me a ton of good fast footage for your viewing pleasure.
Fast forward a couple of hours later and we are standing on the edge of the water of our biggest stream crossing. The water was up higher than normal and running pretty swift, not to mention it's mid March so it's very cold, not a good time to go swimming or ride the rest of the day with wet socks or clothes.
Alan goes first, barefoot cause he didn't have an extra pair of dirty socks. He made it but there were a few close calls and he had to move very slowly. Andy went second, picked up his bike in his sock feet and walked across like he was on dry land. I decided I was going to try it barefoot rather than dump out the entire contents of my camelbak to put on dirty socks. I took a few steps out and realized how very slick and cold it was. I turned around and headed back to the shore to dig out my dirty but very useful socks. As I stepped back in the water I was surprised at how much of a difference it made and was able to walk across with ease.
After we changed socks and put our shoes back on we hit Burnt Mtn. Climbing Burnt Mtn is one of the more fun climbs at Dupont next to Cedar Rock. It's really not that bad of a climb because there is a bit of a downhill section with some rolling jumps thrown in to. I was leading the pack with Flat Stanley hanging out in back watching Andy and Alan hitting the jumps behind me when all of the sudden I don't hear them anymore, after a bit of climbing I realized something might have gone wrong for them to drop off so suddenly. I asked Flat Stanley if he'd seen anything and he said Andy had forgotten to zip his pack back up and started a yard sale flinging snacks and tools down the trail everytime he scored some air off the rollers. We took a little break while Alan and Andy cleaned up the mess and caught back up.
photo cred. courtesy of Flat Stanley Productions
Our last stop was scheduled to be Cedar Rock but due to time constraints we had to bypass it and make the best of what trail was left before loading up to head home. Cedar Rock is one of my favorite places to ride but I didn't cry too much when we had to skip it. I've ridden it many times before and I'm sure I'll be up there again before the summer is over. This trip I was able to get a ton more footage than normal with so many good trails to ride so this video is a little longer than normal but still good. I did screw up the editing a bit toward the end so when you watch it you'll see the video speed up significantly then drop off again. It's not me speeding up the footage it was just a different section of trail that was faster than the pieces before and after and I didn't transition them very well. I'm still learning.

Dupont State Forest from Greg Carr on Vimeo.



Alan said...

that music hit the tempo of the ride right on!
good job, that one section does look sped up though

Anonymous said...

did you see the ufo at the start of the ride???????? Is flat stanley from space?

Darth Duncan said...

Nice write-up!