Sunday, May 2, 2010

Appalachian Dual Sport - Post Ride Report

My first Appalachian Dual Sport (AKA Renfro Valley Dual Sport) ride turned out to be a very memorable one for several reasons. #1 the event is extremely well organized, #2 the trails were fun, #3 I rode more in the rain than I ever have before, #4 We had a really good time (mostly because of reasons 1 and 2)

The incoming weather system was the big talk, and during the riders meeting they told us that if it rained the advanced sections may be better left alone. Of course that just makes you want to see them out of curiosity! We left the KOA Campground under ominous skies, and raindrops started falling just as we got to the main road. 

The mix of trails was very good. Everything from perfect trail to slimy monsters that made you pray to see the next section of gravel road. In dry weather there would have been a few trails that were challenging, in the wet most of them were. The rain sort of came and went in the morning, but got pretty heavy later in the day.

One thing about riding in the rain, once you get totally soaked, it really doesn't matter anymore. I also realized that when you come out on a paved section, and its raining really hard, the faster you go the more mud it washes off!  Sort of a throttle adjustable pressure washer. The biggest trouble we had was fogging goggles and blurred vision,  that is until we go caught on one of the advanced sections and it started raining harder. We can't say we weren't warned.

Honestly, too much happened in one day to write about here, but I'll give you the condensed version: Around 250 riders,Great Trails, Muddy Trails, Slick Trails, Rocky trails, all connected by pavement and gravel roads. Great lunch, too many creek crossings to count, seeking out water puddles with the hope it will get some of the mud off your tires, getting so tired I sat down in the rain just to cool off, getting so lost that locals couldn't even tell us how to get back.

Our getting lost was our own fault. We tried to shortcut back and got off course. In fact I have never ridden in an event where the course (100+ miles on Saturday) was marked so well.  The level of effort to put this on must be incredible (this was it's14th year). We didn't ride on Sunday, but we'll ride it again next year. (hopefully the weather will be a little better). Congratulations and thanks to the 4Fun Trail Riders club for putting on a great event. They do a really fine job.

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