Russ’s Bike Camping Adventure

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West Virginia’s state motto is “Wild and Wonderful”. It certainly lived up to it last weekend. Three bike packers set out on an adventure in Pocahontas County WV. Durbin, a tiny town with no stoplight, 1 restaurant, 1 bar and a coal-fired steam engine, was our starting point. We rode the West Fork rail trail for 19 miles steady climbing at 1 or 2% the whole way. The trail followed West Fork Greenbrier River to the headwaters. It was very scenic and enjoyable.
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The High Falls Trail was next up in our plan. The trail is pretty, but it is not really bike suitable. The vast majority of the 1 mile climb was not suitable for mountain biking. However, the descent was mostly suitable. It took us an hour and a half to conquer the mountain. The pay-off was the High Falls of the Cheat River, an amazingly beautiful waterfall. We arrived late in the afternoon and that resulted in quick camp site selection. That is unfortunate because later exploration revealed a few really nice waterside campsites just far enough from the falls to dampen the roar of the falling water.

 

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I awoke early on Saturday and enjoyed the stillness of the deep woods with a hot cup of coffee and watched the water. To quote an Eagles song “I had a peaceful easy feeling”. We decided that a return trip over the mountain was undesirable. That left us with following the train tracks to the town of Bemis. We tried to leave before the first train of the day but we were too late. The engineer waved as the train rolled by and he did not seem to be annoyed with our presence. About ¾ of the way down we saw a very scenic section of the river and decided to take a break.  We walked down the hill to the river bank and enjoyed the water for about 45 minutes. Mike fished a little and we all swam in the swiftly moving water.  We finished the train track and faced our first steep road climb out of Bemis. Even though it was steep, the smooth surface was welcome after the track side trail. We stopped in Glady and ate lunch in a picnic shelter by the road, thank you Glady Church of the Brethren!  The next section turned out to be much nicer than I had anticipated. The road was free of traffic, smooth, shady and at a reasonable grade. We then descended right back down to the Laurel Fork Campground. Our next leg was to the Sinks of Gandy. This ride was gorgeous! The hills were a little steep but still rideable. It felt like we were in Colorado above the tree line, except we could breathe! I have never seen a creek that flows into a hill before, it was really cool and creepy. The birds were circling in the cave and it was difficult to know they were birds and not bats.
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Our final day started with a climb of 1.5 miles to the top of the ridge. We were rewarded with mostly descent for the rest of the trip! The road was shady, smooth and again, rarely traveled. We stopped at Middle Mountain Cabins, a rustic setting in the Wilderness area that would be a great getaway for a group of friends desiring solitude with a roof over their heads. They are managed by the Forest Service if you are interested. We investigated all of the intersecting roads for possible detours. We settled on route 17 which followed a river through a beautiful forest. This road ended at the West Fork Rail Trail mile 7. A downhill finish makes the memory sweeter. We stopped at one of the two restaurants in town to reward our efforts with a burger, some fries and two pitchers of beer. We all appreciated “chairs with a back” one of life’s underappreciated pleasures.13450961_10209954952053822_2218187690506137048_n

For this trip Russ rode an Shimano 8 speed internally geared Surly OrgeThe Bike Lane helped Russ choose from a variety of touring and frame bike bags to carry his supplies.  If you are looking to go on a bike camping weekend, stop by the shop and we can assist you in getting everything you need for a great adventure!

 

 

Bontrager Flare R Tail Light Review

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Flare R

$59.99

The Bontrager Flare R tail light is the brightest bike rear light that we’ve ever had in our bike shop. Period.

You will be super visible on your bike ride during the night and the day from a full 270 degrees with the Flare R. This means that you can ride safer than ever and will be visible to cars and everyone else while on your bicycle.  It also is one more product to help you fall in love with commuting to work on a bike.

Trek claims that you will be visible from 2k (Be seen while cycling from over a mile away) during the day or night time. While we haven’t tested this specific claim, after checkingthe Flare R out on a few local road and mountain bike rides, we can safely say this is one Crazy bright bike tail light.

It has four different modes for you to choose from so you can balance battery life and brightness.

The Two Daytime modes are: 65Lumens flash-4.25hrs runtime, 35Lumens all-day-10hrs runtime, 25Lumens steady-4.5hrs runtime

The Two Nightime modes are: 65Lumens flash-23hrs runtime, 5Lumens steady-21hrs runtime.

The Bontrager packaging includes a quick connect bracket and also comes with a usb cable.

Charge time is 2.5 hours via micro USB.

The Verdict?

Buy it! This Bontrager tail light is a super popular light down at the shop because of the great value.

Super bright, short charge times and four different modes = safer riding during the day or night!

The Bontrager Rally MIPS Mountain Bike Helmet Rocks!

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The Bontrager Rally MIPS Mountain bike helmet offering mips technology and a ton of other great features for just $119.99 (including free shipping) has been a huge reason why this helmet is one of our best sellers this spring.

The Verdict: Grab it!

The Rally MIPS mountain bike helmet raises the bar in comfort and protection at an amazing price point. Great coverage and prodigious venting keep you riding all day long on the toughest trails.

It comes in two other colors too.

Black Bontrager Rally MIps Mountain Helmet

The Bontrager Rally MIPS in Black. Notice the visor swings up to accommodate goggles.

 

Olive Green Bontrager Rally MipsBike Helmet

Olive Green has been super popular this year.

Key features

Equipped with MIPS Brain Protection System

In-mold composite skeleton allows a greater variation of vent shape and size

Intuitive, one-handed Headmaster fit system adjusts height and circumference

Flexible head-conforming FormFit brow band has a tailored feel and improves venting

FlatLock dividers make helmet strap management simple through fixed position fit

Internal, recessed channels manage airflow through the helmet and over the head

Drop-in coverage offers additional protection below traditional bottom edge of helmet

Crash Replacement Guarantee provides a free helmet

Replacement if involved in a crash within the first year of ownership

The Key Technology

MIPS, “Multi-directional Impact Protection System”, sets a new standard in helmet safety. Developed by brain surgeons and scientists, MIPS helps reduce rotational forces on the brain caused by angled impacts to the head.

Mips is a revolutionary technology that lets the helmet slide relative to the head, adding more protection against rotational violence to the brain caused by angled impacts. To identify the new generation of helmets, look for the little yellow mips logo.

The Bike Lane Race Team pulls off anothe

The Bike Lane Race Team pulls off another amazing Capital ‘Cross Classic! Over 500 racers came out for the mud, cold, and fun. Hundreds of hours go into putting this race on and thousands of dollars are raised for the Lake Fairfax trails. Well done everyone! http://ow.ly/i/7RkgN http://ow.ly/i/7RkgO http://ow.ly/i/7RkgW http://ow.ly/i/7RkgZ http://ow.ly/i/7Rkh2 http://ow.ly/i/7Rkh3