Today Jimmy and I set out to explore some roads we had both never been on and do some nicely paced long distance. The weather was absolutely perfect in every way and the fall colors were as striking as ever.
My original plan was to go over Cooper's on Quarry Run the take a left in Bruceton and another left onto Wharton Furnace/Clifton Mills Rd. to Rt. 40, then take a left and another left onto Skyline drive, down Mud Pike, and back into town some way. I had never done any of the stated roads past Bruceton, so it was going to surely be an adventure.
Wharton Furnace road turned out to be a real treat. Amazing new pavement that rolled through farmland and open valleys. Perfect scenery and perfect pavement abounded. We ended up taking a left much before Rt. 40 onto Wirsing Rd. After about a mile or two the road turned into gravel, cut through a corn field, descended into a very narrow valley. The road turned into dirt/gravel/some mud/then back to gravel but was all still ridable (by WVU cycling standards at least). I did flat on a large rock though. Bummer.
Kept on cranking on the dirt road for about 4/5 miles until we hit a large climb upto Skyline Dr. We then headed left to descend Mud Pike, peaking out at 2,700ft max elevation. The views were amazing as was the road.
We cautiously descended Mud Pike and stopped at the bottom for a sandwich at some gas station. Mmmmm. We were about 50 miles or so into the ride at this point and at about 5,500ft of elevation gain, so we were both getting quite parched.
We went South on 857 and then across Rt 43 (the abandoned, but not so abandoned at that end, highway). Then to 119 and Pt Marion where we bailed back on the rail trail. The rail trail bailing was at my request. I recently dropped my stem way down and I'm still getting used to it. I carried too much weight on my shoulders today (literally) and was feeling the other 70 miler I had done on Sunday. No Bakers Ridge climb for us!
Hopefully everyone's enjoying the nice weathers' last big push for awhile. Go ride and explore. Go some place you haven't been before and take roads you haven't heard of. It pays off.
4 months ago