May 22, 2012

102 mile Fairfax Country Epic mountain bike loop

I did this ride on Friday May 18th. It was just Jeff and I (mike).

It was a beautiful day to be outside (70 degrees and sunny) and we rode a loop that we did last in snow and 22 degree (F) temperatures in mid-February with Dylan, Ian and Kevin also along.

We started off early (7:30 am) to beat the DC traffic to get to the trailhead at Old Georgetown Pike and we didn't finish our ride till about 8:45 pm. We hit Difficult Run, Lake Fairfax Park, the Fairfax Cross Country Trail, Fountainhead Park, Laurel Hill Park, Accotink Park and Wakefield Park - pretty much all of the major mountain bike parks and trails inside Fairfax County (or at least those that we could make into a big loop)

The last 10-15 min it was very dark and hard to see. The ride took so long because I was having a bunch of mechanicals that added 4-5 hours to our ride, including a snapped front brake lever (I rode for 60 miles with just rear brakes) and brake pads that decided to die after getting so much use on the rear (we had to do a trail-side swap and mostly rebuild the old brakes).  This is why it's such a good thing to have a race and a training bike. My training bike takes a lot of abuse during the week from these long rides and my race bike is pristine and ready to go on the weekends.

Jeff, 70 miles in

Jeff, giant dirt jumps near Wakefield Park

Trying to rebuild a sheared-off front brake lever following a crash (the rebuild attempt didn't work)
The Conti X-King 2.2 ProTection RTR tires were awesome for this ride - fast rolling, quiet and tons of grip
Gorgeous singletrack

Using maps on an iPhone in a case to keep us going in the right direction
While the sign said "Please Brake for Snakes" all we saw were lots of deer ticks
Getting rid of ticks that were trying to hitch a ride home with us

The loop


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