With our coffee situation sorted out in the form of a new pour over contraption, Tyler was now safe from the wrath of decaffeinated Louis. From West Virginia we headed east to Harrisonburg for a night of much needed sleep after two busy days climbing and biking. In the morning we were pleasantly surprised to see that there was a bit of mountain biking just outside of town. We decided we would check out Hillandale Park for a quick ride before making the trek South to Roanoke. The trails were a great mix of flowy singletrack broken up with some tricky natural rock features. Definitely worth checking out if you're headed South on 81.
Once we arrived in Roanoke we found a place to park for the night and made a game plan for the next day. About two years ago we took a trip down to Roanoke upon hearing about the great biking in the area. That trip was basically the start of all of our big adventures together so it was pretty cool to be back. On that trip we found amazing biking at Mill Mountain, and Carvin's Cove. Both are worth checking out but especially Carvin's Cove if you are looking for a big day. Some of our favorites were 4 Gorge and Lakeside.
Unfortunately the weather was not ideal for our day in Roanoke before we planned to head South to visit friends for New Years so we stuck with a short ride at Mill Mountain. Even more unfortunately Louis got a flat tire very quickly into the ride. No big deal, right? Wrong. Unfortunately Louis managed to get two flat tires at just about the same time and had to take a nice walk back to the bus. I'm sure Tyler had a blast...
After Tyler's spectacular ride in Roanoke we continued Southward avoiding rain, cold and wind. Dupont State Forest, just outside of Asheville, NC, was the destination. After picking up some new tubes for Louis's bike we found a spot to park near the trails. Morning came and so did a little bit of trouble. After deliriously walking around Wal-Mart late night to buy tubes (No bike shops open late unfortunately) we bought the wrong tubes (Really putting the "Amateur" in "Amateur Adventurers"). I had one that would work and the drive out would have been a while with the bus. We put our heads together and made a duct tape tube repair that seemed to be holding.
While in Dupont we set out on two rides. Tyler had worked in the area before so we had a decent idea of what to check out. We started out with a nice loop with a mix of fast trails and cool rocky summits with miles of slick rock riding. It included the Burnt Mountain Trail, Cedar Rock Trail and the Big Rock Trail (Our morning ride). Just after the ride we conveniently ran into one of Tyler's friends Hoyle jokingly trying to break into the bus in the parking lot. For the afternoon we went for a Dupont classic, The Ridgeline Trail. To add a bit to the ride we ended up climbing the Jim Branch trail to the Buck Forest Road. From the Buck Forest road added the Hickory Mountain Loop which from the summit gave us easily over 3 miles of flowy single track all the way to the bus.
Both rides were amazing, and somehow, Louis's duct taped tire survived the entire thing. For New Years Eve we headed into Asheville where we have some friends and are now slowly traversing Tenessee. We spent last night hitting the Honkey Tonks of Nashville (Fun with some liquid confidence) and are currently on our way to Memphis. Thanks for reading and Happy New Years!