Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Short, intense ramble

Monday, July 13th, 2009

On Friday, I did some exploration on Larksville Mountain. I found a bit of a different way to climb up, partially it’s still on Mountain Road, but there’s a detour on a part of Steele Road (gravel) that’s new to me. I had some additional exploration in mind as well. This ended up being a very intense ride, only 13.4 miles, but it took 2 hours and I climbed 1800 feet in that time. Plus, much of it was on loose gravel.

View GPS device in a larger map

Elevation Profile

The ride started with the same climb as usual up Larksville Mountain. Unfortunately, I had to climb further than I realized on Mountain Road. This new route did avoid some hard climbing, but not as much as I’d hoped. Still, Steele Road has a decent gravel surface, and it’s a lot quieter than Mountain Road.





Once I more or less reached the top, I ambled over to Corby Rd. I’ve ridden there a few times and I knew it was just 1-2 flat, smooth gravel miles over to a nice view of Bunker Hill.



I took a break for a few minutes, and ate a few wild raspberries (actually, I think they were not-yet-ripe blackberries) I found growing near the road. I didn’t stay still for long, though, as the flies were bad. I decided to follow Corby Road to its northern terminus, a part of the road I had not yet explored. I encountered some loose, sandy gravel along the way. Tricky riding, but the scenery was good..








I headed back over to Mountain Road and then Weavertown Road, where I had more climbing to do. But it wasn’t too intense, and I felt rejuvenated after a few miles of flat riding. I turned off into a subdivision that looked interesting from some map study and enjoyed a rather steep, twisty descent of a couple hundred feet. Though it was a little disconcerting as I knew I would just have to climb back up later.

The neighborhood itself wasn’t all that interesting, but a nearly-hidden gravel road off to the side beckoned for me to explore it. I acquiesced, and found a power line right-of-way with some steep, rocky gravel roads, with a large stone and a glimpse across to the mountains on the other side of the valley. I carefully navigated the loose gravel and rocks, and climbed up near the stone. I managed to get some pretty good views of a bit of the valley, and beyond.









I went around to the other side of the stone and got some more nice views. To my surprise there was an SUV parked there. I could hear motorcycles or ATVs nearby, and I could see that there were more trails/power line runs branching off from this point. Not sure how rideable they’d be on a bicycle, especially the Trucker. It might be interesting on my mountain bike. I lingered for a few minutes before heading back.


Looking toward my return route, Mountain Road (on top of the ridge)




The climb back through the neighborhood was very difficult. Some parts were very steep. Once I got back on Mountain Road, I took another detour to explore Valley View Road. I was hoping it would live up to its name, but contrary to my GPS, and Google Maps, the road simply ends. There were no connecting roads whatsoever, and no views of the valley. It was, however, a beautiful gravel road lined with wildflowers — while it lasted.




I headed back to Mountain Road to descend into the valley. After all that climbing, it felt great to let loose and have the wind cool me.

This was a fun ride, and I found some very interesting new places. However, it was also probably the hardest 13-mile ride I’ve ever done.

One Response to “Short, intense ramble”

  1. Tim Says:

    1800ft in 13m is pretty shocking. We did a very hard (I felt terrible) 50-miler with 2400ft of climbing and it felt like I did nothing the entire ride but either go up or down, the “feeling” mostly b/c my legs were bad in the 2nd 25. I applaud you for your efforts. And the pics, as ever, are nice.

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