I love base mile rides most of the time. In the early portion of the season you’re still channeling those awesome late season and winter rides where you got nowhere to be, nothing to be doing, just riding for the ride. And if the weather cooperates;which it hasn’t in Roanoke lately, you can have some seriously RAD rides.

I spent a few hours on the new Stache SS with one of my all time favorite riding goons: Brian “Ansel Twaine Buck Man” Marshal. Brian and I hooted and hollered through mostly legal trails around the Roanoke Volcano Lair known as Mill Mtn. I dont know that there is a Secret Volcano Lair under that star, but I suspect there is…why else would there be a star. I also dont know that there isnt a secret volcano lair under there, which is as good as.  If I could only ever ride Mill mtn and the surrounding trails I would be a happy little bicycler. Its some excellent quality stuff. Its an incredible shame some of those “surrounding” trails arent bicycle legal yet. Ive heard theyre rad.

Regarding those trails theres been a lot of issues opening them because of their proximity to Parkway boundaries. Theres also been a ton of down trees and brush that has caused those “legal” trail users to divert and make their own paths through, over, around, or even tunnel into the volcano lair in order to circumvent the downage. I dig that The Man (read: park ranger) wants those trails to be maintained, I understand that, but the reality is those bad boys would be buffer, clearer, safer, and sounder if only for some fat tire access. Proof:

chestnut sign

@emyhairfield likes this twice

Talk about some faith in humanity right there. Our friendly neighborhood bicyclists got out there and cleared trails they cant enjoy. #thatsabitofalright. Also note conspicuously that Buck Man is walking those trails, not riding them…conspicuously. I think he may also have seen a bird or something in the distance, coulda been a lady Buck Man.
So Ansel “Buck Man” Twain and I trucked on, faith in humanity restored! Then we found a bottle of Strawberry skank hooch with a squirrel tail sticking out of it on the side of the road, and we didnt know what that meant for our new found faith. We discovered the merits of aerodynamics
Hes probably just trying to get closer to his stem so he can stare more closely.

Hes probably just trying to get closer to his stem so he can stare more closely.

We did a little “freestyling”
The most remarkable part of our ride however was a Schofield sighting. I didnt get it on film, but i saw it!! and  strava’d it. meaning it happened. All in it was one of those great early season rides where the pace was high enough for long enough to get real benefit from it but the mood was equally high. In the many hundos to come in 2014 thats even more important. You can bury yourself in hard man miles and not have the stuff to push to the next level come when it matters because youve burned some mental matches early on in the year. You gotta have those rides that restore your faith in humanity. You gotta have those rides where you loosen up. Its about the ride man!!