Slaterville dirt ride

It’s been a long year, without much riding for me other than commuting. Apparently in your late twenties everyone gets married. Anyway, when I heard that someone was going to head out for the Slaterville route, I couldn’t say no. I had built up my Soma Double Cross a few years ago specifically for rides like this and D2R2. It’s still a great bike for it, and a pleasure to ride on dirt.As usual, I started from home. It was a pleasant 10 miles to Brooktondale, and for once I left the house with time to spare and didn’t have to sprint up the east hill. I’ve done the Slaterville route twice before, and many of the parts I’ve ridden on various other rides. So none of this was new to me, but a good recap of dirt roads that make riding this area so great. Nine people showed at the start.

In the first 15 miles, we had two flats. Alex on a single speed had to wrench off the rear wheel after descending in Shindagin, and I threw a new tube on and we were off again. Mark got the second flat, and his magical tubeless tire didn’t seal and he got the lucky job of putting a tube in the goopy tire. Yeah, I’ll give tubeless some more years of development before trying it I think… We made our first pit stop in Speedsville, and were surprised we hadn’t gone farther in this time, but oh well, it’s still fun.

Level Green (not level), Robinson Hollow, Lacey, and Seamons climbs were next. On the Jim Schug trail, there was a bridge out, and I didn’t notice any signs until at the bridge itself. But we picked up the bikes and walked or crawled on the beams over raging rapids. Or was it a tricking brook, I can’t remember, but we all survived. The infamous Beam Hill was ahead, and I was ready with my new super-compact double: 30/46t in front, 11-28t in back. I got up faster than last time, but still a measly 2 seconds from the Strava record. Non-Strava-ing Paul beat me by a long shot anyway.

Paul had stashed a cooler at the top of the hill, and we drank Dr. Peppers and ate gummy candies and other glorious treats. Huge thanks to Paul for planning ahead and setting that up! Then it was back to fully layering up for the descent. All day it was on and off jacket weather. I mostly kept it off because I had a thick wool jersey on.

Up Speed Hill and down Gulf Creek we went. We passed a woman laying on her back with her feet up on a tree, almost stopping to see if she needed medical assistance but she was all smiles. Weird, but this is Ithaca I guess! One of my favorite roads is Leonard, which was just about the end of the route. 8 people finished the entire thing, and I headed home for the remaining 10 miles, bringing my total for the day around 75. No rain, no snow, and great fall temperatures made this edition of the ride my favorite.

Here’s the Strava data from the ride: http://www.strava.com/activities/91748402

For anyone looking for more dirt rides, I have a lot of previously written reports from past rides posted here: https://geekguyandy.wordpress.com/category/dirt-roads/. Lots of exploring to do on “roads” most people don’t even know exist.
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