Richmond Epic 2004
November 20, 2004
Every now and then someone plans an amazing ride or group of rides that become part of history. This is definitely one of them. In May of 2004, the Richmond chapter of the Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (Richmond MORE) was established. With the hard work of some great people and some really good trails on which to ride, it was only a matter of time before something like the Richmond Epic would be taking place.
What the heck is the richmond epic? The idea started out as attempting to ride all 5 parks in the Richmond area in one day. That would have totaled close to 60 miles of singletrack in one day. If taken from beginning to end, that would be doable. But since there was a lot of driving between parks, it was decided to narrow it down to three parks split up over the course of the day.
We started out with 8-10 miles of riding at Poor Farm. Next was an afternoon ride of a little over 10 miles at Buttermilk. We finished off the evening with a long night ride at Pocahontas State Park. Having never ridden any of these trails, this was a particularly good adventure for me. Unfortunately the threat of rain prevented me from taking any photos at Buttermilk. I didn't want to risk messing up the camera when it is still brand new.
Poor Farm: Located north of Richmond, Poor farm is a network of twisty, buff singletrack. There are plenty of roots and a few rocks to mix things up. This place just SCREAMS to be ridden by a single speed. We had a blast looping around on the trails. I was busy making sure our group stayed together, so I really didn't get a feeel for the kind of loops we were doing. I know we repeated a few trails in different directions, but I would have needed a GPS to map it all out. I couldn't recreate that ride if I had to.
Buttermilk: Located near downtown Richmond along the river, the Buttermilk trail goes up and down the ridges that line the river bank. The trails are a little more technically challenging than what was found at Poor Farm. The main part of Buttermilk is great for a single speed, but the highlands loop that we did on the way back was a bit more challenging. Had I been feeling stronger, or had the new sections of trails had a bit more packed down, it would have been ridable for me on the SS. As it was, I hiked a bit. There were a lot of sections that went from downhill to uphill without much of a transition to carry momentum. Some of the SS guys didn't have a problem with it. I certainly did. The new sections of trails in the highlands were GREAT! The woops were a blast. The switchbacks were TIGHT. And I like it tight. ;)
Dinner: We went to Legends Brewery for dinner. The food was great, some beer flowed and we had a presentation of the IMBA Outdoor Stewardship toolkit award to the Richmond Chapter of MORE.
Pocahontas Night Ride: These are some seriously buff trails. A lot of good work has gone into making them really smooth and fun. The fireroads give you a great opportunity to warm up and warm down. Unfortunately we lost a few people and we had to go out and look for them. Luckily we had radios and plenty of battery time.