Monday, October 8, 2007

The 2nd Annual Dynamo is History

A recap from Marshall:

The riders and support folks started arriving around 9:30. What a scene they made as Sparks were secured, and drank, bags were arranged, Glow Sticks were added to bodies and bikes, friends pitched in to get things together, and everyone watched in amazement as Jeff S. rolled up on a single speed mountain bike complete with fat knobbies. Basil arrived with the SAG complete with water, food, and a pump as Whitney negotiated the "Who rides next?" with him. What a welcomed sight the white Jeep was during the next 127 miles.

The appointed 10 PM rolled around and 21 "Dynamites" rolled out for the traditional lap around Court Square. Lights shone, blinkies blinked, and glow sticks dazzled as the group headed down 42S toward the fabled Reddish Knob. Strength in numbers prevailed as cars gave this weird gaggle wide berth for fear of becoming infected with whatever disease makes people ride their bikes at night. After a couple of turns the group headed up the road, straight for the Branch Gap. Appreciative whoops and hollers came from the houses lining the approach to the climb. A "Star Moment" at the dam revealed quadrillions of stars and the Milky Way poised above us. WOW! Let the climb begin.

Arrival at the Gap and the Jeep. Refreshment, food, Sparks for those who dared, another "Star Moment", a warning about the dark side decent and off again. Sketchy dirt piled inched deep on the turns, a lost Sparks, a couple of flats, numerous screams of agony as hands and forearms locked up on the brakes, abandoned riders with no lights ("The bastards left me!"), and everyone arrived at the Reddish Knob Grocery. Good natured banter about being dropped, whose Sparks was on the road, Whitney's first big downhill, the flats, Basil's getting ready to ride, and where in the hell do we go from here?

A group ride to Sugar Grove then off on CR 21/Cow Pasture River Road. One deer moment greeted with cowboy like whoops from the front riders. Some low fog made every stretch of road seem uphill. For those whose lights were sketchy there were good friends who provided guidance. Almost asleep, Rt 250 loomed and passed under the wheels as the Jeep appeared. Another recharging while the riders discussed the calm road behind not expecting what lay ahead. Off down Cow Pasture River Road South and cries of dismay as the pavement turned to gravel. The narrow, winding gravel sucked at the will to hang-on or even attempt a Sparks and forced the sleepy peleton awake. A massive chain suck stopped Andy in his tracks and presented a daunting task to amateur mechanics. No problem for a Power Link.

Williamsville, "Oh thank G—for Williamsville". Another Star Moment, this time deep in the boughs of mountains on either side, with no human light pollution, every star that ever existed shown on the group. Paced to Scotchtown Draft in record time, another turn to find gravel waiting, and the exit climb back to the east of the Shenandoah Mountain. One more flat, abandoned riders without light enough to proceed and arrival at RT 629 for the road ride back home, albeit another 50 miles. The sighting as the valley opened up. The Smiling Moon looked down above the eastern horizon with Mercury to its upper right like a beauty mark. The quadrillion stars became a googol (look it up) as dawn was only an hour or so away, and none to soon.

West Augusta and Carpenter's Store came into view. It was getting damp and a bit cold compared to the earlier hours. Magically as the last rider pulled in the store opened up. Hot coffee became the replacement for Sparks.

Saddled back up for the ride out of the mountains and a return to the Valley the group paced up Dividing Ridge, over Leading Ridge and to Stokesville. A miss step to Staunton Dam led a rider and the SAG on a 2 mile detour. "How much more?" was the common question while waiting for everyone to arrive. There are seven miles to Sangeville, and six miles to Bridgewater then how many miles to Harrisonburg? Sunshine perked everyone up for the controlled ride back home and breakfast. One or two sketchy moments as riders were not on top of their game riding in a group again. Chalk that up to the fact everyone had been riding for ten or more hours and awake for 24-27 hours from the day before. Light banter and "unauthorized" sprint points sprinkled in while the miles zoomed under the wheels.

Ah, Harrisonburg, and a parade down Main Street past the starting point, straight to the Little Grill. "What, full?" NO!!! BREAKFAST! BEER! No worry, sandwiched in with the "normal" folks having "normal" breakfasts were the crazy "Dynamites" their pitchers and buckets of Pabst added to the hot cakes and groovy gravy. Talk of the ride, the night, the stars, the magic, energizer legs Jeff, the Wo show, Sparks, not more gravel, Reddish, Reddish descent, Whitney's first group ride, Julian's first century, Basil's support, and another Dynamo is done.

"Where is the SAG, back at the shop? No, I just want to go home, I don't want to ride back to the shop. My butt hurts."

See everyone next year.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


if you are going to ride, you should try and make this:

Friday at 7:30 at 1221-A Old Windmill Cir. End of Park, right on Harmony, left on Buttonwood, right on Tyway Crossing, left on Old Windmill first house on left. It is a 5 apt. house so everyone has to respect the other folks and be calm about the meeting. ie. quiet. but that will work. We'll probably be outside anyway.

Monday, October 1, 2007

it is a go

the maps are ready the ride is on.

shoot us an email if you are planning to or matt.styer @ gmail . com

not sure about a meeting. stay tuned for more details.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Rocktown Dynamo "A Very Scary Ride"

Rocktown Dynamo
118 miles
10PM leave Court Square Harrisonburg, VA
Loop over Reddish Knob; Sugar Grove, WV; a long pull down the hollow to Williamsville; over Scotchtown Draft; Deerfield; West Augusta; Elkhorn Lake; back to the burg in time to eat breakfast at the Little Grill Sunday morning.

Sat. Oct 6th- Sun Oct 7th
Maps provided, maybe some sag, maybe not, probably, need GOOD lights or a very nice friend.
Contact Matt Styer matt.styer at gmail . com or Marshall Hammond marshall_hammond at

Meeting of interested persons this coming week. Date and time to be announced.

If you have a mailing list feel free to pass this on.

The Ride Called Dynamo

It's time to suit up and head out in the night.
I've brought my arm warmers and red, blinky light.
They're all that I have now to keep safe and warm,
to help me to manage to weather the storm.

Flash go the headlamps and now I can see
a few dozen others as crazy as me.
A few dozen others who haven't a clue
of what this thing is that they're going to do.

Once out in the silence we slip through the night
and fall into paceline and fall out of sight.
Of civilization, of safety and and more
and into the realm of the deadly unsure.

But what if I freeze in the blistering cold
or what if my chain is just simply too old
and it snaps and then what if i run out of food
or go through the last of my extra spare tubes?

What if my dérailleur decides to break off
or what if a spoke just flies off with a pop
and leaves me here stranded all freezing and stark,
and leaves me to die the chill of the dark?

Or what if it's me that just simply can't take
all the hills and the climbs and I'm just not in shape.
And I cramp and I fall on the black of the road
and there's no one there watching to pick up my load?

Oh why would I ride here, ride out in the cold
knowing my gear or my body might fold?
And who in their right mind would ride out this far
in the dead of the night on the steel on the tar?

Maybe its pride or its envy or vane
or maybe, just maybe I just like the pain.
But when it comes down to the truth its just fear,
fear of the small little voice that I hear.

The voice that just lingers inside of my head
and says if I try that I'll surely be dead.
The voice that just tells me how I'm always wrong,
and that I will fail and I've failed all along

And tells me that I'd never come home alive
if I were to go on this bicycle ride.
So I've got to, I'm off and I'm going to go.
I'm going to ride and I'm going to show

that voice who's the boss of this life that I live.
I'll show who takes orders and I'll show who gives.
And, maybe, you know that the voice could be right,
And maybe I'll never return home tonight.

Yes maybe I'll shiver or suffer or die,
but I'll never wonder what could have been mine.
But if I don't return then at least you'll all know
that I road the ride,
the ride.. called Dynamo.

poem by Pat Kennel

Friday, September 14, 2007


Things are in motion. The ride is on. It will be happening Oct. 6th at 1o pm until the sun comes up on Sunday morning. It is a loop this year. It is 119 miles. This is a scary ride, you should be afraid, in fact, you probably shouldn't even think about riding this. It is going to be dark and cold. You probably won't make it, there is no sag to come pick you up and your cell phone won't work up in the mountains so you can't call your wife to come pick you up. You will climb a mountain, you will ride on a lot of gravel roads through the woods. Ok, there might be a sag. Did I mention it will be dark and cold?

Here is the route.

Reddish Knob Dynamo

Alternate Route

More info to come...

Check out last year's Douthat Dynamo for an idea of what to expect.