MS and I had been planning a bikepacking trip for weeks. A week ago, we were absolutely giddy with anticipation as we closed in on the departure date. Gear ready. Bikes ready. Weather forecast nearly perfect. Then, as often is the case, the weather forecast changed. And not for the better.
The forecast continued to worsen as the week went on requiring a nearly game time decision. I had no personal interest in being in the National Forest in the rain and sub-50 degree temps. Unfortunately for me, MS is always gung ho (you may think he’s kidding, but I assure you he is not), so sometimes I have to be the voice of reason and take the brunt of responsibility for being a buzz kill.
I threw in the towel, but not without proposing a plan B: spend the day at Walnut Creek in Charlottesville. Saturday’s forecast was pretty good with the only real threat of bad weather beginning late in the day. MS accepted my proposal and we, um, shifted gears.
We left the house at about 8 AM and did not return home until about 6:30 PM. In between was a lot of riding. While reported as having only 15 miles of trails, I am here to tell you that it is 15 miles of trail that will work you. And with the ability to mix up routes and go in both directions, the options are endless.
After one downhill section on Wilkins Way trail (the reward for two absolutely crazy climbs), MS told me that it was the most fun he has ever had on his bike. It’s hard to top that. On the drive home, we were exhausted and having trouble forming coherent sentences, but MS somehow managed to repeatedly convey to me that he had an awesome time. My work here is done.
As I write this, it is 40 degrees and raining where we were planning to ride/camp (and not much better here), and I can honestly say I am perfectly happy sitting in my warm home this morning, drinking coffee, and reliving yesterday’s delight. So maybe I am not as hard core as some, but as far as I am concerned, Plan B will certainly do in a pinch.