My buddy MS and I successfully completed another grand adventure last weekend. This time the plan was to catch a Silversun Pickups show on Friday night followed by riding York River State Park on Saturday. Specifically, we were on the hunt for new singletrack that had been generously constructed through the hard work of EVMA.
After taking advantage of our early entry benefit, we camped at one of the upstairs tables while a local band had the opportunity to fill the opening act slot. From what I recall, they sounded decent (we couldn’t see the stage very well), but MS and I were distracted by people watching and conversation and didn’t pay much attention.
At the conclusion of the opening act, we grabbed a couple of Jomo Lagers and headed down to the floor. The place had filled up nicely and we took a spot near the sound booth in the back of the venue. The good thing about a place like the Norva is that even in the back you aren’t that far from the stage.
If you are familiar with the Silversun Pickups, then you are aware of the textured soundscape they create. I am pleased to report they do not disappoint live. And their heavy bits seemed way heavier live and it sounded fantastic.
After the show, we followed our typical M.O. by picking up a pie at Granby Street Pizza. This time we ordered a white pizza with basil.
I slept until around 8 o’clock. What? Man, I felt great when I got up. I did my best to quietly move about, but soon MS was awake and looking fresh! I brewed some coffee and drank the whole pot and MS ate a slice of pizza. He then wrapped the remaining two pieces up in the dry cleaning bag so he could take it with him on the trail.
With checkout not until Noon, we embraced the casual pace of the morning. We eventually got cleaned up and ready to hit streets of Norfolk to dine at our regular haunt: D’Egg. Exiting the Taz, we were rudely greeted by a cold, windy, drizzle. Hmmm, this wasn’t in the forecast. No worries though. Breakfast is on the horizon.
With coffees, juices, and waters covering the table, we eagerly awaited our meals. I had eggs, bacon, hash browns, and toast while MS went with the steak and eggs. By all accounts, it was delicious and totally hit the spot. We also got a kick out of the guy bussing tables that ended his comments with a “Woo Woo”. You had to be there, but it was pretty entertaining.
Oh, did I mention we got orders to go for lunch on the trail? I went BLT and MS went grilled cheese with ham (which turned out to be sans ham) and mac and cheese. As the waitress noted, that’s a lot of cheese.
We arrived at YRSP just before 1PM and after MS ate a slice of pizza we set out to find new singletrack. We remembered seeing it intersect the fire roads last time we were there, but still weren’t real sure where to go.
So, we headed up the fire road, jumped on Beaver Trail, followed by some more fire road, hopped on Laurel Glen, checked out some Bobcat Run, cruised some more fire road, and a had a close encounter with Comanche the not-so-at-ease horse before finally stumbling upon some brand spanking new trail. MS proclaimed that we were the first people from Richmond to ride it. Who am I to argue?
The trail went both directions off of the road, and we chose to go right on what, in hindsight, we think is the “C” trail. It was in pretty good shape, but still needs a lot of working in. As such, it takes more effort to pedal along versus a seasoned trail.
As we progressed, the completion status of the trail seemed to diminish to the point where at the end we were just following flags through the woods. There was nothing even raked out. We were confident it would eventually lead us back to a fire road, which it did. Somewhere in between we found a great spot to stop and have lunch and a warm Ellies Brown Ale.
We traced our way back to where we previously accessed the trail and entered the trail on the left this time (B trail?). We followed it all the way back to the beginning of A, which is darn close to the Bobcat Run trail. Note to self.
We estimate there were about 8-10 miles of new trail. There isn’t much in the way of technical features and there isn’t really a lot of elevation change compared to some of the other trails in YRSP. Once it gets worked in it should be fast and furious and an awesome addition to the existing trail network.
We had a few miles back to the parking lot, and I was getting tired, so MS agreed to call it a day at YRSP. Turns out he was so agreeable because he had a little surprise in store for me. I begrudgingly accepted his invitation to go check out Upper County. He promised me 4 miles of “pansy trails”, if I recall accurately.
The ride from YRSP to Upper County allowed me some R&R and allowed MS to eat more pizza. Upper County is a nice little park. In fact, I commented to MS that they really know how to do parks down that way. There was a nice pool, horse shoe pits, playing fields, playgrounds, a huge pavilion with rest rooms and a fire place, and a second smaller pavilion with composite picnic tables and grills.
What about the trail? Well, Upper County is the little trail that could. It’s fun, tight, twisty, and rooty with some fast descents and fun climbs. Had I not already been somewhat fatigued, I would have enjoyed it even more. I gotta give credit to MS. Upper County was the cherry on top of an awesome weekend.
So here’s ’til the next show and ride adventure. By the way, Marilyn Manson is playing the Norva on Friday, July 2nd. Just saying.