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Dragon's Back (2008)

dates April 6, 2008
http://www.mountainbikevirginia.com/dragon.htm New Castle, VA [large map] 37.5021, -80.1109
World http://www.mountainbikevirginia.com/drag...
Tag_green East
Award_star_gold_2 Cross Country
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When the mighty Smaug crash-landed in Craig County, ‘round about 27,345 B.C. on a Tuesday, he tore the ground up pretty good. When the townsfolk covered up that nasty carcass, a new ridgeline was created that left a craggy scar on the horizon silhouetting his horrible spine. But don’t frolic in the autumn mist¾this ain’t no land called Hanna Lee. It’s awe-inspiring, trepidation-building, fire-breathing mountain bike country. The infamous Dragon’s Back is a true fire-breather if there ever was one. The course is a figure 8, with only a 2 mile singletrack (climb!) duplicated. Here is a real skill-rider’s dream, with the singletrack marred and pocked with granite, shale and Smaug’s scales. We thought mud wasn’t possible, but after 1998’s epic, we graciously pull that claim back. Generally, it’s rocky enough to prevent unsightly mud build up. Check directions at their web page!

Cross Country

Cost: Race day $30, $35 pro/semi-pro
Course Description: Start on a Wildlife road before taking a left up the rise to the top on pure singletrack (Grouse Trail). Once upon the dragon’s very back, the first time, take a right. After a mile of sweet gnarliness, take a right on what we refers to as sidehill trail, this one known as the Deer. This is a 1500’ plunge with hellbent-hairpin switchbacks. Once back on Wildlife Road, take a left, then a quick right on a neat one-mile trail, the Ring O’ Fire. Back on Wildlife, take a left and head a mile or so back to the Grouse. This time it’s a right, and back up the all-too-familiar climb. Back on top, this time hook a left, and ride the rocky narrow single-to-quarter-track ridge until you reach the Turkey Trail about 3 miles hence, which provides gratifying gravity release. Take that plunge 2 miles off the rascal and your back on Wildlife road again, only you’ve passed the starting line while on top of the ridge. Hang a left on Wildlife Road, ride 2 more forest road miles, and your home again.
Fast experts will complete the 18 mile course at just under 2 hours. Beginners do a shorter loop in 1 ½ hours. XXC will clock in at around 5 hours (course untested). Course Length: 18 miles, XXC 35 miles.


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