Shenandoah Bicycle Company https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com Bike Sales, Service, Repair, Rental, Supplies, Pulp Cafe Fri, 06 May 2022 12:20:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/images/favicon-2-150x150.png Shenandoah Bicycle Company https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com 32 32 GET READY FOR THE NEW SEASON! https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/get-ready-for-the-new-season/ Fri, 06 May 2022 12:04:09 +0000 https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/?p=247 We have lots of bikes in stock and treats at the PULP Cafe. The PATIO is OPEN. Click to learn more …

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PLAY EBIKE MINI-MOVIEWould an ebike enhance your day today? … funny 5 minute video https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/play-ebike-mini-moviewould-an-ebike-enhance-your-day-today-funny-5-minute-video/ Mon, 02 May 2022 19:35:43 +0000 https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/?p=2017 MENU Drafts on tap https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/menu-beer-and-cider-on-tap-a/ Sun, 01 May 2022 20:12:00 +0000 https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/?p=2036 Super Bowl Sunday Ride https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/super-bowl-sunday-ride/ Tue, 22 Feb 2022 18:51:01 +0000 https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/?p=1491

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Super Bowl Sunday Ride, 2022

2022 — Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

Super Bowl Sunday Ride, 2022

On February 13, 2022, the annual Super Bowl Sunday ride took place. All were welcomed on the ride, and all showed up. There were fat-bikers, gravel riders, and mountain riders … all enjoying the frigid pedal up the Reddish Knob Road. Those willing to brave the previous night’s snowfall experienced a delightful snow-coated landscape. The Shenandoah Bicycle Company crew met at the Hone Quarry Recreation parking area and ventured out to meet up with several enthusiasts enduring the elements. Several groups began to combine once we reached the Saddle and headed out toward Flagpole Knob. The pedal from the saddle to Flagpole would have been nearly impossible if not for the help of some off-roaders who packed in nice tracks for us to pedal through. A pursuit commenced of who could stay up the longest in the tracks, laugh the loudest, and we all encouraged each other to keep going.

Super Bowl Sunday Ride, 2022

Once we reached Flagpole knob, more riders from different routes met us, conversed, and shared lots of trail snacks. We all prepared to descend down Red Diamond (Slate Springs), a challenging black diamond descent with technical off-camber sections, sharp turns, and steep shoots, made more difficult by the several inches of snow on the ground. A brief doubletrack ride from Flagpole places you at the start of Red Diamond. From there, we all experienced the loudest laughs and biggest smiles of the day. After Red Diamond, we made the brief pedal back to Hone Quarry, immediately jumping in the car to warm up. Following the ride, the SBC crew all met up for pizza and beer at our favorite spot and regaled each other with our riding stories. Anyway, who won the Super Bowl?

Jake Ross
Super Bowl rider and guest blogger


2021 — Shenandoah Mountain – offering plenty of space to social distance!

With the past year being anything but normal, it seemed more important than ever to try and keep one of the local annual cycling traditions alive. To keep the most un-normal ride going for another year seemed only fitting in these un-normal times. The Super Bowl Sunday ride had to keep living. It had to go on for another year like it has for the past 35+ years. I wanted to make sure the spirit of the folks who started the annual Super Bowl Sunday ride crested the mountain even if their bodies did not. Those spirits are what keep me and others going back to Flagpole each Super Bowl Sunday, regardless of what Mother nature or the mountain has to offer.

Jack and David at the intersection (the split between Flagpole, Reddish Knob and WV),
Super Bowl Sunday Ride, 2021

Ever since my first Super Bowl Sunday ride in 1991, the ride has felt like an assault on the big mountain, Shenandoah Mountain. That first year I was scared and intimidated of riding with folks who had a lot more experience than I, folks who I respected in the bike community. Little did I know what really deserved the most respect was the mountain that loomed ahead. The warmth and welcome the riders shared with me that first year inspired me and gave me the needed confidence to climb the mountain. When the road went from pavement to long stretches of ice, I realized we had little to no control, regardless of our riding resume or lack thereof. Watching rider after rider slip and slide along the forest service road to Hone Quarry Ridge made me laugh and wonder what the hell we were doing on this mountain.

That first year of my Super Bowl riding history quickly taught me how much easier it is to go outside of your comfort zone when there are other trusting souls by your side. I learned that the Super Bowl Sunday ride is about battling the mountain as a team, being an army to try and make it to the top of the mountain. Not every year are we victorious; some riders make it to the top and some do not.

Watching out for each other, regardless of knowing the rider, is another part that makes this annual ride so special. I can count on two occasions where riders deviated from the posse, did not take the buddy system to heart, and ended up staying on the mountain well after the Lombardi trophy was lifted. I think this has taught a lot of folks that you don’t mess with the mountain, you don’t assume someone knows where you are, and that you have tools for the elements. We need to do this assault together; socially distant or not, we can look out for each other. But regardless of what happened in the past, a team of old and new riders will come out each year for another assault of Shenandoah Mountain. The 2021 ride had to happen!

In this year of Covid, I know of only seven bike tracks to make the final pitches to Flagpole on Super Bowl Sunday. There is another confirmed case of an assault from the Northeast but that rider had to turn around well before Flagpole. One element that excites me every year on this ride is the rider who is new to the Super Bowl ride tradition. This rider is usually filled with fear, excitement, and unknowingness of what lies ahead. Usually, those new to the ride are not prepared for what the mountain has to offer, but that is why we attack the mountain as a team. It is a group ride, not a race. We win when we are all off the mountain safely.

Leaving the pavement behind,
Super Bowl Sunday Ride, 2021

This year only two of us rolled out of the Briery Branch Community Center together. With snowflakes coming to an end and the shimmer of light beginning to shine through the clouds, David and I began our assault on the mountain. Once past Hone Quarry rec area we were joined by fellow SBC’r Jack, and the army grew by 50%. Your first indication of what the mountain has to offer is at the VDOT line where the plows turn around and you learn of the conditions that lay ahead. This VDOT line, ½ mile past Tillman Road, would be our last pavement siting for the next 4 hours. As we slowly made the grind in the tracks of previous 4 wheel vehicles, we felt the peacefulness of snow while soaking in the visual contrast of black and white that blanketed the mountain. When you get to the Briery Branch Dam, the mountain looms ahead, standing tall at 4300+ ft. The time to adjust your wardrobe is now, before you begin the 4 mile wall that takes you to the intersection.

Jack at the intersection (the split between Flagpole, Reddish Knob and WV),
Super Bowl Sunday Ride, 2021

When you get to the intersection (the split between Flagpole, Reddish Knob and WV), the mountain gives you another glimpse of what is in store. Here the truck tracks ended and the fresh blanket of snow gave evidence of two riders ahead, forging their way to Flagpole Knob. At this point, our ride went from on the bike to 50% traction control and 50% trudging on foot, but we were not to be stopped. As a few 4×4 vehicles passed, they gazed and wondered. We waved and knew that their tracks would only make our slow going that much harder. The final ¼ mile pitch to Flagpole is when the mountain puts up the biggest battle, but when you have made it this far you will not let 2′ snow drifts stop you from the summit.

The summit can be an hour long layover or a quick 5 minute break. For the 3 of us in our troop, we knew our time on Flagpole would be short.

The wind was picking up and the temperature made you wish for the warmth that the Valley offered. Fortunately we were on Flagpole long enough to be joined by Ken and Eli, whose assault on the mountain started in town. Regardless of your time spent at the highest point of Rockingham County, you always make sure you grab a quick photo. Like Everest or the Moon, you must take this snapshot of time. It will serve as a reminder of why you do the hard stuff.

Jack and David on Flagpole, Super Bowl Sunday Ride, 2021

When it comes to descending off the mountain, this is where many mistakes can be made. The body goes from being a heat generator to a vulnerable creature with a cold fan blowing in your face. The warmest way off the mountain is the quickest and steepest, Slate Spring Trails, aka Red Diamond. Through fear and excitement, this 2 mile elevator shaft will warm any body, making this the best route for the cold and tired. Red Diamond in the snow is a mix of mountain biking, surfing and snowboarding. Like all these sports you need to find the balance and strength to stay upright. For me, these slippery uncontrollable conditions are special and go to the core of what attracted me to mountain biking. To share this descent with David and Jack is another great page in my history of Super Bowl Rides.

When we finally got to the bottom of Red Diamond, where the pitch instantly goes from 30% to 0 we caught up with the first two souls who made tire tracks on the mountain that day. They had just returned from the waterfall trail and were happy to know others were on the mountain. At this point of the ride you pedal out with a sense of camaraderie, a sense of victory, another assault of Shenandoah Mountain on Super Bowl Sunday in the books. The fireroad to Hone Quarry Dam usually offers south facing warmth with a backdrop of Flagpole Knob. You look back and know what a different world it is up there. If you look hard enough I swear you can see 35+ years of mountain bike spirits and souls circling the mountain.

See ya next Super Bowl Sunday on the flanks of Shenandoah Mountain, where we will squeeze in tight for a non socially distant photo!

Thomas Jenkins
Super Bowl rider and lover of Shenandoah Mountain

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PODCAST — “Mountain Biking with Thomas Jenkins” https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/podcast-by-virginia-outdoor-adventures/ Mon, 17 Jan 2022 19:43:08 +0000 https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/?p=1810

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Thomas Jenkins shows VAOA podcast host Jessica Bowser their route on the Western Slope
Photo courtesy of J. Bowser

Virginia has earned bragging rights as one of the best places for mountain biking on the east coast. From the well-maintained slopes of Massanutten to over 100 miles of backcountry trails within George Washington National Forest, Harrisonburg, Virginia has something for every experienced or beginner rider.

We always joke about whether we spend more time riding or hanging out in the parking lot, eating and drinking. But that’s the mountain biking community, and that’s the Virginia outdoors. It’s about people.
~ Thomas Jenkins, SBC

VAOA podcast host Jessica Bowser enjoys a ride on the Western Slope with Thomas
Photo courtesy of J. Bowser

Fueled by his love for two wheels, Thomas Jenkins, co-owner of Shenandoah Bicycle Company in downtown Harrisonburg, has spent 25 years working to improve trails and transportation in his community. A former mountain biking competitor, Thomas shares how to access the best local trails for all experience levels. Whether you want to cruise a country road or shred on a downhill, Thomas shares the tips and tricks you need to plan your off-road adventure.

Let’s Go!

Listen through VAOA

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How to pack for a trail ride starting with the essentials https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/every-ride-essentials/ Wed, 15 Dec 2021 17:14:21 +0000 https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/?p=1776

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Whether you’re heading for triple-digit backcountry miles or a quick pre-work rip on the local trails, these essentials are critical to keep on your bike day in and day out.

  1. A full water bottle
    It should go without saying that hydration is key for any ride.
  2. Mini pump and CO2 inflator
    Spare tubes won’t get you far if you’re without a way to inflate them. The Bontrager Air Rush Elite CO₂ Inflator cuts inflation time to get you back on the trail faster.
  3. Spare tube
    Even in the tubeless era, a spare tube can save a ride when a puncture just won’t seal.
  4. Tire levers
    Essential for changing tubes.
  5. A multi-tool with Allen keys, Torx keys, a spare quick-link, and tire plugs
    Simplify mechanicals with a sleek, integrated multitool that hides neatly in your steertube, and quickly plug flats that won’t seal on your tubeless tires.
  6. Zip ties and duct tape
    Handy do-it-all supplies that will help you fix most issues on the trail.

Gear tip

Wrap a little duct tape around the bottom of your mini pump for easy access without extra bulk, and store spare zip ties inside of your pump, if it has a space for them. Alternatively, stash zip ties inside your handlebars secured together with a rubber band to prevent rattling while you ride.

Adapt this list to your needs

If you’re asthmatic add an inhaler, or if you have allergies make sure you’ve always got an EpiPen ready to go. These are just the basics, and you can fine-tune your essentials individually.

This excerpt is part of a longer article by Christina Chappetta on the TREK website.

Learn more

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An upgrade that sweetens every ride https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/an-upgrade-that-improved-my-ride/ Wed, 01 Sep 2021 19:54:21 +0000 https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/?p=1689

Continue reading]]> I have been riding the same bike for decades. I shop for new bikes all the time but I haven’t purchased the dreamboat yet. In the meantime, my ride has gotten sweeter with each upgrade!

My favorite improvement is the JonesBar. This handlebar has changed my biking experience.

It shortened, heightened and widened how my hands hold the handles, instantly a better fit for my short-waisted body. My sensitive wrists are happy because the change pushes my weight onto my comfy sheepskin seatcover 🙂

I feel more in control and this is a nice bonus. The grips provide leverage so I can get a burst of speed if I need it with much better balance while riding slowly. There’s lots of attachment spots for dashboard accessories like a bell, computer, headlight and pouch.

Through the years, my bike has evolved. I love being able to get to where I’m going while having a good time. Your bike doesn’t have to be the latest model. It’s important that you ride.

by Amy, guest columnist

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It’s summer time, go for a Mountain Bike bike ride … https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/its-summer-time-go-for-a-mountain-bike-bike-ride/ Tue, 25 May 2021 18:54:59 +0000 https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/?p=1608

Continue reading]]> Last week I had a text from a friend who was coming to the Burg with some old buddies to ride for a few days. I had not talked with Jesse in years and probably the last time we saw each other in person was during 24 Hours of Moab in the late 90’s. Jesse and his group from North Carolina were coming to the area for 3 days of tasting Harrisonburg trails. The crew planned to hit the lift served trails at Bryce, then spend a day on the Western Slope of Massanutten before taking their final vacation leg west of town. I was super happy that I would be able to give them more than just directions, but actually be their tour guide for a few hours on the last day.

Whenever you take folks you do not know on a mountain bike ride there are always looming clouds of questions in your mind. Mountain biking is such a broad term and folks it can mean so many different things to different folks. I would soon find out what mountain biking would mean to this group of friends.

Not knowing what type of riding the crew of 4 wanted to experience I picked a meeting location with options, Braley Pond. From this part of the forest there are a handful of 3 hour loops that usually do not disappoint. If you are open to letting rides be more of an outdoor experience, an adventure and less of certain ride expectations you have so many more offerings.

After quick introductions the guest stated they were up to anything that had them back to the car in 3 hours so they could hit the road to home and family. I rolled the mental ride dice and it landed on Crawford Knob hike-a-bikes/Chimney Hollow. Knowing this might be a tough roll and even harder ascent I smiled and told the crew the down hill does not disappoint. Note to reader: if your guide ever tells you this it means there will be some tough goings before you get to the “does not disappoint” part.

The first several miles of the ride consisted mostly of paved and gravel roads that slowly tilted upwards, giving me the opportunity to warn them of the Crawford hike-a-bikes. My warnings of the pitches ahead seemed to bounce off them. Their minds were taking in the beauty of the forest, they were only concerned about what we were doing now not what laid ahead. I had now become the student, the client, as these veterans of off road riding were reintroducing me to the full experience of mountain biking. With every pedal stroke this crew was taking in the surrounding forest and enjoying each word of conversation. Mountain biking is more about what is around than what you are on.

When we arrived at the top of the gravel climb we took the left and were immediately greeted by the first Crawford Knob pitch. These pitches are steep and long, soul crushing regardless if you ride or hike the faces. As we topped out of the first pitch I awaited for a barrage of foul language directed towards me, instead I had 4 veteran riders laughing at this experience. Even though each was past their riding prime they still knew what it meant to enjoy the woods, regardless of what the trail brings. Two miles later we finally arrived at the top of the downhill, this is the time for any guide to pump up their crew, tell them they now will be rewarded for all their effort. What came out of their mouth next is something I have never heard at the top of Chimney Hollow, “this is awesome”. We had yet done any descending but this crew was happy, enjoying just being in the woods with each other mountain biking like they have for the past 30 years.

The next three miles of the ride consisted of 1700 vertical feet of loss which was enjoyed by all. Six inches of dirt and rock is what held us onto the mountain, any fall would have been padded by overgrowth that comes in May. The rocks on the upper slopes of Chimney Hollow are not stable, but move under the rider letting you know the mountain is in control. The final gentle slopes of the trail twist through the drainage bringing you down gentle from the down hill high.

The final paved roll back to the car was all smiles with high fives being passed around to all. This tour guide breathed a sense of relief, the clients were happy. “That was a mountain bike ride not a trail ride” was words that came out of one of the crew. This brought discussion for the next 30 minutes about mountain biking and how a mountain bike ride is different from trail riding. Even though their previous 2 days of trail riding was great this they said was their first mountain bike ride of the trip.

A good mountain bike ride does not stop when the wheels quit rolling, it continues for hours if not the days to follow. A mountain bike ride is more about the beauty of forest than the trail which holds your tires. A mountain bike ride is about exploration, the unknown of what lays ahead. As I write these words some 48 after the Crawford Knob pitches the ride is still living in me, like any good mountain bike ride it will last for days if not a lifetime. Take some time this summer to go for a mountain bike ride, explore a new part of the forest and take the time to enjoy it with others.

Happy Summer to each and all.

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Whaa??? Learn from a crazy man?? https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/support-tom/ Wed, 20 Jan 2021 17:23:20 +0000 https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/?p=1844

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We have a few left …

Friends Of Tom Society t-shirts.

If you received the unforgettable hug from Tom, consider this shirt to be a forever hug. Tom will walk the streets of Harrisonburg for eternity. This campaign is as old school as Tom himself, cash only with a minimum donation of $50 per shirt. 100% of the proceeds offset costs. A great gift.

Please share Tom-isms!

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Deja Vu … The past and future colliding https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/deja-vu-the-past-and-future-colliding/ Wed, 14 Oct 2020 19:45:33 +0000 https://www.shenandoahbicycle.com/?p=1319

Continue reading]]> Deja Vu Mountain Bike Relay is a fitting name for this event on so many levels. The idea of riding a lap over and over again in a set amount of time might make one think they are playing Bill Murray’s role in Groundhog Day. For me, the Deju Va portion of this event was the reliving of so many mountain bike team relay events from my past while creating many new memories, and seeing what the future might look like for this awesome event. During all of the 24 hours of Canaan, Snowshoe, Moab and Big Bear events in which I participated, I never once thought I would be doing a similar event with my family. Bringing the family aspect to such a fun event is the brainchild of event promoter and friend Dusty Burchnall.

The originator of 24 hour mountain bike team relay racing was Laird Knight. Laird, an early mountain bike pioneer, fully understood the camaraderie aspect of mountain biking and wanted to bring the team aspect to the early 90’s race scene. Until one does a team relay mountain bike event, they don’t understand the attraction or addiction some riders gain from such events. Unlike most mountain bike races where the course is the attraction element for riders, the team aspect is what made mountain bike relay races blow up 25 years ago. I remember passing on the opportunity to do the inaugural 24 hours of Canaan in the summer of 1992. On that June evening Chris Scott and I sat in a booth at Sirianni’s Pizza in Davis West by God Virginia, making a stop over on our travels to a race in Ohio. We sat there eating pizza with Laird Knight while listening to the riders in the booth behind us talking about their unknown upcoming adventures. The feeling that Chris and I were going to the wrong event was growing inside, history was being made and we were about to drive away.

Team Jenkini at Deja Vu Mountain Bike Relay 2020

Now I jump ahead almost 30 years later with two boys (Ethan 11, Carter 9) who I would not classify as mountain bike lovers, but they are sport enthusiasts who like fun events. I was not sure if the Deja Vu event would spark their interest enough to get them to register, but after my initial invite, Ethan jumped on the chance to do any sporting event. Carter was not far behind with excitement, especially after we went out to pre ride the fun 5 mile course that traversed the lower western slope trails of Massanutten. Any parent of a sport minded kid knows that youth have not been able to scratch this itch for the past 6 months; for many kids this was their opportunity.

I was not able to talk my wife Julie into riding with us, but she was a vital piece of our team. Julie had the experience of being a part of mountain bike relay adventures in the past, she just had to Deja Vu back 20 years. That is the thing about mountain bike team relay events, it involves much more than riders themselves. These events allow and encourage others to participate and have as much fun as possible. The early years of 24 hour racing was jam packed with fun, spectators figuring out any way to participate, those creative juices were stamped and signified so many great events. Dusty’s event encouraged any family member to participate, riding or not is the heart of the Deja Vu. Having the whole family do something together goes to the core of what Dusty believes.

Team Jenkini at Deja Vu Mountain Bike Relay 2020

When race time came and after much strategizing between the two brothers, the decision was made for Ethan to be the kick off for our team. Thinking I would be next was a mistake, for there was no holding back Carter’s excitement, he “had to go next”. For the next few hours, my afternoon involved sitting in the lawn chair encouraging riders, enjoying conversation and watching my boys taking turns conquering the 5 mile loop. The time was right for me to sit in a lawn chair and watch history unfold. When it was finally my turn to ride and the baton, or wrist band in this case, was swapped, I got transformed into a competitive junkie from the past. For me the competition is within, pushing myself to my limits and encouraging others to do the same.

As we watched the sun begin to set from one of the prettiest spots in the Valley just above Hensley’s Pond, riders began equipping their bikes with illumination tools. Night riding has changed a lot in the past 25 years. Today’s technology has removed some of the surprises and tunnel vision that used to come with your night lap in the 90’s, the 50/50 chance of your light lasting your lap has been replaced with thousands of lumens packed in small self contained sticks. No more duck tape, flashlights and the constant turning off of your light to save your system. I know this technology helps any parent send their child into the darkness of night riding.

After a majority of riders and support folks left to the warmth of their home, a few of us huddled around the fire pit. Stories told, beverages drank and the feeling that we just experienced the start of the new Harrisonburg tradition grew inside. Next year, maybe my kids will stick around late enough to hear some stupid tales of 24 hours of Canaan.

Hope to see you and your family next year for a Deja Vu weekend.

Thank you Laird and Dusty!

Thomas Jenkins – Team Jenkini

Thank you Massanutten Four Season Resort for supporting the Harrisonburg Community with access to the Western Slope!

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