Decided to climb Irish Creek road up to the Blue Ridge Pkwy, then hit the ridge singletrack back down to van down by the river, which was actually more like a dried up creekbed. Irish Creek road was nice and relatively gentle climbing, with a nice flowing creek at our side and some shade...made our way up to the Blue Ridge which has a station with a bathroom (how convenient!).
The first section of the ridge starts off gently rolling and flowing, side cut into the mountain, then becomes steadily more technical as it reaches the pinnacle of the ridgeline (about 2600'). Large craggly rock features mixed with chunky bowling ball sized rocks dominate the ridge with some crazy steep (but short) ups and downs. I guess you could possibly ride many of these with a granny gear grunting up and a fistfull of brakes down, but the heat ate up all our resources so it seemed pushing was a better idea.
Took a break midway on the ridge after I found Crankee again (took a wrong turn and ended up on a different ridge for a 20-30min detour). Got some ants in my pants as I sat and took these pix up above.
Played on the rocks some, though both of us were riding quite sloppy from heat induced exhaustion.
Finally made our way back down to the downward side of the ridgeline for some flowing downhill fun....some full squish woulda been nice then.....
post ride grub and beers at Devils Backbone
approximately 22 miles total.