Correspondent Pat McCloskey Rides With Cycling Pro Over Technical Trails.

Not easy these WV rock pots. But that's why correspondent Pat McCloskey and his senior cyclist pals took them on. Credit: Pat McCloskey
Not easy these WV rock pots. That’s why correspondent Pat McCloskey and his senior cyclist pals took them on.
Credit: Pat McCloskey

What in the world is an ex-World Cup mountain bike racer doing leading a bunch of old guys around the rock strewn trails of West Virginia?  Well, that is exactly what happened when Sue Haywood graciously agreed to lead our group of aging warriors around some of the most challenging trails you can ever ride.

Davis, WV, is a sleepy little town in the Monongahela National Forest which has been host to the grueling 24 Hours of Canaan back in the days of all-day and all-night team mountain bike racing.  It is also a beautiful destination area for other reasons beyond challenging mountain biking.  There is world class fly fishing in the area as well as the famous Blackwater Falls.  Hiking is superb, and there are a lot of quaint little shops and cafes that have sprung up in Davis and nearby Thomas, West Virginia.

Here's correspondent Pat McCloskey with cycling pro Sue Hayward. Credit: Pat McLoskey
Here’s correspondent Pat McCloskey with cycling pro Sue Haywood.
Credit: Pat McLoskey

But back to the mountain biking.  The trails here are challenging and to have a guide like Sue with her background lead us was a real treat. She was NORBA (National Off Road Bicycling Association) Short Track Champion in mountain bike racing and has many NORBA wins to her credit as well as 24 Hour Solo records and wins in China, Costa Rica, and all over the U.S.  She makes her business in Davis, WV, and if you ever want to take part in her many clinics and workshops, look up information on her website. 

To compliment your visit to Davis, check out Blackwater Bicycles for any assistance that you may need. Rob Stull, the owner is a friendly and very helpful guy who will rent mountain bike equipment and also has all the clothing, bikes and accessories that you may need to take on the Moon Rocks and other challenging trails in the region.  The pizza at Sirianni’s Café is a “must stop” location along with Hellbender’s Burritos.  Lots of nice places to bunk down for the night or weekend including the Bright Morning Inn with its charming rooms and delicious and sumptuous breakfasts.

After several long rides on the world famous trails, we took in the Brew Skies Festival  which hosts really talented local and nationally famous bands with a country rock flavor.  Coupling a mountain bike weekend with the Brew Skies Festival is a great way to spend some time in the Canaan Valley.

As followers of it is worthy to note that the Canaan Valley is also well known for Nordic skiing, and a visit to the White Grass Touring Center is a must for any visits to this area in the winter.  The Whitegrass Café which is associated with the touring center also has wonderful cuisine which is comprised of healthy choices of local meats, fish and vegetables and fruit.  Get their cookbook when you visit.  Very user friendly and great recipes.

 The Canaan Valley, the Monongahela National Forest and Davis, WV, should be on any outdoor enthusiast’s bucket list.  If you come to ride the world famous trails, bring your “A” game.  In skier lingo, the trails here are black diamond plus, but you will never forget the experience and the beauty of the area.

Editor’s Note:  This is the last Cycling Series article for the non-snow season. We publish these because our surveys tell us cycling is a popular off-season sport for our readers.  If anyone has places and experiences that are noteworthy, please let us know. Thanks to all who contributed this year.

Senior cyclists made the trip to the rock-strewn trails of West Virginia and found "Black Diamond" biking. Credit: Pat McCloskey
Senior cyclists made the trip to the rock-strewn trails of West Virginia and found “Black Diamond” biking.
Credit: Pat McCloskey

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