@autumn @cycling yay! That's one of my semi-local trails. It's really really lovely, especially if you can time the departure so that you're not swamped by packs of new riders on the shuttle rental bike downhill run! I'd recommend bringing your flip-flops for wading in the creek. :)

@jond @cycling oh that’s good info! i ride in my keen sandals most of the time, so that’s covered. what time do you recommend leaving whitetop?

we’re going up from abingdon tomorrow morning, camping in whitetop, then heading back to abingdon on sunday.

@autumn @cycling First shuttle leaves Damascus at 9:00 AM and it's a 30 min drive to the old train station in Whitetop, 10-15 mins to unload bikes and give people the briefing, so it starts getting REALLY crowded around 9:40 to 9:45. And a lot of those folks haven't ridden bikes in years so they're sometimes really weave-y. Pass with caution!

We try to get onto the trail by 9:15 and then you'll have it all to yourself until you stop for a long break to dangle your legs in many-named creek.

@autumn @cycling Are you going to be staying at the Creeper Trail Campground just past whitetop? The folks who run it are cyclists and the place is amazing

@jond @cycling yes, that’s where we are staying! good to hear it’s a nice spot. we got a site way in the back because i prefer to be out of the way haha.

@jond @autumn @cycling The family packs of 10 with grandpa who hasn't been on a bike since the 50s are kind of terrifying, both for the damage they may cause you, and the fear that grandpa will take a spill.

@chrisod @autumn Yeah, it's great to see so many people on bikes (YAY!) but also I've totally seen people, in a panic, forget how brakes work and try to stop with their feet, Fred Flintstone-style, from 20 mph. It's SO SCARY TO WATCH.

@jond @chrisod lol oh no. we will definitely do our best to avoid the crowds. it’s just three of us, so it should be easy to get out of there on the early side.

@autumn @chrisod You'll meet some coming *down* tomorrow as you're headed up, but since you're starting from Abingdon you'll only be catching the stragglers from the last shuttle.

Just went and looked and one of the rental companies now runs an early 8 AM shuttle on the weekends. No idea how crowded that one is, but keep it in mind.

@chrisod @jond y’all were not kidding about those shuttle riders lol. had a little kid nearly crash straight into me. and another lady trying to stop with her feet. 🤣

@autumn @chrisod Some things never change! I'm glad you made it back in one piece. 🚲

@jond @chrisod we’re at the creeper trail campground now. i somehow picked a site with no good hammock trees, so doubling up with a friend in his tent tonight haha.

@autumn @jond I hope you have better weather than we do in Richmond. We've been getting pounded by severe thunderstorms since early this morning.

@jond @chrisod the weather was perfect both days, thank goodness. a little hot today but not too bad.

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