Intermediate Ride #1 -- Laurel Hills (Lorton, VA)

LORTON, VA -- The sun is coming out this weekend and its time for our first Intermediate Ride for those who need a good ride at a good pace! Kyle Bondo will be hosting an Intermediate Ride - Good Pace - starting at the first parking lot on your left coming into the Laurel Hill MTB Trails Park in the shadow of Ye' Old Lorton Prison Complex. This ride is sponsored by MORE -- No charge -- the first 20 riders are welcome! 

Who This Ride Is For... 
This is a Intermediate ride! That means that you should think of yourself as a "good" rider. Terms like "choosing good lines", "log hopping", and "hucking" are part of your vocabulary. You most definitely ride a mountain bike at moderate level of physical fitness, can climb hills without getting off your bike, you know when and when not to use your brakes, and "biker bumps" means its time to speed up and get ready to jump! Speed is an option for you, but you are by no means super fast, but you're are also in good enough shape to ride for over an hour without stopping. If any of these things describe you, then you are most likely a "intermediate"!    

Who This Ride is Not For... 
If you know that hills are scary, use your brakes at all times, need to stop every few minutes to catch your breath,  or drink all of your camelbak water in the first hour, then this ride is NOT for you!! This ride will be considered MODERATE from your point of view, and we will not stop much (unless we're catching everyone at an intersection). If you think of yourself as a speed rider, expert, or have a USA Cycling license above CAT3, this ride may test your patience. There will be other rides for your skill level, but this ride is really for those who are looking to take a bite out of Laurel Hills but not have to go home on a stretcher. We will welcome those who just want to "learn the trails", but only if you can keep up, have a smile the whole time, and can tell a good joke!

The Ride (Mostly Single-Track Trails/Some Fire Roads) 
The objective will be to leave the parking lot at 12:10 AM, do one-loop of the Laurel Hills Mountain Bike Course at a good pace (do something between 5-7 miles) making only a few stops to pick up stragglers if needed and returning to the parking lot around 1:30 PM-2:00 PM. The first time around will bring us back to the parking lot unless you want to continue to ride. You are always welcome to ride ahead of the group if you feel like going faster than the pace or mix back in when you need to. If the pace proves to be good enough to finish the course in the first hour, I plan on going back into the network and ride the Power Plant trail a second time.

Ride Group Size and Guests
You are welcome to bring one (1) guest to the ride (please add your guest when you RSVP to the ride). The first 20 riders are welcome (guest are included in the count). If you plan on bring more than one guest, have them join the meetup and RSVP on their own. I open the ride to wait listed RSVP's only when I have enough Ride Leaders to help control the group. Wait List changes will mostly likely happen the night before the event (Saturday Night, April 26th). So do not worry about the Wait Listed status, the night before always changes the numbers! 

*** Rules ***
The main requirements for this ride is that all riders must have a good helmet, have their bike in moderate working order (check your tires and bring a spare), and bring some water! 

************  NO HELMET - NO RIDE - NO EXCEPTIONS ************

MORE Waiver
We use the waiver system provided by MORE to protect our rides. You will be required to sign the waiver before you can join the ride. Please arrive a little early to make sure you get your name on the list. MORE ( uses your participation in these rides to justify requests for park funding and for grants needed to fund trail maintenance. So be counted! 

Age Limits
Due to the speed of this ride, you should be of an age that allows you to keep up with the group. Although we do not have any official age requirements, we highly suggest that children under 14-year-old do not attend this ride. Any riders under 18-years-old will need a parent/guardian present for the whole ride, or have a parent/guardian provide a brief Letter of Consent that includes their name, phone number, and signature. 

Insect Protection: Have It - Use It
Laurel Hill MTB Course is sometimes referred to as "Tick City", and for a good reason. It is highly recommended that you protect yourself with some kind of tick repellent (e.g. OFF Deep Woods, Something with DEET in it). If you have a good repellent, you can wear shorts and be fine. Some years are worse than others, so it's better to be prepared.

Sun Protection: Have It - Use It
Laurel Hill MTB Course is 50/50 grass versus tree cover. So you will have to expect that sun to be out! So protect yourself with sun screen, riding cloths, and sun glasses.

What if... Rain and Foul Weather Cancellations
Riding on wet trails is a big no-no. If there is a nasty downpour that include over 1-inch of rain in 24-hours, we will most likely cancel this ride. Ride cancellations will be made by 10am on Sunday, April 27th. If you do not see a cancellation (after bad weather) by 10am, the ride is most likely a GO! If we do cancel this ride, we will find another time/date to re-host the event in the following weeks. 

Volunteer as a Ride Leader!
More experienced riders, or riders with medical skills that willing to help out, are always appreciated. We are also recruiting ride leaders for the 2014 season. If you are interested in learning more, please visit MORE (, send us an email, or talk to us after the ride. We would love to have you!  

Directions: From I-95, take Lorton Rd exit (exit 163), head west at bottom of ramp (a right turn whether coming north or south bound on I-95.) Giles Run (Laurel Hill) entrance is on the right about 1/2 mile down Lorton Road. Follow the driveway up until you see the prison complex on your right. The parking lot is on the left, next to the playground.

Read Ahead Online Maps:
GPS Trail Source Maps of Laurel Hill MTB Course

Time to Ride!
We look forward to riding with everyone at Laurel Hill this coming Sunday!

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    Nice ride everyone! It was great to get to meet you all.

    1 · April 28, 2014

    • Kyle B.

      Hey Ed, If I don't see you at Greenbrier, have a safe trip and we'll see you in a few! ;)

      April 28, 2014

  • Jack M.

    I'm having a hard time finding this place, I followed the cords, and put me at the prison but I can't find parking or trail head

    April 27, 2014

    • Kyle B.

      Glad you could find us!

      April 27, 2014

    • Jack M.

      Yeah definitely a fun time, no more bagels w/ cream cheese before riding

      April 27, 2014

  • Kyle B.

    Had a blast with this group. Nice pace, lots of smiles, and just enough "spice" to get some burn into those winter legs! Thank you for coming out!

    1 · April 27, 2014

  • Derek

    Kyle running a few minutes late thus the reason I didn't RSVP. if I can find the trail....catch on the trails.

    1 · April 27, 2014

    • Kyle B.

      It was great you could make it!

      April 27, 2014

  • fred

    Would love to ride, but not sure that "good ride at a good pace" means. So instead of showing up and then aggravating a bunch of speed demons, I think I'll take a pass.

    April 25, 2014

    • Kyle B.

      Hey Fred -- It won't be any speed demons... I will set the pace and will keep it under control. If you can do the Wednesday @ Wakefield course (3.5-miles) in 20-24 minutes, you can ride this meetup.

      April 25, 2014

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