‘Gappity Lap’

Lower Cove Road, east of Lost City, West Virginia

A variation on the 200km “Gappity Gap,” my Gappity Lap is shaped like a spoon. The tip of the short handle is Sperryville, and the edge of the spoon is Lost City, West Virginia. I don’t much care for out-and-backs. I like the climbing, though — up to a point.

I rode out of “downtown” Sperryville on the last Saturday morning in May under perfect weather: warm, but with patchy clouds to keep the heat modest. I took the generally prescribed route: over Thornton Gap, through Luray, over Edith Gap and Edinburg Gap on the twin Massanutten ranges, to a pit stop at Columbia Furnace, and finally up Stony Creek approaching Wolf Gap on the West Virginia line. This is where my route departed — and where my real work began. Short of the summit, I turned left onto the hardpack Sam Clark and Judge Rye roads, taking an hour or so to cover five miles, as the endless switchbacks rise to 3100 feet, just below the summit of Devil’s Hole Mountain, along the line between the Old Dominion and the Mountain State. Pavement finally returns well into the descent on Lower Cove Road, which ends at the hamlet of Lost City.

Turning south, I pedaled over gentle rollers until Route 259 meets Capon Run, the two easing down and through Brock’s Gap and its landmark granite wall, which cleave Little North Mountain on the west side of Shenandoah Valley. Which is remarkably flat, considering the ridges and rollers on either side. A nice respite before the two climbs over the final two hours: New Market Gap on Massanutten’s single ridge, and a second go at Thornton Gap. That last 3.8-mile climb, after 113 miles of pedaling, brings its reward: the swift seven-mile fall back into Sperryville.

The slideshow is here.

Shenandoah Valley, from Judge Rye Road, on the Va./W.Va. line

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One Response to ‘Gappity Lap’

  1. Kelly says:

    I like the Sam Clark and Judge Rye climb, try heading north via Squirrel Gap to Wardensville then back over Fetzer Gap.

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