Sunday, May 24, 2009

Juicy Singletrack

Taking advantage of the decent weather and Memorial Day weekend, I took the Juice out for a ride on the Wabash trail.

Of course, being a 29'er mountain bike, it immediately gravitated to the singletrack horse trails paralleling the main trail. Since I'd never been on these trails (they're just a bit too technical for the Quickbeam), I took it easy...for a while.

The Wabash initially starts out flat and fast, for the first mile or two. The single track is also fairly flat and more easily navigable on that portion of the trail. I cranked my speed up a couple of notches and had a big bunch of fun bombing down those portions of the trail. I had no idea what was coming next.

However, after the first mile or two the grade increases, along with the technical trail difficulty. Did I mention I had my Schwalbe Big Apples mounted? Great for the rail trail, not so good on the the steeper portions of the singletrack. I'd get up a good head of steam, then hit a decently steep hill and spin out. I ended up walking the bike up a good portion of hills I might have been able to climb if I had my Panaracer all terrains mounted.

There were several areas where I'd have a narrow trail, a steep drop off immediately to one side, and a barbed wire fence on the other. Throw a few loose rocks, stumps, low hanging branches, roots, bark and adjacent trees in there and things begin to get a bit challenging. There are several bridges over creeks where the trail would actually take me down under the bridge and over a narrow footbridge. Some of the approaches were, say, closer to the vertical than the horizontal...if you catch my drift. I ended up getting off the bike and walking one or two of these, and felt fortunate I didn't end up on my ass in the creek. No way I was going to even attempt to ride through, especially with smooth tires.

I ended up riding a pretty good portion of the Lewis Central trailhead to Mineola run on the singletrack, hopped back onto the rail trail for the rest, and rode the rail trail all the way back to the trailhead. I didn't want to be out there until midnight!

These pics don't do the more technical parts of the singletrack justice, but it'll give you some idea. I took a shot of Juicy prior to walking it up the hill had to be there to appreciate the steepness.

Great ride, but not set up for serious climbing or descending.

To the left of the bike and the trees is the rail trail, a nice steep 20ft drop down. Track straight!

To the left, down...

To the right, barbed wire fence...

Under one of the rail trail bridges

One of the wider footbridges I had to cross...several were just a couple of planks laying across the creek



Travel Gravel said...

Hot link tip for you, go to and look around. A nice array of creatively modded old bikes. Keep on ridin' my friend! Later! said...

Now that's some cool stuff right there! I like the "Rat Rod" music.