<===Cacti on the left, drop off on the right, shoot through the rocks in the middle. You'll be all right!
I was able to break away for a test ride on a rig for Twenty Nine Inches on Tuesday. I went to Franklin Mountain State Park and started out on the Lower Sunset trail, like I have in the past. The trail is massively technical for the first few miles. Like rock crawling, crazy technical.
Some of the steeps are littered with rounded "river rock" type stones. Well, to say anything other than these trails were entirely made up of these rounded, fist sized stones on the steeps would be misleading. The difficulty lies in keeping he rear tire from spinning out on these rocks like you are on large marbles. Many a climb was truncated by a spin out of the tires resulting in a walk to the top.
Not all the rocks are rounded here though. OH NO!!! There are rocks of every size and shape, and many times they are busted off shards sticking right up out of the trail like broken teeth. Some look like stumps, some look like the bottom of pottery, some look shiny, some look black, and some are red as bricks.
Well, the plan was to try and run the entire Lower and Upper Sunset Trails which I understand is about 15 miles in length. I knew from a description of the trails that after Safety Sign #8 the trail was supposed to get less technical. I was hoping for a lot less technical, but that wasn't to be.
The trail had these "Safety Markers", which marked important points in the trail. They were not evenly spaced, and they had no correlation to mileage. This was a bit weird for my first crack at the whole loop. Still, with a lot of stopping, checking, and careful management of water, I was able to make the entire loop.
A couple of locals went flying by me, which were the first and only folks I saw on the trail today, or on any other trip here. I guess you can't expect too many folks to be out on a weekday.
These trails are tough. I was super cooked at the end. My legs are fried, but in that weirdly wonderful sort of way. Man! It was good to do some actual mountain biking!