Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Burn Ride Report

Friday was an awesome, dry, warmer day. But Saturday was the day set for the Turkey Burn ride at The Camp. I awoke Saturday to a wet, windy, colder day. It was still spitting rain as I left the house for the ride, but I had no doubt it would happen.

Captain Bob rails a turn
We've had the Turkey Burn in great weather and not so great. I remember one year when it had snowed already and it was really cold!

This time it was just grey and wet. Cooler than Friday, but seasonable, really. I ended up taking the Snow Dog, since I figured it might be greasy out there. That and the wetter soil would get packed in better by my big Larry tires.

There were those new sections of trail that needed that, and making them sustainable for next year would be a good thing to accomplish on a day like yesterday. I popped a Surly "Lite" fat-bike tube in the hydration pack and took off for the Camp.

When I got there I saw three cars. One I knew was Paul's, the other two weren't familiar to me. (Turns out one of the rigs was captain Bob's, the other was hiz Cuz!) I was late, about an hour or so. As I started to get ready, I saw another car pull in. The powder blue hard tail hanging off the back of the car tipped me off that it was Eric. Sure enough, he popped out a minute or two later. We looked at the sign in board to find out the first group left about 40 minutes ahead of us. Hmm.......they shouldn't be far out from the end. 

Eric stares down the next corner
 Eric let me lead in, and as we circled back towards the trail head, I figured we would see the front runners, but we didn't. So, I just kept my head down and kept steaming on the Snow Dog.

The trails were a bit greasy, as I had feared, but the Larry 3.8"ers were holding a line well, and I could ride about as fast as I wanted to. Traction going up the first steep climb was great, actually.

Eric and I weren't far in when I spied a Bike Tech jersey. It turned out the rider was headed in our direction, so I pulled over and Eric did as well. It turned out to be Paul.

Woodland throne and foot stool
Paul was heading back to the cars and would be taking off. We chatted for a bit, then he went back the way that we had come. I motioned to Eric that he should lead. I was getting gassed by running so hard to not slow him down, and I was already sweating a ton.

Eric took off, and I came about 50 yards behind him. We hit the new, now longer, section of trail and it adds a significant amount to the trails. (Nicely done Karmen! ) Anyway, we then hit the "bottoms" and here I started pulling Eric back to me. I could negotiate the tighter turns quicker, apparently, due to the big Larry traction action.

By this time the Larry tread was packed in fairly well with the sticky river bottom mud. At times the tires would shoot off that mud in big flattish layers which would fly around me as I rode. I felt like I was riding near the back end of an old fashioned manure spreader!

Muddy Mukluk
Eric pulled away from me in the techy, rocky section. The Larrys were just not dealing well with slippery mud on moss covered limestone outcropping. Makes me think I need a set of Nate 3.8"ers after all. I bet those would have grabbed that slick stuff and held on to it.

We so rarely get a day like that around here though. It is more likely we'd be rained off the course before we got another misty, U.K.-like day as we had Saturday.

After going by the river, climbing the switchbacks, and going through the big sweepers, I entered into the newer single track section here. It features a downhill that has lots of tight turns in it. Here I caught up with Eric again. The Larry tires doing much better in the softer grounds.

Well, we finished up the loop, and at the end of the trail we ran into Captain Bob, who was back tracking the trail to come and find us. We stopped for a bit then took off, but this time I let Eric and Captain Bob beat up on each other. I did my own pace behind them and stopped to take a few photos when I wanted to. I finished up as Eric and Captain Bob were packing away their rigs. It was time to chat for a bit, eat some muffins, and chill.

It was a great Turkey Burn, but it was too bad that more folks didn't come out to ride. The trails at The Camp are great now, and they are getting much, much better!


Captain Bob said...

So good to see you Ted. Thanks for coming out.

Exhausted_Auk said...

Could you please explain to me where the trail head is at the camp. I rode up there yesterday by myself, arrived at about 9:30, but I didn't see anyone, and I couldn't find the trail, having never ridden it before.

Guitar Ted said...

@Exhausted_Auk: Sorry to hear about the mixup. I assume you saw the directions on the blog post earlier?

I saw some bicycle tracks on 260th that went right by the entrance, perhaps that was your tracks?

If you follow this link, the Google map shows Janesville, and if you follow the Cedar River northeast of Janesville, you'll find 260th (east-west road). About where the map shows the "0" in 260th is where the driveway is.,+iowa&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x87faa73ad59e5069:0x2a9d1a5e4401b7fe,Janesville,+IA&gl=us&ei=doTSTrOBMobg2QW0wZXIDw&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=2&ved=0CCcQ8gEwAQ

Exhausted_Auk said...

Thanks, Ted. After an email from John, and a look at the map, it turns out I must have been on the North side of the camp. I was not aware there was another way in. Ah well, perhaps another year!