Thursday, September 17, 2015

Single Track Hunting

Poking around George Wyth Lake on the Blackborow
Wednesday was a day of duties, but I took a break from that in the midst of the day to track down a new trail I had been hearing about. Actually, I had looked for it once before it had been flagged and Andy, (who was not late for that ride last week after all, but was actually ahead of schedule. My apologies!), and I missed the turn in and out, which are like 10 feet apart from each other as it turns out. Anyway, this time I found that rascal, rode it, and have kept up to date on my having ridden every trail that's been established in Geo Wyth since mountain biking has been allowed there.

I tooled over there on my dingle speed Blackborow, since I had heard this new trail was pretty rough. I figured the big, 4.8" tires at a bit lower pressure would do fine in erasing new trail chatter. I'm still amazed at how well those Lou tires actually roll. I am sure they have a higher rolling resistance, but it isn't what you might think. It certainly isn't what I thought or think it should be. Which is a good thing, by the way.

The dirt is really dry, cracked, and hard in most places, adding to the bumpiness. I was again glad that I had the Rock Shox Bluto on the front. I am now thinking I need a carbon fiber handle bar, so I am starting to take a look at some options there, but the fork is a definite keeper.

Super dry, cracked, and hard earth was the order of the day. 
I came across this group of turkeys, but they were unimpressed by my appearance. 
So, I was slow rolling, looking for flags, since I had heard this trail had been flagged, and I came across it finally. Oddly enough I remember this same area years ago having a trail in it. I feel like parts of this newer trail are actually very nearly on the old one, but it is impossible to say for sure. The point is, this new trail covers a lot of old ground, and if you you were around back in the day you might recognize bits of the area back there.

Taking a quick break on the new single track.
Back in the 90's, when there was a bunch of trail making going on in Geo Wyth, a guy that used to work at the shop before I did, Vance, and a few friends, built a trail in the same area as this new one. Back then, George Wyth's land terminated along a line that cut very near to the paved bicycle path that runs Eastward out of the park, and this old trail wandered "over the line" in many places. Of course, there were no fences or any way to know this. There were just woods, and they looked unkempt and unused to us. Of course, it was unused, but it was also private land.

Once the family that owned the parcel figured out what was going on, they strung up a fence that marked their border with George Wyth and set up "No Trespassing" signs. That pretty much killed that trail! The State was in negotiations to buy the parcel, but it took so long to complete the sale that the trail fell into the hands of Nature, never to be ridden again.

So, it was pretty cool to be back in there again poking around the old stomping grounds. There were a few places that looked vaguely familiar, and some stretches I am sure were part of that older trail. Again, this is from memory that is over 14 years ago or more, but it seems pretty similar in a few spots.

I also did a bit of my own explorations East of the highway on some deer trail/fisherman's trail that I found. That got shortened, because I could see it was quickly going to lead into a bushwhacking session, and I didn't have time for that! I had chores to do back at home. Maybe another time......


Smithhammer said...

"I'm still amazed at how well those Lou tires actually roll."

Likewise. I haven't found the Lou (or the Bud) to be strictly a "snow tire" by any means. I kept thinking I would swap them out for a more trail-oriented summer tire, but I ran out of reasons to swap them out and just kept riding them all summer long with no regrets. And the Blackborow in general continues to confound my preconceptions (as well a number of people I ride with) just as much as those tires do.

glenn said...

That brings back memories. Geo Wythe was my introduction to mountain biking back in 1993.

Guitar Ted said...

@glenn: It was a bit different back then! Thanks for reading the blog.