Sunday, August 03, 2008

Yaba daba do

Saturday I woke up and wanted to ride somewhere. My choices were heading down to Big Creek and doing my regular ride or mixing it up in traffic and picking up a chain I needed from Performance. I was feeling a little adventurous so I pumped up the tires on my road bike headed out to play in traffic.

Normally I try to avoid major roads on my bike so I found a road that seemed like it would be less traveled but still take me in the general direction I needed to go. There were less cars on this road but the shoulder was very narrow. Plus the road was super hilly so it was hard to stay out of the car's way. I almost made it to the store without incident, but I made a wrong turn and ended up having to cut through a parking lot. I wasn't exactly paying attention to where I was going and I ran right into a storm drain with slots parallel to the direction I was traveling. Next thing I know I am air borne flying through the air like super man.

Luckily I have wrecked many times and somehow managed to land on my feet. Should I really feel lucky about wrecking so many times now that I am actually good at it? After my unplanned dismount, I sheepishly looked around to see how many people just saw me wreck my bike in a parking lot. I didn't see anyone so I hopped back on my bike and road to the store. When I walked into the store the cute young lady behind the counter gave me a little snicker. I turned over my shoulder and noticed she had an excellent view of my crash. Oh well. If I want to be cool I would probably be better off buying a trans am and growing a thick mustache.

I decided to ride home on the main road instead of off the beaten path. It was actually easier because the road had multiple lanes. Cars could just pass whenever they needed to. There was one guy that tried to show me how fast his car was at a red light. He pushed me out of his way and gave me a face full of exhaust but other than that it wasn't bad at all. I think I build this stuff up in my head too much and should do more and think less.

Today Amy and I headed to Fort Yargo state park in Winder. I noticed on YABA's website that they have a beginner trail now. Ever since I told Amy about the trail, she has been asking me to take her there. Being the loving considerate man that I am I decided that I could make this sacrifice and go ride my bike on a fun new trail. I have ridden the outer loop at Yargo many times, but I never knew about the beginner trail.

The beginner trail starts out a paved sidewalk with some signs about the local wildlife. Then you branch off the sidewalk onto a bulldozed single lane dirt road through a dried up mud hole. You follow the lowlands for a couple miles then pop out on a burned down clear cut. Then you go back to the bulldozed single lane road for awhile then popup out in a RV park. Next you hop through a couple campgrounds then take a very nice scenic path along the lake. Then you cross a nice dirt dam with a good view of the lake. Then you hit some really sweet buff singletrack for a couple miles. Then you pop out on a pipeline clear cut and fly down a kudzu lined singletrack descent. Then you cross a big wooden bridge over the lake. Next you follow some nice rooty paths along the lake shore. Then you pop out in the middle of a disc golf course where the fairways are lined in mulch. After getting lost you eventually pop out back on the outer loop and get a nice easy ride back to the parking lot.

The beginner trail definitely has something for everybody. I liked that there weren't many hills and most of the trail was smooth and not technical. The distance was a little on the long side but you could definitely pack a lunch and take a nice long picnic break to split up the ride. The trail could probably use a few more signs or yellow blazes. If you get lost just remember to keep the lake on the same side the whole time and try to hug the lake as close as possible.

After Amy's fun I rode the outer loop solo. I ran into Tweety and Racey Tracey. They had just come back from a 10 hour race in North Carolina and stopped on the way home for a couple of cool down laps. Super humans I tell you. Also extremely nice and friendly people. I would like to work on my fitness a little so I can ride with them more often.

I really enjoyed the changes to the outer loop. There were little jumps and hips and drop downs every where. Someone has been working hard on making the trail more fun. They were also a bunch of re-routes that added more length and reduced the user conflicts with the other park users. They have done an excellent job.

I was able to ride everything out there except the horseshoe drop. I had ridden a similar gully on the old trail and when I saw the sign for the drop I thought that is what they were talking about. I was wrong. The new drop looks like it is three stories tall. I dropped into it no problem, but I only made it about half way up the other side. I was too scared of flipping over backwards to fully commit. So I climbed out the side of the gully.

After climbing out of the gully, I figured I could just get back on the trail and keep riding, but I was wrong again. The trail turned back on itself and dropped through the gully again. This drop only looked like 2 and half stories so I decided to give it a go. I backed up as far as possible and sprinted for the drop in. I zoomed back up the other side and only need a couple pedals to top out the other side. Woo hoo that was fun. I would love to see someone ride the other side.

I had another great weekend and I am looking forward to next week. My birthday is a week from Monday and Amy is hinting around that she might have something fun planned for next weekend. Whatever happens I am pretty sure there will be cake involved so I am very excited.

1 comment:

chocolate girl said...

Those gully dips are quite the rush, aren't they?! I have pics of ShortBus and Clifford going through both of them on my Fools Rush In post. Raja lives for that stuff!