Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve Ride

...Just because I need some riding to tide me through the holidays...

We haven't been down Dan's trail since last summer. With time constraints for the day we decide a familiar ride would be best and Dan's fits the bill. Besides, this will give us a chance to explore a few of the road and trail offshoots we usually pass by.

A new (to me) trail has appeared shortly up Patterson Road,  Ridge Trail. The lower trail head is graveled. The upper trail head, muddy. Ron and I rode a portion of the upper trail, but decided not to slog it out through the mud. Save it for another day. The trail is marked as year-round, all users. 
Ridge Trail
We also followed the 620 to Alpha trail head, just for kicks. We didn't explore farther down Alpha. Back to the main route, we've always gone to the top of Dimple Hill via Dan's Trail, but decided to continue along the road and see if it wound around to the top. Indeed it does, with some pretty scenery thrown in.
Road up to Dimple Hill
 The view from the top is spectacular. The air is crisp and clear, and mountains in the far background stand out sharply against the sky. No fog mucking up the views today.
Dimple Hill
Dans trail is fantastic today! This is the time of year to ride this trail. All the loose gravel is packed into the damp ground making the trail nice and sticky. Very smooth and fast! Just wish it was longer. Too soon we're at the bottom and have to head back to the car.
Dan's Trail
A side note, my fork gave up the ghost sometime this fall. I may as well be on a rigid, so we will be putting the original steel fork back on once we gather all the parts. Steel fork should encourage good rock dodging skills, and that twitchy little RH excels at that sort of thing.
Connector Road

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dunn Forest Road 400

This is not looking promising...
 This weekend we went in search of new roads and trails unexplored (by us). I had been reading about the 400 road in Dunn Forest.
I was surprised to find the climb quite pleasant. Just enough to be a work out, but not so steep I couldn't enjoy the ride.
There were steep spots.
I walked a few sections, and rested after a few others, but over all the route was rideable.
We passed many roads begging to be explored on another day. We passed a quarry, and a working logging operation. For a short way we had packed gravel, but once we turned on to the 420 we were back to forested roads.
Some areas looked like a natural forest with undergrowth and a variety of trees not usually found in planted sections
Cool old tree
We didn't see another person until we returned to the car at the end. Perfect!
Walking again
Lunch at Togos. Toasted club sanwiches and hot coffee, then off to pester the guys at Peak Sports.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sunday in the Trees

Sunday started with the traditional search for the sacrificial Christmas tree. A quick trip to North Albany and we bagged our tree. With the tree hauled to the house, we dumped a bunch of water into it's stand, ate a quick lunch, and loaded the bikes on the car.
Merry Christmas!
We opted to start at the Lewisburg saddle and ride the Davies/Nettleton Loop, 6.35 miles and only 800 feet of climbing. It's an easy loop with a few views if the fog cooperates.
McDonald Forest. Look familiar?
I think I take the same pictures at the same locations. I simply can't resist.
Oh wait...Ron took this one.
One of my favorite viewpoints
I had read online that there was a small pond along the route. All the times we've ridden this ride and I never knew it was there. Tucked into a quarry, and sheltered from sunshine there was a light scum of ice on top. Not particularly scenic, but fun to discover. Apparently it's a happening place in summer for dogs cooling off after the hike.
We had a little bit of daylight left and decided to explore some new routes. We drove past several trail heads but at the 100 Road in Dunn Forest we had to stop.
There is just a little light left, and the trail, unlike most others, is relatively flat to start. It seems a worthwhile effort to get the bikes down from the car and go on a little explore before sunset.
Great light
At an intersection, a road up to a small ridge seemed appealing. It's steep enough that my tire eventually spins out. We leave the bikes and hike up the rest of the way. I don't like fast descents, so why bother to walk them up. At the top of the ridge the road levels out and there is a nice view to the north east.
The view from the top
 Later research will tell me that there is some single track at the end of this road. We will definitely be back to explore more!