Friday, December 19, 2008

Mountain bike trails that Other people can ride

Jim and I have been riding our mountain bikes off the pavement. This is something new for me, and it has caused me some level of consternation because of my ongoing issue with maiming. We've been riding out at a park called Fantasy Island which I like a lot. It's almost all single track through the cactus, some dips through the washes, and a big technical section I don't plan to ride this year. I'm getting better with it, I still walk some of the deep washes, but I'm also riding more of them than I did. However, it's 22 miles round trip to get there. So we've been hoping to find something closer to us. One of the guys we have ridden with in the RV park told us about a trailhead off a road about 6 miles from here. We tried to ride it yesterday, but after dragging the bikes up and down hills for 15 minutes (note I said drag, not ride), we decided that our neighbor is obviously a much better rider than I will ever be.

Today we went out and walked part of it. Foreground is rock, it gives way to some desert trail, then turns into a trough that's a foot wide and 8 inches deep.

Here we have a wash full of soft sand. Sometimes I can ride these, sometimes I can't. The technique is to sit back, unweight your hands, and pedal like hell. But wait, look at the other side. Once crossing the wash we must ride up a rock face. Hah! Double Hah HAH!

This is more of the trail. Don't see the single track? It's rock. I have no clue how to ride that, or how to learn how to ride that without being maimed. It was a nice hike, but I don't see us riding this. People do, there were lots of tracks. Their sense of balance is obviously more developed than mine.

Then we drove up and over Gates Pass on our way up to the Sweetwater Preserve where we had been told there were some nice trails. This is part of the pass in the late afternoon sun.

Sweetwater looks promising. We walked a little of it, and it appears to be swoopy single track like Fantasy Island. It's out in the middle of horse country. There are many houses with attached horse facilities, as well as a stable nearby. It will be interesting to see how much contention there will be for the trail resource. It's surprising that it's open to bikes and horses, generally the two are separated. Since we can go during the day during the week, we're hoping it won't be too crowded.
The Pacific Northwest climate looks gruesome this weekend. Hope all of the Northwesterners are staying warm and off the roads. Be safe!

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