Sunday, April 5, 2009

Carter's Lake

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Darn rain. I haven't been riding enough lately. Some buddies of mine were up at Mulberry Gap but I got up too late to hook up with them. I kind of felt like riding at Conyers but the entire metro Atlanta area was getting drenched. The mountains were clear, but I got enough of that yesterday. Maybe.... Carter's Lake?

My brother just bought a new house and was busy working on it. My buddy Travis was on his way to Gainesville. Solo again.

Everybody calls it "Carter's Lake" but technically its the Ridgeway Recreation Area on Carter's Lake.

Nice facilities.

2 - Ridgeway Facilities
1 - Pump

Even a parking lot just for the bike trail.

8 - Ridgeway MTB Parking Lot

The trail is on Army Corps of Engineers property. That's what the little castle on the sign means. I was very confused about that the first time I rode there.

7 - Ridgeway Trailhead

When I first moved to the ATL in 2000, from Louisiana, where trails are comparatively flat, I tried, and failed, to ride Stanley Gap. The next weekend I wanted an easy trail, and the Carter's Lake elevation profile looked tame. But no, no, no. And I suffered. Since then I've only been there for races and all races are hard. I've never had an easy time there.

Here's why...

Straight up.

3 - Ridgeway Trail 1

Straight down and then straight up. You can't even see the down part, it's so steep. Those little roots halfway up eat all your speed too, whether you go over them or around to the right.

4 - Ridgeway Trail 2

But look at this glorious flow. Lots of long, rolling descents at Carter's Lake. Woohoo!

5 - Ridgeway Trail 3

Not too much scenery. There's one nice creek, and this field.

6 - Ridgeway Trail 4

I guess I've gotten a little stronger since I first moved here. No suffering today. I mean, it was tough, but I had it. Yay.

Apparently there's a nature trail too. I'll have to take the kids someday.

9 - Tumbling Waters Trailhead

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