Monday, October 7, 2019


We've got a meeting coming up in November to plan future work at Bull/Jake Mountain. In preparation, we have to come up with lists of stuff we'd like to get done out there. To come up with my list, I figured I'd better do a mini-assessment of the system.

I headed out early Sunday morning, stopping by the local Waffle House for some breakfast, and two chicken/bacon sandwiches to go. The ladies working there are always chatty, noticed my bike, asked me what I was up to, and were pretty shocked and amazed at how far I was planning on riding. I'd actually put in relatively few miles since the TNGA, and the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if I was up for it myself.

Best not to worry about such things. They tend to work out, I find.

At the lot, there were various other folks gearing up and heading out, but nobody that I knew.

I basically did a big clockwise loop of the system, with a couple of out-and-backs thrown in for good measure: Bull/Jake Connector -> 83 Bypass -> Lot Connector -> Bull Proper -> out-and-back on Upper Lance Creek -> Bear-Hare -> Booger Holler -> out-and-back on the Whoop-de-Do's -> rest of Booger Holler -> Jones Creek Ridge -> Turner Creek -> No Tell -> Black Branch -> Jake Mountain.

Overall, the system is in beautiful shape with some notably bad spots. Sadly, some of the bad spots are close to the lot, so they get a lot of attention. Also though, it makes sense that they're close to the lot, as those trails get the most traffic.

For example:

Glorious Bull/Jake Connector:


Bad spot:


Glorious 83 Bypass:


Bad spot:


And so on...

There are some particularly beautiful spots out there, both from a trail maintenance and user experience perspective. For example...

Bear-Hare climb above Lance Creek:


Bear-Hare descent:


And then, on the other hand, there's the Great Rift:


And the total absurdity of the Whoop-de-Do's:


I did, however, give a second look to "the jump" at the top of the Whoop-de-Do's, and it is, in fact, an old Kelly Hump. It was not constructed by the contractors who did the recent work out there. It was always there, as is evident by the double-hump on the outside edge of the old roadbed, and the many years of debris covering it.


I had one chicken sandwich at the end of the Bear-Hare singletrack.


It was a little flat, but otherwise delicious.

I had the other on Black Branch, near the creek crossing.


You know you got your drive-up's worth if you have to stop and eat twice.

So much glorious trail out there! I wish it were reasonable to post all the photos.

I was beat when I got on Jake though, so I didn't hit Moss Branch or Beaver Pond that day. Instead, I came back a week later and picked them up. The ladies at the Waffle House were surprised to see me still alive and eager to find out if I'd be riding the same distance again. Sadly no, but I still got a couple of those chicken sandwiches to go again. This time, minus the bacon. Seriously, Waffle House makes really good chicken sandwiches.

When I got out by Jones Creek, I noticed Mike Reiter's trailer parked off to the side.


He's been doing work on new singletrack out there that bypasses most of the old roadbed leading to the dam. We have a work party coming up on Oct 12 to do some hand-finishing work out there.

So much more beautiful trail out there...

IMG_5448 IMG_5461

So much.

Few bad spots, actually. Basically just the climb up off of the dam and some exposed geotextile at Moss Branch proper.

I ran into Ed Freyer on Jones Creek Ridge. He'd actually run into Debbie and Nancy on Turner Creek. I thought I recognized their trucks in the lot, but they both got new trucks recently, and I wasn't sure. I texted Debbie. She was on No-Tell. Then I ran into them on Beaver Pond and we chatted for like 15 minutes. Some riders came through and didn't quite know what to make of us. They rode yesterday and Debbie's new horse Smoke was tired. He fell asleep while we were talking and took a second to wake back up when she was ready to go.


I did like half the miles that day, and only stopped once to eat.

It's funny, looking back at the GPS data... I was out there for 8 hours the first day and 5 the second. But, I probably only rode 25 miles the first day and like 10 the second. So much stopping and starting. It felt epic.

No comments:

Post a Comment