Sunday, April 4, 2021

Coldwater Mountain

Ahh, Coldwater.

There are trail systems where you enjoy the woods, and there are trail systems where you enjoy the trail. Coldwater is decidedly the latter. I almost want to call it a bike park, but having never been to a proper bike park, and only seen them on YouTube, I'm not sure if that's quite appropriate.

I've been there a bunch, recently even, but haven't ridden everything out there. We usually end up starting at Monsanto, riding up, riding along the spine, hitting Goldilocks, hitting Bomb Dog, riding back, and dropping back down. Oval Office in there somewhere. It's a lot of fun. Those are probably the most fun trails up there, but there are like 10 miles of trail in addition to those, that I've never ridden, and I a few weeks back I felt compelled to ride them.

I tried to get Billy to come, but he wasn't up for it, for some reason that I forget now.

His loss.

I parked at the Coldwater Mountain trailhead rather than Monsanto, and immediately hit the Green and Blue Gravity trails leading out of the parking lot there. The Green line is allegedly "flow" and the Blue line is allegedly "jump". It didn't look like either were very popular though, as they were rough, rocky, and above all else, very very leafy. I'm guessing that the lack of popularity has something to do with this absolutely horrible road climb back up to the lot.

Horrible Climb

Goodness, it's steep, and you have to do it after each run. No huge problem for an XC rig, except that it's the wrong tool for the entire rest of the job.

Oddly, the jumps on the flow line were more lippy and intact than the jumps on the jump line. I could see where they were meant to be, but they'd gotten rounded off, and it looked like it had been a long time since they could really launch you.

I hit those two lines, climbed that horrible climb twice, and headed off to the various "Bear" trails. Right about then, Billy texted me, and I was like "This is what you're missing:"

Coldwater Shred

And he was like: "oh, man, I should have come with you" and I was like "yeah, you could have climbed that horrible climb with me twice already". Heh heh.

It was then that I noticed that I'd forgotten to start Strava. Crap. I wanted the GPS data for those gravity trails. I'd have to ride them again, which meant climbing that road two more times.


I hit Momma Bear and Papa Bear next, both of which were pretty fun actually, but not super amazing. I can see why you might bypass them if you've only got a certain number of miles in your legs.

My seat got loose somewhere on one of those trails, and I had to stop to tighten it up. I hate my seatpost with the kind of hate that Kahn has for Kirk. The way it grabs the seat rails is quirky and one piece can get cocked sideways as you tighten it, then snap loose later, leaving the whole seat loose. A trailside fix just leaves that piece cocked sideways again. Without a pair of channel locks to hold it in place, that always happens, and channel locks don't fit on it easily... It's a mess. And, it also likes to grab my shorts and rip holes in them. I'm looking for something new, but I'm not sure what I want yet.

Check out this shaggy boi.

Longleaf Pine at Coldwater

Longleaf Pine!

I think I saw some last time I was here too, because I remember pointing it out to Hirsh. Unless that was at Raccoon Mountain...

Up on the ridge, I took Bullfrog over instead of Rock Slot. There's this pretty big, proabably ephemeral pond up there near the intersection, which I guess is why the trail is named Bullfrog. I'm sure I passed it before, but never noticed it.

It's not as rocky as Rock Slot, but it's still kind of rocky.

Coldwater Chunk

Instead of bombing down Bomb Dog, I rode a chunk of Cassidy that I'd never ridden before, around the outside. It's pretty fast and fun, but instead of jumps and drops, there are lots of chunky rock gardens. So, it's a lot of work. I was rewarded for my efforts with a lovely view of this industrial quarry though.

Some Quarry in the Distance

Ahh, industrial quarry.

Cassidy joins lower Bomb Dog, and then you climb out on Bomb Dog as well. This mylar balloon was somewhere in there.

Mylar Balloon

One per square mile of forest. I'm telling you.

When I got back to the lot, I hit those gravity trails again, and my legs were pissed at me when I got back to the lot.

They were especially pissed, because I wasn't done yet. I'd planned on packing up, driving to the Monsanto lot, and hitting the obscure trails over there as well. It was kind of hard to motivate myself to do it, but I did.

While I was getting packed up though, I saw this family drive up in a van with 4 bikes on the back, and 4 kids (like young teenagers) jumped out and grabbed their bikes off the back real quick. They were very excited. Their mom had driven them over to the trail to ride. And it didn't seem like a 1-time thing, they were talking about the trails they were going to ride and she was arguing with the youngest about not going too far... Like a soccer mom, or a dance mom, she was a mountain bike mom. She did not appear to ride. There was nothing in it for her, per se, just being a good mom. High-5s to you mom. You deserve many high fives.

At the Monsanto lot, my spirit was waning a bit, so I kind-of hurried up and got to it before I talked myself out of it. About halfway up Tortise is Bunny, or something like that, which just lets you loop back to the lot on Hare, hitting the jumps at the bottom. It's pretty fun. Up near the top, you can take some trail that kind-of parallels part of Oval Office over to another set of trails. It's a bunch of little segments, each with it's own name, but it basically makes a lollipop with a shortcut across it. Fun trails, actually, it's kind of unfortunate that they don't get more traffic.

Less Well Travelled Coldwater Trail

Somebody rides them though. Maybe it's just us that don't.

The whole area is a bit different than the rest of Coldwater. Less rocky, and a lot more pine. Also, the climb out is pretty steep, but nothing compared to that road, so I was fine with it.


I've no officially ridden everything at Coldwater except for Gazza. When I got home I looked it up on YouTube, expecting senders and mandatory gap jumps, but it looks like it's just a bunch of sketchy rock gardens. I'm generally decent at those. The guy in the video rode it with a rigid fork. So, maybe I'll hit that next time.

Man, if you want to see the true economic effect of the pandemic, drive through the Oxford/Anniston area. It's an absolute ghost town. Nobody is open. I tried the Peerless Grill. Closed. I tried like 3 other restaurants. Closed. It was fast food, gas stations, and a few local spots that are one block off of the interstate. If you go two blocks off though... Closed. It was like that in Chattanooga when I was up there last time too. Dahlonega is only doing like 1 step better. You don't really see it so much in Atlanta or Dallas, but you see it in smaller towns.

I'm not sure how I feel about the Alabama, Georgia, and LSU flags flying next to each other, but I was happy to find a local place open at all, so I'll take it!


I ordered a burger. It was ok. I'll eat there again. Maybe soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment