Monday, November 29, 2021

Fox Trails

Goodness, I've been slacking.

When I get back from a long ride, I often joke that "I don't even want to look at a bike for a month." or something similar. Well, that turned out to be kind-of true. After the Tally Tango, it was like 3 weeks before I did anything worth mentioning, and what I did was only barely so.

About a month ago now, I felt like continuing the trend of driving further than is reasonable to drive to ride fewer miles than is reasonable to ride for how far I'd driven to ride them.

The Fox Trails!

Fox Trails Sign

I want to say that the city they're nearest is Commerce, Georgia, which is a good ways up 85. I don't think there were even five miles of trail there, but the trails were actually pretty good.

The lot and associated facilities were adequate. Plenty of parking. A port-a-potty and kiosk are always welcome.

Fox Trails Facilities 
	Fox Trails Lot 
	Fox Trails Kiosk

The trails themselves were relatively easy to figure out.

Fox Trails Map

It was a stacked loop with maybe 1 outside line.

The main trail appeared to be "The Lake Loop" which, true to it's name, wound around to the north of Marlow Lake.

Marlow Lake

You could see the lake from a lot of the trail. There were a couple of alternate lines that split off and re-joined, and I spun a few laps figuring them out. The trail was a little tight and rough, but still pretty fun to ride. There was an inner loop sort of trail too, called Cowbone, which flowed a lot better than the Lake Loop.

Well Traveled

I got the impression that the Lake Loop might have been the original trail on the property, and not purpose-built, but that the rest was.

The entire system was well signed:

The Dark Side Signage 
	More Signage

I'd printed a map, and brought it with me, but it turned out I never looked at it. The jist that I'd gotten from the map at the kiosk, plus all of the signage, and just knowing that it was stacked loops made it really easy to follow.

The trails on the south side of the property (The Dark Side) were really fast and fun. Some of the inner loops appeared to get less traffic than the outer loops...

Less Well Traveled

...but it was mostly like this:


Somewhere back there I found this old school tree stand.

Old School Tree Stand

I see those every so often, in the strangest places, and I wonder how long ago they were last used. Some, like this one, sit on land that's not legal to hunt on any more, but it must have been at some point, or at least it was so far back in the woods that nobody would have noticed or cared. How long since that was the case?

I rode the whole system a few times, including some old access roads. The downhill run was actually a little hard to find. It's not marked at the intersection with the main trail, but you can tell that people go off in that direction sometimes. There is a sign for it, but it's actually a good ways down the trail from where it splits off. Maybe it used to split off differently and they never moved the sign? I don't know, it was odd.

I saw a few people out there while I was riding. One lady appeared to be walking her dog, but I saw them through the woods on a different part of the trail, and never ended up passing anyone, somehow.

Back near the lot, there's a pretty elaborate pump track, and I screwed around on it for a while.

Pump Track

I could kind-of keep speed on it, but only if I pedaled pretty hard into it. I couldn't just roll in and build up enough speed to keep going just by pumping. Still, pretty fun.

I ended up riding like 10-ish miles, which, at the time, seemed like plenty.

It was getting dusky and I was getting hungry, so I headed back to town for some dinner. Commerce has this great little main street, with the tracks running right through the middle of town.

Historic Downtown Commerce

Some of the various railroad crossings are a little weird, and hard to describe. If you go there, you'll see what I mean.

I'm not sure if it was homecoming night, or what. It seemed a little early in the year for prom. But, there were tons of high school kids milling around in really nice outfits, walking together and taking photos.

I ended up grabbing some pizza at Sliced:


And it was pretty good. Not Siracusa's, but still, pretty good. There was a little antique shop next door too, that should have been closed, per the posted hours, but was somehow still open. So, I browsed their selection and ended up buying some DVD that I didn't have. Though I forget which now... Heh, getting old, I guess. Can't remember things.

I do remember it being nice and cool, but not yet cold. Like "fall is here, but it's not REALLY here yet". Definitely a welcome change from the warm summer.

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