Monday, November 19, 2007

New Trail!

Yesterday I rode a new local trail with a couple friends, Tracy and Sasha; the Wild Turkey Trail up at Heil Ranch Park. I've been impressed with the amount of new trail for mountain biking that has been built in Boulder County since I've moved here in mid-2005. I come from Ohio where there is not a lot of legal mountain bike trail, although I heard it's getting better there too. When I moved to Boulder, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven with the amount of legal trail nearby. I heard locals complain about the lack of trails accessible to mountain bikers, but it
still seemed like a lot to me based on

Sasha with Tracy Close behind

my comparison with Ohio. Since I've been here longer, I've realized that, compared to hikers, runners and equestrians, the mountain bikers had drawn the short end of the stick in the Front Range, getting only a fraction of the hundreds (thousands?) of miles of trail.

So, the new mountain bike trails are good news. I've personally helped build several trails, including the one I rode yesterday. The original trail starts out with a rocky uphill for a few miles, standard fare for the Front Range. Then we hit the new trail, a stacked loop attached to the older trail, from south to north. For the first mile or so, the 2.9 mile trail was a wicked fun downhill, followed by a swoopy climb. We intersected the older trail and continued to climb up the original trial to the lookout point, where you can see the trails at Hall Ranch to the north. Work is underway to connect the Heil Ranch trails with those at Hall Ranch. This will create an amazing trail system that I can access from my house mostly on trail and ride for more than 30 miles without hitting pavement. Sa-weet!

After the lookout point, I had forgotten how much more climbing there was, up loose rocky terrain that sucks your energy like a hoover. I was on my Single Speed, so I was huffing and puffing like mad! Finally, we were headed downhill again for about three miles. Whoo Hoo! The two hour ride totaled about 10 miles. I would love to have done more, but I had a date with a rake and some leaf piles. Way fun Tracy and Sasha!
Tracy Rippen' Up Wild Turkey Trail

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