Thursday, May 31, 2012

Weekend fun

This past weekend was a weekend of riding adventures.  I hit up two trails that I have never ridden before.  First I went up to New Hampshire and rode the FOMBA trails.  They were only a little over an hour away, so not a big hike from me,  But still it's in another state, so that makes it an adventure in my book.  

The trails were built by mountain bikers, for mountain bikers - so that's always great start!  Each of the 10 trails had a nice sign with name and mileage.  The trails were short, hitting them all netted me 12 miles.  There is the possibility of extending mileage by riding the fireroads/snowmobile trails out around the area.  But it was super hot the day I rode, so the 12 miles was good enough for me!!

The trails were tight and twisting, so much that it was hard to maintain any real speed.  Smooth fast trail sections were few and far between as the terrain was very typical of the area, rooty and rocky.  There were no extended rock gardens, so it wasn't overly technical, but it was sprinkled with roots and rocks so you were constantly battling something.  I was able to string together all but one of the trails in a clockwise tour of the area. 

Here are a couple shots from the end of Red Pine: 

Armored climb

Typical tread... is that a ladder over there on the right?

A serious wooden roller

From the bottom

Rolling through the 9th trail I was suffering.  The heat was stifling and I was running low on water. Full on dehydration grabbed a hold of me and as I rounded each turn I was praying to see the fire road and a way back to the pterodactyl to grab fresh bottles.  I started hiking little ups that I should have been able to ride as I found myself locked in a full on suffer cave of doom.  

I downed two bottles at the car and when I "relieved" myself it was the darkest cooler dust  urine I have ever experienced.  Do I ride the last trail or call it quits?  I gave myself some time, drank all the water I could, leaving me with one left for the trail.  I had to ride it, I was here already.  Thankfully it was one of the easier trails, so I was able to fly through it and end my day. 

On Sunday I stayed in Massachusetts and headed towards the coast to hit up Carolina Hill.  The name is a little misleading because the trails never take you to Carolina Hill itself... weird.

The singletrack here was SWEET!!  Fast, flowing, packed... it was unbelievable!! 

Unfortunately, as happens whenever you explore a new area, I wasn't on the singletrack for the majority of the time.  There are a ton of fire roads/doubletrack throughout that isn't so fast and flowy.  The doubletrack offers a more rocky trail. 

Pictures never do the steepness of a trail justice

Rocky trails

I also ended up hitting a lot of singletrack that just ended.  Seems there needs to be more traffic out there to help keep the trails open and the overgrowth back.  There was a spot by a quarry where someone has been building a little jump/pump area.  It may be for the dirtbikes though (seemed to be plenty of evidence throughout of motorized activity).

A lot of trees down across trails as well.  Many of the trees down were hovering a couple inches off the ground making them impassable without dismounting.
I was able to ride under the far right side of this guy (just clipping the bottle in my jersey pocket)
With some maintenance and traffic this place could be a real sweet area.  There may already be a sweet loop hitting all the singletrack, but during my exploration it was hit and miss.  Definitely a decent place to hit if you are local, but not an area (in current conditions and without a guide) that I would return to with Wompatuck up the road.

I did end up leaving with a few souvenirs!!  I mentioned the ticks the other day.  As I was putting the HiFi on the pterodactyl I saw a twig sticking out from my tire.  I knew the tread was not thick enough to have a twig lodge between so I knew this wouldn't be good. 

Game of Thorns??
I'm not sure when I picked this guy up, but he was holding the air in, so I left it alone until I got home.  When I did pull it air shot out and the tire was flat in a matter of seconds.  Glad that didn't happen out on the trail!! 

I have also now discovered that I picked up some poison ivy on my shins as well, sweet bonus!!

It was nice riding some new trails, so I think I'll continue trying to hit some more new trails as I soak up the rooty, rocky glory that is New England mountain biking.

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