Monday, January 7, 2013


Impressions of Uwharrie:

When it's singletrack, it's SWEET!

When it's not... why can't there be more singletrack here??

Could certainly use (and easily provide) more miles.  Sure you can just do multiple laps, but that's the point of driving away from Charlotte, get to forests that will allow for longer rides without riding in circles again and again.

Funny/awesome thing is that a survey was just posted up (after my ride) on the local forums regarding Uwharrie's trail use.  It appears plans are in the works to add more mountain bike accessible trails there.  It's like someone read my mind!!  My vote?  Yes, of course!

Crazy thing about Uwharrie is the trails were so packed it was like riding on slick rock the whole time.

Break down of my ride/route.  I basically followed the suggested (via many intranet sites) that one should ride Keyauwee counterclockwise and Supertree clockwise.

So, from the parking area at the Wood Run trailhead I rode the forest road a short bit until you come up on the singletrack connector.  Great little intro to the area.  Some fast singletrack with the occassional rock groupings thrown in and an optional big rock section.  This is where the "fun" happened on the way back to the pterodactyl, but I'll get into that later.  The connector dumps out into the Wood Run Camp area, which consists of primitive sites and a glorified port-a-potty.  From here you can access Keyauwee, Supertree, or continue on Wood Run (which is a gravel fire road).

In order to ride Keyauwee counterclockwise and Supertree clockwise I had to first ride up Wood Run to start each trail at the "top."  So up Wood Run I went, and busted a left onto Keyauwee.  Apparently the tread here had recently been plowed (as in plowing a field, plowed) and you could tell.  It wasn't as bad as the complaints when it first happened, but there were certainly grooves in the trail.  But over time it was packed enough to not be soft or super annoying.  Once I got through that section the singletrack came around and boy was it fun!!  After the entire run I wasn't 100% sold that it was best to ride the trail in a counterclockwise fashion.  Sure, there may have been slightly more downhill in this way, it seemed to me like anything I had to climb would be just as fun in the opposite direction.  So, plan for next time is to ride Keyauwee clockwise from Wood Run Camp, take Supertree clockwise back to camp, and then up Wood Run to hit Keyauwee counterclockwise.  Basically, I'm thinking that whichever way you hit Keyauwee will be a blast.

So, back up Wood Run I rode to hit up Supertree clockwise.  Supertree was MUCH less exciting.  Very short stint of quality singletrack.  Mostly fire road that had been pared down to one visible trail, but in the clockwise direction it was fast and mostly pointing down.  In all reality, it may be part of the system out there that eventually gets ignored on future visits.

After both loops I wanted more miles and my sense of adventure was back.  I LOVE being able to "choose your own adventure" on mountain bike rides, something I get little of on the local trails here.  So it was time to continue the ride up Wood Run and see where it went.  Oh, I forgot to mention, I passed a section that was apparently set aside for Vampires.

If you watch True Blood, you'd know.
Well, anyway, Wood Run goes nowhere special really.  Eventually it peters out into old forest roads that had been reclaimed by the forest.  I did come across the oddest thing towards the end of the trail... plowed fields...

So, remember the "fun" I promised in the beginning?  Well, I was on the way back to the trailhead zipping along on the connector singletrack and I was coming up on the optional rock section, of course I was hitting it again.  I aptly tackled the first section but poor line selection had me running directly into the tallest, steepest section of the next rock... I didn't feel I was going to clear it cleanly so I stopped.  Here comes the fun!

What I MEANT to do was lean to my right, the uphill side of things.  Instead, gravity won and pulled me to the left, downhill... so my unclipped foot had nothing to do except hangout as my brain understood what was coming next.  I was falling over at a complete stop.  Next is a blur of trying to deny this was happening, stopping the inevitable fall, acceptance of the fall, and engagement of catlike reflexes in an attempt to diminish the injuries to follow.  In the thick cover of leaves it was hard to see exactly how rocky the ground would be, except on giant jutting rock headed towards my hip/thigh region.  

There was nothing I could do except shift focus to ensure no head injuries would follow... so BLAM I took a rock to my meaty ass.  Pain coursed through but all I could do was to thank my lucky stars that it wasn't my hip making contact with the rock (and appreciating the fact that I do have one meaty ass to absorb such a blow).  I forgot to mention that it was colder than I had expected on my ride (and little creek crossings and puddle hopping left me a bit colder than I would have liked....  the cold also left me wondering if I had torn my sack on the spill.  I know, crude and odd, but I swear it felt like I had torn my sack.  I was too scared to check on the trail - what would I do at that point anyway??  I figured my bibs were holding (fingers crossed) everything together.  So I waited until I got to the trailhead to peek.  SIGH - the boys were fine.

In the long run, I came out pretty good; just one, very large, very nasty, bruise in a place I will not share here.  Although, as I was loading up my gear I noticed I was missing my trail pump.  I walked/ran back up the connector to the site of the "crash" but couldn't find my pump anywhere.  No idea where I lost it, and I'm kinda bummed because it was a good little pump (although I never had to use it out on the trail, so who knows, maybe it sucked?)

No comments:

Post a Comment