Sunday, November 5, 2017

Building a New Trail at Pine Mountain

Once we were granted long-sought permission/approval by the landowners, FCNEMBA built a new trail to ascend Pine Mountain. It has taken quite a few dirty, back-breaking sessions and lots of volunteers but it is nearing completion.
As it appears on the Pine Mountain Kiosk
Below are a few photos of the trail. A long ascent with lots of super flowy curves in the first third of the ascent and some incredible rock work at the higher levels, the trail is IMHO a masterpiece! :-)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Old Mine Park (Annual Hike)

Annual Historic Hike - October 21st, 2017

Amazing weather for near the end of October -- Short sleeved T-Shirts!

Before the hike began, I stepped aside to take this photo of the Pequonnock River (near the Old Mine Bridge)
The River
 The Hiking group
At the Overlook

We are at the Upper Pit
 At the Mill Area (right above  the Pavilion)

After our hike a took a couple of friends on a quick tour of the valley - which of course included the crevasse :-) 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

New Trails at Luther

Took a quickie ride at Luther this morning and discovered a lot of new trails! The weather was ridiculously beautiful; sunny and in the upper 70s - I rode only wearing a short sleeve jersey!

Off of the easy south loop there is a whole new fairly long easy loop. No hills but lots of fun if you bomb it. (see #1 on the map below - need to GPS it!)

In addition  I rode #2 on the map below - it was great--and from the looks of other pin flags I noticed around the park--there are more new trail additions as well.

#3 is still a problem as a new house has closed off a section of the main rail there and the run around is a only a short makeshift unbenched nasty drop and climb in and out of the ravine. Knowing the good work the trail gnomes have done in this park elsewhere, I imagine eventually something nice will be built here as well.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Indian Kill Revisited

After my seemingly near brush with death back in 2015,  I returned with my good friend Chad and had a much more sane trek!
Chad at the dam
We did the loop at the bottom
This is at the first climb
Ah memories, this is where I had to crawl like a worm when it was covered in ice...
It a beautiful little park
Macho tree split
An old relic from yesteryear

End of the line 

We reached the houses just north of Mayfair and the trail ended. This trailer perched up on the cliff was in someone's back yard.

On the way back we scooted over these logs.

But the real challenge was this one!

Chad and I had a good time. It always fun to check out nature and enjoy the woods (especially when the trails aren't covered with ice!)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Mountain Biking in Northern Vermont

When I arrived on Wed, I rode the lower Trapp Trails - easy by still fun.

Thursday was overcast and rainy but I did manage to ride the Rail trail from Danville to St Johnsbury and back in the afternoon. That ride is detailed on my railroad related blog. 

Sadly on Friday, the weather was crappy as well: cold, windy and very overcast most of the day but I finally rode Kingdom Trails again. It was 5 or six years back when I rode Kingdom with my son and its really the Mecca of Cross-County Mountain Bike Riding.

I ended up driving on every single friggin’ back country dirt road between Stowe and East Burke thanks to Google Maps giving me the shortest route (ARRGH) but by around 11 Am I was riding.

This lovely artifact was in the parking lot!

Once I signed in, as is customary, the staff gave me a map and drew a recommended route for me from my suggestions.

I then slogged up Uptown (I think that was its name). Its the new trail that keeps you off of the road for a bit, then I continued up on Herbs. At the end of Herbs, I veered south and rode Riverwood, then continued up (!) on Pines.

Oops - suddenly I realized these were the recommended trails for the long loop at the end of the day so I headed back north on Worth It then up the road to the Inn.

Heading to the north section, I grabbed Poundcake then Coronoary Bypass. Yikes... the descent on  Coronoary Bypass was ridiculously amazing!!!

After recovering my senses (returning from Cloud Nine!)  I continued on to Pastore Point. This was one of my preferred trails cuz of all of the roots (no I am not a masochist :-) ). Took a small spill on a large root and didn't realized until later that I lost my apple that was tethered to my handle bars - oh well!

Then it was a bit of a hike-a-bike up Coronary (I was already getting a bit bushed) but I was quickly rewarded with flying down Troll Stroll (ooo yeah baby!!!).

I took a breather midway thru Eager Beaver and heard the train roll by right behind me, then it was on to Webs (required a short jog back north). I remembered this trail well from my times with my son, It is glorious!

Then a long haul on some double track (lots of hills) and although my intentions were to ride Sidewinder-- I was out of water. I had forgotten my Camelbak (duh!) and had only a now-empty bottle in my cage.

I paused at the "Market Cafe" area expecting to chow down a bit and get water but it is only open on the weekends so I hammered up Old Webs (another magnificent trail) and found water at the Pavilion. This Pavilion wasn't there year ago when I rode with my son!

A quick trek up the Chapel where the wind was practically blowing you over...

Then down to Knob and the East River Branch. For a while it was practically dark in the forest but occasionally the sun would poke thru for a bit and then disappear. East River Branch was another of the requested trails on the route and it did not disappoint!

But by this time I was getting evermore bushed (and the East River Branch Trail is notoriously up and down) so I rode the VAST easy trail all the way to Kitchell and flew down those berms like there was no tomorrow.

Once back by the car, I grabbed a beer and a burrito at the Tiki Bar and Food Truck. None of this existed years ago when I was here with my son Greg!

Although I didn't get to Heaven's Gate this time - it did feel as though I had reached heaven at a few points on my ride. Kingdom Trails never disappoints!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Luther and 909

Nice mid morning ride at Luther. I snitched today 4-5 photos for this panorama:
 Took the trail to the bottom (for a change)

After lunch with a high school classmate at Carneys in Ballston Lake  - I got a ride in at Taconoc 909 before returning to CT. I took the same route as last time (BykHead Nirvana) . Descending BykHead is always exhilarating! Saw an owl on the drive out on Tyrrel Road.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

BykHead Nirvana

On the way back from visiting my mother, I stopped by Taconic 909 late afternoon Sunday. The weather was perfect - sunny but not too hot with a refreshing breeze.

I parked at the Tyrrell lot and rode in on Brockway veering off at Mary Murphy. The great single track took me above the start of BykHead, so I rode on the double track (Horseshoe) and zoomed off down the connector to connect with BkyHead. That first climb is a doozy and although I didn't hike any of it, I did have to stop twice for a breather. Once at the top it was non-stop nirvana - some sections have so much great flow you fly at breakneck speed without a care in the world!

Once I reached the bottom, I rode a bit on the jeep road and veered off the the left on the connector to Mustang and then climbed Mercury (on previous visits I always rode in the opposite direction: descending).

It was a great ride and finally a bit of redemption for me as last time I visited, my bike broke on BykHead and I had to walk it out. Eeech - that was a bummer...

My ride (clockwise)
A brief stop on BykHead - the photo does not do justice to how great this trail is!
At the bottom of Mercury
A brief pause on Mercury
Back at the lot