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Posts tagged “east fork state park

Just Running Along… East Fork trail run…

Sticking with the current running theme, spent some time at East Fork with a friend running in the rain this evening. Typical fall weather on the menu; rain, overcast, chilly… perfect for a trail run. The original plan was to dust off the Surly and get a nice fall ride in, but since it had rained for most of the day, the New Balance Minimus came out to play instead.

We decided to run the middle section of the MTB trail, which as you can see in the blurry photo it was completely covered in wet leaves, which in turn caused me to bust my ass in a slightly off camber section. After the trail check to my knee, it gave me a moment to slow down and really look around while running, and basically see things off of the trail that I have never seen before. I will say it kinda blew my mind as to what I have been missing with my mountain bike tunnel vision, it was definitely nice to slow down a bit and take it all in.

Just keep running…

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Just Riding Along… Bike packing test run.

Next week I am planning my first off road bike packing trip, so this morning I was up at sunrise with the Troll fully loaded and out the door. My plan was to ride on different surfaces, and try to follow the Buckeye Trail as much as possible. If you are not savvy to the Buckeye Trail, it is a hiking trail that goes around the entire state of Ohio. Unfortunately, the trail is mostly on back roads, and very little of it is on actual single track. Furthermore, what single track there is, is usually off limits to bikes. But horses are allowed? Makes no sense to me, but I will save that rant for another day.

Luckily, the Buckeye Trail goes right through my little town of Milford, so I followed it east, towards East Fork state park. All on pavement until I came to the dead end of Ross Road, which is in the photo above. This was my first loaded off road section with the Troll, and it handled beautifully. This part of the trail appears to have been a completely usable road, that the county must have decided to let die. The trail was made up of broken pavement, dirt, and lots and lots of rocks. Very interesting downhill to say the least. This section made me realize that my brakes are very underpowered. After this off road piece, I was dropped into the town of Batavia and almost to my destination.

From Batavia I rambled along St. Rt. 222 to Elk Lick Road, which then connected to Green Briar road. The Buckeye Trail follows Elk Lick to another dead end, but I continued up the hill on Green Briar to see if I could find a campsite in East Fork state park. Green Briar dumped me onto Old Rt. 32, which connected me to Zagar Rd. which I found a single track trail that should have put me at a backpacking campsite. Unfortunately, I could not find the campsite, so I turned around and found this gem of a road:

This old dirt road off of Zagar Rd. was a broken down gem. Broken pavement, gravel, and ended as a single track, and put me back onto Green Briar Rd. Very interesting to see roads fall off of repair, and get turned into trails. Also, pretty interesting to see how quickly the marks of man gets erased off of the planet in such short time. Makes me think of the book, “The World Without Us.” Definitely worth the read if you are into that sort of thing. Anyway, once back onto Green Briar, I followed that back into Batavia, retraced some of my tracks, ended up on US Hwy. 50, then back to the comforts of home. Total saddle time of almost 4 hours.

Things learned from this ride:

1. My brakes need upgraded. I am running Avid BB5s, which I am thinking of switching to Avid BB7s. I am most familiar with BB7s, but I also am thinking of switching to hydros, but they cost way too much, with too much maintenance for my taste. Anyone have recommendations for a good, economical set of hydraulic brakes? I’m all ears.

2. I need to rethink my packing. I am only planning an overnight, but I found myself running out of room for gear. I might still have to use a backpack, which I was trying to avoid. Now that they seem to have come back into stock, I will be picking up a Salsa Minimalist rack to run on the rear to add a bit more cargo space on the bike.

3. I love my Brooks saddle.

Not a bad way to start the day, next week should be an adventure!

Just keep spinning…


Just Riding Along… Do not trust wet wood.

Since I have been out of town for work, I have been off of single track for a couple weeks. My plan for the day was to be out before the sun rose and riding at East Fork state park. Unfortunately, there was a quick downpour that delayed my start time, but I still was on the trail by the late morning. While East Fork drains very well, and Ohio has been exceptionally dry lately, I figured that the rain would be soaked up by the extremely parched Earth which would leave primo trails. And primo they were, nice and tacky, with pretty amazing traction.

One part of the system that did not soak up the rain however, was the multiple bridge crossings. So the photo above shows the aftermath of a tight corner, taken a little faster than it should, and sliding off of the bridge. After doing a somersault off of the obstacle, checking that the bike and myself were okay, (Yes, in that order) I was back on the velcro like trails laughing to myself.

The point of all of this rambling: Do not trust wet wood.

Just keep spinning…


Just Riding Along… Day 1 of vacation…

Started off my vacation the only way that I know how, with a nice MTB ride. The plan for the morning was to be up and out before the sun to ride the entire system at Caesar Creek state park. Unfortunately, my alarm did not wake me. That cut out a bit of time from my riding time, so I settled for East Fork once again. Luckily, it is a great system.


Action shot, still trying to figure out my timer.

Great way to start the vacation, more riding to come…

Just keep spinning…


Just Riding Along… East Fork fun.

After work today, I decided that it would be a good time to head back to East Fork SP to ride the Lake Trail again. What a fun trail! I am always amazed at how well East Fork drains after a bit of rain, as it rained this morning, just spotty showers, which finished around 8am. Then, in typical Ohio summer fashion, the heat was cranked to 90 with a huge chunk of humidity. While uncomfortable to work in, it makes for great trail drying weather. Just a few mudholes, nothing major. It is mountain biking.

Stopped at my favorite tree in the whole trail system, this Oak is huge. I can only imagine the stories it could tell…

I am really happy with my tire setup finally. I have settled on running a Maxxis Ardent 2.6″ in the front, and a Maxxis Crossmark 2.1″ in the rear. The Ardent in the front has great traction, especially when cornering, and it’s large size gives me the ability to run a little lower air pressure to give the false feeling of suspension on a rigid frame. As for the Crossmark on the rear, it is a fast tire, but it does have it’s limits. I am feeling it wash out a tiny bit on higher speed corners, but it is nothing unbearable. It is a great combo, and way lighter than running two 2.6″ Ardents. That will be my winter setup however.

Some awesome trail time lately, quite a bit more to come this week, then it is vacation time!

Just keep spinning…


Just Riding Along… Back to trail basics.

Lately, I have called the Troll into tail duty, which has been an absolute blast. This bike rolls so smoothly in the woods that I am having a hard time with the thought of returning it to the road. Anyway, the busy schedules of two people has finally come together, so I can now introduce my friend Eric to the wonderful sport of mountain biking. Good times indeed.


Eric is a shapeshifter…


Nice scenery off of the Lake Trail.

Big thanks to CORA for the new trail addition, which makes a great trail even better. Go ride it!

Just keep spinning…


Just Riding Along… First Impressions.

First impressions are huge. They are when you decide if you are going to like something or not, in a very quick amount of time. Today was the prime example of that. A bike ride materialized out of nowhere, so the Troll was loaded up and I was racing the sunset. Decided to make the journey to East Fork state park to see if the trails were ride-able, and luckily they were.

This is my first “real” mountain bike ride on the Troll, not just tooling around the local nature preserve. This is single track, and sweet single track it is. Anyway, the Troll performed as it should. It reminds me a lot of my former Haro Mary single speed. I make this comparison only due to the fact that the top tube is stretched a bit, and I am using the same On One Mary handlebars. They are both steel frames, so that plays into the comparisions as well. These similarities make me happy, as the Haro Mary was one of my favorite bikes. Solid, smooth ride characteristics, which is surprising for a rigid frame. The Maxxis Ardents are a big surprise at how well they handle too. They are huge, at 2.6″ wide, but they just lock into the soil and hold your line. I was planning to replace them for summer riding, but I might shelve that idea for the time being. Again though, this is only my first impression, not a long term test. I will probably change my mind in due time.

Things that I will be changing soon: I feel that I need a shorter stem. I am a little too stretched out for my liking, but it is not a deal breaker at the moment. Another change that should happen is my front derailleur. It is the only part out of the build that just does not work too well. It was cheap, and it works, but it will be a cheap and easy fix. Sub par shifting, luckily I am from a single speed background, so the chain stayed in the middle ring for the entire ride.

So not a long ride, but a ride nonetheless. It was nice to be out on the trails again, the only rider in the woods, watching the sun drop below the tree line while soaking up the remaining light on the sweet single track. Can’t wait to be out again…

Just keep spinning…