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Posts tagged “mountain biking

Just Riding Along… Mitchell Memorial evening ride.

Another trail down on the list, I finally made it back to Mitchell Memorial after around 4 years of not being there. When I first rode it, it was only a 3.9 mile loop that was interesting, but definitely not worth the 40 minute drive. My how 4 years can change a trail…

My friend Eric and I started out on the “A” loop, which is the part of the trail that I remembered. Very flowy, tight, well groomed single track is what awaits you with the “A” trail, but at 3.9 miles it leaves you wanting more. That is where the “B” trail comes in. At just a little over 4 miles, this section of the trail was quite impressive, and still relatively new. The trail splits into an upper and lower section, that still connects, so we started on the higher road.

The upper section was a little bit of climbing, but overall nothing too impressive. Once we started to head down the hill however, things got a little interesting. Rocks were everywhere on the lower trail. And by rocks, I am not talking gravel, but huge sections of pizza box sized boulders that make this trail absolutely amazing. Lots of off-camber rocky sections that you would normally not find in Ohio, that keep you on your toes. It was an absolute pleasure to ride a trail like this again. Well done CORA for putting this one together!

The sun dropped a little quicker than we had anticipated this evening, so we pushed the pace a bit to make it back to the car before it was completely dark. Well worth the ride, and even worth the drive from the eastside of the Cincinnati region. I highly recommend this trail!

Just keep spinning…


Just Riding Along… Keep an eye on the trails!

Got this photo in my inbox today from a riding buddy out west:


Western Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis)

Just a nice reminder to watch out on the trails for those random encounters with nature! Rattlesnakes are a pretty common sight out west, as I have seen quite a few in my time. Here in Ohio, rattlesnakes are not as plentiful, but they are out there, so keep your eyes open!

This photo got me thinking though, how many readers out there have seen interesting wildlife on the trails? What have you seen?

Just keep spinning…

Photo thanks to Chip Brent in SoCal. Check out his site here if you are looking to buy a home in the San Diego area!


Just Riding Along… England Idlewild Trails.

After about a four year hiatus, I finally made it back to England Idlewild trails in Burlington Ky. Quite a bit has changed in that amount of time, mainly the entrance and exit to the system. In the past, you had a straight shot descent into the system, which was not much to write home about. Now however, you have a great, smooth, flowy and fun trail called the Roundabout, which makes entering the system seem like you are riding on a pump track. Banked turns, and smooth hard packed trails, you cant beat that. Definitely worth checking out if you feel like traveling to the Can Tuck lands.

Check out their site here.

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…


End of the dock…

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Ended the week here in Lower/Northern Michigan the best way possible: With a mountain bike ride at the VASA single track, located just outside of Traverse City, Michigan.

The VASA system is a pretty awesome 15 or so mile loop, through the very interesting Michigan landscape. By interesting, I mean very sandy at times, and unfortunately sandy in the various tight and twisty corners. It took a couple times eating sand to adjust my riding style over the entire trail, but by the end I had earned my sand wings. The trail is tight and twisty, with very fast sections where you can crank out the big ring and really get some speed. Not the most technical of trails, but very enjoyable regardless.

This was a great way to end a very amazing week. Lots of time on the quiet Little Traverse Lake either swimming or kayaking, some urban exploration, lots of euchre, and lots and lots of Michigan beer. For some reason unknown to me, Michigan has some great brews going on. Breweries on our agenda were North Peak, Bell’s, Founders, and Arbor Brewing.

What a fantastic week of relaxation, now unfortunately back to the grind of reality.


Just Riding Along… Urban Exploration, with bikes…

Every family vacation, bikes are brought along for the random chance that we can sneak away for some saddle time. That was the case with today, with the four of us that brought our bikes for the trip.

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The ride started with some road riding, that had us bordering the National Lakeshore. After a few miles along the scenic route, we started to climb to the highest point of the area. Once at the top, we found ourselves at a defunct ski resort, wishing we could find a trail to the top of the former slopes. After checking the surrounding area, and not spotting any “No Trespassing” signs, my brother in law and I with our mountain bikes split from the group to follow a worn double track up the side of the mountain. At the top, we were rewarded with this:

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Surly and Trek taking in the view.

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Former ski resort.

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Overlooking a distant lake.

After spending some time at the top, it was evident that no one cares that people are exploring here, due to the random fire pits, graffiti, and empty PBR cans that littered almost every building. This would explain why there were no “No Trespassing” signs. It seems that the owners of the property just do not care.

Not a bad way to spend a couple hours on vacation, exploring with bikes.

Just keep spinning…


Just Riding Along… Landen Deerfield.

Quick ride tonight at Landen Deerfield park. Small trail, but a pretty solid one nonetheless. It is amazing how much trail that was squeezed into one small area, tucked inside a neighborhood. Definitely not a destination trail, but if you are in the area already, it might be worth your time. Only around 3 miles or so total, so it is a good system to roll some laps.

Here is a video of their tiny rock garden, next time I am there I will try to film the upper area of this section, which is a little tricky. The video makes it looks simple. Thanks to Eric for filming this spot!

Just keep spinning…