Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ridge Riding

The second morning of riding was spend pedaling, pushing and carrying my bike across, down and over the French Creek Trail. The Trail kicks off just under a quarter mile from legion lake at the Badger Clark Cabin. There is a short connector trail that is relatively mild, minus some horse tracks that can add some unnecessary bumps and ruts.

After about .5 miles the trail splits left to French Creek Trail and horse camp and right to Iron Creek and out of Custer park. I hoped on Horse Creek for today's ride. I figured I'd ride 1hr -1.5hrs one way and the head back. The return trip is always fast or most times.
Right away I was like this trail is pretty mild, a steady climb some rocks. Nothing like Crow Peak, haha yeah right! I had one short tech climb followed by a little longer down hill that was pretty tech, thinking to myself probably not going to be able to ride that on the way back, had to bunny hop the creek twice. There was a log ride on one but it was a 4inch post and I just thought it would be easier to hope the 3 foot stream and it was. The trail opened up to a nice prairie but I could see where the trail was going and it was a large ridge line filled with trees and rocks off about 3/4 or a mile. The trail began to follow what looked like a dry creek bed but it quickly got to steep to be a creak bed so it must be a wash out or something. Don't want to be standing there if it started to rain hard!

Before I go to the bottom of the ridge I came to a cool rock feature off to the right side of the trail so I had to go play on that. It was cool and a good skill check. working on some minor trials skills and track stands and hops. When I got off that the trail wraps around the rock and drops quickly and then you begin up, what I thought was a super gnarly climb/dh which required about 50/50 riding and pushing. I was like damn when I got to the top and stared across the vista that is going to be fun to go down.

Then I began going down the other side which started off in a deep rut but smooth dirt but took two quick turns and then bam! It dropped off and got WCI crazy real quick! and I had to get my DH wits about me in a hurry!

Unfortunately I didn't get that quick enough and got ejector seated from a steep square hit on the front tire and I wasn't over the bottom bracket enough and the high saddle slapped me in the but and sent me over the handle bars! Good thing I don't wear clipless pedals because I was able to just step/jump over and walk away with no scratches or anything.

I grabbed my bike out of the tree and slammed the seat down, another good reason to invest in a dropper post if you're going to be doing big mountain riding and ditch the clips! From that point on I was heck of a lot more focused and was on point the whole way down and it just kept going and going. I wish I had more time because I could have rode that wave for a long time I think it was going to open up into a prairie/valley but I  came across a downed tree and decided to turn around since I could only ride up about 25% of the trail I just came down. It was super steep and super rocky and not solid rock but softball to basketball loose rock mixed in with solid big rock!

It was a long push but after that the other side going back down was a cake walk and I ripped that up and flew back home for about a 2hr and 15min ride about 1hr and 30mins out and 45mins back, the hike took about 20mins alone!

It was a great ride that  I will definitely do again next year and will be a little more prepared for it!
Keep it real!

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