I must say that my husband is an amazing teacher; everything he has taught me and the kids and all the trails he set up for us to learn and practice on, our skills were put to good use on these trails. I am proud of all the kids on how well they managed everything, especially the endurance of riding for miles each day for 3 days in a row - hubby's trip meter clocked about 20-32 miles per day.
We got up there early enough on Friday, that we rode the main part of the North loop that night (8 of 10 miles). Then on Sat. morning, was up and out there early (by 8am) and again rode the North loop, and found the last 2 miles of the North loop (start of each trail is not marked out very well, but the trails themselves are groomed enough to follow once on them). Then rode another 7-7.5 miles (10-11 mile loop total) of the South loop until we got caught in a thunderstorm and downpour. (pics posted below)
Sat. was a more challenging day, found out later on in the weekend that the South loop is known as the Wildcat loop and more of the pro riders like that loop. But, we all made it thru what we rode, just rode slower than on the the North loop and were more tired by the end of it. On the one steep uphill, where it was washed out and had some matting down to help keep the area from eroding more, I managed to wheely my bike up the first part of the hill (oops) and then once I got the bike down, one of the other riders we let pass us before we attempted the hill, had gotten off his bike to make his way back down to see if we needed his help making it up the hillside. Well, he sorta spooked me being there walking on the hill and I dumped my bike to avoid hiitting him. I got a few nice bruises on my right thigh now, but glad to have not run him over. I know he was glad too, just by the look on his face as he saw me coming at him up the hill. He apologized for being in the way. It was shortly after that hill climb the storm came, so made it back to the ATV trail and rode back a few miles to our truck in the rain, we were soaked, but had fun.
The ATV trails that lead to the South & McKenna loop also have quite a bit of loose sand (4-5 inches in some areas) and we hadn't rode in sand before. It took me and the kids some time to learn the technique to navigate it well without fishtailing all over the place or sinking in and tipping over. I must say, sand is very tiring to ride in, even once you get the technique down (stand up, lean way back, stay on the throttle). Got to experience my first round of arm pump riding in the sand, had my two fingers on my left hand lock up and not want to straighten out - weird feeling especially while trying to still ride back to our truck in pouring rain.
Sunday, up early again, and the hubby and our younger daughter rode the South loop again while the rest of us met up with them at the crossroads for the ATV trail down to the McKenna loop. We have some video footage of their ride, will have to post it later. Then rode 2/3 of the McKenna loop, by then it was after lunch on a 92 degree day and we were spent. So rode back and did some sight seeing in the area and out to the movies that night to see The Avengers.
Monday, we were all exhausted, but hubby decided to go ride one last time before we headed out in the morning. So dropped him off at the trails at 5:30 pm and came back around 7:30 to pick him up. He rode the South the loop at a pretty good clip in about 40 min. and then the entire McKenna loop (12 miles) and back to the parking area by the time I came to pick him up.
All in all, we had a great weekend of riding! By far, my favorite was the North loop. It was a lot of up and down the hillsides, with roots and "steps" to come down, grassy open areas, wooded areas with lots of twist and winding thru the pines and between tight trees (tight enough for barkbusters to clip), back to up and down the hills and thicker sandy corners and such. Diverse terrain and enough challenges to keep you on your toes. The South loop was fine, just more at the peak of my skill level I guess, so it was tiring and struggling for me. The McKenna loop was scenic and flowing, but a bit more level ground and wooded terrain. If we hadn't been so hot and tired from riding for 3 days, it would have been fun to ride at a faster pace because it was more flowing and allowed for it more so than the other two loops.
Here are a few pics of our ride that I snapped whenever we stopped for a quick break.
North Loop on Friday night.
North Loop in the woods on Sat. morning!
McKenna Loop - Sunday midday.
What a great Memorial Day Weekend with the family!!
Edited by leadfoot70ss, 30 May 2012 - 06:21 AM.