Trails I've Ridden

Mountain Bike Trails I've Ridden:

Ohio: Medina Reagan, Royalview, Bedford, West Branch, Mohican, *Vulture’s Knob, Lake Hope, the shit in Columbus, Dillon, The Wilds, AEP Lands, Wayne National Forest/Marietta, Findley Michigan Island Lake, Highland, Proud Lake, Hickory Glen, Novi Tree Farm, Addison Oaks, Pontiac Lake, ***Potowatomi, Brighton, Yankee Springs, Fort Custer, **Big M, North Country Trail segments, *Copper Harbor, Boyne Highlands, High Country Pathway, Bass River, Stoney Creek, Hungerford West Virginia **Cooper’s Rock, **Davis, Slatyfork, Watters Smith, Big Bear, Mountwood, Kanawha, North Bend, Spruce Knob Pennsylvania Moraine, Brady’s Run, Laurel Mountain, Tomlinson Run, Quebec Run, *Apollo/Roaring Run, Northpark, Bavington, Allegrippis, Blue Knob, Rothrock/Cooper's Gap Virginia **Carvin’s Cove, Massanutten, Harrisonburg/Reddish Knob New York Ellicottville Maryland *Gambrill/Frederick Watershed North Carolina Dupont, Pisgah, Rocky Knob, *Dark Mountain, that trail with all the berms in Wilksboro Arizona Sedona California *Sequel Demo South Dakota *Storm Mountain, Tinton Trail

* My favorites

Monday, October 20, 2014


A Weekend at Lake Michigan Rec

(once again, I downloaded in the wrong order and it's too much of a pain in the ass to do it all over again, so you might want to scroll all the way down to the bottom if you want to read chronologically)

Capper's Corner and a view that rivals Rattlesnake Hill on the High Country Pathway.

Only had time for a quick spin, so I took Double Bit to Catamount to Capper's Corner, then back to Catamount and around to the parking lot. About 100 feet average climbing per mile. Awesome.

As we were driving down a forest service road through some falling leaves, Karen said it was like standing in a money machine. I agreed. Riding through those money machines at Big M was priceless.

The huckelberry/blueberry swamp across the road in the wilderness area. Kinda impenetrable.

Sunday morning at Whip Poor Will Hill.

The backyard.

Early morning after a near confrontation earlier in the darkness with some bowhunters. I think we were in their spot, and they didn't spend a lot of effort to make sure we weren't startled.

Csabs found a porcupine tail but didn't get poked.

It took some doing to get there, and it was our the first traverse of the entire valley.

Here is that beech tree, now giving life and slowly sinking back into the earth. Once as much of a living creature as any of us, she has become something of a totem for Karen and I.

^Karen is in there somewhere.

This is an older pic, taken probably a year or so after the event. It was a humbling scene of crazy devastation. We could only venture out to the broken beech tree, which required some scrambling over the tangle of twisted, fallen trees.

The descent into the Blowdown.

This is the same white pine, and Csabs seems to sense the spirits. Rogue was right: it's a nice place to lie beneath and escape the wind and feel the peace.

This is an older pic of Z and Rogie next to the white pine that served as Rogie's refuge when he got anxious up on the ridge.

^This is the maternal beech tree that got snapped off in the massive downdraft seven or eight years ago, and was once just about the only thing that seemed upright and visible in the whole valley.

Like two pine cones in the Sierra Nevada, two mushrooms sprouted from the sand on the ridge where you can see, hear and feel Lake Michigan in the distance.

Our pilgrimage to what we call "The Blowdown."

Cool wood grain against a sassafras leaf.

Csaba beat us to Nordhouse Lake when we stopped to see if he would come back for us on his rush down the trail - he didn't. Apparently, he found himself confronting some backpackers and decided that the world is a big place and he'd better low-tail his kangaroo ass back to find Mom and Pops. We were pissed for about one second total when he returned. Little Big Man learned a big boy lesson, and after that decided for the rest of the day that it was a good idea to stop every ten feet or so to check to see if we were there!

I know they're destined for harvest someday, but their symmetry is oddly peaceful.

^A cathedral.

The roar of Lake Michigan is always in the background and the dunes are never far away.

^ The tannin-brown water of Cooper's Creek.

Pretty damn cool.

My Manistee Masterpiece. I've linked up forest gravel, two track and some small pieces of singletrack to create a nearly 20 mile loop that is, to borrow another trail's name, Just Outstanding. I don't know if anyone else would feel that way about it, but that is entirely their problem.

^We saw a panther stalking us from the dune grass. He had nasty puppy teeth and used them on us every morning.

I like the thought of the thousands of creeks perpetually emptying into the lake.

^The outlet of Potter's Creek. The Csabs and Super Duper were having a grand time - after Csabs decided that the water was safe (he had a rough time with a crashing wave a couple of weeks back and was a little less bold than usual).

The beach. I can't say it was Superior's Witch of November, but Lake Michigan's Winds of October are like a scrub brush for the soul.

Labatt Blue bottle caps provided a measure of safety to the nether regions. No reason to snag anything important.

Karen didn't like this intrusion on our paradise, but I thought it was ingenious and well-hidden. And, may I say from experience, quite comfortable.

The aspen and oaks leaves were the last to fall. I never realized how many aspen trees there are in the forest. Their leaves take on a variety of amazing colors, from dark purple black to high lumen yellow.

We endured a bit of cold rain the first day but the effects were worth it.

^We both agreed that the tent thing was gonna be too much of a hassle, and we had slept the previous weekend in the Element comfortably, so Element camping it was!! We left Hazaroosky in the kennel, and Supe and Csaba didn't seem to mind cozying up to our sleeping bags when things a got a bit chilly in the middle of the night.

So we get to the primitive campsite we like to call "Whip Poor Will Hill" and found it amazing as usual. The browns of the ferns made everything glow sherbert neon. (I mean "sherbet", of course)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Hickory Glen trailwork

Met some cool people today. We tried an interesting technique: adding cement to a sandy climb. It was new to me but Tim the TC said they've made extensive use of cement augmentation at Novi Lakeshore. That place is awesome so I'm betting it will work well at Hickory Glens, a place that everybody ought to ride if they hit SE Michigan trails.