Ride the Puddles

The Trail Less Traveled

Posted by bikezilla on June 14, 2010

As anyone who rides rail trails knows, trail maps are always vague and often misleading.

On top of that, I’m not big on going off exploring and ‘wasting time” on a slow check out ride when I can push myself on a trail I already know.

So even though I’ve been out to Waterfall Glen more times than I can count, I’ve never gone over the dirt roads except where they cross the actual trail.

But with my legs aching from yesterday I figured that today would be a good day to take the dirt road longcuts (as opposed to shortcuts) shown on the trail map. The dirt roads viewable from the trail seem well maintained, so this would make a great way to 1. add some distance to the ride and 2. cut out Big Hill and The Bowl, making the overall ride easier on what was supposed to be a recovery day.

Or not.

But, my God, what a fantastic misjudgment this was. Ruts and washouts and mud enough to make me nervous because of the switch to roadish 28MM tires, but also to make this the most fun ride I’ve had in a while. Then there’s the sketchy hill on the second stretch, not as steep as Big Hill’s steepest section, but the overall grade is probably comparable and I think it’s a bit longer.

Not knowing what was ahead and because my legs were already tore up, I didn’t push as hard as I would have otherwise. But once I got out of all that I actually felt good and took a couple of the lesser hills really well. At times it even felt easy.

When I started the ride I’d hoped to make two circuits of the new course and that the new total would be about two miles longer than if I’d stayed on the regular trail the entire ride. My guess on the distance was dead on, but that last mile found my legs reminding me that I’d promised them an easy ride, today.

So I finished up with 11.73 miles,  more mud on my bike, mud all over my legs and back and legs the ached like a biatch.

It was a good ride.


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