Ride the Puddles

Ride Journal: Big Puddle

Posted by bikezilla on April 24, 2011

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When I say I ride the puddles, this is what I mean.

This is “Big Puddle” (my name for it. I have no idea what anyone else calls it) out at Waterfall Glen in Darien, which runs around the Argonne National Lab.

Right now Big Puddle is about 200 ft long. About 3/4 of the way across it’s about 15 inches deep.

At it’s biggest it’ll be maybe 50 feet longer and 6 inches deeper.

I always ride it, but when it’s like this I have to do it in my 36/25 gearing (the easiest gears on my CX).

When it’s this big or bigger I sometimes wonder if I’ll be able to push through.

In addition to the water itself, kids throw rocks from the tracks into it. There’s an actual rail trail style path under it, and those rocks make for some ugly twists sometimes.

Then you have the holes that turtles skooch out of the crushed limestone. Hitting one of those unexpectedly can have you making a very large splash.

What’s cool is seeing all the tadpoles and occasionally some minnows.

What’s creepy is seeing the snakes wiggle across the surface of the water ahead of you.

Oh yeah, the tracks. The tracks are how the sissy boys get around Big Puddle. Doesn’t matter how shallow it is, once it covers the trail you’ll see all kinds of riders, including guys with high end MTB and CX bikes walking their rides along the high ground that the tracks run over.

For most of the summer Big Puddle is dry. But during the spring and parts of the fall it adds a little to the challenge of Waterfall Glen, which is already more challenging than any rail trail style path I’ve been on.


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