Secret Trail Paradise….

Ye Old Steel Hardtail

Well, the weather has dipped down again, so I’ve hit the trails the last couple of days. Trail of Tears has some really nice trails which are all rock-based (mostly). So, even with recent snow-melt and rain, you don’t even make a mark. Which is good, because I’m not sure we’re supposed to be there…Yesterday I scoped the full loop of “Hickory Hill” in the north side of the Forest. It’s really cool, with one really bad walk up (but, hey, I gotta get ready for Ground Hog, right!). Today I did the same loop with Chief and Molteni. I missed one turn-off to the big walk up and we did a longer section of the creek-bed of the Red Shale Hill loop (which is really more this white quartzy and limestoney rock, Chief was tripping). That one has some extreme hills, apparently, from the signage. Given that the Red Shale Trail says “Danger, Steep Grade” and neither the Hickory Hill nor Lost Trail loops say that (despite having horrific walk up sections), I’m not sure that doing Red Shale is a good thing. But, if the O recovers from his fever, I may do that solo tomorrow just to find out….

Damn, if this keeps up, I’m gonna have to do an XC race or two. I’m finally getting to where I can actually climb and ride on the old Team Marin. It’s a nice old bike, and I bought it right before moving to So. Ill thinking that we’d be riding off-road a lot. But, I really never got into the idea of driving to ride bikes in an area where you can ride from home and hardly see a car.  So, the old 2001 Team Marin Columbus Ultrafoco XT machine with XTR rear Der and hubs (I swapped for the stock Dt’s–maybe a mistake)  has mostly just sat in my basement. But, now that I’ve been doing some rides, it isn’t so bad. I have it down to 15 minutes to Cedar or 30 minutes to Trail of Tears. When the temps are under 34 (which is when the trail is either frozen or probably barely thawed), that’s not a bad time penalty for not having to ride to Cedar (and the May 8 storms ruined the Pomona cross paradise which was closer).

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