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Posts Tagged ‘trails’

Planning My 2nd Century

September 1st, 2010 [print] No comments

I started biking in ’98, then waited some 12 years to ride my first century.  This time, though, I think I’m going to keep it to around 4 months.

Last time, I kept to the road, mashing my pedals all around my hilly city on a singlespeed.  My legs hurt, but all the time out of the saddle, standing during climbs, kept my butt from feeling too much pain.  This time, though, I’m swapping my SS road bike for a geared MTB, the roads for a rail-trail, and the hills for the flattest trail around.

Katy-Trail, MO - Click for larger image

Sometime before the end of September (I hope, but it’s dependent upon the weather), I’m going to ride the Eastern section of Missouri’s Katy Trail, from Jefferson City in the middle of the state, to St. Charles in the East (map).  Total distance is about 104mi, according to this chart, so it’ll be my longest ride to date.  I’m figuring on about 8 hours, if I average 13mph, but that’s if my legs die on me.  If I can keep around 15mph, then that should drop to 7 hours.  It’s sort of a toss-up between more time seated–thus an unhappy ass, but less tired legs–or a faster, more tiring ride.

I have a few parts to swap on my bike first, namely lighter tires & tubes, my rigid carbon fork, and a smaller cassette (I don’t need 32T gearing), just so I have less weight to propel all that way.  Other than that, I think I’m in shape for it, so I won’t do any training ahead of time (what sort of pansy prepares for epic rides, anyway?).  I’ll be sure to take my camera along so I can return with plenty of boring photos of flat, straight trail, as well as the 22 small towns that I pass through on the way.

Tentative date:  September 25.

I’ll keep you posted.

Flickr

Categories: Missouri, MTB Tags: , , , ,

Hateful Rock

August 11th, 2010 [print] No comments

After I slammed pretty hard last week, I figured I’d take a couple weeks off from trail riding to heal.  Of course, I got bored with that idea about 4 days later, and headed back to Rock Bridge for a re-do.  Along the way, I found the rock that I faceplanted on when I flew over my bars.

It was still sitting on it’s side, same as it was when my chin came in contact with it.  I snapped a photo, then chucked it about 30ft into a lower-laying creek bed.

Click for larger image

The little fucker is about 5" high and 9-10" long.  Had it been on its side, I doubt I would have made contact.

Anyway, the whole point of my ride was to put together the ultimate Rock Bridge ride, flowing as much as possible, and hitting all the major trails (aside from Karst, which is too far removed from the rest).  It also has 5 climbs:  one is a long, two-stage climb that’s part of the SMSG race course, with lots of rocks and roots; two are in the High Ridge series of trails on grass; and two others are damn near impossible, just the way I like ’em.  As soon as I get a chance to put a map together, I’ll post it.  All together, it’s a little less than 13.5mi, which is doable even after a long work day, but still challenges you quite a bit.

Categories: Missouri, MTB Tags: , ,

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park Map

August 17th, 2009 [print] No comments

I realized there are no good Rock Bridge Memorial State Park trail maps online (this one on the official MO State Parks website is not only small, but horribly inaccurate), so I emailed DNR and asked if they had a better one.

Since we’re talking about state government here, they obviously didn’t have one, and mostly likely won’t anytime soon.  So, I took it upon myself to make one…

I scanned one of the trail map brochures that you can find at any parking lot, screwed around in Photoshop with it for a while, and ended up with a very large, accurate map (save for the exclusion of the new Springbrook — Sinkhole Trail connector) for anyone who may be looking for one.  Why the parks department couldn’t provide it, I have no idea, but I guess that doesn’t really matter now.

Click the photo below for a 2500 x 2050px version (also on my Flickr Photostream):

Click for larger image

Hopefully this will be of help to others.  Enjoy.

EDIT:  Here’s an additional map, showing the course used for the Show-Me State Games Mountain Bike race (click for larger view):

Click for larger image

Pics of New Trail at Rock Bridge

July 13th, 2008 [print] No comments

My wife and I went for an early morning walk down the new Sinkhole-Springbrook connector trail to take some pictures.  The local Boy Scout troops did an excellent job on the trail, even if it is a little too easy to ride.  A couple logs or roots along the trail would have added a little extra fun, but I’m not going to complain.  Hopefully, it won’t take nearly a decade for the next trail to be put in!

Click for larger image

Read more…

Categories: Missouri, Photos Tags: , ,

New Trail at Rock Bridge State Park

July 10th, 2008 [print] No comments

Rock Bridge has officially opened a new trail… the first major new one since I began riding the park in ’98.

It’s basically a connector trail for Sinkhole and Springbrook trails, with moderate hills and curves.  At about a half-mile in length, it makes for a great, flowy ride.  Roots and rocks are at a minimum, so even beginners could ride without much trouble.  Personally, I prefer much more technical trails, but this is a great addition to the park.

More information:  http://www.mostateparks.com/resourcecenter/nr08/300.htm
News article:  http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2008/05/28/rock-bridge…

Click the map below for a larger view.  The connector can be seen in red, and is not straight, as I’ve portrayed it.  I just wanted to give you an idea as to it’s location, but it’s actually a pretty windy trail.

Rock Bridge State Park Map - click for larger image

Related post:  http://gearinches.com/blog/…/pics-of-new-trail-at-rock-bridge

Categories: Missouri, News Tags: , ,

A Pig in Mud

March 1st, 2008 [print] No comments

To paraphrase a post on one of my bike forums, "I don’t care how light a bike is, slap heavy tires on it and it’ll climb like a pig in mud."

Click for larger image

Well, on my first ride of 2008, that’s exactly how I felt today.  Not just because my ridiculously light bike had super fat, heavy tires mounted on it.  Not just because the parks and rec department threw a fresh pile of gravel on top of all the trails.  Not just because it was extremely windy…

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Categories: Cycling, Miscellaneous Tags: ,