Wound up with some free time today and wanted to get out on the mountain bike but didn't want to drive anywhere. With yesterday's rain, I wasn't up for a big old mudfest anyway. Just wanted some hors d'ouevres as it were.
Near where I live, some kids have clearly been developing this BMX track type thing, only now it's got more of a North Shore thing happening. They almost know how to build bridges and stuff. They also have a serious woody for whoop-de-dos, which I kind of hate, but you can go around them. If they have space, they might even chuck some teeter totters in there or something. Anyway, it's kind of cool. Perhaps someone with some experience putting things together and some resources to do so will help improve/finish this little playground? I'm sure it's all completely bandit (although they understand drainage well), but they have a wheelbarrow stashed up there. Somebody's turning a blind eye.
Then there are some short but neat trails near that, which if you loop together you could have a bit of fun on. From there, you need the road, so you get to Macarthur and go out to the bridge. Instead of going over the bridge, you go down the little deal with the railroad ties and then loop around all the little tracks in there, and go out the towpath up to 79th in Cabin John or Glen Echo, whichever it is there, near Seven Locks.
The Cabin John Trail starts down by Macarthur, but I missed the beginning and backtracked it. Riding up was more doable than riding down, but neither was easy. A lot of rocks and rooty off cambers. Upon further investigation, this is a hiking only section. Don't know if that's a biggie or not. The part from just above the Beltway to River is pretty fun and all rideable, except that one little up-log where I turned through a section and the sun was in the perfect spot to absolutely blind me right as I set up to go over it. This is also supposed to be hiker only. It's a neat but short section so probably good citizenship should dictate just skipping it.
The sections from River north are just fun. Nothing very challenging, but interesting enough. It would be fun with lights. You can go all the way up past Tuckerman, but I was worried about running out of light so I came back in on Bradley.
If all of the sections I rode today were one continuous loop, it would be like 5 miles of singletrack, plus a bunch more of fire road, that you could do a couple of laps of and enjoy. As it is, you'd never drive to ride something like this, but that's the entire point of it. I hate getting in the car to go ride. It's dumb on many levels, except for the "if you want to get to good riding you pretty much have to drive there" level.
In keeping with the no car bit, as I crossed over the Beltway on Bradley, both loops were going zero point zero miles per hour. You have to love getting a free one from the man. And I finally figured out the hose outside of our building. Don't think I won't be using that thing after every single ride from now on.