Tuesday, 1 December 2009

(Sub)Urban Singletrack

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.


c said...

fire roads......needed these when training for cross season.

Jim said...

Do the whoop-de-doos make your Roadie Arms hurt or something? They are a vestigial organ on roadies, you know that, right?

DJ Bike Police said...

I've ridden the trails you speak of, although I was getting paid to do it since I was "technically" on patrol. By far the most fun I've ever had on patrol. I also know about the make shift bmx track and have ridden it on my patrol mountainbike, and have successfully busted my butt trying to take those whoop-de-doos on a Trek communter hybrid contraption with knobbies and a full pack loaded with ticket books. I can't believe I get paid to do this job sometimes.

Chuck Wagon said...

C - There's tons of it, I'll show you.

J - Its more my roadie collarbone I'm thinking about.

D - Do you suppose there's sort of a live and let live thing going on in there?

DJ Bike Police said...

I would suppose. I also think that there are only two officers on the department that know about it. Myself included. I mean how many of us actually get out of the car. I haven't gotten any complaints about the spot and as many times as I've been there I've never found anyone, although I can tell they are being maintained. I think if I actually came across someone riding back there, I wouldn't cite them, I'd get them to give me a demo and show me some good lines to take.