Trail Report – Jekyll and Hyde at Oak Mtn State Park

I finally got a chance to get back out to Oak Mtn State Park last Sunday afternoon for a brief ride.  I didn’t have  much time, but knew that I definitely wanted to try the new trail, aptly called Jekyll and Hyde.  After warming up on Mr. Toad’s and Johnson’s Mountain, I headed uphill on the BUMP Trail (Quarry Road) for the long-ish climb over eroded trail and rock.  After hiking up Blood Rock, I was able to pick up the new trail to head back down.

I’ve got to admit, I’m not a big fan of the upper part of this trail.  It’s not that it is not well-built, because it really is, it’s just that I prefer trails with more speed and flow than those that are technical and rocky.  I managed to ride through every rocky obstacle, though I also managed to crash a couple of times when I misjudged steering or came off a drop at a bad angle.  I know that once I ride it a few more times it will probably be second nature, but I will likely never be very fast through this section.  One drawback on Sunday though was that my headset became loose at the start of my ride, and a spoke came out of my rear wheel….both of those mishaps probably caused me to ride a little more cautious than usual.

For all of the hardtail jarring that this put me through, I was quickly rewarded with what can only be described as a dirt roller coaster to the bottom of the mountain.  After taking a hard right turn around a large boulder, the technical upper section of Jekyll and Hyde turns into the buttery smooth hilly lower section.  While this part of the trail does have a few small uphill sections, you quickly forget it due to the long stretches of fast and flowing downhills.  This part of the trail just absolutely screams and is a heckuva lot of fun.  And it is way longer than I would have guessed.

I’m looking forward to testing out this trail many more times in the future.  Many kudos to BUMP for the amazing work that they orchestrated in getting this trail built.  And to the Shelby County inmates who were able to get out of their jail cells for some work release duty.

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