EBSCO ridge + 43 + 25 + 41 mountain bike ride

In an effort to get a little more time on the bike before the upcoming Skyway Epic, I set out on a new training loop behind my house on Sunday afternoon.  I only had around 2 hours to ride, so I had to modify my intended route a bit to squeeze it in, which meant more pavement than originally planned.  But all in all a pretty good loop to get in some mileage and some climbing.

Left home, took Hwy 41 to Double Oak Way to the top of the ridge within the EBSCO property.  Then headed across the ridgeline towards the northeast, taking the southern ridgeline towards the power line crossings.  Shortly before the power line crossing, I took the steep downhill jeep road leading to gate #7 at Hwy 43.  This jeep road has been smoothed out some since the last time I rode it, but was still ridiculously steep and loose throughout the middle sections.  In fact, with my low front end and rigid fork, my average speed actually decreased on this downhill as a result from having to constantly stay on the brakes for fear of losing control and/or flipping over the bars.

Note: I originally wanted to take another jeep road, which would have dumped me out near gate #1 several miles to the southwest, and then crossed 43 at gate #2 for some training on that portion of Double Oak Mountain.  But with 2 hours to ride, I knew I had to skip it.

Once down to Hwy 43, I put my mountain bike in road bike mode and motored it towards Hwy 25 for the next few miles.  I turned left on 25, anxious to see how my time splits might be climbing to the top of 25 on a mountain bike.  With easier gearing, I felt sure I could actually be faster than my times on my road bike.  Plus, the effort never felt like it was too much….felt like I was going pretty fast with plenty of energy in the tank.  But sure enough, I still could not come that close to beating my best road bike times.

Once at the large clearing at the top of 25, I decided to hop around the locked gate and see where the gravel road goes…several years ago it was planned as a mountaintop neighborhood but it never got developed.  I eventually ended up behind someone’s house and figured the smart move would be to turn around and not be noticed.  I’d like to go back another day though when I have more time to really see how far the road goes.

My original plan was to get off of Hwy 25 and take trails/jeep roads all the way back to Mt Laurel…would have been a little less than 10 miles.  But knowing that I could cover the +/- 11 miles it would take on pavement in a shorter period of time I decided to head down the backside of Hwy 25.  After a fast descent (though surprisingly not as fast as when on a less-stable road bike), I then took Hwy 41 back to the house.

All told it was around 26 miles with some good climbing sprinkled in.  Some random photos from the ride are below.

view from around midpoint of gate #7 access road...had to stop to let my brakes cool down.

view from around midpoint of gate #7 access road…had to stop to let my brakes cool down.

 

on gate #7 access road

on gate #7 access road

 

on gate #7 access road

on gate #7 access road

 

on hwy 43

on hwy 43

 

climbing on hwy 25

climbing on hwy 25

 

looking uphill on 25

looking uphill on 25

 

looking downhill on 25

looking downhill on 25

 

view at top of hwy 25

view at top of hwy 25

 

view at top of hwy 25

view at top of hwy 25

 

view at top of hwy 25

view at top of hwy 25

 

gravel road at abandoned development atop highway 25

gravel road at abandoned development atop highway 25

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