ride report for October 5th

“Can you ride in the a.m.?”.

That was the text I received last Friday night from Brian.  I was going to the Auburn game the next day, but because it was a night game I was able to make an early morning mountain bike ride happen with little trouble.  I hadn’t ridden the Great White Hope in probably 6 or 7 weeks, so it felt good to be able to hop back on for some EBSCO property romping.

We started out heading up the Cat 4 paved climb of Double Oak Way, and continued along the ridge until we hit the first stretch of gravel to the left, just below the radio tower climb.  Our only real decision this morning would be which route to take.  We could 1) go to the northwest ridgeline towards Hwy 25; 2) take the southeast ridgeline to the powerline crossing then turn around; or 3) go straight down to Hwy 43 and do some exploring on the trails on the other side of 43.  We were in the mood to mix up some trail time with pavement time, so we opted for #1.

As mentioned in a previous post, EBSCO has been spreading some fresh dirt on the trails, making them a lot smoother than they have been the past few years.  We enjoyed a killer ride all the way to the first powerline crossing, where we took a quick break.  The only thing holding us back so far was the abundant quantity of large spiders and spider webs stretched across the trail at 7am.

After motoring through the trail until it ends near Hwy 25, we hopped on pavement and made the short climb to the Hwy 25 crest.  Then, it was a good fast descent down the mountain.  I didn’t quite hit the speeds I was expecting, and certainly didn’t have my fastest Strava descent, but it was a fun one.

Starting at the base of Hwy 25 we officially were roadies for the next few miles as we plugged away onto Hwy 41 towards Mt Laurel.  Brian mentioned he had never been back around Wehapa Lake and Smyer Lake, so we first tried to access Wehapa.  Unfortunately the gate was closed too tight to squeeze through, and with a house right next to the gate we didn’t want to be seen hopping over.  So, we instead got back on 41 and headed towards Smyer, where from previous riding trips I knew we could access.

Smyer Lake is a beautiful, heavily-wooded gated neighborhood with a hodge podge of rustic cabins to nicely-appointed lake McMansions.  The main road is an out-and-back, rather than a loop around the lake.  No big deal though as we had time to kill and were enjoying the ride.  After hitting the end of the road, we simply turned around and headed for home.

We covered around 25 miles and close to 2000 feet of climbing, so the mileage was good but the climbing lagged a bit behind a good training day.  No wonder I felt so fresh when done.  Thanks to BP for a great Saturday ride.

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Brian picking spiders off.

Brian picking spiders off.

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at a power line crossing

at a power line crossing

first of several power line crossings

first of several power line crossings

large spider near trail - lots of these today

large spider near trail – lots of these today

smyer lake

smyer lake

at smyer lake

at smyer lake

at smyer lake

at smyer lake

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