Trail trimming, closing illegal bypasses and a few laps.
We sure have been getting a lot of rain in Central Florida lately. All that precipitation combined with the heat has created ideal conditions for plant growth. I spent May and June doing nothing but road riding, and so all the new growth really stood out to me when I returned to the mountain bike trails on Wednesday. As Mike and I were riding and getting hit in the face with palm fronds, we decided that an informal trimming was in order.
Yesterday morning I asked Mike if he wanted to meet up at Mt. Dora and trim the trails before our ride. He was all for it, and so yesterday we each grabbed a lopper and headed around the main trail in opposite directions (Mark had already cleared Helter Skelter–thanks, Mark!) We also trimmed Gravity Destroyer, which had a pretty large tree down on it.
There’s a little section of trail that involves going over a couple of decently sized tree roots at the top of a short, steep drop, followed immediately by a sharp (but bermed) corner. It’s not a very difficult feature, but some riders are not comfortable with it and have created an illegal bypass route. Unauthorized modification of the trail is prohibited, and we’ve placed signs at this section and closed the bypass multiple times. Well, someone has created an even larger bypass now, and while I was trimming that section I spent a fair bit of time closing it off.
Later in the ride Mike discovered another bypass that cuts out a large portion of the last section of trail. I have no idea why someone did that, as there’s nothing difficult there. We closed that one down, too.
Guys, please: Unauthorized modification of the trail is strictly prohibited! Bypasses have been provided where features are beyond the trail’s designated difficulty level. I suppose an argument could be made that the double root thing mentioned above is a intermediate feature, but that’s debatable. Walk your bike or, better yet, ride it. You’re mountain biking, not riding on pavement. If you have a suggestion or concern, then please present it to OMBA. Do not modify the trail or its features!
Anyway, after the trim Mike and I did a few laps together. The trail is running really well right now. Even with all this rain there’s virtually no mud anywhere, and zero standing water. 🙂
Mike had to split, but I was in the mood to keep riding so I did another 4 or 5 laps on my own. By the end of the ride I finally felt like I was getting my MTB groove back. It’s great to be back in the woods.
Funny thing is, I’m sort of missing road riding already. I guess I love MTB and road cycling now. I’m going to try not to swing too far in one direction or the other from now on, and strive for a nice mix between the two.
Not sure what’s on tap for today. I might only have time for a quick road ride, I’ve got a lot of work to do…