Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Changing it up with Timberlands...
You can't bike the same trails day in day out. So since I don't have a lot of time to travel, Instead of Westoods, lately I ride Timberlands, also in Guilford. These trails are of a much smaller land patch, but make up for a good variety of riding. If you like to pedal on pure single track there's a lot. But you can build your skills on plenty of rollers, hidden drops and ridge single tracks. These spots are well hidden, due to the majority of riders being advanced and good at leaving no trace when they hit natural features.
This is a place that is under-ridden, and primarily for people who can "saddle-up" as well as they can "drop-in" on the descent... If you can't ride a variety of up-hill and down-hill, you are in store for quite a bit of hike-a-bike. Go somewhere else. If you love all terrain riding, (and have the skills not to skid), this place is highly recommended.
My favorite loop starts at the entrance across from Guilford Lakes School.
You begin with a small climb and bang a dog-leg right, to a quick left onto blue...
This trail is a pedal-fest of single track... Speed and timing keep you clipped in across the white trail stay on BLUE dropping down to a valley with a right off the trail to a DROP for those who dare.... Either way, you bear left to a huge difficult climb out the top of the valley. You are on orange or blue here, not sure. Just bang a right at the top of the climb and follow the trail until you hit the intersection with orange dot... It's a ridge. You will big up leftward on orange
Stay on top of the ridge, this does not follow the braided chunks to the right that have come as workarounds that hikers made around downed trees and scary parts. Ride the ridge single track as far as you can. There's some scary drops and techs that will make you want to unclip, or get off the ridge, but stay the course, trail or not until you come to the stream. It will dogleg back, across the stream. Then you need to hike up a serious climb that's about 30 feet straight up.
That will provide you with a little bit more ridge techs on orange dot before it comes out on white again.
From there, you can follow the Timberlands map. IMHO the best part is over. Now its just typical Timberland single track pedaling whichever direction you go. Left on white will bring you back to Guilford Lakes School, Right will open up the largest part of the trail system. This is about 90% ridable terrain for pedalin' fools. It is rocky and technical, but largely unspoiled single track nirvana.