South Park Full Loop

One of my first attempts to string all of the known trails that circle Corrigan Drive into a single ride. I’ve always known that this was possible, but could never fathom the best way to do it. The issue is the monstrous “Lost Springs” climb, which toward the end of a ride seems terribly daunting. So the answer is to do it backwards! Come up the back side of the kill, that I would normally descend. And do it early in the ride, this time, I did it first. Worked out pretty well!

Left to try is to add in the grueling trail that connects the Fair Grounds to the Montour Trail section, and make it all one fluid ride from my house to the South Park loops.  Also, need to figure out a way to the BMX track via back trails.  I haven’t found that yet.

2700 Calories burned, 10.5 miles, 1 OTB (yea baby!), 1 hellacious leg cramp (I got better)

GPSies - 08/08/2010 South Park Full LoopClick to see the full track

Also, since there are no accompanying pictures. Here are some macro shots I took at the zoo recently.

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Hillman State Park in Bavington — August 1, 2010

Hillman State Park is a terrifyingly remote little dirt water backwoods area in Bavington today, deep in the center of Warshington county.  While Washington PA isn’t typically known for its inbred psychopaths bent on sexual violence, ride around alone out here for a while and hearing a round of “Dueling Banjos” doesn’t seem completely out of the question.  Take a friend.  Or a weapon.  Or a friend with a weapon.  Luckily the day I was out there it had pretty good mountain bike traffic.  Also, everyone I met had all their teeth intact, so I felt good it.

It’s a little unique to the area in that the place is primarily evergreen,  ground cover is pine needles, which is great at absorbing and wicking away moisture.  Also that surface is much better then, say concrete with protruding rebar, at cushioning your torso when you fly over the handlebars.  In another stroke of luck on the day, this didn’t happen.  Not to say my body wasn’t aching to take that short trip downward in a steep vertical arc…

There were no particularly difficult climbs, or particularly technical obstacles.  The whole thing had a very nice flow.  Up, down and around.  Nice transition from deep woods single track to grassy glade open air riding. No turns particular sharp turns.  It all made for a very enjoyable ride.  My only regret is that I couldn’t get more distance, I’ll remedy that next time.  Some days you have it, some days you don’t.  Today, I didn’t.

Something about this place also had the effect on body of making me more tired and thirsty then normal.  An hour in and I had finished my water bottle and was aching for more fluids.  On the way home, I stopped at REI to pick up a second bottle cage so I’ll have a water reserve.  Also, I was wearing a hydration day pack, with no bladder in it.  You got a problem with that?

Also, if you’ve read this far, and take only 1 thing away from this post, let it be this: TAKE BUG SPRAY.

6.5 wimpy miles, 1600 wimpy calories, 0 OTB, 0 “Deliverance” experiences (thank god)

GPSies - Hillman State Park in Bavington 08/01/2010 (Duration: 01:28:30)Click here to see the whole scarifying GPS track

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Trail Map

Hillman State Park Trail Map

And finally for those interested, here is a trail map of Hillman State Park.  I’ll slowly be converting these into GPS tracks.

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Mingo Creek DISASTER! Ride 6/19/2010

Remember how I mentioned that there’s not a lot of room for error in Mingo Creek?  There’s also not a lot of room to be over confident either.  I’ve been riding without a tire repair kit for over a year, and this time it caused me to have to hike out of the woods in very uncomfortable shoes.

I noticed the twig had an unnaturally strong hold on my front wheel, that’s because it had actually hidden a very long thorn that put itself about 2 inches deep into my front tire, and that was all she wrote folks.

“Delight in vigilance.  Protect your own mind.  Lift yourself from a bad course like a tusker sunk in the mud.”  -The Dhammapada

“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.” -Lance

Stats: 3 miles on/3 miles on foot, 2300 calories (How is this possible?), 0 OTB (over the bar), 1 destroyed inner tube

GPSies - Mingo Creek DISASTER! 06/19/2010 (Duration: 02:16:31)See full GPS log, click here


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How come no one rides Mingo?

How come no one rides Mingo Creek?

It’s a great little park with single track and creek crossings and wildlife and open glades of tall grass.  Some of the singletrack is more “single” them any I’ve ever ridden.  At times your running over a foot path through the tall grass, then once it hits the woods it widens into a nice windy singletrack cut through the trees.  There’s obviously horse traffic (funny colored dirt).

Beware if you go though.  Make sure you take a look at my elevation chart.  The climbs are grueling.  Mingo is much more hilly then South Park.  South Park has some good climbs (the wave pool, the buffalo pen) but they’re cake walk compared to some of the climbs in mingo.  BUT, the good part of a tough climbs is that there is usually a fast descent afterward, which Mingo delivers.

Because of the difficulty of some of the climbs, I didn’t hit my 15 mile target.  I do believe I am becoming a light weight.  I intended to do the entire outer horse ring (13 miles) and ended up cutting most of it off, and only ended up with 10 miles total.  The trail is that damn tough.

And surprisingly, the entire park was packed, but I encountered not one person using the trails.  Which is a real shame, because I love taking pictures of people’s dogs on the trails.

And, oh my! From the look of this GPS track I strayed outside of the park a little. I hope whoever owns the land I was riding is OK with me riding it again in the future, because I’m totally gonna do it.

“It never really gets easier — you just go faster.” -Lance

“Whoever has tamed oneself will find delight in the forest” – The Dhammapada

Stats: 10 miles, 2600 calories, 1 OTB (over the bar)

GPSies - 05/30/2010 - Mingo Creek Park RideSee the full GPS entry for this ride here

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Little single track that loops through the woods, but what you often see in Mingo is a steep drop off on one side of it.  You want to ride aggressive in this park, but often times there really is no room of error.

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Long glade of tall grass and you can barely see the path that cuts through it.

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View from the observatory.

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This is a deep wooded gorge.  Unfortunately the picture flattens it, and you don’t get a sense of the tumble you’ll take if you fall into it.

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Mingo Creek


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