Why Local Trails Rule

So you’re a bit short of time and you want to get a long ride in. You’re local trail is fun but… short. What to do? Blow it out, ride it every way possible and the good ones twice that’s what you do.

We were down in Santa Nella for Joseph and Jenny’s wedding so Fiona and I took advantage of our location and snuck a quick morning ride at Dinosaur Point (Older Review with Pics). Fiona had a little trouble with some of the steeper climbs on the singletrack so we headed down the Windmill road (which is technically off limits) and cruised right under some of the windmills… all in a a pretty cool ride and a great way to start the day. Dinosaur Point always has tons of great views and the wildlife there is off the hook. We saw the usual assortment of rabbits, squirrels, hawks and such, but I also managed to get a little quality time with a bobcat then later Fiona spotted a heard of about 8 Elk. Very cool.

On Sunday I didn’t have time to hook up with anyone for a ride (and I slept in anyhow) so I just scooted off to Lake Hogan (Older Review). Usually at Hogan you can get in about 12 miles before you run out of trail though and I wanted to get a longer ride in so I decided I would try and stretch the ride.

First I went all the way out to the end of the trail. The last sections of trail at Hogan are pretty trashed right now due to cattle so on the Monocog that was a pretty bumpy ride to start off. Then when I ran out of trail I just kept going. Mostly I rode along the rocks and gravel on the shore but sometimes I hopped up onto a cow path or just rode on the grass. I wound up going about 3 miles past where the singletrack really ends, hiking where I couldn’t ride. Eventually I hit a creek crossing that was too wide and deep to portage or ride so I turned around.

Even then my ride was going to end after a relatively moderate 15 miles or so and I really wanted to burn off some of the wedding gluttony so I wound up doing some mini laps, riding the different sections of trails 2 or even 3 times to stretch the ride. I finally called it quits with a little shy of 20 miles showing on the GPS. Even though it doesn’t sound like much it was 20 rough miles and I was hurting. Some miles are just tougher than others and this was certainly the case on Sunday.

So next time you are looking for somewhere to get some serious miles in don’t discard your local trail, challenge yourself to milk every mile out of it and then some more, you might be surprised at how fun it can be.