Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Big South Fork

Last weekend Melinda and I loaded up the Eco on Friday and hit the road for Big South Fork. We took all the mountain bikes in hopes for some good riding action but not expecting anything. This was a family outing and since Melinda and I are the only mountain bikers in the family I had to be realistic, I might see a couple of hours of riding tops. I'd heard good things about Big South Fork so I looked at this as a good scouting trip for a later camping/riding vacation destination. I was only able to con my youngest sister Bug and her boyfriend into actually camping for the weekend, everyone else stayed in some swanky cabin.
Saturday morning I stopped by the front office in search of the bike trails map that I was told existed. There was in fact somewhat of a trail map and a list of the trails with descriptions. After visiting with the family, Melinda and I grabbed our bikes and started our search for the first trail on the list. The description stated there was a 1.5 mile gravel road ride before reaching the 2.3 mile singletrack loop. After close to 3 miles of gravel we decided to turn around and head back in case we missed the turn. No luck, we then headed back to the office for some help. After talking to the lady in charge we realized there was an additional gravel road turn in order to get to the singletrack. She also told us that although the map listed names of the trails, none of them had signs with the names listed on them. The only thing that was posted was a small blue sign with a bicycle on it. After we got our directions straight we found our singletrack only to be a little disappointed in it's condition. It was obviously not ridden much and poorly constructed but after 9+ miles of gravel roads infested with horses and diesel trucks we were happy to be on it. By the time we returned to the trailhead we were out of riding time, and called it a day and headed back to camp.
Sunday we woke to a very slight drizzle but not enough to deter me from hitting more trails. I called up John and Ben and we headed out to find the rest of the trails. The other two trails were better than the first and showed some signs of being ridden but not as much as what we're used to in N.E. Tenn. The trail descriptions varied from novice to advanced with roots, rocks, drops, slalom runs and fast downhill sections. There was one 4 foot drop but other than that I think the person who wrote the trail descriptions was hallucinating that day. The beginner trails here in my backyard have more bite than any advanced trail B.S.F. had to offer. There was one trail that I did not make tracks on. Probably knowing my luck it was the best B.S.F. had to offer but it was only open M - F to bikes. The trail was posted as an IMBA certified trail or something like that but due to time constraints, thunder & another family moving into our site on Monday we had to pass it up and head home only to wonder what we were missing.
Don't get me wrong the trip was great, the campground was very nice even though it was completely full and the hiking was awesome. I just reminded myself that this was a family trip and getting to ride what I did was an added bonus, plus in less than 2 weeks we head up to Douthat State Park for the annual NTMBA club trip and some awesome VA. singletrack.

A few pics

In addition to an all around fun trip it was also my parents anniversary and my Dad's 60th B-day. Lot of candles to blow out.

I haven't seen my sister Becky ride a bike since we were kids so I had to snap a pic.
Eli soup
Bug and Ben were the only brave ones to go for a swim in the river or was that the only ones with swim suits .

No comments: