Friday, August 26, 2011

getting dirty a bit further south

As promised, I finally had a little time to squeeze together this short video of the slip n slide. It was a blast!

Earlier this week Anthony, Shane and myself hit Knoxville early one morning to attend a grant workshop. Writing grants is something we know little about but something we plan to take advantage of, especially if we want to get into the wonderful world of mechanized trail building.

We weren't about to drive all the way to Knoxville just to attend a boring meeting, Anthony put in a call to the local mountain bike club and asked if we could get a fully guided tour of Knoxville's "Dirty South Ride".

The Dirty South Ride is a group of 3 trail systems all connected by residential roads, green ways and older trail networks built with the hiker state of mind, straight up and straight down. After the grant workshop we hooked up with our guide only to find out he had to bail on us. Luckily another fellow from the club volunteered to escort us to the trailhead, loan us a map and point us in the right direction.

Our map was somewhat sketchy and falling apart but we weren't about to let that deter us from riding. We were riding within the city limits so how lost could we really get?

The first trail system started right out of the parking lot we were parked at and it lead us right past an old rock quarry which was interesting enough for us to stop and snap a few pictures. The trails were tight, twisting and fast. Feeling fresh and rested we probably rode them a bit too hard not realizing we needed to conserve energy for the extra and unnecessary miles we were about to ride. Once we covered all of the trails we popped out into a neighborhood. Shane was manning the map and pointing us in the direction of our next destination. After about 2.5 miles of pavement we realized we had missed our turn somewhere and ended up back tracking all the way to where we started. Shane realized he was looking at the map upside down and we went left where we should have gone right. He acknowledged his mistake and stated he owed us a beer at lunch.

Once back on track we found our next trail system quickly. This trail system was better than the first with a bit more rocks to keep things interesting. The heat and extra mileage was starting to take it's toll on us, it was then that I began kicking myself for not filling my Camebak completely full. The semi weight weenie inside of me hates lugging a full Camelbak around and the JET only has one water bottle cage which I stupidly decided not to use. What was I thinking?

I really enjoyed the 2nd system but not to it's full potential. Once we finished we opted to take a break, measure our water levels and have a snack. So far both trail systems had detailed maps at the trailhead, something our pocket map lacked. Once we felt rested and somewhat rehydrated we saddled up and hit the pavement in search of the 3rd trail system.

too be continued..........

No comments: