Cycling: End of the Trail Season

As rides go, it really sucked. I rather expected that, but I couldn’t resist one last shot at finishing my exploration of all the trails that are passable. As a workout, it was outstanding. It was 10 miles out on paved roads using the Post Road corridor (upper right corner of the map). I figure the off-road part was around 5 miles — astonishingly hard miles. It made that 10 mile return pretty tough despite the tailwind. You can just about figure how I went by the image numbers. Straight in from the road and over a massive rocky hump, along the lake shore southward, around three points, then straight back up to the road I came in on, and out.

See those sand dunes there? Guess what that tells you about the trail? Yep: It was frequent long sandy bogs. I walked at least as much as I rode, and the riding was pretty hard at that. By the time I hit that first point of land, I was perspiring heavily and it wasn’t even over 70° F yet. None of the points was inspiring, just a thin flat rocky projection with a bit of dry seasonal vegetation. In fact, the first point (17) was just grass, dried weeds and mud — no rocks at all.

On the first of the bigger points (18), I found a spot to stand on within jumping distance out in the water. It was pretty nice and quiet, but given today is the first really warm Saturday of the year, there were dozens of powerboats out on the water. Thus, there was no isolation to be had today. I’m sure boaters were amused to see me so far from the known roads.

In fact, the next point (19) was just a stone’s throw from a boat dock (right background of the image; that black thing up closer is a stray float). There were three vehicles parked out there and all kinds of folks fishing from it. And I suppose the Parks Division has had some real trouble with motor vehicles going places the management don’t appreciate, because as I approached that dock I ran over a small berm pushed up by a bulldozer. A few yards down from there was a collection of giant concrete blocks between which I just barely squeezed. Finally was a truly massive berm with a ditch on my side, so I followed a barely existing foot path through the woods around it. The road out was quite ridable, just plain ugly.

Every time I was forced to dismount when my bike bogged down in the sand, I could see big sand flies buzzing up at me. But they are pretty young right now and not very aggressive. I had thought to spread on just a dab of natural insect repellent and it was enough today. I won’t bet it on it being that easy again. Thus, I won’t be out on the Draper Trails again until after our first frost this fall. But for today, I wanted a good workout and this business of trying ride through sand for most of the five miles was very hard work. The ten miles back was slow because I was so wiped out. I hit the door at home and collapsed into my recliner, falling asleep for about a half-hour.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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