Monday, June 20, 2011

Mountain Biking - Floodwood Pond Loop: 6/19/2011

We decided to take a weekend mountain biking trip to the Adirondacks. On Saturday, we went to Whiteface to do some downhill riding. There isn't really too much to say about it except that if we're going to be doing anymore of this, we're going to need the proper gear. That means pads, shoes, and new bikes. Our xc bikes are just not equipped for the big drops, huge boulders, and off camber root sections that are present on the upper part of the mountain. The bus-accessible lower mountain was okay, but at the end of the day, I didn't really want to do it anymore. I don't really think it's something I want to pursue anyway. A couple of people there looked like they got pretty hurt - and I like to save my injuries for ski season.

On Sunday, the plan was to ride the Deer Pond loop, using a different entrance (from the north, between the Fish Creek Campground and Rollins Pond Campground). But, after finding the trail with no problem, we rode nice doubletrack for a while and came out into a meadow that didn't seem to have any exit.

We kept following false paths that we thought would lead us to where we wanted to go, but they ended in dead ends (some more beautiful than others):

So, as a backup plan, we decided to just ride the Floodwood Loop, detailed here and mapped here.

Most of the riding was really sweet.  Flowing trails, not too many roots or rocks, pretty well marked (although we got sidetracked on canoe portage trails a couple of times).

It got a little muddy, and there were a couple of stream crossings that required getting off the bike, but the trail was really good all the way to Floodwood Road.

We didn't bring a map, so when we were on Floodwood Road, we debated just taking the road back to the Golf Course and riding back to the Lake House from there (an easy spin along dirt road and asphalt).  That seemed boring, though.  We saw the entrance to the other part of the trail and I knew that it was supposed to loop and bring us back to where we started, but it took a lot longer than we anticipated.  We kept thinking that stuff would start to look familiar soon, and it never did.  Also, this section (the eastern side of the loop) was a lot muddier than the other section - and looked less traveled (as in, one set of footprints and no bike tracks).  In addition, there were a couple of stream crossings that had been washed out, forcing us to walk over a couple of beaver dams.

Late in the trail (within the last mile), we actually debated going backwards, back across the beaver dams, and all the way back to the road, just so we didn't get even more lost than we already were (or thought that we were). But I rode a little further and started to hear cars, so I knew we were on the right track.  When I saw a sign for a portage to Fish Creek, we were golden.  We rode the last half mile into the campground, out the gate, and back to the house, where we had a few IPAs while we relaxed on the dock.

Mission Accomplished.

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