Today I rode a large self put together loop consisting of 15 trails in the Dupont State Forest.
The loop I did was, >> Corn Mill Shoals Trail >> Burnt Mountain Trail >> then back onto the Corn Mill Shoals Trail Up the Bridal Overlook, then back down the Bridal Overlook, then Bridal Veil Falls, onto Conservation Road, turn left onto Joanna Road, then onto Grassy Creek, turn onto Sandy Trail, then a diversion on the Wintergreen Trail to the waterfall, return back and take the Tarklin Branch, then onto Thomas Cemetry, then onto White Pine, >> Hooker Creek, >> Ridgeline Trail, >> Lake Imaging Rd, and final destination is the Buck Forest Parking.
This loop took me just over 3 hours to ride, started at 8.30am, just after a heavy rainfall, which is probably the reason that the trails were empty. The loop I did was pretty diverse, the downhill on Burnt Mnt is fantastic, pretty short, but well worth it. The downhill on Grassy Creek, is pretty spectaculer, but caution is definitely needed, because of loose rocks in loose sand, and I came off the bike on this section.
>> Corn Mill Shoals Trail is an easy and scenic ride, at one point I had to cross a stream, my advice is to get off the bike and walk across, and not try and ride across like did!!, the water is deeper than it looks, and the rock bed is extremely slippery, and yes, like a real plonker. I went completely under!!..luckily no one was around ( or at least I hope not)
>> Burnt Mountain Trail : This far too short loop is an absolute gem, I climbed anti clockwise, which starts off not too bad, but without much warning turns into a 4-5, and for me,that means walking.. luckily only for 2 minutes, then the climb becomes an easy one. Once at the top, this trail becomes a fantasic easy and fast singletrack downhill. I had difficulty slowing myself down, in a good way that is, ‘cos this downhill is for speed, but, there are a few spots that leave very little room for errors. I wish this downhill was about 2 hours longer than the 5 min. it is.
>> Bridal Overlook : Do not ride this section, if you are hoping to get a great view, cos the view is crap!!.. but the 15 minute climb on the double track is well worth the 3 min. downhill.. It is FAST!!, and in places I actually went airbourne for about 5 feet.
>> Grassy Creek is a welcoming bit of excitement, and you can rip down this one like a Greased Whippet on Crack,
But beware, once you are really up to speed, the rocks get bigger, looser, and the sand gets deeper, and you and your bike are up & down like Bangkok Betty on payday. It was on this trail that I came off at high speed.. my own fault for not judging the the terrain properly, once I realized that the rocks and sand were loose, I should have slowed down, but it was too late… Grassy Creek is a great downhill, to look at it, I would say a grade 2, but because of the loose rocks and sand I would rate it a 3.
All in all a very decent ride, but I would try and combine it with the extra rides I did yesterday, cos they were wicked!!
The Giant had a hard time on this epic, not because of itself, but because of it’s rider. It handled the trails really well, but after my crash on Grassy Creek, I had a chain crunch, hopefully I did not damage the Chainrings, but just crunched the chain. I will have the bike serviced once I’m in Brevard.