With all the restaurants closed and water fountains shut off in the parks, it was a little tricky to find food & water on route. Once the weather heats up this will definitely be a 3 bottle ride if parks don't turn the water back on. I brought along some PPE on the ride to wear in case I found a place to eat and ended up stopping in a gas station in Cross Plains. I guess there's another Kwik Trip on the route between QR and Seminole, which would be a good stop towards the end if you're doing the loop CCW. The long ride will be much more pleasant with a descent lunch stop for a burger and beer once restaurants open up again!
I feel silly that I rode right by Badger Prairie and missed some trails, I thought it was just a place where people do CX practice and didn't know there was any trail out there to ride. I'll have to check it out sometime.
I started at my house on the west side and rode the loop clockwise, hitting Seminole first. All the climbing at The Farm and the hilly roads around there really took it's toll and I was seriously out of gas by the time I started the last climb at PV. Adding in Blue Mounds would be truly epic!
I have mentioned the idea of a Tour de CORP at times. I think it might be a fun event. I regularly do a shorter version of this ride ( your short ride is my can't walk the next day ride ). I start near JMMHS, taking bike trails to BP>QR>Seminole>home. There are usually some optional detours, e.g., a short bike–allowed section of the Ice Age Trail/prairie loop, a tight trail behind Odana golf course, bike trails in the University Research Park, etc. I usually do two laps of each MTB trail system. I don't have any handle on the distance. If CORP decides to explore this idea more formally, hoping to create an event, I would be willing to help.
A few of us have been talking about this for a while, wondering if it is just something to do, or an event, or what. Since there won't be any events in the near future, Kevin M. has taken it into his own hands and done it (or at least a version of it). Have you? Want to try? It's probably a decent way to avoid crowds, and some of us have extra time on our hands. The idea is to hit as many CORP trail systems in one ride as you can. Here's a couple options:
"Short" West Side Route: QP > PV > BH > CP > The Farm > BP > QR > Seminole > QP = about 65 miles. The nice thing about this route is that, in better times, the Riley Tavern is about halfway. For the time being I guess it's self-supported. You can start and finish anywhere on the loop, so you might have to find your own lunch spot anyway.
Full West Route: Add Blue Mound in between the Farm and Badger Prairie. This brings it to about 97 miles. Camping at BM is an option, though I'm not sure it is right now, and that turns it into bike-packing, which changes the game, but still counts.
The Whole Deal: Getting CamRock, Sheehan, and Northeast in there are beyond my math skills. If you figure it out, let us know.
I've done QP > PV > BH > CP as an out-and-back (though, to be honest, I skipped QP the second time), and that wore me out. Kevin recently hit 6; he can fill us in on the details if he likes.
It's not a competition (yet), just a challenge. When things return to normal, maybe we'll make it an event. Until then, what have you done? What can you do?
Given the current societal situation, many folks have time on their hands and a desire to get out in the woods and maybe do something productive, and some of them (maybe you) are thinking of trail work. This is awesome; the trails always need work, and without being able to hold spring workdays, that is especially true. You can work alone, and swinging a tool is a great way to enforce social distancing.
While it is great that we have willing volunteers, it is extremely important that you get any dirt work you want to do approved by your Trail Steward. They are easy to contact, are friendly, and will be glad to have your help. But a great deal of planning and thought goes into the work we do, and a couple hours of misguided work can easily waste several times that in correcting the damage.
A couple examples:
Skill features and jumps may look dangerous or poorly shaped to you, but the folks we have building them are very good at what they do, and skilled at putting features on trails that are appropriate to the skill rating of that trail. It's possible they have been damaged or changed by someone who shouldn't have, but do not alter without checking in with the Trail Steward.
Brushed over trails: We don't abandon trails just for the hell of it; once a trail is built there needs to be a very good reason to eliminate it. It may not be obvious what the reason is (erosion, safety, conflict with other users are some), but trust us, there is a good reason. If a trail you once rode is covered in branches and brush, leave it that way and learn to love the alternative.
We don't want to spend our time undoing what you've done, and you don't want to spend your time doing something that is undone when you come back. Let's all spend our time and energy moving in the same direction!
Note that there are some exceptions, usually ones that don't involve dirt. If there is a tree down that you can move, please do so. Leaf blowing and weed whacking are always welcome (though there are some tips that will make weed trimming more effective, don't be afraid to ask). But if you are spending any time with a shovel, please, please, check in with your Trail Steward.
And if you see someone altering trail, feel free to ask if the work is authorized. Don't be a jerk, and don't get in any arguments, but it's good to let those who don't see these messages know that others are paying attention. And don't hesitate to let your Trail Steward know what you saw. If they are legit, give them a remote fist-bump; that's how the work gets done.
It goes back to the 1980s at least. When I lived near there in the 80s and 90s there was no bike path but a few of us would keep hacking at places to ride. A few early MTB people and younger guys with BMX bikes all enjoyed it.
Hey guys, riding season is here, even if it is a little different than usual. That means that trail maintenance season is here also. Everyone appreciates trail work. Except when that effort ruins trails.
Early this season, a few dedicated riders put effort into reshaping and buffing the lips at the bottom of big sister (not me). The jumps were riding nice on Monday. Recently, their work on the last jump was ruined. Someone cut into a well shaped lip and wrecked it. This person left a wide rut for a lip. The result does not ride well at all.
Not cool. It looks like the same person ruined this lip and the three at the bottom of little sister. Please don't ruin the work of others.
I have been walking the dog more than usual and found some single track trails South of Madison Area Technical College, East of Bridges Golf Course and next to Carpenter Ridgeway Park. Is this organized or just locals making trails on a triangle unused land? The trails are in good shape and look like they have been around for many years. Thank you
Now that trails are open, we're all anxious to get out after the long winter and being cooped up due to the requirements of our fight against the coronavirus. When that happens there are a few common sense things we can do to keep from making the situation worse.
EDIT: One way things could get worse is for the trails to get shut down. We and some of our land managers are getting complaints about groups of riders not complying with social distancing. Our only options are to spread the word far and wide and get everyone to voluntarily comply with best practices, or to shut the trails down to all users. For the sake of all of our sanity, let's work hard to make it the first. Please comply, and respectfully spread the word to those who aren't.
Ride well within your limits. The last place you want to be right now is the emergency room, both for your sake and the sake of the medical system.
Don't organize or participate in group rides. Best practice is to ride alone or with family members. If you ride with others, keep a safe distance and don't share anything.
Keep a respectful distance from other riders. Let people know you are passing and wait for room, and don't congregate at trailheads, intersections, etc.
Follow current directives. Right now it seems that riding for physical and mental health falls under permissible activity, but if that changes, it's best to comply.
There are also alot of new riders and walkers discovering the trails as a way to get outside; be respectful, slow down, and give everyone room when you pass. We're all trying to get through this as best we can.
This is a drag, but it won't last forever, and isn't much to ask given the sacrifices people are making in other parts of their lives. Stay well, and we'll see more of each other when things start to return to normal.
Hi All - We want to let everyone know that we will be postponing our 4/4 work day. Check the www.madcitydirt.com web page or our Cross Plains Facebook page for more information on when we plan to reschedule.
Feel free to contact me if you would like any solo cleanup tasks to help us get ready for spring riding! - Stay safe!