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Monday, September 3, 2007

Wade Mtn.

Got out for a short ride on Saturday. I decided that I should try to hit some new terrain since I kind of have the lay of Monte Sano down. I headed up by the Alabama A&M campus to a little trail system called Wade Mountain.

I was greeted with a nearly empty trailhead parking lot. There was a horse trailer so I knew at some point I would be blessed with the sight of horse shit during my loop. I wasn't dissapointed in that respect.

The trail itself started out fairly benign double track.

I then found some challenging rocky climbs along the way. It was very hard to pick good lines, but the 29er just climbed a lot of stuff that I really didn't think possible. Despite the trail being a bit bumpy I was still very glad to be riding my 29er. The farther in I got the less ridden this trail system looked. I kept running through big swarms of gnats and burly spider webs. All the time I was working to clean technical climbs I was working double as hard trying to keep out of the overgrown poison oak. Bottom line, the climbs are hard to clean. The poison oak is an unwelcomed distraction.

I made my way onto Harris trail where the climbing intensity kept up. The sections I made were very satisfying. The ones I didn't make I would love to see someone do better on. About 2/3rds the way up my bars spun. Weird. I might have been riding for the last couple of months with my handlebars loose from when I swapped out stems. Kind of scary as I have done some burly downhill descents that would have been painfull to have my bars spin on. I stopped and snugged down my stem before hiking and climbing out the last bit on Harris.

Now the fun part. Funny thing is most of the DH I have come across in Alabama hasn't been very restful. This trail was no different. Rocky and technical was the theme. I also had a friendly fly or gnat buzzing in my ear every time that my speed dropped below about 10mph. I crept down the unknown trail. It was a blast. I nearly went over the bars into poison oak and rocks, but it was fun.

The rest of the trail was uneventful to finish out the loop. Some of the trail was fun with good rock gardens...

Some of the trail was fairly flowing. It was a joy to ride back out the the lot. Overall I would rate this a a place to repeat. It does need a little bit of trail work to beat back the weeds, but the technical content in a short loop is great. Kind of reminded me of DeLaveaga in Santa Cruz.

I finished out the loop in about an hour and a half. I think if you are all business you could get in 2 loops in under 2 hours and have a blast doing it. Thumbs up on Wade Mtn.

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