Monday, February 20, 2017

Lord of the Gorge

I will now bestow upon you the knowledge of glorious singletrack in the Red River Gorge.  Or rather, the glorious singletrack that will soon exist in the Red River Gorge.  I had a mostly uneventful weekend.  I volunteered as tribute and stuck around the house with the kids and their sleepovers on Saturday.  It was good to just check out and veg on the recliner for a few hours. I watched a mindless (not really) action movie and played Fallout Shelter.  I’m really not a video game kinda guy, but occasionally I’ll concede defeat and glue eyes to the screen for far too long.

I’m yet to be rehabilitated, but I was able to tear myself away from the game to go for hike with my favorite girl.  The kids had both ventured away asserting their independence so we took off for the Gorge to explore a little around Tarr Ridge.

In my Singletrack Dreams post I wrote about this new scheme and vision for new bike-optimized purpose-built singletrack trails in the Red River Gorge area.  This is a revolutionary concept for a lot of people—and I’m really not sure why—but the reality is we have ample public land, a fantastic terrain for mountain biking, and an almost completely untapped niche of the market. 

Mandy and I started at the KY 77 parking lot and hiked out the west ridge.  We noticed a pickup truck with a bike rack in the bed and one bike on it.  There was a guy sitting in the cab, but we opted to hit the trail instead of socializing.  This was more my influence than Mandy’s. 

The first user trail we plodded out ended up fading into the mountain laurel and greenbriars long before we got the end.  We’d not planned for serious bushwhacking so we turned back and then went out the trail I’ve been riding this past year out to the top of Fortress Wall.  We made our way along the top of the cliff to the overlook at the top of Bedtime for Bonzo.  There was a party topping out as we arrived and we chatted with a couple of the guys there.  I introduced myself simply as “Chris.”  Later as we were hiking away Mandy chided me for not giving my full name, as they might have known who I was.  Hence the title and the opening sentence of this post J

We had a nice hike.  The spring weather was great.  In February.

When we got back to the parking lot the mountain bikers were sitting on the tailgate of their truck.  And I knew one.  It was Josh from Winchester.  He came out and helped Bean and I do some trail work in Bald Rock a couple of weeks ago.  He’d brought his dad out to explore around on the ridge.

As Mandy and I had hiked around I’d pretty much decided I needed to put together a group ride to tour the ridge area and whip up the interest and influence to make this Tarr Ridge thing a reality.  Josh is one of the guys I need to be on that ride.  When we got home I sent out a few more facebook messages and texts trying to get the word out. 

The other thing that became apparent is that Mandy and I need to ride more, hike more, and get ourselves into gear and climb more!  I miss climbing and chatting with those guys on top of Bonzo just reinforced that even more.  And I’m not sure why we hiked around on Tarr Ridge when I had the rack on the Jeep and the bikes were pretty much ready to go.  Mandy almost suggested that we went over to Cave Run but we got such a late start decided not to.  Still, it was an enjoyable hike and I got to spend a beautiful spring after noon with my favorite person.  In February.


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