Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Checked Out Camp Arrowhead

There is a mountain bike race series put together by Park Ave Bike Shop and a local YMCA camp that starts in a few weeks. It's called the Fat Tire Weeknight Race Series. Five races will be held at the Camp Arrowhead YMCA trails on Tuesday evenings starting June 13th.

There are Beginner (3 laps), Sport (5 laps), and Expert (7 laps) classes, for mountain bikes. Of course there is no muni class.

Before I asked the organizers if I could join in with my muni, I wanted to investigate the trails. You are supposed to be a YMCA member to ride there, but I asked around and learned that the program director there, Mike, would probably be ok with it, especially if I explained.

So I went there this morning and rode a few laps around. I spent a fair amount of time just figuring out which trails were which and how to get on them, just like with any new trail system. The land is adjacent to Powder Mills Park, which is a county park and does not allow biking, and the trails run together. So it was kind of tricky to stay in the right area. The trail markers aren't always clear. I did have a map, which helped.

But even with the map, I didn't hit all the trails the right way. I think I strayed out of the property a few times. Of rourse for a race the trails will be marked way better.

The trails aren't bad, though not all that exciting: some rooty areas, some trail along cliffs, a few significant hill climbs, and a few significant downhills. I don't know what the race course will be, but 3 laps is likely going to be plenty for me. So I'll see if I can join the Beginner class. I'll have to contact Park Ave Bike.

I met a few of the YMCA employees near the parking lot. One of them was Mike, the program director who it was recommended I talk to. He was very nice and excited to see the mountain unicycle. We talked a bunch about the sport and he showed me some of the work he's been doing on the trails. It's always good to see some people actively working on trails. He's in need of some workers to do some trail benching, so I may be back for some trail work soon. As it is now, you'd have to buy a full YMCA membership even if you only wanted to use the trails once in a while. That's way too expensive. We talked about the possibility of having much cheaper trail-use passes.

I only rode 4 miles. And probably 10% of that was walking, either uphill or trying to figure out where to ride.

Muni at Camp Arrowhead - 2011-06-01

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