According to GJSentinel.com the Sheriff's Department had to "aid an injured mountain biker on Mary's Loop" on Tuesday. Most of Mary's is tame and a lot of fun, but there are some tricky spots where, if you're like me, one false move can leave you bloody or worse, seriously injured!
Be super careful around the first portage, with the "caution" sign. Even when walking your bike through there it's slippery and could lead to a nasty fall.
Of course, be careful on the 1/4 mile or so stretch of exposed trail leading west to Pizza Point!
Always always let someone know where you'll be and carry your cell phone. You can get reception almost anywhere out there and it could be the difference, literally, between life and death one day.
Have fun and stay safe and keep your fingers crossed for good riding weather soon!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Thanks to the guys at gjmountainbiking once again for their maps. The part in red shows the western side of Mary's Loop. The black part shows a great extension, known to some as just Steve's, to others as Steve's (to the cutoff) and Handcuffs (the extension of the extension).
My buddy Robbie and I headed out Sunday afternoon for a bike ride and, since we wanted a long ride, we opted to ride Mary's loop and then Steve's/Handcuffs. (the entire black section out past the cutoff and back around).
Round trip, including of course some stops for pictures and eating a bar of some sort, the ride is about 11 or 12 miles. We started from the main parking lot and headed south over the gravel hill and down to the Mary's Loop trail head. IF you ever just want to ride Steve's for a nice short ride, keep driving west down the frontage road for about another 2 miles until you cross the cattle guard. Right after that is a small parking area. Park here, ride up the hill and you'll be at the junction/trail head for Mary's, Steve's, Lion's, Mack Ridge, and Moore Fun. From here you can just drop down and out to Pizza Point (follow Mary's out to the river overlook and you'll be at the south entrance to steve's).
ANYWAY, Robbie and I headed up Mary's and even showed up a few people by passing them on the hill before they kicked our butts hopping up some ledges. We cruised down Mary's, past the Horsethief Bench cutoff, up puke hill and around to what I call "The Cliffy Death." It's an exposed portion of trail that is very narrow. Most people ride it with no problem. Not me. I ride portions, then I get off and walk because I don't want to fall down the hill and over the cliff to the river. I had gotten off to go down a rocky ledge and when I got back on for some reason I had no inertia! I couldn't move! So of course, I fell over. I don't have clip-in pedals, so my pedal scraped the hell out of my leg. I didn't realize it at the time, and by the time I got over to the lookout (Pizza Point) there was blood running all down my leg.
Of course, I had everything to repair a bike with, but nothing to repair a leg with. Hence, this genius homemade bandage of a piece of paper and some duct tape.
We dropped down onto Steve's and had a great ride all the way around, back up the ridge, and then back to the junction I mentioned earlier. From here we took the frontage road back to the main parking lot where we of course had a few beers before heading home.
This shot shows a portion of Steve's running around the edge of a canyon. After this it heads up a hill I've never seen anyone ride and cruises high on the ridge until dropping back down where it intersects with everything else.