Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Trail #120 Stuff

Trail #120 is one of my top big rides for North Idaho, you can read my last post on the last time I rode it.  Although a great ride with some stunning views, it is a very technical ride which also requires some good physical conditioning.  The biggest hurdle to this ride however, is that the Clark Fork end came out on private property.  Meaning you had to ride up Strong Creek and out from Round Top Mt. as a out and back, killing the idea of an even more epic shuttle ride (or BIG loop).

Then the Idaho Trails Association cut in a new section of trail on the Clark Fork end off of Spring Creek Rd recently.  This new trail connects into a old section of trail that drops down from Bee Top Mt...about now you will be scrambling for your FS map.  This is awesome news!  We will again be able to ride these trails end to end as a shuttle or mega loop with road riding.

WARNING:  Although the "new" section of trail is done and technically all trails now connect, the old trail coming down from Bee Top is in very poor condition.  The tread is very hard, if not impossible, to find in some areas.  In addition, there are many, many trees down on it as I write.  The FS is currently working to saw it out and do some retread.  Once it is clear, the more it starts getting used the more the trail will start getting worn in.  Until then, be a little patient.  It will be epic.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Fault Lake Trail Ride Report

Hot as hell here in North Idaho.  Haven't ridden the Fault Lake Trail in a couple years, and thought it might be a good choice since a dip in the lake is always a refreshing treat.  Now this trail is always a bit of a challenge to ride.  Loose, rocky sections abound and there are a couple tricky root areas.  The last mile is all hiking and I typically ditch my bike in the trees.  There are great payoff though.  The views at the lake are straight up amazing.  And there is a cool rock falls trail crossing.  Oh, then there some very cool views of the rocky Selkirks as well.

All that said, this time around the trail was in the worst shape I have ever seen.  The trail is straight tore up in many areas.  Lots of loose rocks.  Lots of the rocks are big and round, much like you find in creek beds.  And they make the trail more challenging then it was before.  Then the trail is heavily overgrown on the upper half.  Brush is so thick it is almost impossible to get your bars through.  I rarely ever turn around before the end of the trail, but in this case I wasn't having much fun riding.  I was doing more and more pushing.  Then there was the thought of the cold beer waiting back at the car.  I turned around about 1.5 miles from the lake.  I would not go back to ride this trail until some clearing has been done...which in our current state of local trail maintenance seems unlikely.

I passed several groups of hikers, they all complained about the brush but all did make it to the lake.  I also passed 2 different groups of horse back riders (one group was packing gear up to camp).  Then there was the lone ORV rider.  I think you might start to sense why the tread is the way that it is...

Alas, I could show you some of the pics I took of the shitty trail,  But I am not going to.  I will instead focus on the positives..

positive: it was not me that got eaten

one of the rocky stream crossings