Last Monday, Andrew and I set out for a quick ride at Percy Warner only to find the trails closed due to some fierce winds and light rain the night before. It was a beautiful day out and not to be deterred, we set our sights toward Montgomery Bell State Park, whose trails evidently take no notice of a bit of rain.
Andrew led across the road into the woods to some of the most fun single track I have ridden in a long time. As he suggested, the trails drained perfectly after the storm and the conditions were great. There were several sections of steep, amusement park-like transitions as the trail dove off one ridge, into a gulley, and up the opposite ridge. Other sections of trail took pages out of an Olympic slalom course, using white pines as the gates (a little less flexible than the plastic ones Bode Miller is accustomed to). I snickered as we passed a sign that said “RIDE SLOW – NO SKIDDING” as though they had built the trail with the option to slow down.
I often forget to take in my surroundings on mountain bike rides. I get consumed with the technicality of the course or keeping up with whoever is inevitably dropping me up the climbs. MBSP provided several opportunities to stop and enjoy the woods, which is the reason we ride in the first place. There was one section in particular that struck me: a section of forest damaged by a recent wildfire. Many of the taller, wider trees were left upright with large burn scars at their base, a striking contrast to the bright green shrubs that were coming up around them. There is something so cool to me about seeing the resilience of an ecosystem in the wake of something as damaging as fire.
Rollercoaster trails and beautiful wild spaces are what keep me on my mountain bike. I can’t wait to go back.