Saturday, November 8, 2008


After the group ride yesterday (which Jared might post about later), Jared and I agreed to get up this morning and hit the trails in Bristol. A little moist after an evening of rain, but otherwise beautiful on a crisp, fall day. The only constraint that we had was that I had to be back on campus by 2 for a group project. Not bad seeing as we left my apartment at 10 am.

We arrived at the trail head map and sketched out a nice little loop to ride. Setting out, I felt good. We did the normal hike a bike thing (Bristol's trails have some unridable features such as steps on climbs and horrible erosion). Then we settled into some fun descents and a few decent climbs. Then we came to an unridable descent. But I noted a second almost trail that seem to wind up at the bottom. After finally getting to the bottom of the crazy descent/ sketch trail, we had several option.

A) Go strait up the next hill... completely unridable.
B) Go down trail next to creek bed ... if it was a trail.
C) Take clearly blazed trail... that led in wrong direction.

We chose to A and hiked our bike to the top of the next ridge. And kept hiking. And then made an important discovery. The "trail" that we had come up was actually a really bad run off. This is where we began making decisions. And by decisions I mean bad ones. We decided to not go back the way we came. No... we had worked too hard to get to the top of the ridge (20 odd minutes of climbing). But if we kept going on the ridge line, we felt we would find a trail for sure. Unless of course you can't walk along the ridge line because of all of the thorns.

So why not go for that trail at the bottom of the hillside? Ok.

So down the hillside we slid. Only to find it was a drainage ravine.

Lets follow this ravine down to the lake? Cool.

Lets keep with the creek to the the lake? Fine.

And that is how we wound up back where we started, with choices A, B, and C. This time we chose C. And C involved lots of hiking, curing of erosion, and little riding. One fall on the already sore knee later and we found a trail juncture.

Right or strait. Strait.

Right or left on a gravel road. Right.

How come I can see the speedway and Volunteer Parkway?

And that is how we found ourselves on the backside of the park.
We (rightly) chose to ditch the dirt and take to the pavement to find the car again. So 40 minutes of riding through Bristol later and I was more excited to see Jared's car then I ever have been in my life. Next time we do a morning ride, I am eating a lot more then 2 toaster struedels! Needless to say I was way late for my group's meeting (which thankfully was canceled. This brings Jared and I to 2 death marches in 2 days. A feat which I hope I never reach again. (Want to do it again next week?)