Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Winona Lake trails closed; road ride

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

The Winona Lake trails are screwed up due to the 24-hour race DINO held there. They are closed, and trying to find volunteers.

Here are more details:

“If you missed the 24 Hours of DINO, we had one of the most bizarre weekends of riding weather I can remember. Although the rains seemed to not want to leave, the riders braved the elements throughout the cooler evening and early morning temperatures to wake up to bright sunshine for the noon Sunday finish.

However, the 3 separate rain storms that came in on Saturday combined with several hours of mud riding did a number on our beloved trails. And the 3 consecutive days of steady rain this week hasn’t helped them dry out either.

Therefore, until further notice, we’re closing the trails until we can get a few days of sunshine to dry them out and some work days in to clean them up. The next couple weekends will be voluntary work days. Show up on your own will and help lend a hand.”

(From Winona Lake Trails Temporarily Closed for Repair)

This race was on September 30 – October 1. This post was on the 5th, and the trails are still closed.

I’ve been trying really hard not to look at what I call “elitist racer types” in a negative light, but I’m really struggling right now. While DJ’s antics on Sunday were merely an annoyance, this is something else entirely.

I’m amazed that these guys hold a 24-hour race and have dozens of riders on the trails for a whole day, even riding through the rain, and don’t bother to fix the damage they’ve caused. For the most part, most mountain bikers (myself included) try to avoid riding in the rain. Sometimes, it’s inevitable, it’ll start raining while you’re riding, or whatever. A few riders in the rain is no big deal, but dozens of them is another story. Those trails have been in shambles for weeks, and probably will never be the same again.

I realize that I’m probably not being completely fair. I’m sure many people who raced *will* help fix up the trails, but obviously not enough of them. Hell, I’d go help, except I am not going to be in the area.

This makes me wonder if I should ride the Epic (a) at all, and (b) if it rains. That’s being held by the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association, and I’m inclined to think they wouldn’t continue if too much damage was going to be done to the trails. After all, it’s their biggest fundraiser, and it would be pretty counter-productive if it destroyed their existing trails. Still, I’m not sure.

My bike is still in the shop. They ordered the wrong chain ring and had to order another, and I don’t really feel like picking my bike up, then taking it back and picking it up again once it’s fixed, so I’m just leaving it.

So, I bought some slicks yesterday to put on my old mountain bike so I could use it as a road bike. I think I’m going to return them; I rode my old bike on the road last night with its existing tires, and the thing is just too damn small for me. It also has a number of drivetrain problems that I’m not sure I want to screw around with. I rode about 13 miles in about an hour.

I rode State Road 45 out to Russell Road, took Russell until it intersected 45 again (it loops around), and then rode part of 45 and part of Mt. Gilead Rd. Next time, I want to ride Mt. Gilead in its entirety. I remember it having some huge hills that would be fun, and a great workout.

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