Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Mountain biking at Brown County State Park

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Sunday provided an excellent opportunity to go mountain biking with Dave at Brown County State Park. I’ve been more focused on road biking this year, partially by choice and partially because with the massive amounts of rain we’ve gotten, there haven’t been a lot of opportunities to hit the trails. It felt great to go mountain biking again.

It was a hot day, somewhere around 90 degrees, and comparing being in the woods versus on the road on a hot day is interesting. Each has its advantages. In the woods, it’s shady and cool, but it’s also more humid and lacks the airflow of a faster ride on a road bike. Either way, you’re going to be hot.

Dave and I rode nearly all of the trails in the park, at a faster pace than usual. I felt strong despite riding 80 miles on the road the day before.

This was my first time this year to ride the Hesitation Point trail, which I sometimes shirk because I think it’s intimidating. It is hard, with a climb of over 2 miles, and a lot of technical features, but my fear is really residual from my first couple of years riding, when the trail was just barely doable for me, and not a lot of fun. Now it’s overall very doable, but I forget that sometimes. And the better I get at riding, the more enjoyable the trail becomes. I loved it.

I also did better on the Walnut trail than I expected, especially on the way back, when I pushed it more uphill than usual. It felt great.

The trip down Hesitation Point on the way back was a blast. I made it over a couple of rock gardens that I wasn’t sure I’d clear, and there was a family trying to make their way down the trail. They were stopped right by a dropoff, pushing their bikes. They moved aside so we could get through but that dropoff spooks me sometimes. I tackled it with confidence and did just fine. I was worried I’d wipe out right in front of a couple of kids. That would’ve just been fantastic.

It felt great to hit the trails again, even if it was hot. We rode a bit over 16 miles, and they were hard-earned miles. Actually Dave rode more, as he got there earlier than I did. We took some trails the short way so didn’t actually cover every bit of trail in the park.

I didn’t take much time to take photos, except a shot of the view at Hesitation Point, and a frog we saw sitting on a log in the pond on the Aynes loop.



I’m still loving the 29er. It rolls better overall, and I feel faster on it in general. However, this time we rode some tighter, twistier bits of trail. While I still did fine, I could feel that the bike was a little less nimble than my old mountain bike. It took a little more effort to bob and weave through the trees.

As for me, I am in better shape than I’ve been in a couple of years, so I feel strong on the bike. But because I haven’t done much mountain biking this year, my bike handling skills were a little rough at times.

4 Responses to “Mountain biking at Brown County State Park”

  1. Chris Says:

    Sounds fun…kinda makes me want to take Homer back to the woods.

  2. Mark Zarro Says:

    Thanks for the photos, that looks really beautiful. I’ve never cycled in that part of the country (more in Colorado & Wyoming) but will be out there (Indianapolis) visiting friends later on this summer, so it looks like I’ll have to go. 🙂 Thanks.

  3. Tim S Says:

    I’ve always heard that road miles are the best training for mtbiking, as far as conditioning and strength go. I’m gonna have to drag myself up to Brown Co. at some point. The trails look great and I know a few folks in the ‘Ville who go there regularly.

  4. DuncanM Says:

    It sounds like a really great trail, the photographs are excellent considering you didn’t spend much time on them.

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