Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Crooked Creek + Nebo Ridge

Monday, September 6th, 2010

On Saturday, Dave and I headed out for another ride on the Nebo Ridge trail. However, this time we took advantage of the new way we found to get there, last time. This time, we started in the corner of Yellowwood State Forest and rode doubletrack alongside Lake Monroe to a gravel road, which eventually take us to Combs “Road” (really more of a trail in places) and then Nebo Ridge itself. This way, we cut the drive time in half and increase the riding mileage. It’s a win-win situation! Here’s a map.

One advantage to this approach is that the first several miles are flat, whereas from our normal starting point, the first mile+ is uphill. This way, we get to warm up, and it’s a lot nicer that way. Plus, the scenery along the new section is nothing short of amazing, with views of Lake Monroe much of the time. We saw herons, egrets, beaver lodges, geese, tons of butterflies, etc. Here are a few scenes from the first five miles or so.

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Soon we headed up a climb we hadn’t done before, the opposite side of Combs Road from where we’ve ridden before. This is a tough climb, regardless of which way you approach it. But, we made it to the top.

Once at the top of the hill, we connected with the Nebo Ridge trail. I haven’t compared stats, but I didn’t feel quite as fast this time as I did the last time we were here. In fact, during one section, I made a silly mistake. The trail takes you through a number of downhills, each of which is followed by a corresponding climb. During one climb, I didn’t shift quickly enough and I stood to climb, but the hill was just too steep. Despite my efforts, I slowed to a complete stop, and then fell over. I landed in soft dirt and immediately started laughing. Dave asked if I was OK, but I think he could see from my laughter that I was just fine. I wasn’t hurt at all.

Here are a few shots from the trail. There’s a pond that was extremely low. We had a very dry August.

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Aside from that fall, I rode fairly well. Again I didn’t feel as fast as the last time we were here, but we kept a good pace. I was practicing my bunny hopping skills, so any time we had to ride over a log, I tried to jump it instead. In most cases I cleared the logs without either wheel touching. I messed up on the rock garden, but I went back to try again and nailed it on my second try. Overall, I felt pretty good about my riding.

At this point we were at the end of the trail and rode down to the road. We’d follow paved roads very briefly, then gravel, then the other side of Combs “Road,” which again, is more like doubletrack.

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Soon we got to head back down the other side of Combs, and this presented several opportunities to catch some air. I felt a little more comfortable with that after my bunny hopping practice, and hit the jumps with a little more gusto than before. Tons of fun!

Soon we were headed back to the start, now with 4-5 miles of flat riding to wind down. I stopped to snap some shots of the campsite alongside the trail.

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It was another awesome ride. I love the Nebo Ridge trail, and the Crooked Creek extension makes it even better. In the future, we should be able to connect this with even more gravel roads and trails, on both sides.

I remembered my helmet cam on this ride, but unfortunately, I had a bad battery and wasn’t able to use it. Maybe next time!

7 Responses to “Crooked Creek + Nebo Ridge”

  1. Redbike Says:

    Reading posts / viewing pictures like this is torture. I’m dying to get out on a MTB again.!

  2. Dave Says:

    Great summary of the ride! The pics took me immediately back to each of those spots…can’t wait to get back out there with the helmet-cam!

  3. RANTWICK Says:

    As always, great pics. Almost as good as being there… I like the look of that dyke thing for riding across.

  4. Jeremy Says:

    Great pictures, and man I get jealous of where you have to ride. I enjoy reading and seeing about your rides. Thanks!

    Jeremy

  5. Myles/ rattrappress Says:

    Like you I like to warm up before climbing.

    Buy more batteries!!!

  6. Jon Grinder Says:

    Dang batteries…

    Looks like a great ride. I’m gonna have to get to that neck of the woods, one of these days.

  7. Chris Says:

    Loved the photo of the steel truss bridge. It looks just like one that was removed and replaced (with a giant, modern concrete bridge) near my house. I’m gonna miss that old one-lane bridge.

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