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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Scott O's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Big River Recap - post x, x post

    x post, or post x from the passion forum....recap of yesterday's ride at Big River, one of my favorite places anywhere to ride......

    Headed down for some boating in Rhode Island this past Memorial Day weekend. This means hanging with the family, the in-laws, bringing the kid to the playground, swimming, drinking booze, hanging with the local wildlife at the bars, and if I'm lucky......... a trip to Big River Management Area.

    In my mind, Big River is about as good as it gets. There's miles and miles of trails winding through the middle of the state with little regulation that you'll see at state parks. The place also doubles as a dumping ground for trash, old cars, coke machines, old trucks, motorcylces, snowmobiles, and the occasional dead body by the Providence wise guys. So bacially, it has it all. I may be in the minority, but i can appreciate all of the weird junk and strange happenings in the area that go hand in hand with all of the buff singeltrack. Oh yeah, it also has a bunch of isolated old, overgrown cemeteries.

    So I get the free pass away from the family for Monday. I try to be good on Sunday night, but when I wake up early the next morning, the stiff vodka tonics have left my mouth feeling like a Sham Wow and my head with a thumping that eerily seems similar to the beat of Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer". Damn you cheesy cover band and heavy handed bar tenders last night!

    Anyway, I shake the cobwebs from my skull with thoughts of singeltrack. Buddy agrees to drive down from his place an hour away and meet me. Armed with a Starbucks Americano and an egg salad sandwich, I make the quick trip to the promised land. I tell Buddy to meet me at a different parking area located on the northeast section of Big River so that we can hit some trails newer to us. He accidently parks at the wrong lot, but we find there's a whole ribbon of trails there that we'd never tried. We meet some locals in the lot they invite us along. Things are working out well so far.

    The initial pace is fast. I'm running low pressure on the 29'er tubeless and they make the smooth singletrack feel like butter. Butter with pancakes and real maple syrup. With homefries. And bacon and sausage. And..........sorry, I digress.

    One of the local dudes brought his dog along and I can't figure out who's having a better time minldlessly following trails on a blazing hot Monday morning vacation day in May. I'm thinking me and this dog are totally on the same wavelength until we come to a big pile of horse crap. She thought is was weird that I smelled it and peed on it.

    After and hour no one really knew where we were. Well, we were all pretty sure we were on earth, and in Rhode Island, but not totally sure where within Big River we were. That;s fine with me. Drop me off in the middle of nowhere on a bike with some trails in front of me and I'm happy to sniff out some new ones, maybe find a dead end and have to double back, or find myself riding a trail I had been on 30 minutes earlier only going the opposite way and not even knowing it. It's all good.

    As we're blazing aroudn some freshly cut singletrack, we'll sometimes pass an old cemetary. It's strange that there's no longer a road that access the cemetary. It's just growing back into the woods being swallowed up in time. There's also a lot of huge stone walls and old foundations that hint of building, farms, and towns that disappeard generations ago. I like to imagine what our ancestrors who built these settlements with hours of sweat and muscle labor with little time for recreation, would think of us, playing on $3000 machines of shiny steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber, with our only purpose to have fun, and maybe burn off a few calories. I bet a few of them would love to try it out and join us. Other may think we're sent by the devil and would want to cave our heads in with their pick and spade.

    Miles later, the pace slows down. The temp is in the 80's. It's humid. Some of us are not in prime summer mtb'ing condition (I'm guilty as charged). Water supplies are running out and the dog has given just about all she has to the trails. So Buddy and I part ways with the local riders and try to squeeze in as much flowy goodness as we can before we fall victim to our efforts as the poochy has. Despite our low supplies, cramping legs, and opportunities to bail out, we push on. Tomorrow will be a time for rest. Someday we too will go back to the earth just like the people who worked these lands generations ago. Time for us to enjoy is as long as our bikes can carry us.

    Normally these trips are a get as many miles as possible within our given time frames and energy levels, and there isn't much time to stop and take pics. Hitting some of these new trails though, we find sure what you call this kind of stuff, but it's the kind of stuff you'll find unexpectedly in Big River in the most unexpected spots:

    Stupid hippies waste a perfectly good human skull.

    Obligitory "Goofball mountain biker pretending to drive an abandoned car" pic

    Seriously, WTF is this thing!?!?!

    No matter where we rode, this thing kept watching us. Kinda like the Jesus of Big River.

    H&R Puff'n'Stuff on acid. No wait, those guys were already on acid.

    Post ride on the inlaws boat with Mini Me

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Wassup Scott O? I was one of the 3 you were riding with this past monday....Anthony, the owner of said "pooch" Roxy! Great writeup on a great place to ride! I must say that we all had a lot of fun riding with you guys! The timing on your arrival to the trailhead was perfect for our rendevous. Anyways speaking on behalf of my dog Roxy she had a lot of fun too with the exception of the last 3 miles which she could have done without. Actually I had to keep her caged for about 3 days to reduce as much movement as possible because the pads on her front feet got destroyed by the fireroad that we took back in order to "B-line" it back to my car. She is however healing up nicely and is already earger to get back out everytime she sees me take my bike out. Another week and I can get her back on the trails however this time I am going to keep her in the woods on the soft forest floor.

    Regardless I am grateful that we got to show you around a bit at some of the more techy stuff in BR. There is much more that we did not get to show you because of a wrong turn I took in the beginning of our journey. Anytime you are in the area again maybe just hit me up with a PM and I can try and show you guys some of the other great features BR has to offer!

    Again it was great riding with you!!


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