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  1. #1
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    Damn you Camp Horizon (or, you should check this trail out!)

    Just got back from my second time out at Camp Horizon near Ark City, KS and it's a brutal trail. I was riding well, cleaning sections that I walked the first time I rode there. My confidence was up and I was hitting all the rocky sections and then the trail reached up, grabbed me, and proceeded to pull my down into the rocks. Horizon 1, jmal 0. Bent my der. hanger too. Bummer.

    Having said that, if you are in the area and have not ridden Horizon, you should give it a try. It's a tough trail. Just feel free to walk sections if you are not comfortable with them as the rocks there really chew you up if you land on them. They are very abrasive. I will go out on a limb and add that if you can cleanly ride the entire trail, you can ride pretty much anywhere.

  2. #2
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    Going there tonight. I ride that trail near weekly, and thanks to it I can clean about anything on my XC racing rig. Great trail that will make you a good rider quick. Still have a hard time with Stairway to Heaven and then the tree root climb on Lyle's loop, but can do everything else there anymore. Plus Cardiac is great for intervals.

    You ever poke around the Concrete Plant in the winter?

  3. #3
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    I've never been there in the winter. As I mentioned, yesterday was only my second time there. The first time was exactly three weeks ago and also happened to be my first true MTB ride in about ten years, all on a bike I finished building that morning. I took some punishement that day. Yesterday, I was riding much better and handling things I had to walk last time, but then it struck. I don't know them naes of the loops or features, but I ate it on a short, steep downhill section with a bunch of rocks strewn around. At the top, it seems like there are two lines. One goes through two rocks and is a very narrow passage. The other begins to the right a little. I took the line on the right and got hung up on a rock. OTB and into the grinder. I agree about cardiac. I wish my local trail had a climb like that so I could prepare for riding hillier areas.

    BTW, wear some repellent. I had about ten ticks after my ride yesterday. The flat area by the river has a lot of overgrown grass and it is tick central.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmal View Post
    I don't know them naes of the loops or features, but I ate it on a short, steep downhill section with a bunch of rocks strewn around. At the top, it seems like there are two lines. One goes through two rocks and is a very narrow passage. The other begins to the right a little. I took the line on the right and got hung up on a rock. OTB and into the grinder.
    That's butt crack! That's actually new butt crack. At the top just to the left is Old Butt crack. It got so eroded it's nearly impossible (and very dangerous) to ride, but I've done it. At the top the right line looks easier but there's a rock hiding there that'll OTB you if you're not ready for it. Going left (or better yet, straight over the middle rock if you have a bash guard or running 1x10 like me) is the best choice. During the Tour De Lizard in September there's always a group of people that hike in there just to watch the carnage.

    Lyle's loop is the first 2.5 miles on the other side of the cattle guards. Stairway to Heaven is the climb along the top of the ridge just after you finish Lyle's loop. I'm yet to clear it. Seem to get a little farther each time but am still yet to get it all the way. There's also the Moon. That's where you come up a dry creek bank and make a sharp left. Trail goes straight for a ways but is littered with some nasty rocks that make it look like, well, the moon.

  5. #5
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    Hope you had a good ride tonight. PM me sometime when you are riding on a weekend and I'll meet you there. I can't keep up with you at race pace, but if you keep it casual I should be able to hang.

  6. #6
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    Will do! Had a great ride last night. Two time trials around Lyle's then a full lap to finish the night off. Cleared Stairway to Heaven for the first time! Trail's really starting to need some work. Getting sandy and eroded in spots. Cleared a few branches last night too. Every August is when the trail tends to get all the work done to it in anticipation of the TDL in September.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, the upper part of the trail was a sand pit. Is there a good way to ride a loop and avoid the tall grass at the bottom? I would like to hit all the main features, but with the number of ticks I picked up last time, I'm a bit worried about tick borne diseases.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmal View Post
    Yeah, the upper part of the trail was a sand pit. Is there a good way to ride a loop and avoid the tall grass at the bottom? I would like to hit all the main features, but with the number of ticks I picked up last time, I'm a bit worried about tick borne diseases.
    Ride faster and they won't get you! There's a shortcut right before you get dumped down onto the riverbed. Two actually. First, when you get to the sign that says Cardiac one way, river the other, just head up Cardiac. Or before you get there there's another one. Just after a steep drop down a tree root there's one last climb before you swing left and down the last dry creek bed. At the top of that climb there's a fork. Going left takes you down the rest of the trail, but if you turn right you get dumped out just above the bottom of Cardiac.

  9. #9
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    Map?

    Is there a map of Horizon in existence? I went out there a couple of weeks ago, and frankly, wasn't sure which trails to take after what I guess was Lyle's Loop. Granted, it was my first time off-road w/ clipless pedals and I had no business being there (I'm a noob to MTB as it is). After a couple of nasty bike (and body) scarring spills I wasn't having as much fun as I usually have riding. That may have contributed to my inability (or unwillingness) to make heads or tails out of the trails. I spent about as much time walking as I did riding. But until I am a little better rider, it would be sweet to be able to find the less challenging parts of Horizon. I love Milller's, but would like to throw some other trails in the mix.


    Thanks for any advice you can give,

    Rick

  10. #10
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    My wife and I took our bikes to Benton Kansas one Xmas to be with family. In Xmas eve we took a trip out to the Camp to get in some singletrack. The weather was in the 60's and we'd never ridden the place before. We got in about 25 miles before the rain and a wet winter storm rolled in. What a great Xmas that was! The trails are great and offer up a break from endless miles of gravel.

  11. #11
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    Rick- the trail is just a single loop. Start at Lyle's and head out. After Lyle's you can take the the road back up and then turn right to a new half mle of trail but it it just takes you right back to where you were. Instead just turn left and head down the limestone drop. PM me and I'll meet you down there sometime to teach you some lines.

  12. #12
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    It is a punishing trail. I endo'ed a couple years back down a big rock section. My top tube frame jammed right up in my man section, I had a mark down there for a while. And it smashed my phone when I landed on my back after flipping

    : carnage:

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Damn you Camp Horizon (or, you should check this trail out!)-uploadfromtaptalk1339107511988.jpg  

    "Walkin around with my pants off. let yo imaginations flow"

  13. #13
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    Retry upload

    Sent from my SGH-T959 using Tapatalk
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Damn you Camp Horizon (or, you should check this trail out!)-uploadfromtaptalk1339107756023.jpg  

    "Walkin around with my pants off. let yo imaginations flow"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryguy135 View Post
    Rick- the trail is just a single loop. Start at Lyle's and head out. After Lyle's you can take the the road back up and then turn right to a new half mle of trail but it it just takes you right back to where you were. Instead just turn left and head down the limestone drop. PM me and I'll meet you down there sometime to teach you some lines.
    Ryguy,

    I really appreciate the offer. I think for now Horizon is just a little beyond my skill level. I get up around K.C. regularly for business so I'm getting the chance to polish my skills (or lack thereof) on some of the awesome trails up there. Rode the blue ("easy to moderate") trail at Clinton Lake this week, what an awesome trail!

    If I get good enough to try Horizon again late this summer or fall, I might PM you and see if the offer is still good. I guess until then, Miller's Meadow will suffice for a little off-pavement riding around Wichita.

    Thanks again for the offer!

    Rick

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