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  1. #1
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    Dang.....Vietnam worked me over today

    Hit up Vietnam today and I made the worst decisions ever in regards to which trails to ride. Brutal, unforgiving bike ride. Rocks everywhere, in all sizes. Huge, small clusters, sharp and dangerous, boulders. I just couldn't get away from them. Some really crazy uphill, boulder strewn climbs. Very difficult and dangerous descents.

    Sometimes I head over there and I can manage to find some trails that I like and get fortunate to link a few decent trails together and put together a somewhat enjoyable ride. Not today. Today was the ride from hell. I got myself on some trails I was unfamiliar with, but found my way over to the official Nemba zone. I decided to ride the Yellow trail on the map. Holy crap! Very technical, definitely too much for my xc fsr and skill set. I hadn't been on that before, definitely going to avoid that one again. Worked my way all the way over the 495 zone and had to hike -a -bike up a really steep boulder zone. Eventually worked my bike back across to the Nemba zone and then headed back to where I parked off of route 85. Missed my cut back to the lot and ended up in the stupid swamp zone!! Ha!

    I need to go over there and try to map up a decent loop for myself. I can find some stuff that I like to ride, but too often I just get myself trapped on some ultra-rocky trails and I just don't enjoy those all that much.

    Anyways, that place is a good for an adventure. I just wish it was marked and mapped better so I could figure it all out.

    You ever feel that way over there?

  2. #2
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    Upon further review of the map, it looks like the ThreeLedges trail is the one trail I sucked the most at . I thought it was the yellow trail on the Nemba parcel map, but it looks like I missed it, and then took Three Ledges to the rock garden trail. Crap, that was one of the toughest mountain bike trails I've personally ever been on. Props to any of you that can actually ride that trail.

  3. #3
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    Hurray for nam!


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    Sorry your experience was so rough. There's a lot of great trails and they can feel very different depending on which direction you go. You may want to check out the Wednesday ride series. The rides are lead by members of the 'nam committee. They leave out of the parking lot behind Pizza 85 / Wendy's on Rt. 85 in Milford. Ride starts at 6PM. All riders are welcome, just bring a helmet and a sense of adventure. Some water might be a good idea.

    There's more info about the rides up on the Vietnam Facebook page, but I don't FB, so I can't tell you much more about that.

    Dave

  5. #5
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    My favorite place to ride. Up until last fall, I just rode the stunts and rock gardens. I recently bought a hardtail and now I xc in there. There are some great trails, including three ledges Pete

  6. #6
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    Is Three Ledges the trail with the tree Gnome in it? That trail kicked my butt last year but I kept on riding it and riding it until I cleaned that section. It went from being my most hated trail to my favorite. That rock garden is nasty though. Me and a friend spent a good 1/2 hour last week just riding different lines through there.

    I started parking in the lot off of Adams Street. It's closer to the good XC trails and you avoid the bug filled swamps.

  7. #7
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    I have been going from Adams as well. I start there because it is a safe way to get my dog into the woods, vs. Rt 85. This weekend we entered at College Rock. There are a bunch of good trails there as well that link into the other xc trails.

  8. #8
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    Well, I had another cruddy visit yesterday. Found a few decent things to ride but still ended up riding a bunch of stuff I just didn't enjoy.

    I can see why a lot of people like it though. If you like stunts,drops, really gnarly rocky stuff Vietnam is your place.

    Today I went to Russell Mill and had a blast. I love the twisty singletrack that they've built up over there and there are plenty of obstacles to have fun on if that is your thing.

    I'd love to see NEMBA spend some time at Vietnam to build out some trails similar to those over at Russell Mill. I bike with my kids and they just couldn't handle Vietnam, but they love going to Russell Mills. It's a shame that I live really close to Vietnam but make the drive all the way up to Russell Mills to ride the pump track and fun trails.
    Seems like there is tons of land in Vietnam to build something similar.

    It does seem a bit weird that Vietnam is Nemba's signature property but doesn't seem like the place is a good place for riders of all abilities to ride at.

  9. #9
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    Not all of Nam is that, but I know what you're saying in regards to the Nemba section. But it is a tiny section of the ride. I'm from Southern NH and love to make that trip, XC and all mountain. Have you found the XC trails? Also, if you haven't been to Lowell-Dracut town forest, put it on your bucket list, similar to Russell Mill, but larger. Also consider Russell Mill to Great Brook for an extended ride.
    Last weekends Nam trip, 10 miles, clockwise from the parking lot, north, around to the powerlines was all XC. Lot's more trail than that too.
    Dang.....Vietnam worked me over today-jkicfq4.jpg

    Obligatory pic of me.

  10. #10
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    "I started parking in the lot off of Adams Street. It's closer to the good XC trails and you avoid the bug filled swamps.[/QUOTE]

    THE BUGS!!!!!! Holy (insert as many 4-letter words as you know) the bugs! Worst part about nam. I love the trails there but hate the bugs. Did I mention the bugs are bad?

  11. #11
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    The bugs are really bad this year everywhere it seems. First it was mad mosquitos, now it dried out a bit and they aren't as bad, but the deer flies are out in force. I haven't gotten any ticks lately at least.

    I like the college rock loop too. Nice way to start out and there are some fun xc trails out that way. We usually ride from there down to DLS then fool around in that area, ride 495 and then head back. Fun stuff. Can't wait to get to Nam, its been too long for me.
    NEMBA Freetown VP

  12. #12
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    LOL, I didn't have a problem with the bugs and I even parked near the swamp on route 85.

    I'll have to park at College Rock and trying the trails over there.

    So the trails closer to Adams st entrance are more xc/trail oriented?

    I seem to find 1 trail I like but then end up on 3 that I don't, and just keep repeating that cycle. I need to find a loop of stuff I like to do and stick with that. I like the length of the trails and the amount of terrain there, but I just must have bad luck and make poor trail decisions and wind up on the worst stuff.

    I'm happy to be only a few minute drive away from the place, but unless I find some more appealing trails I will have to venture out to new places to find some fun riding.

    Joe-it-all, cool pic thanks for sharing.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nail Every Trail View Post
    I seem to find 1 trail I like but then end up on 3 that I don't, and just keep repeating that cycle. I need to find a loop of stuff I like to do and stick with that.
    ^^ This.

    I have the same issue there. There was a decent loop marked out with bottlecaps on the trees, but every time I get into a groove and start flying along, I look up and realize I'm off of that loop and onto some junky fire road.

    There are too many intersections for me to get a flow going.

    Anyone here do the NEMBA rides? I keep meaning to, but haven't been able to yet.

  14. #14
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    Do you guys have the updated map? Its really accurate.... but there are no markings in the woods, so you have to orient yourself with the contours, fire roads, and such. Not easy to do, but if you ride it a few times you can start to get a feel for the trails. I'm don't know the trails all that well, but I've figured out enough to blow a couple of hours out there.

    http://www.bvnemba.org/NEMBA_Vietnam_Area_Map_final.pdf

    http://www.bvnemba.org/NEMBA_Vietnam_Detail_Map.pdf
    NEMBA Freetown VP

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by icecreamjay View Post
    Do you guys have the updated map? Its really accurate....
    I've seen it, very nicely done. I wish I could figure out a way to overlay it over the tracks I've recorded there, just to see where I actually ended up.

  16. #16
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    If you have a Smartphone, you can download the Maprika app and it has that Vietnam trail map available with GPS points hooked to it. What that means is that at any time during your ride you can whip out your phone and it will tell you exactly where you are on the map.

    I haven't ridden at Vietnam (it is DEFINITELY on my short list) since I live a couple hours away, but I've used Maprika at some other networks and it's a great tool for learning a complex trail system or just using as a last resort if you'd rather wing it but then find yourself lost.

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    Cool idea, thanks eparrot. Will give that a try!

  18. #18
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    I feel your pain. They have a good map online, but nothing is marked and I could not find anything for my Garmin.

    I rode Vietnam again the other day, and I am pretty sure for the last time. There is only so many times I can leave here severely
    disappointed. Then again I say this every time and keep coming back.

    Ill be brutally honest … I hate, loathe and abhor Vietnam. I have been riding there for 6 years now and almost each time I go I find myself cursing “Damn I hate riding in New England!”. I used to hit a good amount of the drops and features until I hit a tree and lost all interest in riding here. I know there are lots of people like riding here, and if you like typical New England absurdly slow technical trails then this is the place to be. However for me this place is a disappointment on so many levels.

    1. Its very claustrophobic, while there are lots of acres its all very overgrown, unnecessarily technical and way too tight, there is no room for mistakes or chance to carry any decent speed. If you are not at risk of hitting a tree then its the countless jagged baby head or larger sized rocks that litter the place just waiting to ruin your day. College rock entrance offers some decent single track but nothing to write home about.
    2. The Nemba area with all the free ride features really does have great potential but for some reason they wont cut the trees down around the trial or remove some of the unnecessary small rocks. With all the people that ride here and maintain it you would think it would be ironed out and pretty smooth by now.
    3. Then you got the bugs and swamps. They should change the name to Satan’s a$$#ole. Though I guess there is a reason why its called Vietnam.
    4. If you ride with your dog there is no water for them to drink, no streams or ponds only the rancid mucky puddles.
    5. The woods are dark and overgrown, no cool meadows, views or break from the monotonous forest. This place just has a bad vibe to it.

    I don’t know sometimes I get that urge to hit up the drops in Vietnam, but by the time I get to the actual drops I have lost all interest. You really need to know this place by heart to be able to ride it. After you study the drops, memorize the landings and know what is to be expected then you can ride it. I think Spring is the best time to ride here, that way all the leaves are out of the way and you can see more of the trail.

    Having said all that I will probably be back in the Fall when the bugs are gone, leaves have fallen and the weather is cooler. This humidity is a real drain.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nail Every Trail View Post
    It does seem a bit weird that Vietnam is Nemba's signature property but doesn't seem like the place is a good place for riders of all abilities to ride at.
    NEMBA bought our piece of Nam to preserve it, not to dilute it. You can build trails like Russell Mill, etc just about anywhere. Legally, there aren't many options to build Nam-sytle trails, besides Nam. You are supposed to get worked when you ride there. And if ya think it's tough to get your flow going there now, you should've seen it 15-20 years ago. There are riders around that actually find it TOO groomed now.

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    I live about 10 minutes away from NAM and ride there pretty regularly. I actually ride a single speed there most of the time because a majority of the trails are so fast and flowy and XC oriented. Yeah the Nemba stuff is built more for tech/all mountain but really the lower trails and backside of NAM have some of the most flowy fast single track around. Anytime you want a tour ping me, would be happy to show you around. Might actually ride there next week either Tuesday or Thursday.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalhack View Post
    Is Three Ledges the trail with the tree Gnome in it? That trail kicked my butt last year but I kept on riding it and riding it until I cleaned that section. It went from being my most hated trail to my favorite. That rock garden is nasty though. Me and a friend spent a good 1/2 hour last week just riding different lines through there.
    Yes - more specifically that area is called the three ledges rock garden.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    NEMBA bought our piece of Nam to preserve it, not to dilute it. You can build trails like Russell Mill, etc just about anywhere. Legally, there aren't many options to build Nam-sytle trails, besides Nam. You are supposed to get worked when you ride there. And if ya think it's tough to get your flow going there now, you should've seen it 15-20 years ago. There are riders around that actually find it TOO groomed now.
    And to further this point, Nam is known as a technical riding area. If riding low-speed tech isn't your thing, you probably shouldn't go there. There's plenty of other places that are less technical. The rocky trails are what makes Nam, Nam. Why would you want to remove trees and rocks from such a great, and unique place?

    If this type of riding isn't your thing, you should also avoid places like Borderland and Leominster.

  23. #23
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    I am pretty surprised to see all the grief being posted about Nam. I agree it is not the smoothest place but thee is plenty of fast flowy single track there. Granted you need to know where you are going to take advantage of it. Personally I think I'm pretty lucky to have the trails so close by.

  24. #24
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    From the pictures of seen and videos of NAM, it looks like people push bikes up, and ride them down? Never been, havn't really been tempted either, but that could change I guess.
    “People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death." JM

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauldotcom View Post
    From the pictures of seen and videos of NAM, it looks like people push bikes up, and ride them down? Never been, havn't really been tempted either, but that could change I guess.

    This is not at all the case when actually riding the trails. Very few of the stunts require pushing the bike.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by berkshire_rider View Post
    And to further this point, Nam is known as a technical riding area. If riding low-speed tech isn't your thing, you probably shouldn't go there. There's plenty of other places that are less technical. The rocky trails are what makes Nam, Nam. Why would you want to remove trees and rocks from such a great, and unique place?

    If this type of riding isn't your thing, you should also avoid places like Borderland and Leominster.
    Agreed, its supposed to be hard. If you don't like it check out the Fast and Flowy thread. Go to Trail of Tears, don't sanitize nam for christs sake!
    NEMBA Freetown VP

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauldotcom View Post
    From the pictures of seen and videos of NAM, it looks like people push bikes up, and ride them down? Never been, havn't really been tempted either, but that could change I guess.

    No.

    There's ~20 miles of trails at 'Nam. The NEMBA purchase was for aprox. 55 of the around 1000 acres of land there. That is where the free ride stuff is you see in videos.

    The other 945-ish acres is technical trail riding.

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    I didn't say I wanted it sanitized. I actually think it's really cool that there is some gnarly stuff to ride. What I meant to express is that I wouldn't be opposed to having some new trail work done that is more fast and flowy, not take anything away or sanitizing what is there now. There is a lot of land in there and I'm sure they could find a few slivers of open space in there to build some nice new trails that explore a lot of the unbuilt zones.

  29. #29
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    I think the problem with that is that the NEMBA parcel really isn't that large, as berkshire rider said. Much of it is still private, or town conservation land. To really develop long, flowy trails you'd need to work on the town land, and that complicates matters.

    Its too bad that all the different managers and such haven't been able to get together and install some intersection markers. Then it would be a lot easier to navigate and learn a loop that fits your riding style.

  30. #30
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    Had my best ride ever today at Vietnam. Ha.

    I started out over on route 85 and worked my way up to the Adams St lot. Explored a lot of fun trails over on that part of the trail network. Found some pretty fun stuff, more my speed.

    My mistake previously is I would cut over and head directly towards the Nemba parcel from route 85, and I never would find any decent routes. By avoiding this I ended up on some trails I really enjoyed. I will head back over and map out a decent route, today I was just exploring and trying to get a feel for everything

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe-it-all View Post
    well damn thats me
    Quote Originally Posted by craftworks750
    Riding a mtb is like a reset button, 10 mins in and there is nothing else in the world that matters.
    my bikes
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  32. #32
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    Fuggin AWESOME!
    Great job, makes me smile every time I see it.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe-it-all View Post
    Fuggin AWESOME!
    Great job, makes me smile every time I see it.
    i used to be very sketchy apparently lol
    Quote Originally Posted by craftworks750
    Riding a mtb is like a reset button, 10 mins in and there is nothing else in the world that matters.
    my bikes
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  34. #34
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    Anyone else notice how low their seats are? Pretty absurd Lol, I never even come close to that low unless Im riding legitimate DH which is almost nonexistent in MA.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredjekyll View Post
    Anyone else notice how low their seats are? Pretty absurd Lol, I never even come close to that low unless Im riding legitimate DH which is almost nonexistent in MA.
    i dont ever sit and pedal nor does my buddy. we are basically strait free riders
    Quote Originally Posted by craftworks750
    Riding a mtb is like a reset button, 10 mins in and there is nothing else in the world that matters.
    my bikes
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by insanitylevel9 View Post
    i dont ever sit and pedal nor does my buddy. we are basically strait free riders
    the clothes and the ZZ made me LOL, good video!

  37. #37
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    Had another good ride at Vietnam today. Finally starting to understand how all of the trails link up. I'm glad I did not just give up on the place and never go back. I had so many cruddy experiences over the years that is hard for me to get over I could've enjoyed the place more had I just gone with someone who knew where to ride.

    I also switched up my pedals from spd to flats and that made a big difference. Much easier for me to ride there in flats.

    I ended up doing a 14 mile loop which had a little bit of everything thrown in. Some pretty fast singletrack, some rocky downhill sections, rooty and bumpy climbs, boulder riding etc. It was good!

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    Ok, so I've finally got Vietnam figured out. Got a decent loop that I like to ride which is about 11-12 miles long.
    I've probably ridden there about 20 times since I first wrote how the place "worked me over". Well it still works me over, but as I've gotten used to riding there it has gotten a bit easier. There are still sections of trail that are very challenging, especially a few crazy long rock garden areas that I just can't seem to master. I've been trying to clear sections that I struggle with, sometimes the extra practice really helps. Sometimes NOT I usually avoid the Nemba owned parcel because I am not ripping around hucking off jumps and boulders.
    Anyways, riding the tech stuff over and over at Vietnam has helped me improve my skills a bit and now, so when I ride other places it makes them seem easier.

  39. #39
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    Great to hear! Just went down yesterday and had an great time. Perfect weather. Some fine folks were finishing up the new Lincoln Logs trail, so we got to session that a few times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nail Every Trail View Post
    Ok, so I've finally got Vietnam figured out. Got a decent loop that I like to ride which is about 11-12 miles long.
    OK, I'm inspired again I guess. I drove away from there on Saturday swearing I would never return. I seemed to keep ending up on boring fire roads. Found one fun trail marked by red caps or checkers, couldn't seem to find trails I've been on before. Did you GPS your loop? If so, I'll PM my email address, I'd appreciate the file.

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    I didn't GPS it, sorry I only own a cruddy cell phone right now. The loop I ride is a mix of fire road, single track, and some of it is smooth and fun and a lot of it bumpy and challenging. It is in no way my favorite place to ride, but I live 10 minutes away so I just need to learn to deal with it. All in all, it is a difficult place to ride and for some reason some of the woods in there creep me out, don't know why. Maybe we could hook up for a ride sometime over there.

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