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  1. #1
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    Franke Park Trail Conditions - (Fort Wayne, IN)

    Good news - trails are open, but beware of mud. The West Loop is mostly dry, with some mud near the Frog Pond. The East Loop is soft, but rideable in all but 2 or 3 spots. Beware on Tiger Trail, skip Rollercoaster and the short yellow section before Freeway. There's been a few reroutes since last fall due to the flooding and mud. The new cuts are soft, help us by riding them in. You'll see them when you come to them.

    Several new red trails are in and ready to go as well, they also need to be ridden in. Be careful on Log Jam. A few guys got hurt last night, and I chipped a tooth on a log roll last week. Remember to scope out obstacles before attempting them. The map on the trailhead has been updated to show the new reds, we don't have all the trail markers up yet.
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  2. #2
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    Still muddy. Especially the lead in to Tiger Trail, there is standing water on one of the curves on Tiger as well. We built a new bridge after the first drop on Roller Coaster. The climbs on Roller Coaster are soft, but rideable. The new red trail after Bloody Gorge (No Return) is firming up great and is ready to go.
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    Hmm i was hoping to get out and ride tomorrow, I'll see if that can happen.
    SS is like beer...its an acquired taste.

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    Conditions over the weekend were perfect. After the rain this morning, trails are wet with a few muddy spots, the green and yellow trails are all rideable, with caution. Some of the climbs on the red trails are too slippery and the cuts too new to ride without causing damage. Please take care to avoid ruts.

    Trails should be good if there isn't much more rain.

    This Saturday, 9am we're having a workday. Hoping to get weed eaters out and clear the low lying brush for the race on the 13th.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    Conditions over the weekend were perfect. After the rain this morning, trails are wet with a few muddy spots, the green and yellow trails are all rideable, with caution. Some of the climbs on the red trails are too slippery and the cuts too new to ride without causing damage. Please take care to avoid ruts.

    Trails should be good if there isn't much more rain.

    This Saturday, 9am we're having a workday. Hoping to get weed eaters out and clear the low lying brush for the race on the 13th.
    If I'm awake at 9am on a Saturday then I will be there. Last summer I made it to the Wednesday rides but I have a scheduling conflict this year. I'm sure the trails will be great for the DINO race in a couple weeks.
    SS is like beer...its an acquired taste.

  6. #6
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    We have a monday evening ride starting up. There's usually a beginner and faster group depending how hard you want to ride.

    If you make to the work day, we're all riding after the work is done.

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    The trail worth the drive from Lima?

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    1.5 hour drive? I'd say they're worth it, but I'm biased too. It really depends what you want to ride. There's a little of everything in this park, a lot of roots and short steep climbs. Rain is the worst enemy for our trails. There's a lot of clay, so it holds water longer than other areas.

    We have regular rides Mondays at 6pm and many Saturday mornings. I'll ride at least one lap any day the trails are dry, or hit the good spots when it's wet. Just post up when you'll be in town, if I can't show you around, there will probably be a few others that could.

    I'll have an updated map with our new additions, reroutes, and mileage to post soon.

  9. #9
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    Update on Conditions

    4 of us were able to trim back some grass, weeds, and poison, and prune low laying branches in about 2 hours. Conditions have improved greatly since earlier this week. The trails are nearly perfect again. There's still a few muddy spots here and there, and some corners are a bit soft. The good thing is you have good traction when you need it, without dust getting in your eyes.

    Everything should be good for the DINO race next Saturday. I saw a lot of new faces on the trails this morning, if anyone here was riding, please let us know what you though.

  10. #10
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    Trails Vandalized

    Someone cut down a bunch of trees on and near the trails. We got most of the mess cleaned up and everything is rideable. It happened sometime yesterday morning / early afternoon. A group of kids were seen in the area with shovels and sledgehammers. Let FWPD and the Parks Department know if you see anything suspicious.

    Trails are still wet in the usual muddy spots, but in otherwise great condition.

  11. #11
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    Trails are in excellent condition, even if it rains this week, there should be no problems. It's not hot so there is no excuse not to ride.

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    Trails aren't bad. The rain last week left some mud on low spots and some greasy corners. The crew fixed a few permanently muddy spots with railroad ties on Saturday.

    We had a ton of riders tonight. 18 with the group ride and a few more groups on their own. The cool weather makes for great riding. Full lot at the trailhead, mostly bikers. The best part was the groups were spaced enough apart the trails didn't seem crowded.




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    Rode with the group a few times last summer, haven't been out there yet this year, maybe I'll bring the bike down tomorrow and try and meet up tomorrow night.... still Monday at 6pm correct?

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    I was talking to (emtnate) Nate a week ago and he said "Monday evenings we have a group ride geared for beginner riders that starts at 6:30pm at Franke."
    Last edited by ashmc84; 08-04-2009 at 12:18 PM.

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    Did you make it last night? We had 3 groups going and plenty of riders. It's nice to see people enjoying our trails.

    They cut a reroute around some permanent mud on the intermediate trail just after "No Return" forks to the right.. As of last night the markers weren't switched, stay left by the creek, follow the fresh cuts and help us ride it in.

  16. #16
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    Updated Map

    Ignore my first post, I can't seem to edit one that old.

    Here is a link to the updated map showing the trails we build over the winter and spring.

    Franke Park Trails

  17. #17
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    I'm out here in Ft. Wayne from CA for 10 days and would like to ride this weekend. If I can rent a bike is Franke Park the best place to ride locally? I'd like a place I can put in 25+ miles and not get bored.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by yfz_duner
    I'm out here in Ft. Wayne from CA for 10 days and would like to ride this weekend. If I can rent a bike is Franke Park the best place to ride locally? I'd like a place I can put in 25+ miles and not get bored.
    If you get bored at Franke you can always head west to Winona Lake and bang in 3 laps. The trail is excellent right now, close to the best it's been all year. Trailhouse in Winona Lake does rentals if transporting the bike is a problem.

  19. #19
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    If you're here for 10 days, definitley check out Winona, it is about 40 mins west of Fort Wayne. Take US 30 west to Warsaw. Go left (south) on 250 E (shell station on the south side of the road) At the stop sign turn right (West) on Wooster Road. At the next stop sign, keep going straight. When you can't go straight any more, turn left on Chestnut Street, take the next Right (9th street) and go down the hill. At the bottom, turn left on Park Ave. You'll start to see a bunch of shops by the lake. The trailhouse is back there. They'll be glad to get you on wheels and show you where the trailhead is at. It's about 1/2 mile from the shop, there's walking / bike paths along the way.

    Check out Franke, our trails are perfect right now too. Do you know where the trailhead is at? Try to make it out Monday night for our group right. I'll be working out of town all weekend, but I know there's other guys planning on riding.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the heads up on both Franke and Winona. I have to rent a bike and get some time away from work, so it's going to have to be a weekend ride to get my money's worth. I'm hoping to make it a double header and get both areas in this weekend. No kids, no wife, no lawn to mow = ride, ride, and ride some more.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    Go left (south) on 250 E (shell station on the south side of the road) At the stop sign turn right (West) on Wooster Road.
    Nate, you definitely give directions a man can understand! (west, south, etc.) Just a heads up, 250E is being worked on, again, but for the time being is open. Shortly after it reopened last year the section between Wooster and 30 started to sink, and they are coming back to fix it. Construction is supposed to be done by the end of the month but that's doubtful in my mind. If you have any doubts take 325E (by the TSC store) and turn south to Wooster Rd.

  22. #22
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    I've been wondering about 250, last time I was in town it was open, but the construction signs were still up. Sometimes it is easier to tell people to take Center Street to Argonne, but that road is closed too.

    325 might be the easiest due to the other construction. You'll be in good shape once you find the park and the shops by the lake.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    I've been wondering about 250, last time I was in town it was open, but the construction signs were still up. Sometimes it is easier to tell people to take Center Street to Argonne, but that road is closed too.

    325 might be the easiest due to the other construction. You'll be in good shape once you find the park and the shops by the lake.
    If you don't have to go to Trailhouse the easiest would be to either take 250 or 325 to Wooster, Wooster to Chestnut, Chestnut to Boys City, and Boys City to the trailhead. I live in Warsaw and I don't like taking Argonne if I don't have to. Once they have that mess straightened out it won't be bad at all, especially the new pavement!

    Enough hijacking!

    yfz_duner: If you want more than just Franke and Winona, there's always Morsche's Park in Columbia City. From the light at 30 and 205 in Columbia City go west on 205 and the Park is ~.5 miles from 30. Take the road to the right once you turn in and park by the tennis courts. The trailhead is right there. I'm riding there tonight so I'll post back trail conditions if I remember.

  24. #24
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    Can I hijack my own thread?

    Do keep us posted on Morches. Last few times I've ridden there it has been ridable but overgrown.

  25. #25
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    Morsche's will probably always have some issues with being overgrown. I think only one or two people do any regular maintenance there.

    That being said, I think it's the best I've ever seen it. There are a few thorny spots that will help you with a mild bloodletting, but nothing serious. I have thick skin so I only have a scratch on my right forearm. The leaves are starting to drop which hide the little rollers quite well so you have to be careful. We ended up doing 2 laps and it was great. It's a really nice contrast to the Boys Club for me.

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    Since Morsche Park looks like it is on the way to/from Winona Lake to Ft. Wayne it might be something I'll check out. Is it worth trying to fit two ride spots in on one day or should I just spend all my time at one place? If one place, should that be Winona?

    Are the trails marked and/or easy to follow at Winona and Morsche? I have what appears to be a good map for Franke Park, but I have yet to download something for Winona or Morsche.

    Any recommendations for a good deli sandwich near Winona Lake or Morsche Park? I love a good sandwich, especially after a few hours of riding.

    Is anyone familiar with Robinson Park in Ft. Wayne? Looks like another possibility.
    http://www.indianaoutfitters.com/mtn...inson_park.htm

  27. #27
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    -legal- trails no longer exist at Robinson Park. Franke Park is the only place to ride without poaching.

    I've ridden Winona and Morches in same day on a number of occasions. If you pick just one, make it Winona. A good deli sandwich near Winona? One of my friends from high school owns a sushi place in Winona called Cerulean. I would recommend 1000 Park Bakery for coffee, bread, and pizzas, I can't remember if they have deli sandwiches or not.

    The only local deli I can remember recently closed. There is a chain place called big apple bagel in Warsaw.

    The trails at Winona and Franke are well marked and well ridden. Morches markings are pretty good, if anyone has cleared the trail out recently, you shouldn't have a problem.

    Here's a map of Winona. It is fairly accurate. There is now an extension of Wagoners trail that is a good ride with a few surprises. If you're a strong rider, hit all the reds and don't skip Black & Blue. There is also a good map at the trailhead, and the guys and lady at trailhouse have current maps you can take with you.

    See here for our map of Franke. If you ride Log Jam, commit to the jumps and log rolls or don't do it.

    Last edited by emtnate; 09-16-2009 at 09:19 PM.

  28. #28
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    emtnate and all,

    Thanks for all the info. It is much appreciated. I look forward to a great weekend of riding. I might have to ride into the evening and grab some sushi in Winona Lake before heading back to Ft. Wayne.

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    You're welcome. I'm always willing to show or help people around. Too bad I'm working all weekend or I'd offer a tour.

  30. #30
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    Definitely ride the new section off of Wagoner's. They'll be constructing a new greenway this fall and part of this trail will disappear to that.

    There is a cutoff into black & blue that isn't marked that you don't want to take, otherwise you'll miss half of the really fun stuff. After deadman's curve the trail will split off to the right, go straight towards the marker for milepost 7 and follow it from there. You'll see the proper to start to black and blue. Watch out for the sinkhole at the top of the second big climb on black & blue. Last I saw somebody threw a log in it.

    If you want to hit Morsche's a map can be found here:

    http://www.columbiacityparks.us/Adob...20TRAIL300.pdf

    General rule at Morsche's is if the trail forks and isn't marked, go to the right. The big red section on the north side isn't marked and you don't want to miss it.

    Enjoy the weekend.

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    Almost forgot, there is an Adventure Race in Winona Saturday morning from 8 to noon that will be using the trails. You will probably want to avoid them during those hours.

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    Thanks for the heads up. I'll wait until afternoon to start Winona.

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    I got in about 6 miles at Franke Park just before the sun went down tonight. I didn't get a chance to print the map, so I figured I'd wing it. The first 15 mins. felt like I was going around and around in the same area. After regrouping and getting back on track it looks like I got a lot of the trails in. I'll head back there in the morning and explore some more. It was really fun. A lot different than the riding I'm used to. I'm used to having to climb for 1/2 hr before getting on paid back with some downhill singletrack. It was nice to have singletrack the whole time.

    I'm new to the log rolls. Does everyone get hung up on their chainring like me? Am I tackling them wrong? Are you supposed to jump them?

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    I'm glad you made it out there tonight and had a good time.

    If you look at our markers, green, yellow, and red, arrows. They always join back with each other. Some of the trails get very close to each other.

    As for the log rolls, some of them do grab your rings. Some have better lines than others. I use 32/bash and don't have a big problem with grabbing. Try to get your front wheel up and over and the back should follow. You can bunny hop some of them. The ones made to jump should be obvious. Between the jumps and the large log rolls on "log jam", which we built over the winter, it is already responsible for a number of injuries, broken wheels, and one frame. So, you're not alone.

    The style of trails here in the midwest is a little different. It's all about the constant up-down-up-down. If you want a fun descent, look for Bloody Gorge. It is not marked, on the map you'll see a yellow trail labeled "switch back" just after "ridge run". it's a thin switch back going down a short embankment. There's two ridable lines, obvious from the main trail just before the switch back. A root filled, technical line and a smoother line with a narrow gap between 2 trees in the middle of the drop.

  35. #35
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    For guidance I ended up following the spray painted dots and arrows on the trees. Once I figured out that trick I was much better off. Thank whoever did the spray painting for me.

    Thanks for the tips on the log rolls. I've been doing pretty good about getting my front tire up, but the bike I got has a 44 chain ring, so it looks like I'll just have to accept the occassional hang up.

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    the spray painted marks were unauthorized additions. for the most part they follow the wood markers, but there are some differences. whoever did it made the park dept. upset with the club because they thought we did it. please try and follow the red green and yellow markers. if you can ride monday ill show you around. do you still have a ride available? i will ask around for a spare if you need. what size frame and pedals do you need?

  37. #37
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    Just got back from a long, fun day of riding. I got in 50 miles today. About 25 mi at Franke Park and another 25 mi at Winona Lake. 6 hours of riding in a day is the most I have ever done, but I had a smile on my face the whole time.

    After getting my bearings straight at Franke Park. I managed to knock off 4 loops on the "hard" course. I had a blast. I think the loop I was doing ended up being just over 6 miles and I was doing it in 45 mins. I was getting the log rolls down, but man the yf*@# up my elbow joints for some reason. I must be a wuss. : )

    After Franke Park I had some lunch and drove to Winona Lake. My first "loop" was a mess. I couldn't figure out where I was most of the time. For my second loop I ended up following a group of guys and got the course down. A special shout out "thanks" to the 3 guys at Winona today. Their pace was perfect for me and they really helped me learn the course. By my 3rd lap at Winona I was starting to run out of gas. It was still a lot of fun, but my body was begin to show some wear after a long day of riding.

    After riding Winona, I checked out Cerulean. Nice place. I tanked up on the sodium and am hoping I won't cramp tonight.

    Funny thing today. Both riding spots had events going on with live bands. I could hear music blasting on the trail at both spots. Do you IN folks always get live bands to play at your riding spots on the weekends? Must be nice. : )

    emtnate, I should be able to ride Monday night. It would be great to meet up with you. I have to return the test bike to Summit City around 6:30- 7 pm or so. I'll try and duck out of work at 4 pm which should put me at Franke Park around 5 pm. Does that work for you? Hopefully it doesn't rain.

  38. #38
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    I can be there at 5, I'll bring friends too. That's about when I get there for a warm up lap before the group ride anyway.

    6 miles at Franke, you found just about everything. 45 minutes isn't bad either. That is a long day of riding. Nice for you to get a variety of trails in. I have things I like about both trails, but they're very different.

    Was there something going on at the BMX track at Franke. We don't normally have live music, but that might be a good idea. I'll see what the collective thinks about that.

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    Do you know the specific spots in Winona you had trouble with being lost? New trail markers went up this summer and some people are still having difficulty with them. I'd like to know so I can see what we can do to make it easier for people to find their way, we just need to know the trouble spots so we can make things a bit easier.

  40. #40
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    4mula1: In regards to getting lost at Winona...

    The maps I had printed out didn't have a riding direction on them so I just jumped on a trail and went. That was the start of my problems. Second was I didn't look at the board at the beginning of the trail until after I got back from my first lap. I first noticed that green meant beginner or something and I didn't want to take the beginner route. I was looking for the advanced route with black triangles leading the way. I didn't really realize that the main path is the green triangles and black triangles are advanced offshoot trails. It makes sense now, but at the beginning this didn't click.

    Specific issues I had: 1) The "Trials Trail" on my map doesn't look like the one on the board at the beginning. 2) The intersection at "Field Trail" after the climb is confusing. There are 4 paths that intersect right there, but on my map it doesn't show an intersection there. I couldn't figure out which path was the main one. 3) Which direction is "Black & Blue" supposed to be ridden in. The sign is on the side closest to the big wooden bridge, but it seemed to make more sense to jump on the trail on the other side nearer the 7 mile marker. 4) The 4 way intersection at the start of Wagoner Trail confused me for some reason. Plus at the end of Wagoner Trail there was an earlier left hand cutoff turn that made more sense to take. 5) I didn't see a sign stating "Caution Trail" like the other advanced trails had. Maybe somebody took it or maybe I just missed it. 6) There is a black triangle that cuts off / shortens part of "Wagner Trail." I didn't get this. Maybe it has to do the new greenway re-route or something. 7) Some of the mid-path green arrows seem to point sideways when they should be pointing up meaning "keep going straight." 8) What are the yellow triangles for?

    By the end my 2 days the course made sense, but as a first timer I was a thrown off. I think knowing the overall course direction and knowing to follow green triangles were my big mistakes and just figuring this out helped me the most. Plus off-shoots, cut-off paths, intersections that aren't shown on the map confused me.

    Some ideas: 1) Another big map at the big wooden bridge would be really good to have with a "you are here" marked on it. That's a fairly central spot and would help those of us who didn't take the time to look at the main board at the entrance. : ) 2) Show on the map where the mile markers are and state somewhere that this is based on following the green triangle path.

    All in all Winona is awesome. Beautiful scenery and beautiful , well-maintained trails. I think I ended up doing 9 laps and I never got bored. Keep up the good work.

  41. #41
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    Well my weekend couldn't have been better. I got in a century of singletrack. 100.3 miles, 11 hrs 35 mins of pedaling time, and 6665 ft. of climbing in basically 2 days. Maybe a once in a lifetime epic ride for me. At mile 95.5 the rain started coming down and I had to abandon the mission. But I didn't want to give up with the magic number looming so closely. So after grabbing a pizza the rain let up and I was able to reach my goal.

    The Stumpjumped Elite I rented from Summit City Cycles was perfect. It's a very nice bike. The saddle was so nice in fact that I'm going to buy one for my own ride. The Captain tires seemed to be a good match for the trails I rode. Pretty darn grippy. I was able to stand and power up the bigger climbs with little to no slippage. I also didn't have any flats, which I was very thankful for.

    The bike performed flawlessly. I however did not. At mile 92 of my adventure I had an OTB. It happened at Winona at the drop off at the concrete ledge (somewhere on the west side I think). I had done this drop 5 or so times already and I had always been able to shoot between the two small trees on the left side. This last time I was a little off line and I realized I was going straight for the left tree. I locked up the rear brake, but that didn't slow me down at all. In a panic, I made the mistake of grabbing a handful of front brake. That put me going OTB...between the two trees thankfully. As I was flying through the air (in what seemed like slow motion) I even tried to grab the right tree. I couldn't hang on. If I had though it would have been really cool and probably would have even looked graceful. I ended up tumbling down the hill a little ways. Just some minor scrapes and bruises. My hip is a little sore from landing on it. Oh well. No pain, no gain I guess. The weekend adventure was worth it.

    Thanks to all those who provided the insight into the local area. VERY much appreciated. If I end up out here on another weekend before it gets too cold, it would be great to ride Winona with some of you. Hopefully I can keep up. It seemed like everyone at Winona was ripping around the course. I was impressed.

    A tip to you IN local riders. A pair of yellow tinted glasses worked great to brighten things up on the overcast day. Plus they kept the bugs out of my eyes. Unfortunately I didn't buy them until Sunday. On Sat. it seemed like I was constantly getting bugs in my eyes. I'm not used to that. You can keep your mosquitoes and gnats.

  42. #42
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    Nate, looks like it might rain all day Monday. Do you still ride out there at Franke if it's raining?

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    No, we don't ride in the rain at Franke. Rain being defined as if you have to turn your windshield wipers on. There is so much clay, it gets hard to ride. I have ridden Winona in the rain with no troubles.

    To our friend from the left coast - I'm really glad you had a good time.

    The ledge in Winona - if it was the concrete foundation drop followed by a smaller root drop, that's a fun line. if it was the one with the gap to transition ramp with a hole for an outhouse pit right before the drop, I've never tried it or seen anyone do it.

    There has been some changes since the maps were made. I can see where the field trail could get confusing. It's the only part of the trails that holds water in the spring, a lot of people cut out at the top of the hill when it is wet, so you get the intersection that isn't marked.

    Wagoner trail used to cut off earlier. This spring, the trail gnomes extended it, adding all the off camber turns and rocks following the creek. I love it. I also love the downhill log roll at the end.

    Somehow I missed the "caution trail" sign last time I rode there as well.

    The Yellow marks a short loop beginner trail. I'm sorry, I should have mentioned the green loop is the main trail, about intermediate level with the hard stuff branching off and returning. My bad.

    I grew up riding those trails on a 24" wheeled giant. I've ridden every combination of trails, including a bunch of connecting trails that aren't marked. It's easy ride from habit, and I don't always notice new signage.

  44. #44
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    Don't think I'll ride tonight.

    There should be a window of clear weather early this evening, I think I'll stay off the trails though. There was a good amount of rain late this morning and I don't feel like getting covered in mud.

    I'm not sure if they other guys in the group are riding or not. Some of them get there between 5-5:30 if they're going to ride.

  45. #45
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    emtnate,

    I'll still show up around 5 today to say hi. My name is Ryan. I'll be in a reddish Ford Escape with Michigan plates.

  46. #46
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    the trails are soft, but rideable. come on out for the ride at 6:30

  47. #47
    What, me worry?
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    Just out there last night before the rain. Not too much dampness to speak of.

  48. #48
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    For anyone who has been riding the past week, the trails are in perfect condition. They are mostly dry and tacky in all the right spots. More people need to ride No Return, the leaves on the climbs are a little slippery. Everything else is great and we can't beat the weather this week.

    Go out and ride before the rain comes this weekend.

  49. #49
    Crazy about Homegrowns
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    Are they still doing the Thursday night rides? It gets dark so early now...

  50. #50
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    Yes, 6 / 6:30 at johnny appleseed park by the tank. Bring lights.

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