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  1. #1
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    lookin for something new? Espenscheid!

    If you are in the area and looking for a 100% dry trail, look no further than Espenscheid forest preserve, south of Rockford. This forest preserve provides a 3.5 100% singletrack which is full of twists and tight as can be. The trail is a medium packed dirt/sandy mix with some roots and rocks thrown in. The singletrack is never really more than 12" wide, save for a few curves and open areas. The most exciting part is how close the trees and leaners come to the trail especially in the curves. Keep your head up and looking downtrail otherwise you will end up like an unfortunate stormtrooper. There will be many sections making you consider cutting your handlebars a little bit though I was able to maneuver through everything with downhill bars. There is no major climb or downhill on this trail, but it is full of singletrack which twists down the hill and then twist back up the hill. And just when you were getting used to the twists and ducking for trees and keeping your elbows in, there are log piles thrown in on the downs and the ups and around the turns and three in a row. There is only one big enough to warrant a detour. This was my first ride with a new build. The crank was 32/22/bash, this was a perfect setup as you never had a chance to need a 44 on the downs because they were to twisty and the bash was good safety on the bigger log piles.

    If you go during the week, you probably won't encounter other riders and the trail is great both ways, with a clockwise lap seeming a little faster, though neither way should take more than half an hour. Do a few laps, and increase your pace through the twists. Keep those elbows and knees in

    While this isn't whistler, moab, or the glentress, this is some challenging XC action in the area and worth a go!

    The trail conditions are good now, but the trail does seem to have good drainage and dries out quicker than rock cut.

    Thanks to all who have made this trail a success.

    Ride on!

  2. #2
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    I've been there before, it's ok it just lacks flow. I was sort of wishing for something more then Rock cut. Like a couple good ledge drops, fast sections, rough terrain, dirt jumps ect. It just seemed to go down a tiny tight down hill to a hair pin then back up a long steep hill over and over. Logs to collide with along the way. I don't know my buddy and I were just expecting more I guess from a dedicated MTB trail. Not very technical, just seemed to zig zag up one hill side back and forth. It was a hell of a workout, but my buddy and I both agreed we would never return. Of course I'm still a new guy, just got into this stuff the fall of last year. I rode it on crappy walmart bike to on a 90 degree day. I would get sort of cautious on the downhills as I couldn't see my buddy through the forest and didn't want go flying down a hill into a pile up. So maybe I was at fault. I really did like how you don't have those random bam! there they are jaywalkers like at rock cut. I was free to really throw the pedals down. Maybe I just prefer terrain technical riding to XC. It's definitly something I might try running in reverse now that I have a nice bike.

  3. #3
    lookin' for a hill
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    I come from an urban assault background in chicago. Lower wacker drive, loading docks, stair cases, etc. But even in the city I would make loops bringing together obstacles for rides lasting a couple of miles. I liked Espen because it seemed that if you got your rhythm down you could really "flow" through the course. I liked the log piles on both an up hill or down or turn because if you could pull full hops over those while maintaining speed, the trail will becomes pretty technical and exciting. You have to get rid of the caution and go fast on the downs to pull that momentum through the turns on the ups. Keep in mind, we are in northern illinois; i would love ledge drops and such an hour away, but it just ain't so.
    Also, i see you're from byron. I would suggest trading in the wally world bike and maybe building an urban assault style and going to the city for your more exciting riding. ledge drops = loading docks, rough terrain = multiple stair cases, dirt single track = singletrack along the lake, jumps = in lincoln park. pull it all together in a loop, throw in some traffic for excitment and it is a crazy way to ride. Gives all the fixie riders something to aspire to too!
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  4. #4
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    Picked up All Mountain bike (ibex) at the start of the year. Needed something for the yearly trip to Moab. Rock cut is pretty technical if you know where to look. Going to head to Wisconsin a few times this year, there is some pretty good stuff up that way.


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnster
    Picked up All Mountain bike (ibex) at the start of the year. Needed something for the yearly trip to Moab. Rock cut is pretty technical if you know where to look. Going to head to Wisconsin a few times this year, there is some pretty good stuff up that way.

    no,head down to peoria,best trails in the midwest, and honestly my favorite trails period, i think i like farmdale and indy more than porcipine rim and slickrock........ perfect blue groove roller coaster.

  6. #6
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    I want to hear more about this yearly trip to moab.

    I was hoping to go to peoria on my day off next week, pending conditions.

    In Wisco I was also hoping to go to blue mounds sometime, and I will be at washburn lake by Rhinelander at the end of the month. I was at nine mile many moons ago and hope to return.

    The urban stuff is nice, but hands down it's more fun in the woods. Enjoi the new ride.
    Are those velociraptors I see? Espenscheid was my first ride with those tires, the way the side knobs bit into the turns was great. I may have to admit that because it was my first ride of the season it seemed more exciting... i guess we all know how much better things can seem the first time.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikwashere
    I want to hear more about this yearly trip to moab.

    I was hoping to go to peoria on my day off next week, pending conditions.

    In Wisco I was also hoping to go to blue mounds sometime, and I will be at washburn lake by Rhinelander at the end of the month. I was at nine mile many moons ago and hope to return.

    The urban stuff is nice, but hands down it's more fun in the woods. Enjoi the new ride.
    Are those velociraptors I see? Espenscheid was my first ride with those tires, the way the side knobs bit into the turns was great. I may have to admit that because it was my first ride of the season it seemed more exciting... i guess we all know how much better things can seem the first time.
    My brother and I went to Moab in September for a Radio controlled rock crawler event they had last year (Nationals I guess). Rented some bikes as a something to do. Next thing you know we are both hooked on the sport. Went home and bought good bikes and can't wait to return this year.
    Post your most epic trail shot.

    Yeah I've been thinking about riding Blue Mounds. That and Levis sometime this summer I guess. I prefer the downhill like stuff with some technical riding, pick your line at average pace kinda stuff. The rougher the ground the better as long as it flows. I just as well like higher speed stuff. I guess I've only been biking on a good bike for a month or two now so I really can't be sure..

    I never would have thought there would be anything south. Southern IL is as flat a ironing board. I'll have to check that out though.

    Velociraptors indeed I like them, my friends all say they are heavy and kinda to rough. I like them they seem to hook in corners. They dig like a shovel in mud you have to keep the momentum and speed up to stay a float. Front tire also seems to push sometimes. They throw gravel like crazy and I love them. Really like the way they look.

    You guys have me thinking about Espenscheid now. Might be a whole lot better now that my gearing, suspension and bike fitment is way better.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnster

    I never would have thought there would be anything south. Southern IL is as flat a ironing board. I'll have to check that out though.

    you'd be surprised, you just have to go through the flat to get to the valley. and even further it gets crazy, hundred foot cliffs and all in carbondale. you'd be surprised what illinois has to offer if you know where to look.



  9. #9
    lookin' for a hill
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    by the look of those pictures, you should tell us where - specifically - we should be looking.

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