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  1. #1
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    Huntsville AL Haze

    Hi everybody

    Was up in Huntsville for an interview last friday, currently reside in Melbourne FL. Loved the area, as I care less about the beach and more about hills, etc...but the haze up there really threw me. Can any locals tells me, is that a pollution thing, or just a summer thing, or what? I ended up going up to Monte Sano and doing some hiking, in my interview clothes, no less b/c I hadn't bothered to pack any hiking clothes and didn't bring a bike or bother finding a shop to rent one.

    Just looking to get some inside scoop on biking/hiking in the area and the weather.
    Thanks.
    Rich
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  2. #2
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    If you have any problems with allergies (I DO) I would either stock up on some allergy meds or go somewhere else. It's hot here, I lived in Naples, FL for a little while and yes the temp was higher there the breeze made up for it so I'd say it's a bit hotter here. It could be my imagination. I doubt the haze was from pollution though, i'm sure it has something to do with the valley and all of that pollen floating around ruining my fun.
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  3. #3
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    ya, the breeze down here ocean side definitely makes up for the hot, and blows away any haze. I don't really have any allergies that are that bad, but the flatness and swamp down here just ruin my day.
    Rich
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  4. #4
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    if that is the case you should really enjoy it here. Lot's of good riding, I've heard Monte Sano is near best in Alabama, I can't confirm that b/c I've only ridden in 2 areas of the state but it's pretty good.
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  5. #5
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    it is hot

    im here in bham and some of the best trails in the area are imo, oak mountain and a little place called trussville.
    the humidity is what makes it look and feel so smoggy, just fill your camelback up and go.

  6. #6
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    ya for sure. we do 15-20 bike hash rides in the summer down here and you HAVE to have that camelbak filled up. a lot of times we have to do halfways with water stops. course, it's not that hilly, just flat, sugar sand and palmetto tree roots. good times tho. I've got my cbak mod'd to hold 170 oz. 70oz for the original that came with the pack, and then I've got a hole in the extra gear compartment to feed the line from the 100oz reservoir out and through the original feed hole from the back of the pack.
    Rich
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyledriver
    im here in bham and some of the best trails in the area are imo, oak mountain and a little place called trussville.
    the humidity is what makes it look and feel so smoggy, just fill your camelback up and go.
    what is trussville like? I can't seem to find much info on that and I'll be making a trip back down to oak mountain soon but want to check trussville out if it's worth it.
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  8. #8
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    I am pretty much a lifetime Huntsville resident and I dont really think you have to worry about much pollution. Sometimes it's a little hazy but i think its just humidity LOL

    And yes, Monte Sano is the best in AL if you are into tech.

  9. #9
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    Yep, humidity. Huntsville is pretty good on the pollution side of things. Check citidata forums for more info on the relocation side. But humidity was in the 60-80% range most of last week which made it hazy.

    Honestly we are just heading towards my favorite time of year to ride here. As summer fades the temps drop, foliage dies back, and the trails get dried out. We have had a pretty wet year so far, hopefully it will lead to a drier fall.
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  10. #10
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    huh. ok, I'll buy the humidiity, it's just so different from what I'm used to down here. It's humid every day here, but we don't have the haze. prolly b/c we have the ocean breeze. we do get the afternoon showers everyday in summer b/c of the build up tho. thanks for the info everybody.
    Rich
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  11. #11
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    You sure you weren't hangin' out with the DH groms?

    That can lead to everything looking a little hazy....
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  12. #12
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    heh heh, nope, straight up engineering types.
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  13. #13
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    If you don't have allergies now, you will develop them when you move here. We lived in Michigan for 10 years with out any allergy problems, then moving here three years ago... BAM, Feb/Mar get real bad.

    BTW, moved from Rockledge to Michigan when I was 25. Born and raised a Floridian just a few minutes north of you.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdreher55
    what is trussville like? I can't seem to find much info on that and I'll be making a trip back down to oak mountain soon but want to check trussville out if it's worth it.
    Trussville has a 5 mile loop that circumnavigates the community sports park. The trail will work you hard. Lots of ups and downs and twists and turns are thrown at you continuously throughout the loop, so there is not much time for rest. 95% of the trail is tight singletrack. There are several rock gardens and lots of logs to hop. I feel like 2 loops around T'ville at 10 miles gives me as good of a workout as riding the 18 mile loop at Oak Mountain, but hey, thats just my opinion. Ride it both CW and CCW. CW is normal race direction. Definitely worth the time to check it out.

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    I am moving to the Anniston area in a few weeks from the southwest, do you guys typically ride in the morning? Does the temperature drop quite a bit at night or does it not really make a difference with the humidity? I was just wondering what most people do out there in the summer for riding,
    thanks

  16. #16
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    It's been un-seasonally hot here for the past month or so, as it has everywhere in the east and northeast. Depends on your tolerance. I am a sweating fool and tend to overheat pretty quick for some reason. I am at the trails usually by 0700 and done by 1000, but that's just me. Riding in the cooler months rocks (IMO).

  17. #17
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    anyone ride at landtrust in huntsville?

  18. #18
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    On Monte Sano, Wade Mountain, or in Jones Valley. Yes, but those trails are frequently used by hikers, so keep your eye out. I will likely do Bluff Line on Sano tomorrow morning.

    Why do you ask? Questions? Concerns?

  19. #19
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    thanks, i was just wondering about places to ride, im new at mountain biking and im just trying to get some recommendations about places to ride, some friends of mine ride some at landtrust but they never say where.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by reidsisk
    thanks, i was just wondering about places to ride, im new at mountain biking and im just trying to get some recommendations about places to ride, some friends of mine ride some at landtrust but they never say where.
    I would check out Wade Mountain Preserve as well, it's pretty good! Bluff line is pretty decent in the land trust. I have yet to put a good 2+ hour ride together with out riding the same trail twice. I know it's possible I just need to look closer at a map. Anyway, the land trust is pretty good, I hope you like rocks
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdreher55
    I would check out Wade Mountain Preserve as well, it's pretty good! Bluff line is pretty decent in the land trust. I have yet to put a good 2+ hour ride together with out riding the same trail twice. I know it's possible I just need to look closer at a map. Anyway, the land trust is pretty good, I hope you like rocks
    Thanks, i do have a hard tail but i think that makes it more fun

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdreher55
    I would check out Wade Mountain Preserve as well, it's pretty good! Bluff line is pretty decent in the land trust. I have yet to put a good 2+ hour ride together with out riding the same trail twice. I know it's possible I just need to look closer at a map. Anyway, the land trust is pretty good, I hope you like rocks
    Thanks, i do have a hard tail but i think that makes it more fun

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by reidsisk
    Thanks, i do have a hard tail but i think that makes it more fun
    Yeah I have a HT as well, you would probably like wade mountain. Anywhere around here i've found to be ridiculously rocky. I went to Oak Mountain near Birmingham a few weeks ago, that was well worth the drive. Nice and smooooooooooth. I'll be hitting Raccoon mountain in the next few weeks and have heard that is just as good.
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  24. #24
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    If you can swing by the Visitor's Center in D-town HSV or even the airport, there a free brochures you can pick up. One of those is the Land Trust Properties. There are three areas "owned/operated" by the LT, Wade Mountain, LT on Monte Sano, and Jones Valley off of Cecil Ashburn. That brochure has maps of each of the areas.

    The most popular is Monte Sano. Get on 72/Pratt/Bankhead Pkwy and head west going up the mountain. Just after the Toll Gate Road intersection (Apts on the corner), the Land Trust parking lot is on the right. That trail head accesses all of the trails for the Trust. They are all pretty much very rocky.

    If you want to do Bluff Line, I'd suggest you go to the parking lot on the South end of Monte Sano Blvd and start there.... it's down hill. You'll need a shuttle of course (that's what wives are for).

    If rocks aren't your thing, go to the top of the Mountain to the State Park. They are better suited for biking.

    Finally, the yocals here on the forum meet up on the Monte Sano pretty much every weekend on Sat/Sun at 0700 to ride. We'll be there tomorrow, but we have a friend coming, so we prob won't ride with the group. (We like to try to get others interested).

    Probably telling you stuff you already know..... just trying to help.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterdogs
    If you can swing by the Visitor's Center in D-town HSV or even the airport, there a free brochures you can pick up. One of those is the Land Trust Properties. There are three areas "owned/operated" by the LT, Wade Mountain, LT on Monte Sano, and Jones Valley off of Cecil Ashburn. That brochure has maps of each of the areas.

    The most popular is Monte Sano. Get on 72/Pratt/Bankhead Pkwy and head west going up the mountain. Just after the Toll Gate Road intersection (Apts on the corner), the Land Trust parking lot is on the right. That trail head accesses all of the trails for the Trust. They are all pretty much very rocky.

    If you want to do Bluff Line, I'd suggest you go to the parking lot on the South end of Monte Sano Blvd and start there.... it's down hill. You'll need a shuttle of course (that's what wives are for).

    If rocks aren't your thing, go to the top of the Mountain to the State Park. They are better suited for biking.

    Finally, the yocals here on the forum meet up on the Monte Sano pretty much every weekend on Sat/Sun at 0700 to ride. We'll be there tomorrow, but we have a friend coming, so we prob won't ride with the group. (We like to try to get others interested).

    Probably telling you stuff you already know..... just trying to help.
    Thanks, i appreciate it waterdogs, it should help

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdreher55
    Yeah I have a HT as well, you would probably like wade mountain. Anywhere around here i've found to be ridiculously rocky. I went to Oak Mountain near Birmingham a few weeks ago, that was well worth the drive. Nice and smooooooooooth. I'll be hitting Raccoon mountain in the next few weeks and have heard that is just as good.

    thanks, do you know anything about trail 209 in double springs? and also, are there any single tracks in hsv?

  27. #27
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    are there any singletracks in hsv?

  28. #28
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    I had an incident with a rock today after leaving the group on Bluff Line on Land Trust this morning. For once, looking 10 yards down the trail didn't help me and I must have picked the wrong line. There was a nice tire mark on this huge rock, which I moved.... after I could get up. I am going to have a heck of purple spot on my lower back. Put a nice gash in my helment as well, that my wife noticed. Glad I was wearing a full face otherwise it could have been some teeth.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterdogs
    I had an incident with a rock today after leaving the group on Bluff Line on Land Trust this morning. For once, looking 10 yards down the trail didn't help me and I must have picked the wrong line. There was a nice tire mark on this huge rock, which I moved.... after I could get up. I am going to have a heck of purple spot on my lower back. Put a nice gash in my helment as well, that my wife noticed. Glad I was wearing a full face otherwise it could have been some teeth.
    well that sounds exciting i would guess some protective gear would be a good thing to have, all i have is a helmet and gloves, do i need anything else? sorry i know its a stupid question

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by reidsisk
    well that sounds exciting i would guess some protective gear would be a good thing to have, all i have is a helmet and gloves, do i need anything else? sorry i know its a stupid question
    I always feel you can't have too much protection. I however only ride with gloves and a helmet.

    Anyone going to be at MS state park trail heads on Tuesday around 5pm? That is of course if it doesn't rain a lot before hand.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by reidsisk
    thanks, do you know anything about trail 209 in double springs? and also, are there any single tracks in hsv?

    Monte sano is full of single track. I've never heard of trail 209 but i'll have to research it. I always like trying new trails. I am still searching for my favorite.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdreher55
    I always feel you can't have too much protection. I however only ride with gloves and a helmet.

    alright, i was just curious about elbow pads

  33. #33
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    A given, you are going to fall. Anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves. Protection-wise, it just depends on how comfortable you are with different terrain. Back in high school, I had surgery twice on my knee and it's never been the same since. So, that in mind, I always ride with keen pads WHEREVER I go, just for simple protection. You never know and I have smacked it a few times with the pad on. Don't want to think what could have happened without it.

    I think because of the amount of rocks at MS, I'd guess that 80% of the people that I see where knee pads. Everyone I saw today had them on (net wurker and creeper). But maybe we are just all rookies or light weights in some peoples eyes.

    I only use the full face when I bring out my FreeRide/DH bike. I currently don't have elbow pads, but they are on the way.

    It's up to you based on your skill and comfort level.

  34. #34
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    ok, thanks, any recommendations on gloves?

  35. #35
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    i just rode the family trail today on monte sano, when i got done with that, i decided to ride down sinks, i would say that that is the most fun/terrifying trail ive ever ridden, brakes slipped on the rocks covered in moss, hit a few trees, screwed up my brakes...

  36. #36
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    That would be a great section, but there is just no run off at the three benches. I'd love to go down without hitting the brakes at all..... again, if there was a run off.

  37. #37
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    same here, i stopped at three benches and hiked back up, very VERY dumb decision but i had to, i tried to go down without pressing my brakes, it was AWESOME, but i crashed into a tree trying to stop, VERY worth it

  38. #38
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    whats warpath like?

  39. #39
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    Pads are good.

    Warpath is fun.

    Trees make lousy brakes.
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  40. #40
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    like a long slightly less rocky sinks, I've ridden it fast last winter and picking lines was totally guess work, there are some really rocky parts that have some height to them at the lower part of the trail, as well as some at the top


    BTW, Net-Wurker, I'm Austin from the group ride a few weeks ago, the kid with the remedy
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  41. #41
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    Crashing is not fun, so learn how to crash by ripping up family trail and crashing there instead of a huge downhill. I am still trying to get into race shape and continuing to learn how to ride after four years of this, so take your time and ride like you want to ride tomorrow.

  42. #42
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    Warpath is kinda like Sinks, just a lot more huge rocks w/some small drops and a couple tight turns. I personally wouldn't suggest flying down Warpath, at least from OShaughessy Point.

  43. #43
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    So what is the best trail on Monte Sano? Is there a common favorite?
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  44. #44
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    Probably not too popular, but one of my favorites is going down McHay's Hollow.

    If you can do all the switchbacks at the bottom without dabbing, it's very satisfying. (and kinda scary)

    Austin, we missed you at the last Wednesday ride. I don't know if the rain is going to allow this week's Wednesday ride. You guys planning on riding this Wednesday? Weather permitting?
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  45. #45
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    I am a Keith and Logan Point kinda guy myself. Family is fun for going fast and for warming up.

  46. #46
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    Yeah, running Keith/Logan counter-clockwise is really fun. That seems to be the go-to route for us lately.
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by net wurker
    Yeah, running Keith/Logan counter-clockwise is really fun. That seems to be the go-to route for us lately.
    Clay, we've been riding that clockwise.

  48. #48
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    Where do you guys start to ride Keith/Logan? Do you start at sinks to Logan to Keith back to Sinks? I plan on riding Tuesday if the rain holds off today/tomorrow. I always go down Sinks and then hit the goat trail so I can cover myself in spider webs. I need to venture further.
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterdogs
    A given, you are going to fall. Anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves. Protection-wise, it just depends on how comfortable you are with different terrain. Back in high school, I had surgery twice on my knee and it's never been the same since. So, that in mind, I always ride with keen pads WHEREVER I go, just for simple protection. You never know and I have smacked it a few times with the pad on. Don't want to think what could have happened without it.

    I think because of the amount of rocks at MS, I'd guess that 80% of the people that I see where knee pads. Everyone I saw today had them on (net wurker and creeper). But maybe we are just all rookies or light weights in some peoples eyes.

    I only use the full face when I bring out my FreeRide/DH bike. I currently don't have elbow pads, but they are on the way.

    It's up to you based on your skill and comfort level.
    My thoughts are that those who don't wear pads have'nt slammed hard enough yet.

  50. #50
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    Net-wurker, I was tearing it up in colorado last week, but weather permitting I'll def be there this week prob with some of my pals. I'm gonna try to get a ride in today too
    If a XC bike with 4 in. of travel goes down the RedBull Rampage course and nobody is there to see it, is it considered DH

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