Take your bike to Indiana! It's all true...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Take your bike to Indiana! It's all true...

    I post this here because I know there are a lot of Hoosiers who've relocated to the WNC region (myself included) and because we trail builders need to take note.

    Tash and I went up to visit the family for the holiday and since we've heard the buzz about all the new trail they're building up there in Indiana, we finally took our bikes to find out if they know what they're talking about.

    I'm here to raise my right hand and place my left on my Pisgah map and tell you it's TRUE! Holy heck is it true!! We road Brown County State Park in the south central part of the state, about 15ish miles east of Bloomington. I know nearly everyone will read this and role their eyes and call me crazy, but I'm going to say it anyways because it's true. They are building better trail than us, by a good long ways. Granted, I think it's fairly accurate to say we have 10x the elevation and distance they have, but they may have us edged on the fun factor IMHO. We road a 23 mile loop that never felt flat either. They're building on as steep of side slopes as we are, I promise. They have a great deal with their land manager it seems because they are building Purpose Built Trail from scratch. We don't have too much of that. They have maybe the worlds best rock to armor and build fun stuff with too. But what they're doing with those opportunities is where we need to take lessons. For you builder types, you should see some of the vision that must have gone into some of the climbing turns. Oh, and they have sweet native material type wood work for bridges and a couple play spots. The builder of that system will/should be famous.

    I road one they have about 2/3 done called Schooner Trace (technically it's not officially opened yet) that they label as an Expert Only Trail. I can hear you laugh and see your eyes rolling already but I think it's......better than Squirrel Gap. Okay, I'll take the skeptics ridicule, but I'll stand by it.

    Take your bike next time you're heading that way.

    ~Shaun

  2. #2
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    I believe you!! The worst part is that my buddy lives 5 minutes from there and doesn't ride a bike!!! I will be visiting him soon, sahhhweeet.
    BS'ing less, riding more.

    Supporting PAS
    Upstate SORBA
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  3. #3
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    Hey, but then I'd have to travel to Indiana...

    right? or is there a way around this?

    glad they're doing good things there.
    My one says BRAP!

  4. #4
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    Let us know when you head up our way

    Us Hoosiers keep an eye on the MTBR NC forum, as we have logged a lot of miles driving down to ride in your mountains, but the best way to let us know your coming is to post on www.hmba.org/smf

    We will roll out the red carpet and may even ride with you and show you the new stuff we are working on. These days, we have mostly built trails all over the state just waiting for the official openings.

    While we only have about 3 miles built at O'Bannon State Park, we are convinved that it will be our little Pisgah.

    Paul

  5. #5
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    I've ridden the trails at Brown County State Park probably more than a dozen times, even raced there sport one year on a total whim. My brother lives just outside Bloomington. These trails are a blast, reminds me quite a bit of the stuff out at Kerr Scott Reservoir, esp. the Overmountain Victory Trail. I'm planning on heading to BCSP for the Brown County Breakdown, will probably do the 75 mile variety...much fun!

    BREAKDOWN!

  6. #6

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    If nothing too important happens that weekend, I'm already thinking I'll be up for a quick trip back up there for their Breakdown. I almost called the boss and told him I'd be back a day late so I could get another hit on the way back home yesterday

    You guys are being modest if you don't think Schooner is pure Pisgah+ already

  7. #7
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    I left that area just before they began digging. I like to think that my trail at Valley Branch inspired them

    Forget what you think you know about Indiana; the southern half has some steep hills. I seem to recall a 12 or 24 hour race that had something like 1700' of climbing per lap. Up, down, up, down, up, down.... I always felt like the area could be a real destination. It's nice to see it happening.

  8. #8
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    I think our whole state could be a destination, but especially the southern third. There's pockets of single track gems all throughout the state, the vast majority of it purpose built for mountain biking.

    For what it's worth, O'bannon Woods will be the $$$. I haven't been there since it was renamed, but there is the potential for some scary trails going up and down the rocks.

    I'm planning a trip to brown county soon myself, of course I only have to drive 3 hours. Like many other Hoosiers, I'll make it over to Pisgah this fall too.

  9. #9
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    Rollercoaster

    I left that area just before they began digging. I like to think that my trail at Valley Branch inspired them
    Yes, Rollercoaster opened a lot of eyes. I haven't made it to Valley Branch yet this year, but need to swing by there some time soon. Maybe a week night trip with the lights charged up

  10. #10
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    I always liked Rollercoaster at VBR too, but my personal favorite is Hoot Owl Hollow.

    The last time we were there, my bro and I cooked Bratwurst over the fire. We were the only ones camping that night, man alive we got absolutely invaded by raccoons. THEY WERE LITERALLY EVERYWHERE. pawprints all over my car, paws on our tent in the middle of the night, turned over the rocks to our fireplace...madnesss! lesson learned!

  11. #11
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    I rode BCSP on Sunday. Rode about 27 miles (per a blog on BCSP) and climbed 2120 feet (per my Polar 710). I rode everything except Schooners and did a little extra on the North Tower Loop.

    It is great riding on well designed and built trails. I'd give it 3 thumbs up if I had another thumb.

    Edit to add: If you are going up from SC/NC and have to go thru KY, go over and ride in Daniel Boone National Forest around Morehead. It is "Pisgah Lite" as I like to call it. The opposite of BCSP...old school primitive single with steepies and technical trail in a more backcountry setting. It is an hour east of Lexington. I'd recommend Buckskin, Big Limestone and several others in the area. Quality riding for sure, I'd just check on conditions if it is winter time as the horses can make it a mess at times. Usually good to go outside of winter time from my experience.

  12. #12
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    seenvic is there a trails illustrated map of Daniel Boone? How did you navigate the area?

    When driving through I always figured that there had to be some good trails in that area!

  13. #13
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    http://www.outragegis.com/store/product.php?productid=3

    These are maybe the best trail maps I have ever seen of any trail. I use them when I ride DBNF.

  14. #14
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    I rode Daniel Boone trails for three days two weeks ago. They're AWESOME as long as avoid some of the most horsed up areas. The trails around Cave Run Lake, Zilpo recreation add up to about 20 miles of super-prime ST with about 20 more miles of rideable, but horsed up, ST/DT areas.
    If you go and want it to be easy, just camp at Zilpo Recreation area and use the FREE paper map of Cave Run Lake. It's got all the trails on it and is very accurate.

    The thing that sets some of these trails apart is their lack of use. Buckskin trail, for example, has a 6-7 mile section that is almost never more than 20 inches wide or so and is mostly all rideable. Super nice. It's also so much the middle of nowhere...it takes about an hour to get to a grocery store from the campground and a 1/2 hour to even get to convenience store (dry county, FWIW).

    Shaun- I think the biggest challege we've always faced to getting our MTB community excited about trail work is the MILES of trails we already have, not the quality. Why bother when you've already got everything we've got, even if a lot of it isn't "purpose built"? Also, we haven't had the great locations for new trail construction (yet). Even DuPont has been mostly re-routes and re-works, not new trail. When Alexander and Richmond Hill are the best sites we've been able to get access to, it's hard to get everyone excited...so long as they have other places to ride.

    Enough ramble, back to work.

  15. #15
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    VBR or Gnawbone is also a great place to ride. I love BCSP and wished it was much closer, but you really have to put in some miles to really feel like you went somewhere. But, I also have a hard time not grinning ear to ear the whole time there.

    I second the fact that southern IN has some elevation. Ferdinand is 1500' per 10 mile lap and we are only up to 10 miles because of some re-routes to tame down some hills.

    I would still give it up in a millisecond to move to Brevard! You guys have it made down there!

    You also might want to look at the London, KY area. That would be a little closer for you and some sweet and rugged trails.

  16. #16
    It's not what you think.
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    On my list for this summer. I spend a week in central IN so this will be close enough for a day trip.

    Here's a link to a vid. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKOqNxFXxWQ

    A few more http://www.youtube.com/view_play_lis...AF95BF6F62BF16
    SORBA-Woodstock Diggin' dirt since 1999.

  17. #17
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    Great post! Always good to hear about new trails.

    I spend a week in central IN

    Darn Yankee Southerners... get'cher grammar on, son.



    "Housemateless Summer".
    Now you're cast of steel and cast aside. Broken dreams maybe, but you haven't died

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by M-U-M
    Darn Yankee Southerners... get'cher grammar on, son.



    "Housemateless Summer".
    Now MUM just for clarification, there's a big differance between Midwesterners and Yankees. In my experience there's a line some place near the Ohio/Pennsylvania state line where eggs turn from "over easy" to "dippy" and "subs" turn to "hoagies" and the whole speed of the world changes

  19. #19
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    Mr. & Mrs. Nips ate my grits.

    Single speeding, pet cat and children ensued.



    Talk about changes....
    Now you're cast of steel and cast aside. Broken dreams maybe, but you haven't died

  20. #20
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    Bent Creek is pretty cool...

  21. #21
    It's not what you think.
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-U-M
    Mr. & Mrs. Nips ate my grits.

    Single speeding, pet cat and children ensued.



    Talk about changes....
    I was wondering wtf happened to me? It was your grits!!
    SORBA-Woodstock Diggin' dirt since 1999.

  22. #22
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    Yep, Brown County is a fun place to ride allright, it's a rollercoaster with no waiting line .

    I live about 200 mi north of there and I'm completely disgusted with myself that I never rode there until last summer, I had a blast! I was riding a particularly fun section and was actually laughing out loud when I came around a blind bend and there were two girls hiking. I'm sure they heard me laughing, they probably thought I was a little goofy.

  23. #23
    Drinker w/ Riding Problem
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricko
    Yep, Brown County is a fun place to ride allright, it's a rollercoaster with no waiting line .

    I live about 200 mi north of there and I'm completely disgusted with myself that I never rode there until last summer, I had a blast! I was riding a particularly fun section and was actually laughing out loud when I came around a blind bend and there were two girls hiking. I'm sure they heard me laughing, they probably thought I was a little goofy.

    there's no doubt about, you are goofy Rick you need to make a trip down, i need more of that 3floyds Robert the Bruce

  24. #24
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    I can confirm these rumors as well. HMBA contracted with me (Trail Dynamics) to come and speak at the annual meeting and spend 3 days looking at Brown County and O-Banon State Parks. They have built some great trail there and have lots of great potential up in that neck of the woods.

    My hat is off to HMBA and all the hard work they have put in.

    Woody

  25. #25
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    Bolder Switch Back

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman
    I can confirm these rumors as well. HMBA contracted with me (Trail Dynamics) to come and speak at the annual meeting and spend 3 days looking at Brown County and O-Banon State Parks. They have built some great trail there and have lots of great potential up in that neck of the woods.

    My hat is off to HMBA and all the hard work they have put in.

    Woody
    Woody,

    We are making progress near the boulder switch back.



    Hand build trail on steep side slope



    Hand bench cut volunteers



    Alex doing some hand bench work



    View from the boulder filled ravine.

    Paul

  26. #26
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    Paul,


    Keep up the good work, thanks for the progress report and photos. You guys rock. Let me know if I can help out with any of the other land managing agencies.

    Woody

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