Coming to Houston...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    gunslinger
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    Coming to Houston...

    Picked up some contract work in Houston and will be moving down (from Utah) in just a few weeks. Will reside in the Clear Lake area, but looking to ride any ST 'round Houston.

    Even though I come from high humidity (swamps of FL), I haven't lived in it for a long time. Will be very interesting to see the diff between dry altitude (5000') and humid sea level.

  2. #2
    Fat Biker
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    Check out ghorba.org for a list of all our trails plus check the calendar and forum for any upcoming group rides and skills clinics. Being in Clear Lake you'll be close to Jack Brooks Park which has one of our more technical trails. In Houston you'll find that the technical feature of choice is roots. We don't have long climbs or downhills; rocks or ledges; nor do we have anything epic unless you count Double Lake which has 20 miles of singletrack. We do have lots of well maintained trails with enough challenges to keep you interested and if you want something more technical you can always drive to Austin, Smithville, or Warda. Give me a shout if you want a tour of all the local trails.

  3. #3
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    +1 on Jack Brooks Park. Cypresswood is a lot of fun as well. I like Double lake for the solitude and mileage. Memorial Park is a decent trail if you don't mind lots of roots, just stay away on the weekends and after 5 on the weekdays (gets a little crowded).

  4. #4
    gunslinger
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    Thanks for the replies... I've had my eye on JB and Memorial for several months now and have seen vids of both (posted here) and noticed the roots! While you can spit on world-class riding from almost anywhere in Utah, I just want to clip in, roll and find some decent cardio loops. 20 miles of ST sounds fine. I consider anything that challenges and let me see my max HR as epic!

    I'll definitely reach out once I hit the ground.

  5. #5
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    What part of Utah? I've spent quite a few weekends in Moab when I was living in SW CO. The heat/humidity isn't bad since there are no trails that require multi-hour climbs in the granny gear. Just remember October is only 4 months away.

  6. #6
    gunslinger
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    South Jordan - it's a suburb of Salt Lake City. There's so much good riding right here that I've never even considered driving all the way to Moab. Then again, I put my head down and pedal. I rarely take in the scenery. I find a route I like then work to improve time and avg HR.

  7. #7
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    Here's another video of Houston trails. This time the Anthills on the west side of town...

    <iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/v6Ixcu7FB_s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    I shot it this weekend as a test of fixed camera angles and light.

    Anthills is pretty much a there and back trail and about 8 miles of trails. Definitely quieter than Memorial park and at the moment running a bit smoother.
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

  8. #8
    Come see me after class
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    nice video, but too much coasting

  9. #9
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    I have ridden everything but Jack Brooks over the last couple of weeks. With our current drought, they're all getting a bit rough. I think the Ant Hills, with its high clay content, is in the best shape. Cypresswood, on the banks of a creek, is really, really sandy. Memorial Park isn't too bad, but as noted, gets very crowded, especially on weekday afternoons when everyone gets off work.
    Double Lake is a treasure that's less than an hour from my house. Not hard by any stretch of the imagination, but it's always been fun and the faster you push, the harder it gets. The new expansion over the last year is a huge victory for mountainbiking. Any of you who were at the ribbon cutting ceremony the day before the Big Ring Challenge heard what a miracle it was for a local group (GHORBA) to cut through the federal red tape to get the trail built. The race loop chosen with a mix of old and new trail was about 13 miles long. On raceday it was still very rough and bumpy, but with an excellent flow and cool variations of terrain. It's almost all heavily shaded, and that helps alot in our heat.
    I rode the same path again about 6 weeks later and it's already settling in nicely. I'd be glad to meet up there and show you around some time.

  10. #10
    gunslinger
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    I'm stoked that there's some decent riding right there. Not sure what it's like to ride 8 or 15 or 20+ miles of flat though!!! Hell, the way I ride, I can't do 20 miles here! My climbs routinely have me pushing a couple loops w/ 1200-1300' (or more) climbs in only a couple/few miles. I will miss that for sure. I'll take whatever I get though. I won't miss the descents.

  11. #11
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    our trails are best served fast. very fast.

  12. #12
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    I was reading on GHORBA's site that the Huntsville trail is getting an expansion. Does anybody know when this should be finished. I've hiked the L.S. trail behind the park and their is some pretty good elevation change. Should make for some good single track.

  13. #13
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    GHORBA received a grant from the State plus a big chunk of money from the Northwest Cycling Club to create 11 to 12 miles of singletrack out at Huntsville. When you turn into the park off of I-45 you can see the tract of land where the trail will be built immediately on the right. I have not walked that area but from what I've seen driving by it has much more elevation change that the current trail. It took a full 2 years to go from getting grant money to finished trail at Double Lake so expect the same at Huntsville. The trail has been mapped out but needs approval from the powers that be. Then the bidding proccess will begin and once that's over they can start working on cutting the trail. The Double Lake trail had to be re-routed due to some endangered species being on the land so it took a little longer than normal.

    Are you aware that Sugar Land got a grant from the State (I believe it was the State) to help finish the new Sugar Land River Bend mountain bike trail? It's located at Hwy 99 and Hwy 59 near the Memorial Hospital. The first section of the 5 to 6 mile trail has been finished and the rest will be done soon. The grant money will go to building a parking lot from what I understand.

    There's a GHORBA general meeting this Monday at the Jax Grill located on Shepard/Durham just south of I-10. It starts at 7pm. Show up for more info on these trails and more!

  14. #14
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    You'll miss Utah, but Houston/Austin/SE TX have enough trails to keep you occupied and in good shape. Even the best trails in the area are far below Lambert Park and American Fork Canyon, but that's what plane tickets are for.

    I'll agree that Timpanogos, North Fork, Wasatch, and Park City trails are nice, but Moab is in another spectrum...

  15. #15
    gunslinger
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    Quote Originally Posted by BGillespie View Post
    ...Houston/Austin/SE TX have enough trails to keep you occupied and in good shape.
    That's all I need. I've never ridden any of the places you've mentioned - no need or desire. Draper CC & Yellow Fork are close and I can get in, ride and leave w/o any trouble or crazy time commitment. I'm fighting the Reaper, not taking in scenery!

    I will miss the seriously challenging climbs, but I'll replace climbing w/ finding the fastest route A-B.

  16. #16
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    selector -

    Give me a PM when you arrive. I just relocated from Draper to Houston a few weeks ago. We kept our house in Draper, and will be moving back in a few years, but for the time being I am in Houston. I grew up here, however, but it has been about 16 years since I lived in Houston.

    I am happy to tour you around the area as well, from one Utard to another. TX riding is obviously very different from UT, and unlike you, I really miss the descents. TX is fun so far, though. I work on the SW side of Houston, and live between Galleria and downtown. I have been riding Memorial park solo about three times per week with lights to avoid the heat. Looking forward to hanging out with a fellow Utahn to explore the trails and share some good memories about Utah, corner canyon, etc.

    Mike

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by marzjennings View Post
    Here's another video of Houston trails. This time the Anthills on the west side of town...

    <iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/v6Ixcu7FB_s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    I shot it this weekend as a test of fixed camera angles and light.

    Anthills is pretty much a there and back trail and about 8 miles of trails. Definitely quieter than Memorial park and at the moment running a bit smoother.
    It's so odd how video makes things look easier than they are. This makes THP look like smooth doubletrack.

    For the new to Houston folks, don't let this fool you, there is a lot of fun to be had at Terry .Hershey Park.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by selector View Post
    I'm stoked that there's some decent riding right there. Not sure what it's like to ride 8 or 15 or 20+ miles of flat though!!! Hell, the way I ride, I can't do 20 miles here! My climbs routinely have me pushing a couple loops w/ 1200-1300' (or more) climbs in only a couple/few miles. I will miss that for sure. I'll take whatever I get though. I won't miss the descents.
    I love to ride memorial and Hershey, but it's quite a drive from Clear Lake. I've never ridden Brooks, but I need to.

    Are the new state park or Sugar Land trails any fun, or just flat stuff for people on hybrids? I need to get around more!

  19. #19
    gunslinger
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    Quote Originally Posted by drboudreaux View Post
    selector -

    Give me a PM when you arrive. I just relocated from Draper to Houston a few weeks ago. We kept our house in Draper, and will be moving back in a few years, but for the time being I am in Houston. I grew up here, however, but it has been about 16 years since I lived in Houston.

    I am happy to tour you around the area as well, from one Utard to another. TX riding is obviously very different from UT, and unlike you, I really miss the descents. TX is fun so far, though. I work on the SW side of Houston, and live between Galleria and downtown. I have been riding Memorial park solo about three times per week with lights to avoid the heat. Looking forward to hanging out with a fellow Utahn to explore the trails and share some good memories about Utah, corner canyon, etc.

    Mike
    I will do. I ride CC (your back yard) many days/week.

  20. #20
    gunslinger
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    Made it! Love the heat!

  21. #21
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    Welcome to town! Getting ready to go ride Memorial now.

  22. #22
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    Not positive yet, but thinking about doing a Double Lake ride on Monday, wheels down by 9. I'll post up here if it's for sure. Planning on doing a day trip to Austin Sunday to deliver a new bike to a kid on my team and ride the Green Belt there.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by selector View Post
    Made it! Love the heat!
    wait till august!!!! Welcome to Houston

  24. #24
    gunslinger
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARCHAIC View Post
    wait till august!!!! Welcome to Houston
    Will do!

  25. #25
    gunslinger
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    Rode Jack Brooks this am with some fine folks that invited me to tag along! I knew I needed to factor the difficulty in the vids I've been watching! Love being back in the humidity!

  26. #26
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    How was JB? I've been trying to get down there. I mostly ride Memorial and THP, can you compare them? It would be good to hear a comparison from someone new to the area and unbiased.

  27. #27
    gunslinger
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    The fella leading the ride today seemed to think it was in good shape. I don't know any different though!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwrides View Post
    How was JB? I've been trying to get down there. I mostly ride Memorial and THP, can you compare them? It would be good to hear a comparison from someone new to the area and unbiased.
    JB is very comparable to TH & Memorial difficulty wise. The dirt has much higher clay content, little to no sand. When dry, it gets a fine layer of dust on top and makes the climbs a little more difficult. The hills are a little more steep and long than Memorial or TH. A few cool TTF's too, like see-saw, etc.

    Definitely worth the drive, its only 45 min. from most anywhere in Houston.

  29. #29
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    Sweet! Thanks for the reply. I need to get down there.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by BGillespie View Post
    JB is very comparable to TH & Memorial difficulty wise.
    Sorry BGillespie but I have to disagree with you. I think that JB is MUCH more difficult that Terry Hershey & Memorial Park. At least the first few sections including The Beginning, Joggernaut, and Dragon's Back. At TH and Memorial you have long sections of easy trail and then a short section of somthing difficult. The sections at JB I listed are continuous rollercoasters of short but steep up-n-downs with lots of roots to throw you off the bike. If you are unable to carry fast speed around tight corners then you will not make it up the next hill. Aerobically JB will put a hurting on you fast!

  31. #31
    gunslinger
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    The roots at JB were probably the most technical thing I've ever dealt with. A few hear and there, no big deal... but IMO, they make that place tough. It's going to be a game of learning to ride them as opposed to memorizing where they are (everywhere). Luckily, having just come from 5500', and being a climber, I've got the lungs for whatever JB wants to throw my way. Loved the feel of a lot of sweat!

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by soccerdude View Post
    Sorry BGillespie but I have to disagree with you. I think that JB is MUCH more difficult that Terry Hershey & Memorial Park. At least the first few sections including The Beginning, Joggernaut, and Dragon's Back. At TH and Memorial you have long sections of easy trail and then a short section of somthing difficult. The sections at JB I listed are continuous rollercoasters of short but steep up-n-downs with lots of roots to throw you off the bike. If you are unable to carry fast speed around tight corners then you will not make it up the next hill. Aerobically JB will put a hurting on you fast!
    So it's like a huge version of the memorial park triangle?

  33. #33
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    Double Lake was good today. It had rained there yesterday so trail was packed in nice. Bad news though is the drought is really affecting things there. The lake is almost dry, park is closed to swimmers and day users (except for mountain bikers.) Drought is also causing trees to fall, over a dozen on the race loop ranging from rideover saplings to cyclocross dismounts. We need rain bad.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwrides View Post
    So it's like a huge version of the memorial park triangle?
    Similar. The short, steep uphills a numberous and come in rapid succession.

    GHORBA has a group ride this Saturday at 9:00 am so come out and ride with a group that fits your skill and endurance level. We'll have group leaders who know the trails well to show you around.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by soccerdude View Post
    Similar. The short, steep uphills a numberous and come in rapid succession.

    GHORBA has a group ride this Saturday at 9:00 am so come out and ride with a group that fits your skill and endurance level. We'll have group leaders who know the trails well to show you around.
    Thanks. I just might. 9 is pretty late to start this time of year. (I realize the vast majority would rather sleep in though)

  36. #36
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    I too moved recently from the Rocky Mtns - Denver. I miss the ascents on the road bike AND...drivers in Houston are not bike friendly!!! So, after 30 years on a road bike, I'm finings myself collecting 29ers. I am in the Memorial area. Shoot me a PM if looking for a ride!!

    Andy

  37. #37
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    I'm ~ 10-15 min. bike ride from Memorial (depending on my enthusiasm). Bent a brake lever there this morning.

  38. #38
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    I'm down if a few want to pull together a few rides - PM me and let's ride!!!

  39. #39
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    Meh, I'm game. Mostly ride in the mornings, depending on work/school schedule.

    Quite a few other ghorba peeps that live in the area as well.

  40. #40
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    the anthills are by far the most enjoyable trails in houston, to me, anyway. memorial is great early in the morning and on week days, when you can get the place to yourself. if you want something to really challenge yourself, do the triangle. jack brooks rocks but the mosquitoes suck and the drought has really cracked the ground there.

  41. #41
    gunslinger
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    Quote Originally Posted by bchimene View Post
    ...jack brooks rocks but the mosquitoes suck and the drought has really cracked the ground there.
    No mosquitoes the last couple of days and bug sprat keeps them off. Cracked ground??? The ST trail system??? Not really.

  42. #42
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    Jack Brooks Park FTW

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