• 08-23-2010
    soccerdude
    GHORBA Group ride at BLORA & Dana Peak
    Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area is one of my favorite places to visit. Not only does it have a great mountain bike trail but there’s also one of the cleanest beaches in all of Texas with a fantastic swimming area complete with lifeguards. A couple of large waterslides, paddleboats, two hiking trails, plus covered picnic areas are all included in the $8.00 per car admission fee. For an extra $20 you can go on a nice, one hour horseback ride around Sparta Ridge. It’s a whole day of fun for next to nothing! BLORA is located near Killeen, TX on Ft. Hood property and is designed as a free recreation area for military personnel. Fortunately for us it’s also open to civilians so long as we pay the entrance fee.

    The BLORA mountain bike trail is an 8 to 10 mile intermediate/advanced trail that starts on the top of Sparta Mountain, gradually takes you to the bottom, and then abruptly brings you back to the top. There are plenty of advanced sections that offshoot from the main 8.5 mile intermediate trail but only strong climbers should attempt them. The intermediate trail can be rode by beginners so long as they are careful and walk sections that they don’t feel comfortable with. A good majority of the trail is embedded rock with small, loose rocks littered about. Large sections of cactus scattered around the trail really add to the scenery.

    Dana Peak located in Harker Heights, TX is a rocks throw from BLORA so there’s no reason to skip it. We will ride an 11 mile loop that is similar to the BLORA trail but has much less climbing and is easier overall. The plan is to ride BLORA on Saturday morning September 11th and Dana Peak on Sunday morning September 12th. Both rides will start at 9:00 am and we will have group rides for both trails. My good friend Pete Kutheis, also known as ArmySlowRdr on MTBR.com, will lead the intermediate/faster riders while I will lead the slower or less experienced riders.

    This is a great opportunity to bring the family and have a weekend adventure. BLORA alone is with the drive as there is so much to do for so little money. I am working on obtaining discount motel rates at the Super 8 located in Harker Heights which is located between BLORA and Dana Peak. I will post more information as I receive it.

    A map to BLORA can be found here: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en...11126&t=h&z=17

    A map to Dana Peak is here: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en...9ad97cfa7e94b3

    Trail reviews of BLORA: http://trails.mtbr.com/cat/united-st...1_4579crx.aspx

    Trail reviews of Dana Peak: http://trails.mtbr.com/cat/united-st...9_4579crx.aspx

    BLORA GPS track: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/44474613

    Dana Peak GPS track: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/15077355

    BLORA official website: http://www.hoodmwr.com/lake_activities.htm

    Before you ask I will tell you that you need a military ID to rent the cottages or motorboats that are available at BLORA. If you have a friend with a military ID they can rent these for you but they must be present when you check in. They can also get you free admission to the recreation area.

    Check back here for weather updates or to post questions.

    This ride is open to all bikers and not just GHORBA members. Invite all your friends and bring your family!
  • 08-24-2010
    ArmySlowRdr
    Look forward to these rides.

    BLORA is different in that the trail does not see a lot of grooming or sanitizing via rock "sweeping"--the climbs can be a challenge, but thankfully there is a lot of flat, swoopy stuff sprinkled throughout.

    Dana Peak doesn't get a lot of out of town visitors probably because it has never hosted a race. I thought there was a Bike/swim scheduled there this fall sometime but have lost trck of it. And it may have been road bike/swim at that. Everyone is sure to enjoy this trail as it has lots of flats, very short climbs and tons of flow.

    Hold back on the new bike and parts stuff so we don't get rain;) :D

    See everyone on weekend of 11, 12 Sept.
  • 08-26-2010
    soccerdude
    Super 8 Motel Discount Rate
    I've made arrangements with the Super 8 Motel located in Harker Heights, TX for the weekend of September 11th and 12th. The motel is located between BLORA and Dana Peak which works out perfectly. You need to make reservations no later than September 3rd before 4:00pm.

    Go to the GHORBA website for more information: http://www.ghorba.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6672#6672
  • 08-29-2010
    ArmySlowRdr
    trail condition update
    Trail update--BLORA

    I finally made it out there around 330ish today.

    The large tree down across sidewinder has been "chain-sawed" and the trail is passable.

    For those not feeling like doing the descent and then all the climbing, the green Nolan Trail has recovered nicely. A well defined ribbon of dirt, and in some areas dry grass, exists all the way abck to the parking lot--additionally this entire trail has been signed in probably at least 20 places saying Nolan Trail and eventually "Parking Lot". I don't know how long this has been done as it has been
    at least a year, maybe two since I believe I've been on Nolan Trail.

    The information board in the parking area has trail maps available.

    Outdoor rec now requires a phone number when signing in and that you call them or swing by as you depart. If not they will call you. All that I think because someone recently managed to get lost and had to be rescued.

    One other user on trail. It was hot and humid. Otherwise it was the usual dodge overgrowth and loose rock,,, trail au natural..

    Plan on seeing everyone in a coupla weekends.
  • 09-01-2010
    soccerdude
    Don't forget you have until 4:00 pm this Friday to reserve a room at the Super 8 Harker Heights. Don't miss out on a fun weekend!
  • 09-05-2010
    soccerdude
    The weather forcast is looking better and better. Low 90's and a 20% chance of rain. Will update later in the week.
  • 09-05-2010
    ArmySlowRdr
    Might be some rain mid-week. But hopefully not too much.
    How was your ride at Huntsville?
    Today I checked out Dana Peak all the way to the Bench--twin benches now--all was clear.
    Tomorrow since I'm off I plan on hitting up Slaughter Creek in Austin again.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by soccerdude
    The weather forcast is looking better and better. Low 90's and a 20% chance of rain. Will update later in the week.

  • 09-05-2010
    soccerdude
    Huntsville was nice. The trail received some rain which helped a lot. The sand there is thick and plentiful so a little rain is always welcome. Thanks for the update on Dana Peak. Can't wait for next weekend to arrive so we can ride. It's been too long since I've been to Belton Lake.
  • 09-08-2010
    soccerdude
    Just got an update from our man-on-the-spot reporter ArmySlowRdr. He lives in the area and has an official rain gauge at his house. Belton Lake received 15 inches of rain and the trail will not be rideable till next week at the earlies. That said we are rescheduling the ride to next weekend, September 18th and 19th. Check back here for updates next week.

    Most of the trails in our area received lots of rain as well but I'm hoping we can get a group ride to Bluff Creek Ranch this weekend. Six inches fell in Warda but hopefully they will be dry this Saturday. Unless otherwise noted plan on meeting at 9:00 am in front of the ranch house with wheels down at 9:30 am.

    Mike
  • 09-15-2010
    soccerdude
    Reimers Ranch and Krause Springs
    Belton Lake and Dana Peak are flooded and therefore all lake and water activity (plus the trails) are closed. So, Iíve decided to take a trip to Austin and ride at Reimerís Ranch then take a dip at Krause Springs. Both are located west of Austin in Spicewood, Texas. The ranch has miles and miles of trails for everyone of every skill level plus the Pedernales river runs thru it so you can take a dip. Rock climbing is also available.

    Krause Springs is without a doubt the most scenic swimming area in all of Texas! My wife Lorey and I went earlier this year and loved it.

    Cost is $5.00 per person for Krause Springs and $5.00 per person for Reimerís Ranch. The distance to Spicewood, Tx is the same as going to Belton Lake. We will arrive at 9:00 am and start riding about 9:30 am. Will ride the trails for a few hours then go to Krause Springs.

    Iíve attached links to websites for both Krause Springs and Reimerís Ranch:

    Krause Springs: http://krausesprings.net/index.html

    Reimerís Ranch: http://www.austinbike.com/mtb/reimersranch/index.asp