Monday, March 12, 2012

Lake Russell Part 2 & Fort Yargo SP

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, after a day of barely working, really tired but motivated by the weather, I got out to Lake Russell WMA again. This time I was going to explore the easterly cluster of trails. I didn't realize how tired I was until I pulled into the lot at the check station and lost all motivation to ride. Sat there for a few minutes contemplating driving back or taking a nap in the truck right there. Eventually I pulled myself together and slowly rolled over new ground. A wrong turn took me just shy of the trails I was aiming for, past a redneck camp and their two threatening dogs, and straight through that ounce of energy I was holding onto. So rather than looping back to where I wanted to go, I cut it short back to the truck, to a shower, and much needed, albeit brief, shut-eye in a proper bed.

Today I filled up at a rather excellent indian buffet in Athens with AT friends Travis and Casey then drove through intermittent rain on over to Fort Yargo State Park. Again, with waning motivation and energy, it took some effort to get started. With limited days off ahead, I had to get a long ride in so I told myself I'd do two loops of the 12.5 mile outer loop.

Trails were super well marked and maintained. I was reminded of the trails at Bluff Creek Ranch that I raced on last year in Texas and the Boggy Draw trails in Dolores, CO. There was plenty of quintessential Southeast too, with loose sand and pine needles over hard, red clay.

My first lap was slow, stopping to check the many maps along the way. I wasn't terribly impressed with the flow until I was warmed up and going fast through my second lap. Fast, low tread tires seem to be the ticket there. There aren't many places where you need slow, tall knobs. It's nearly devoid of rocks and what roots exist are easily rolled over. In fact, with the trails as hard as they were, I was fighting against my knobby tires slipping out underneath me through a lot of turns.

It got me wondering what tire/gear setup I'd run at the race there in May, as well as whether or not I want to race there for 6hrs or 9hrs. Nine might be pretty damn boring.

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