Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Black Otter Trail

34 degrees
~9 miles

Today during my lunch break I headed out toward Two Moon Park again but as I crossed Main Street I thought I'd go check and see if one of my favorite rides was open. There has been some major road construction on Airport Road and in the process of the work, the lower half of the Black Otter Trail was removed. I bolted over there on Main Street to Airport Road and saw that entrance to the Black Otter Trail was still there. However, when I got there I noticed the road went down into the ground instead of up to the top of the rims. They used the land where the Black Otter Trail was to put in an underpass to the neighborhood North of Airport Road. I'm a little ticked off but I know other ways to get to the trail. So I turn around and truck it up Airport Road until I can see the old Black Otter Trail. I cut across the road and over the re-grading they had done until I reached the trail. When I got there I noticed that the road was now solely a bike path...Nice! I can't complain anymore. The entrance to the path was only 30-50 feet from where I was near the underpass. I'm still not sure how to safely get there but I'm sure there is a way.

Anyway, I start cranking up the road remembering how hard this ride is. When I get to the top, I notice some double track paths carved into the landscape. I really have the mountain biking bug now so I took one of them that lead me to a single track. I followed the single track along the hillside until I hit the bottom near where I had started, turned around and trekked back up the trail. At the top I found more off-road trails. These trails are much harder than the other trails I've been riding, mostly because the ground is so soft that your wheels spin out on any incline. I played for awhile but the trail was slow and my bike was acting up. Since the end of my lunch hour was quickly approaching, I worked my way back to the paved trail and flew down it to the end at 27th Street. I have a lot more exploring to do of that area now.

At the end of the trail there is a new tunnel that goes underneath 27th so you don't have to cross it anymore. I took the tunnel and scrambled up the other side to hop the guardrail and ride 27th back into town. 27th Street is a steep road going from the top of the rims right back into town. I flew down 27th at 35+ miles an hour when some idiot in a large SUV pulled out in front of me. Not want to brake, I popped into the left lane and passed the SUV. He never even saw me until I pulled out in front of him. As I got into town, traffic picked up and I was now riding in bumper to bumper traffic with no shoulder. I don't know what's scarier, passing a vehicle at 35 mph down a hill, being forced to keep up with 25 mph traffic in downtown, or trying to get into the left lane in that traffic to make a left hand turn. I made it but its not an experience I'd like to repeat any time soon.

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