Off the Road in the City……
May 23, 2011
“Blues skies…local MTB trails are open.”
Was thrilled this morning to see this tweet from @WORBA_MMB, the account of Metro Mountain Bikers, Milwaukee’s off-road biking club. The Metro Mountain Bikers maintain several areas of mountain biking singletrack around Milwaukee County. The Hoyt Park and Oak Hill sections are in located in Wauwatosa – the city just west of Milwaukee proper.
The weather was perfect for our first trail ride of the year. Sunny, 80 degrees. We put the hitch on the car, checked out the bikes; giving them the ABC once over – air, brakes, cranks and chains. Once that was complete, made sure we had all the gear – helmets, water, gloves, before heading out on the 5mile trip to the trails. Yes, I know we could have ridden, should have – in fact I ride past the Hoyt trails on my bike commute. However, kiddo doesn’t quite have his biking legs and stamina to do both the rides to and from plus the trails. Working on that is a goal for the year.
For this ride, we choose the Oak Hill 1 trail, aka Harley Woods, at Capitol Drive and Menominee Parkway. To get to the trails, you drop in on the north side of Capitol Drive, just west of the parkway and the river, east of 45. Trailhead is well marked, just look for the signs.
The trails are flowing, curvy single track. No tough climbs, but fun little touches of dips and creek crossings. The Metro Mountain Bikers do a great job of maintaining these – in keeping brush in check, building boardwalk type crossings, and installing rock and other armor in low lying spots.
The trail makes a 3mile loop heading out along 45 (which is only noticeable in one small section), and returning along the Menominee River. While not overly technical, and no steep climbs, the trail does force you to pay attention in order to successfully navigate the twisty spaces between the trees. Both kiddo and I were fascinated by the bench in the river – and couldn’t decide if when the river isn’t so high, if you could sit in it.
I also laughed at this tree. Apparently, a local beaver has the same opinion as I about having this tree at the base of a small hill with a slight curve in the trail. Tho’ I suppose it would prevent you from riding into the river.
The entire time, I could hear the voice of Tania, my instructor from the Ray’s Women’s Clinic
, telling me, “Eyes up, Kim”. I must say compared to the first time I rode this trail last fall, my skills and ability to tackle the trail have made dramatic improvements since that clinic. I am so looking forward to learning more at the Midwest Women’s Mountain Bike weekend next month. I even made a couple of tries at making it over a large log (these not so successful, but other smaller logs, no problem).
We had a great ride, a great time playing in the mud today. Brought a bit home with us.
And as I typed this, was reminded that it was a good thing we took advantage of this sunny afternoon – and how handy it is to get text updates via twitter from @WORBA_MMB, because my phone buzzed with this tweet:
“More rain, arghh!. Milwaukee MTB trails closed.”