Only four of us showed up for the truncated Pipeline Viewpoint Vacation. Too bad for those who stayed home. It was an incredible ride! Awesome trail! Outstanding views! Great company!
We started at the end-of-pavement faux cul-de-sac on Gilmore Trail Road. Chilly and wet, which means – no bugs! And no worries of sunburn or heat stroke!
Up the dirt part of Gilmore Trail, then off onto the Trapper Trail, which was better than expected – lots of ruts, puddles, and snotty mud. Yeehaw! We all rode slow, which means maybe we’re learning something about safety.
John demonstrated that taking Aristotle’s middle path through the puddles is usually — usually — the best route.
We took the bypass around the viewpoint rock outcrop, the first time we’ve taken that route up in a long time. All rideable!
Carl’s drivetrain started giving him problems – something about too much dirt in the chain. He stepped off to check it out, but forgot to check out what he was stepping off into. It was air. Down he went! Fortunately, he didn’t get hurt. Made Eric laugh, though.
At the next intersection, Eric and Carl used different methods to clean their drivetrains. Eric syphoned his Camelback and got it flowing in a nice stream. Carl used his mouth for the hydraulic power.
We rode to the new-ish Fort Knox bypass. Dave pointed out that the bypass requires a big drop and then a big climb. Eric suggested the group could turn around there, but the gang wanted to press on so we did. Besides, Eric wanted to check out the new topping Fort Knox put on the coarse section of rock on the reroute. (It looked good!)
We went all the way to where the trail crossed the Fort Knox mine and decided that was enough. It was breezy on top to add to the wet and cold. Just yummy for a long downhill!
On the way back we stopped by the viewpoint rock outcrop and took in the view. Outstanding! It was a real “cloud pleaser”!
Then back to all the puddles. Eric discovered that taking John’s middle path route is a great slo-mo adrenaline rush. Since you can’t see through the water, you never know how close you are to a rut! Carl discovered that if you are in a puddle and you step off into a slippery part you can slide down far enough to get your pants wet! But the best was Dave. He was so cute. He decided to try to keep his feet dry at the END of the ride!
We made it back to the cars without any blood or injuries, but we decided it was a great ride anyway.
P.S. Eric’s adventure continued when one of the front ball joints of his truck failed on the drive home. No injuries, but more adrenaline. At least it wasn’t his bike!
Report and photos by Eric.
Next ride is the Ester Dome Singletrack Plus. Check the ride schedule here: https://www.fairbankscycleclub.org/rides/tuesday-night-mountain-bike-rides/