No crashes. No swamps. No getting lost. No bear encounters. Yet, we still had fun!
Had a great first ride of the season for the Tuesday Night MTB Rides. Seven others came along with ride leaders Dave and Eric. We rode several of the old forestry roads in the Rosie Creek area of the Tanana Valley State Forest.
This ride is a ton-o-fun in the beginning. Down, down, down, down. No matter which way you go!
We headed down Flodin Road (known as Stairway to Heaven in winter during the Tanana River Challenge when you have to go up). We turned right onto Viereck’s Hook and then found the correct turn on to Viereck’s Loop. (Eric has missed that in the past, but he found it this time!) The Viereck trails are old forestry roads that had become too brushy to use, but they were brushed out a couple of years back after trails guy Geoff Orth, a former TNR rider, got some funding with help from some state forestry people. We offered our thanks.
At the end of Viereck’s Loop where it again meets Flodin Road, Eric tried to lead everyone uphill to the left, but Tony wasn’t having any of it. He knows these trails and knew we had to turn downhill to the right. Eric found a handy-dandy “you are here” sign and verified that Tony was right. Disappointing. Who knows where Eric would have led us?
At the next intersection, Eric was pretty sure he knew where he was. Despite that, he didn’t lead us down Flodin’s Connector into the swamp. But he had mission for the crew. A short way later, the crew got to a stream crossing that had culverts with much of the dirt around them washed away. A not-too-big old bridge lay off to the side. We all pitched in to lift it and place it across the culverts (leaving a narrow space for those who like to ride the eroded bumps).
Soon we came to the intersection with Otter Slide, Lookout, and Harrington’s Long Shot. We grunted up the short, steep Otter Slide and zipped down Lookout before cruising the contour-following Harrington’s Long Shot. We stopped and took in the one view spot along Harrington’s. (That’s one down side to these forestry roads. There’s not a lot of nice view points. It’s like when they built them all they cared about was doing forestry work!)
We also paused at the turnoff to the Beaver Slide and Lake Trail, a winter trail. Eric looked longingly at it, knowing there was swamp to be found down there, and Garrett was game to go, but wisely the group continued on Harrington’s.
Finally, we reached the intersection with Alden’s Pine Road. Again, Eric looked longingly to the left knowing there was swamp to be had. He pitched the idea to the group, but again only Garrett expressed an interest. Ah well, it would have made for a late night anyway.
We finally paid for all that descending earlier with a long climb up Alden’s, finally meeting up with Flodin Road and closing the loop. From there it was a short climb up Trailhead Access to the trailhead.
We had gotten spread out on the climb, but Will took advantage by bombing down Trailhead Access, using the rolling grade dips (used for water control) as jumps. He looked like he was having a blast as he blasted by the uphill-grunting Eric and Glenn.
At the trailhead we partook of some unhealthy snacks and soft drinks. (Well, Dave did buy some seltzer water so that was a healthy option.) We also fed a few skeeters who gathered with us.
If all that sounds like fun, come join us! We ride every Tuesday night until fall. Next week is the Skyline Ridge Skedaddle. Check out our schedule HERE. (The rides are free, but you’ll need to be a Fairbanks Cycle Club member.)
For those wanting to learn more about the Rosie Creek area trails or explore them on your own, check out Trailforks. They are all on there thanks (again) to Geoff. You can get the app on your phone so that you don’t get lost.