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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Oh man the Sugar Loop is fun. Steep downhills, fast huge berms, and lots of jumps. That being said, it is designed to be equally fun and fast both directions, so that means the fun steep berms rides down=painful steep climbs on the opposite of it. lol It's not 100% complete as they are still working on some of it, but you can ride it. 4 miles long. Rock gardens. Rock jumps. A wooden drop off feature that lands in some sketchy rocks that are designed to destroy tires/rims that I will avoid until they fix the landing area. I am not in anyway scared of a few foot drop, but not going to chance my tires/rims with a 6 mile hike back to the parking lot. lol
 

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yea, I am not a fan of the loops style...

I've been keeping an eye out for the trail map to be posted... is the entrance to this loop also from the cassidy lot?

also, what's your favorite bike shop around the area? I ask because it seems that most of the shops cater to more road or xc type of riding. and from your posts here, you seem like a rowdier style of rider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yea, I am not a fan of the loops style...

I've been keeping an eye out for the trail map to be posted... is the entrance to this loop also from the cassidy lot?

also, what's your favorite bike shop around the area? I ask because it seems that most of the shops cater to more road or xc type of riding. and from your posts here, you seem like a rowdier style of rider.
The entrance is about the 1/2 way point of the Winn loop. At the bottom of the loop 4.5 ish miles in, you will be right next to Waterloo Rd. You will see the trail breaks off and crosses Waterloo. That is the Sugar Loop. So you have to ride the Orange loop and the Sugar Loop together. Yes, the Cassidy lot is the easiest way there. From the main lot, you'd have to ride Green to Blue, then jump on Orange, cross over to the Sugar Loop, finish Orange, Blue, and finally back around Green to the main parking lot.

I unfortunately don't know any bikes shops in that area. I live in Farmington Hills. Bought my Evil from Moosejaw in Birmingham and they seem like good people there. My Stumpjumper was purchased at Fraser Bicycle in Fraser. They treated me right. My wife and stepson's bikes came from Town&Country in Northville. No issues there either. However, the workers do seem xc oriented themselves usually. I've been riding for 1 year and have been to Boyne Highlands twice. The last worker I talked to at Moosejaw was interested in Boyne, but has never been. Definitely have to order most parts/tires when it comes to rowdy/fun stuff too as the LBS seem to stock 2.3 xc style tires and clipless pedals (flats only for me).... Did get my Five10s from REI. Recently switched back to Vans though.

And yes, I love jumps and drops. I'm a 43 year old big kid when it comes to bikes. Bunny hop down stairs, and the like. My fitness isn't great. I'm terrible at pedaling/climbing endurance, but trying to get back into Army fighting shape though. lol If the weather is good, the Duke of MTB, the Duchess, and I are heading to Blue Mountain bike park in Ontario at the end of the month. Flow trails, jumps, and drops a plenty. Most likely some steep tech too.

I even have a small kicker ramp and a mini drop (2 ft) I built for my yard to practice on and try and get my wife comfortable on too. lol
Why don't you like the loop format of trails?
 

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The entrance is about the 1/2 way point of the Winn loop. At the bottom of the loop 4.5 ish miles in, you will be right next to Waterloo Rd. You will see the trail breaks off and crosses Waterloo. That is the Sugar Loop. So you have to ride the Orange loop and the Sugar Loop together. Yes, the Cassidy lot is the easiest way there. From the main lot, you'd have to ride Green to Blue, then jump on Orange, cross over to the Sugar Loop, finish Orange, Blue, and finally back around Green to the main parking lot.

I unfortunately don't know any bikes shops in that area. I live in Farmington Hills. Bought my Evil from Moosejaw in Birmingham and they seem like good people there. My Stumpjumper was purchased at Fraser Bicycle in Fraser. They treated me right. My wife and stepson's bikes came from Town&Country in Northville. No issues there either. However, the workers do seem xc oriented themselves usually. I've been riding for 1 year and have been to Boyne Highlands twice. The last worker I talked to at Moosejaw was interested in Boyne, but has never been. Definitely have to order most parts/tires when it comes to rowdy/fun stuff too as the LBS seem to stock 2.3 xc style tires and clipless pedals (flats only for me).... Did get my Five10s from REI. Recently switched back to Vans though.

And yes, I love jumps and drops. I'm a 43 year old big kid when it comes to bikes. Bunny hop down stairs, and the like. My fitness isn't great. I'm terrible at pedaling/climbing endurance, but trying to get back into Army fighting shape though. lol If the weather is good, the Duke of MTB, the Duchess, and I are heading to Blue Mountain bike park in Ontario at the end of the month. Flow trails, jumps, and drops a plenty. Most likely some steep tech too.

I even have a small kicker ramp and a mini drop (2 ft) I built for my yard to practice on and try and get my wife comfortable on too. lol
Why don't you like the loop format of trails?
at last, another rowdy type rider! I am 36, rode bikes in my younger years until I got my driver's license. Picked up riding again last year, got my bike from treefort in ypsi, but have visited D&D (plymouth and wesland), sweetbikes (canton), motorcity (nee fraser of ann arbor and canton), town and country (northville), and wheels in motion (ann arbor). Oh, and of course REI ann arbor and REI northville. So much xc and roadie.

Duke of MTB was the only other person I found in the area that's into jumps and drops rather than just sit and pedal. I even emailed him asking about his prefer tires for the area, since everyone else here is running XC tires. He said he runs minion DHs for convenience for those trips to blue mountain and suffers the rolling resistance; I chose specialized butcher/slaughter.

I'm not a fan of pedaling/climbing either. I prefer to play on my bike and if at the end of playing I ended up logging some miles, great. Unlike most people I see out here who literally came out to just put some miles of climbing in. Which I can see why DTE was built in the loop format, so people can literally ride all the trails in succession over and over...

climbing the loops is an inefficient way to get to the top, I prefer to just climb up a wide trail and then fly down the trail. If you are familiar with the green loop, on clockwise days, the trails is climb climb climb climb to the blue-green interchange, then it's all downhill back to the main lot. so instead, I take the short cut (straight at the start of the trail instead of left) and climb up that way to quickly get to the blue-green interchange and ride back down.

I don't have yard to put a drop in, but I've thought about building a little ramp for practice. I'm sometimes always looking at local parks or industrial parks for stairs or features to ride.

Have you been to Bandemer Park in Ann Arbor? there's a bike jump park, I've been once. It's not bad. I also hear that theyre building a pump track off of hines drive. Hopefully it'll be bigger than the pump track at lakeshore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've seen FB pics of the park pieces going in at Hines. Yeah, I know I need to climb more and get in better shape/be healthier, but I still just love "playing bikes." lol I haven't done green since last year, been sticking to blue and orange this year. My wife and 25 year old, in shape stepson, both hate the pedaling at Tree Farm. lol I live across the street from an OCC campus too. Some fun staircases there. I have plenty of yard and plan to build a few more play things for it. I keep them portable so I put them in the garage when I'm done. Next year I plan to build a permanent one or two that the wife will grow a garden around so it will look nice as well as be fun. Northville has some good climbing hills (to justify and qualify as exercise lol) as well as a few fun staircases for when the trails are too wet to ride.

Have not been to Bandemer. Been to Ray's in Cleveland quite a few times though. Will be going again this winter when they open back up. I'm not a great jumper. Trying to get better and more comfortable doing it. I'm a lifelong bar jerker and dead sailor. Bad combination. Even as a kid. I never knew I was doing it wrong until last year.

I like the Butcher/Purgatory that came on my Stumpjumper. My Evil currently has Maxxis DHF/DHR2 from the factory, but I have some WTB Vigilante/TrailBoss to switch to when I stop being lazy. Changed out the 2.6 Butcher/Purg on my wife's Stumpy in favor of 2.8 DHF/DHR2, as she prefers bigger tires. She started on a 3.0" plus Specialized Fuze and grew to like the wider tires.

Ed and Cory (Duke&Duchess) are good people. They both love to jump/hit drops. If you ever feel like coming my way, stop by. We can play bikes. I'll set up my drop and ramp, plus we can cruise over to the college and hit some stairs/drops off benches. Whatever else we can find to do boy things off of. lol

I'm on facebook. (I know, who isn't lol)
Craig Shaw
 

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I'm not a fan of pedaling/climbing either. I prefer to play on my bike and if at the end of playing I ended up logging some miles, great. Unlike most people I see out here who literally came out to just put some miles of climbing in. Which I can see why DTE was built in the loop format, so people can literally ride all the trails in succession over and over...

climbing the loops is an inefficient way to get to the top, I prefer to just climb up a wide trail and then fly down the trail.
Michigan shops definitely cater to the XC mindset, but there are other aggressive riders out there. I started out as a play around and jump everything rider with crappy fitness for a long time. Over the years I've gotten stronger and faster and now in my 40s I'm the strongest and fastest I've ever been. Now I can hammer the climbs and still have energy to play on the DH. If the trails are built well, with some flow and grade reversals, the climbs can actually get fun. Best of both worlds.

Wide climbing trails can get pretty boring. I climbed a ton of fire roads to get to singletrack while I lived out west. If it weren't for the views, it gets old. Just try lapping the trails off Benson grade in Marquette for a taste of that. Great descents but you'll be bored on the way up every lap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Michigan shops definitely cater to the XC mindset, but there are other aggressive riders out there. I started out as a play around and jump everything rider with crappy fitness for a long time. Over the years I've gotten stronger and faster and now in my 40s I'm the strongest and fastest I've ever been. Now I can hammer the climbs and still have energy to play on the DH. If the trails are built well, with some flow and grade reversals, the climbs can actually get fun. Best of both worlds.

Wide climbing trails can get pretty boring. I climbed a ton of fire roads to get to singletrack while I lived out west. If it weren't for the views, it gets old. Just try lapping the trails off Benson grade in Marquette for a taste of that. Great descents but you'll be bored on the way up every lap.
I'm working on it, trying to get my fitness better. I often tell people that mountain biking is the most fun you'll have exhausting yourself.
 

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Wide climbing trails can get pretty boring. I climbed a ton of fire roads to get to singletrack while I lived out west. If it weren't for the views, it gets old. Just try lapping the trails off Benson grade in Marquette for a taste of that. Great descents but you'll be bored on the way up every lap.
I can't say how I'd feel about getting bored riding up the fire roads since I've never experienced it. I don't think I'd mind it though as I lean more towards the intense interval type of work outs.

The thing with those grade reversals is that it takes me too long to switch gears (literally and figuratively). It might help if I memorized the trails. But usually I can't decide if the grade reversal switching to down is short enough where I don't need to change gears or drop the seat, or if it's long and rowdy enough to buckle down and ride. Then when it changes back to going up, I'm not sure if it's just a hump or if we're really going to sit and grind now.

I'm sure it's also because I'm not in shape, as I see faster xc-type riders ride through those ups and down without altering much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can't say how I'd feel about getting bored riding up the fire roads since I've never experienced it. I don't think I'd mind it though as I lean more towards the intense interval type of work outs.

The thing with those grade reversals is that it takes me too long to switch gears (literally and figuratively). It might help if I memorized the trails. But usually I can't decide if the grade reversal switching to down is short enough where I don't need to change gears or drop the seat, or if it's long and rowdy enough to buckle down and ride. Then when it changes back to going up, I'm not sure if it's just a hump or if we're really going to sit and grind now.

I'm sure it's also because I'm not in shape, as I see faster xc-type riders ride through those ups and down without altering much.
I do get lazy/tired occasionally and don't drop my seat as a lot of the descents are short anyway. lol
 

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"Ed and Cory (Duke&Duchess) are good people. They both love to jump/hit drops. "

They just posted a nice video to FB of Copper Harbor ride. I'll have to hit Red Trail next time I'm up there (hopefully in Sept).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
"Ed and Cory (Duke&Duchess) are good people. They both love to jump/hit drops. "

They just posted a nice video to FB of Copper Harbor ride. I'll have to hit Red Trail next time I'm up there (hopefully in Sept).
Yep, watched it this morning. Good stuff. I'd love to make my way up there some day. Looking forward to Blue Mountain soon. Boyne is supposed to update their IG with the new flow trail they are building right now. So I might make it up to Boyne one more time too. Maybe not this year though. Who knows.
 

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Sugar loop was a blast both directions. I think CCW has you descending for longer (less steep more drawn out downhills), but CW has more fun stuff. The big rock jump on "Upside Down" going CW is huge, I cased it pretty hard. Checking strava, I was doing 25mph going into it... The rock features at the top of Big Rock Candy Mountain are a ton of fun too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So far I've only ridden it the one time and that was CCW. I was there for the opening, but stuck to the Orange loop that day. lol Lame, I know. The one big rock feature does look like CW would be the way to go. They were building it at the time I rode through. Will need to get back out there for sure. Specially as our season is winding down and it will be time to start going to Ray's in Cleveland again.
 

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I've been waiting for trailforks or projectmtb to have this trail added, I want to see the elevation map.
Here's what my bike computer shows for elevation. 0-4.25 miles is Cassidy lot and first half of Winn CW, the highlighted section is 1 lap of Sugar CW, then another 4 mile lap, and then Winn back to the parking lot.
 

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