Bethany and I finally made it up to the 'other' kettle moraine to ride the new singletrack at Greenbush. We camped up at one of our favorite state parks not too far from there and rode both Saturday and Sunday.
We received some very light sprinkles of rain in the whee hours of Saturday's predawn, that didn't set off any alarms in our heads about being able to ride, so after we exercised the dogs and enjoyed a casual breakfast, we headed out to the Greenbush trailhead. The first thing we did was to do a little recon of the group camping area for k-palooza. The group camp is all new and expanded (from my memory) and as we headed back into the winding gravel access road, we started to see that we had stumbled accross some sort of pirate reinacting group that numbered in the low hundreds. That looked like fun....but we had left our peg leg and wise ass parrot at home, so we retreated to the picnic area that we had always ridden from before. Right from the beggining the trail is clearly signed with the loop number and arrows to point the way to go. It was just before ten am and as soon as we entered the singletrack I could see that this was going to be great. Loop 2 starts with a serpintine flowy down hill (photo above) that was just moist enough to make all the glacial erratics and roots slick as snot. The dirt was drying to traction sweet chewiness, but the plentiful rocks and roots were like wet glass. The bench cutting is epic on this trail. It seems like 90% of the trail is on the edge of ridgelines. In some places where the trail hairpins back on itself across a steep coulee we were reminded of the Berryman Trail (the section N of Brazil Creek). Loop 2 leads down to Loop one and the trailhead at the group camp and then climbs back to loop 2 and gets rockier with rolling climbs sporting gracfully carved racing turns all puntuated with smooth burried rocks. By the time we made it out to Loop 3 we were prying our hands from the bars from white knuckling the slick off camber rock skating rinks that were the character of the trail, this particular morning. You just couldn't carry much speed or deliver anything but measured power to the tires without sliding every which way. So we crawled up the climbs and sketched our ways down the swooping descents with as much speed as we could (which wasn't a lot). Loop 3 kicked my butt both days. Up and down and even rockier than loop 2. I usually stop to take pictures and what not, but the new trail seemed to be keeping me totally enthralled to see what was around the next corner....or at the top of the next false summit of the next sinuous climb. We crossed over the opening in the forest canopy at the High Tension Wires and tiptoed our way through beds of babyheads sliding our way back accross the wires up higher and higher. After the second wire crossing the trail mellows out a bit and then gets with gravity through a piney section methodically snaking its way along beautiful benchcuts that reunites the tread with loop 2. Loop 2 ends with a long climb that ends at the bathrooms up at the picnic area. Seven miles of fun!
Sunday we had made plans to meet up with JTM and Randy (photo above) to ride. The weather turned perfect and Bethany and I were psyched to see how the trails rode when they were tacky and we could let'r rip a bit more freely. With conditions that were nearly perfect Bethany and I chased Randy and JTM around 1 & 2 till I ran out of gas out on loop 3. The last handfull of climbs were slow going for me. Beth hung with me till the last hump on Loop 2, where I thought I would hurl, but at last we were back at the picnic area where we rested up for another short loop for Beth and I and another full round for Joe and Randy. We all ended the day with big smiles and agreed that the new trails are simply AWESOME! Flowy and fun....challenging climbs and rocky (slightly technical at speed) off camber twisty singletrack.