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· Professional Crastinator
6,829 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We've been eyeing the Wayne Epic for several years now. We knew we needed to be prepared, physically, for it.
We finally got our chance.
The trail description linked above is 100% accurate. These trails were hiking trails and bulldozer paths from logging or drilling from way back. IMBA rules of trail building were never a consideration. So the billy goat factor is a 10.
That said, we had an awesome ride!
We camped at the Kinderhook horse trailhead because Leith Run CG was booked up. We had to build our own fire ring with some broken concrete that one of the guys scavenged from the highway, and we had to bring firewood.
65F and sunny when we started at Leith Run CG and did the road section first. It was a good warm-up.
There is certainly something about riding a completely unfamiliar - and unpredictable trail - that enhances the first-time experience. There was nothing groomed, contrived, or unnatural anywhere. And even knowing that another daunting climb was always imminent, we had a ton of fun diving in and out of ravines on narrow, leaf-covered singletrack, riding off-camber down narrow, acorn-laden paths, riding the unexpected steep pitches (downs, and, in many cases, we managed the ups), and splashing through shallow creeks. It's rated black for the difficulty of the climbs, generally, but the trail itself had only a few technical challenges (one that none of us rode) and passed right by some cool rock formations. The 9 Bell trail had no footprints or tire tracks on it at all, and had some of the crazier lines. It was also the least maintained and still had a few trees down (I was doing pretty good on log-overs!). That said, all of the trails had been recently maintained/trimmed, and the Wayne NF was absolutely beautiful.
We rode through at least 100 spider webs. One of those little guys actually hitched a ride all the way back to camp on my helmet, much to my chagrin. And yes, we pushed the bikes up some of those hills.
I do say "almost epic", though, because we skipped Greenwood trail and went straight down Scenic River trail at the end. This was a fairly big decision at the time, and we are all still second-guessing whether it would've been worth it to take Greenwood, or if we would've killed the fun by over-doing it. One of our group had already bailed at about 25 miles (he ended up with 31 miles :LOL:), so we ended up with 30 miles instead of the 35.
I guess we need to go back and try again.
Avg. speed = 5mph, including 30 minutes cumulative rest time. Recorded 3600 to 4200 ft. (accuracy was all over the place)
I would recommend this ride for anyone who is tired of groomed, flowy stuff. ;)

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