Brown County State Park, Nashville, IN

Last weekend, the wife and I made it down to Brown County State Park to hit the mountain bike trails for the first time. With my wife being more on the beginner-intermediate end of things, we didn’t venture onto anything tougher than Green Valley (no Walnut, Hesitation Point, or Schooner). We had a blast.

We knew there was rain on the way later in the afternoon/evening, so our goal was to finish before it really dumped. I’m not sure it ever did, but there was a light sprinkle as we finished at 6pm. The trails were in mostly good shape, but they were slick in a few low spots and at stream crossings. The banged up knee pics came from one of those slick low spots/stream crossings along the Green Valley Trail. That one was probably in the worst shape of all the trails that we rode. It was better than 95% in great shape, though.

My wife did great on the trails here. Being on the beginner end of the intermediate skill level, some things are still tough for her. Downhills have been one of those things. She was hitting all the downhill stuff on this ride, and at a pretty good speed, too. Things she never would have ridden before. Things really seemed to click for her on this ride. That was until the ride length caught up with her. We did a hair over 15mi, and she started to get wiped out at maybe 12mi or so. She didn’t ride at all in the past year, so that’s still pretty good.

There are many downhill sections that really swoop and roll and make you feel like you’re on a roller coaster. Stuff you never have to pedal for, and barely touch the brakes if at all. I did hit the brakes in a few of the tight spots. With it being a little damp on even the better trails and knowing how greasy clay can be, I played it a little cautious. Especially after going down and smashing my knee on a rock. No need to injure myself before the Mini Marathon this coming Saturday.

Here’s the route we followed. I had to piece this together manually because I had some GPS issues.

Note to self: Make sure batteries are inserted into the charger correctly before leaving them to charge. I knew my batteries were going to run out on my ride at BCSP, so I put my spare set on the charger. I grabbed them and put them into my pack the next morning, and when I installed them into the GPS out on the trail, I got a great big bupkus. Dead batteries. Gah! I had to trace this track from a .kml file I have for the trail network down there.

I also opted to leave the Forerunner at home that day. It is fully charged waiting for the Mini Marathon next weekend, so even it would have been okay for the whole ride. Oh well. No time data this time around. But I can provide an elevation profile!

BCSP_2013-04-27_profile

It looks like the total elevation change was somewhere around 300ft and we had about 2500ft of climbing, at least when using elevation from the DEM dataset in Topofusion. Can’t compare it to the altimeter on my Oregon due to a lack of a full track. Either way, that’s a pretty respectable day in the saddle. Can’t wait to get Walnut, Hesitation Point, and Schooner on another ride this summer. And especially when some of the newer trails are finished like HP Bowl that’s under construction now and Hobbs Hollow which is in planning stages.

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