Indian Lake to Speculator: Update 1/28/15

Bright sunny day screamed RIDE! Who was I to deny that voice?

As soon as I left the compound, I knew it was going to be a great day. The Indian Lake village trails had fresh groom marks all over the place. The groomer did a nice job of pulling some snow on the east end of Bear Trap Swamp to give a bit of traction through there.

After I got some gas at the Route 30 One Stop, I was starting to feel the magic:

Then it was down to Speculator. C8/Sabael trail heading out of town was in nice shape. Aside from a several thin/bony spots and icy turns, very solid ride through there with no water hazards left.

Indian Lake was still a bit of a rough ride down the lake with the mini pressure ridges until I got down to the huge pressure ridge by Watch Hill. Then it was smooth sailing along the drag strip to the south end of the lake.

The campsites had uneven rollers and were starting to show the whoppers in the turns. But it wasn’t the sea of washboard bumps we all know and “love.”  Lewey Lake was a sun-drenched and beautiful crossing.

2 Miles from Hell was groomed and a mainly comfortable passage. There was some snirt throughout and occasional spots scuffed down to dirt. Really though, there’s no room to complain about it. I might have to come up with a different name for the “2 Miles of Hell.”

S82C/Old Indian Lake Road was groomed and a comfortable passage at about 20mph. More snow is needed to cover up several grubby spots and a couple of rocks you really don’t want to hit at speed. But overall, it’s easily the best ride I’ve had through there this winter.

Perkins Clearing was magic, awesome, terrific. Jessup River Road was mind blowing. Trolling through the straights at 40mph was sweet music! It was almost like an out of body experience back there. I was feeling the electricity for sure. Mud Lake Road was more magic for most of it. But the base does get thinner at the east end with some loose apple-sized rocks floating around.

This picture says it all about Perkins Clearing: Good enough to make a grown man cry!

Mud Lake Road "awesomeness" in Perkins Clearing

Mud Lake Road “awesomeness” in Perkins Clearing

Note: It’s choppy through the Mossy Vly bridge because it doesn’t get groomed. That marsh has swallowed a groomer or two in its time, so they stay clear of that. Fear not, just bump and grind to the other side and the magic starts anew!

C4/Melody Lodge trail was newly groomed and a pretty good ride down to Speculator village. The exposed areas were thin and snirty. The primary hazards through there were loose rocks that the groomer kicked up. I removed a lot of the floating rocks on my pass through, but you definitely want to keep a careful eye out for them.

LP3 down to the village was about the same story as C4/Melody Lodge trail. Past the tennis courts on LP3 down to C4/Speculator village had a lot of uneven leftover rollers from the although it had been groomed. There must had been a TON of traffic through there last weekend.

At the river, I took a left and continued on C4/River trail down into the Speculator Tree Farm. That trail was rough with plentiful studder chop and dirt spots. But, logging has left that trail much wider than it was before. So that will be nice when we get enough better snow coverage through there.

In the Tree Farm: Cave Hill Road, Elm Lake Road and Long Level Road were all nice riding, but easily a grade or perhaps grade-and-a-half less than the utter magic found in Perkins Clearing. The next comb over with the groomer will make it awesome! Fly Cleek Road had more chatter bumps and a few divots you don’t want to hit too hard.

Old Route 30 down to HM700 was an uneven roller-rama, but was still a fun romp down to the steel bridge. This time I did not yield to temptation to make a run down C4 to Griffin Gorge, although that trail appeared well traveled.

Back up “Old 30” improved greatly once I passed its junction with Fly Creek Road. LP4A was a beautiful run back up to Speculator; that’s quickly becoming one of my favorite trails!

Lake Pleasant crossing was a nice flat drag strip. The large pressure crack by the entrance to LP1 is self evident in the daylight, but always be on the lookout for it.

LP1 was grubby and choppy through the woods from Route 8 to Page Street. Then along Page Street was full of snirty studders. From there, I turned around and headed back to the village.

The new Speculator village trail from Lemon Tree to Village Rentals was groomed and was a good ride. Just watch out for a couple of big rocks on the corners behind Cedarhurst. Some more snow is needed through there.

Mountain Market was a dry parking lot crossing. LP4 was recently groomed back to its junction with C4. Looked like the Speculator village trails had been groomed again by the time I passed through a second time, but some of the stubborn rollers remain. The snow is a bit tired down there from the heavy weekend traffic, but it’s all easily passable.

Then it was back up C4/Melody Lodge trail to Perkins Clearing Road. I just ran straight up the gut to make the journey home. The plowed share use section across Jessup River Bridge had great packed snow cover. Make sure you go slow through there and hug the right because logging trucks can’t stop suddenly!

On the way back up Indian Lake, I tried running the east side to get some relief from the mini pressure ridges. But it didn’t save that much pounding. When going northbound, you’re going against the grain and it makes for a much rougher ride. The lake froze funny and we need a lot of snow to smooth out the north end of Indian Lake.

Going back into Indian Lake village, I found the trails to be freshly groomed again! The heavily traveled trails had some thin spots, snirt and icy corners. But for crying out loud, almost everything was a flat as a board. Ski Hut trail and S86A/Little Canada were stellar. So great, I didn’t even bother running Lake Adirondack and S87/42nd and Broadway to complete my “victory lap”. I was happy to double dip Little Canada.

I got back to the compound with 98.6 miles. Doesn’t matter if I didn’t make it to 100. I was like a kid in a candy store today!

The primary hazard on the trails today were loose rocks dredged up by the groomers. Since I was riding solo, I stopped often and removed many of the rocks I spotted. Loose rocks were more of an issue on the Speculator trails than the Indian Lake trails.

Some people think I’m nuts to think that winter is the best season here in ilsnow land. I’ve got plenty of evidence to stake my claim that winter is where it’s at:

Midweek Outlook

We’re at the edge of heaven. One snow bomb will get us there. The Town of Indian Lake has done an incredible job with our trails the past couple of weeks, setting up a flat base. And Perkins Clearing just speaks for itself! If you come up to ride this week, I promise it will be worth your while. I’ve ridden over 700 miles in the past week-and-a-half. Can’t be half bad. 😉

We’ll get some snow Thursday night into Friday morning to freshen up the trails before the weekend. That road from Brown’s farm parking lot to S88/Cedar River Headquarters could probably use some snow.

For the ilsnow nation,

Darrin

Comments welcomed!

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments