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Everything posted by Ridenfool

  1. The trail conditions at Rocky Hill are pretty sweet. Just a few days past Hero Dirt from the recent rain. With a three-day weekend upon us, RHR temperatures will be prime if you can get on the trail in the morning. Though I've seen riders coming out in the hot part of the day recently too. With the trees shading so much of the trail it sure takes the edge off riding in direct sun. More good news! There is a new brewery in town. Smithville Brewing Company They are currently offering taps of other Texas craft brewers while ramping their production. There is a food trailer (Bay Bay'z Seafood 👍) there through this weekend. SBC are located on the right as you drive from RHR into Smithville, a little ways past the Airport entrance. Happy Hour is 4-6 with $2 off pints (bought an Oatmeal Stout and an Eastciders for less than $6). They have open-air seating inside and a Biergarten outside with picnic tables and shade cloth overhead. I'm thinking this is going to be a great hang-out for post-ride and post-trail-work recovery therapy. Come get some!
  2. Put signs out today for the Rest Stops Here's some photos The Fine Print
  3. The "Heat Index" provided by weather sources is based upon calculating for evaporation based upon current temp and humidity. This is what it feels like outside to one of us hairless monkeys. Currently I see 87F air temp, 95F heat index, and 60% humidity. Normal skin temp range is 91 to 98 degrees. If the heat index (sweat effectiveness) is higher than current skin temp the heat will move from the air to the skin and increase core temperature. Add to this the heat the body is producing and is unable to shed and the rate of core temp increase steepens. This will be true with heat transfer via conduction, convection, and radiation. So, sweat evaporating from the skin is a convection path, the sweat-soaked shirt unable to evaporate fast enough and holding heat (water is efficient at holding heat) is a conduction path, and the sun shining on bare skin is a radiation path for heat. Let's say skin temp is 95F and the heat index is 97F. A 2 degree spread probably isn't enough to remove all the heat being produced by a rider. Add to this heat gain from sunshine, and the stored heat in soaked clothing and it is unlikely there is any other outcome than for the core to increase in temperature.
  4. FWIW, this matches a study I read ten or more years ago regarding the relationship of high ambient temp and core temp. It was part of an article to warn motorcyclists of the dangers of overheating in the Summer. Back then the point two university studies had determined was 93F, a few degrees higher than what this study determined. It went on to say how once air temperature reaches a certain point the heat becomes less effectively removed from the body even if the sweat is evaporating. The greater the air temp is higher than the skin temp, the more heat will transfer from the air to the body instead of cooling it. This results in heat building up in the core over time (and exertion) and increases risks for a number of health issues. Essentially, the convection is occurring, only it is in the other direction, heating the cooler surface, the skin/body. I think this is also how an Air Fryer works. 😁
  5. Decided to take advantage of this cold snap today. Did some fine tuning on the new climb on Black Trac that should smooth it out a bit. I then mosied over to a section of Karaway across from Freeride 512 and added a new section to the trail that takes it over a few more of the dirt piles there. After all that I got to feeling about done for the day, so I downed ~48 oz. of water, followed closely by a Shiner Ruby Red. With the tank topped off it was time to get back in the AC for the rest of the day.
  6. When I've had issues getting a bead to seat I've removed the valve core to increase the air flow. Once the beads are seated you can deflate and resinstall the core. Spraying soapy water around the bead is another trick that has had good results. I think it fills small gaps just enough to get things started. I'll hang the rim from a handlebar end so the fit is not biased by one side sitting on the floor. When all that fails my next step is use the air compressor (similar hassle factor as you describe) that offers enough volume to slap the bead into submission.
  7. Did more work on Litterbox today. Took the trail over four more "clumps" left by the cats (bulldozers) which the trail had been going around. The TMBRA prez and Paul got first wheels on it and gave the new sections a thumbs up. Looked like eight or ten cars in the parking lot today as I was leaving at about 1100. The popular plan seems to be to get there early and finish the loop before it hits 90. Keeping fingers crossed for the promised rain tomorrow, and looking forward for a break in high temps over the next few days.
  8. Look for a PM with a few adjustments. Thanks for the update! Buy a round of tacos and beer for the entire staff at HQ! They deserve it.
  9. Rocky Hill Ranch - resurrected in 2022 following a land sale where many of the legacy trails were lost. Volunteer efforts have taken the 6.5 miles of remaining trail and doubled that to a 13 mile loop over 6 month's of work. A herculean effort. There will more new trail to come. Aiming for about fifteen miles, eventually. The new trails offer a good balance that have both challenges on trails like Corkscrew, Black Trac, Litterbox, and Sofa King Fun, as well as expanding the good 'ol winding-through-the-Pines feel with trails like Karaway, Tristy, and Lemonade. The new stuff was crafted to offer visitors that "I'm not in Texas anymore" feeling which has been part of the Rocky Hill experience for going on three decades. Fat Chuck's Demise has been reopened for those who enjoy a good suffering climb. Technical Trail Features spice things up nicely with Shart Cut, The Grind, The Wall, and Reveille's Romp to get your attention. Several challenging new climbs and downhill sections have been added as well. The Rocky Hill tradition of Rest Stops with a picnic table and water jug have been preserved. Take a break at the Crossroads, Lemonade Stand, and Ventoso Vista (Breezy View) rest stops while riding the loop. Gravel Grinders can ride six miles by doing out-n-backs on all roads. These roads are also great for anyone to take an easy ride, and a great way for the weary to get back to the campground or parking area without completing the entire singletrack loop. A map with trail descriptions has been attached. The attached map may not get updated on a regular basis, but the maps on MTBProject and Trailforks will be kept current, as well as offering GPX downloads. There should be a current map/descriptions download link found on the Rocky Hill Ranch website as well. Rocky Hill Ranch has RV spots (30 and 50 Amp, w/water), Tent Camping, Restrooms, and Showers available for visitors. Nearby Smithville, Texas has some great choices for Dining, Lodging, and Shopping. Many of which are in the historic Downtown area. Buescher State Park is between Rocky Hill Ranch and Smithville offering a fun, shared MTB/Hiking trail system and additional camping options. So, you can get a lot of trail miles under the tires if staying for the weekend. RHR_Trails_and_Descriptions.pdf
  10. Put up new signs marking the TTFs. Here's the one on Black Trac for "Shart Cut" and its Bypass line While out there, I also installed laminated RHR Maps at the three Rest Stops. Here's the one at Lemonade Stand. Took a little time to do some dirt work, stump cutting (it gave me a purple toe on the last ride, it had to go), and a little bit of trail building before taking a quick spin around the place. Then it got intolerable and I dashed off to the air conditioned comforts of home. It was Safari Day at Rocky Hill. While on the ride I saw rabbits, squirrels, a black cat (stalking a rabbit), two turkey youts out for a stroll, and a deer. The Doe was slowly walking off the trail. The fact that it was not running was a head-scratcher, until I spotted the tiny fawn laying flat, right beside the trail. Missed it by inches at the last moment. The Rocky Hill Racing Lizards were also out training on the trails. Those guys and gals are fast!
  11. Trailforks now has all individual trails and roads listed, along with descriptions for each. Riding conditions at RHR are dry, dry, dry. I think I saw one of the RHR Racing Lizards choking on the dust after we rode by. What is hard pack under moister conditions is becoming silt in several turns. Still a hoot to ride, with the added bonus that I get to sharpen a skill set only Summer provides the opportunity for. If I start a ride before 0900 I'm usually done with a lap before it hits 90 degrees. Get up early, and come get some.
  12. Hot Off the Presses! Here's a new version of the RHR map I cobbled together in air conditioned comfort. PDF and GPX files attached. EDIT: Replaced Trail MAP PDF with one that includes Trail Map and Trail Descriptions Trails_and_Descriptions.pdf RHR_AllTrailsRoads_6_13_22.gpx
  13. Paul is putting in a "Bypass" line for the banked wood technical trail feature early into Black Trac. We figure the option would be welcomed by those who find the TTF a bit daunting. I'll get a sign made up soon to define the optional Technical and Bypass lines. Edit: Decided on a name for that TTF. The sign will read: <-- SHART-CUT BYPASS -->
  14. Went out early on Saturday for a "ride and trim" loop with the Fiskers 15" loppers hanging on the belt. Got started at 0730 while the temps were in the high 70s and finished up around 1130 at 92 F. The trails are in great shape and with four hours of effort many of the face slappers and other foliage got a haircut. I opened up a few sections to offer better sight lines through turns and cleaned up a few trouble spots. There is always more to do. That stuff grows faster than we can address it. Anyone starting a ride between 0630 and 0800 should be able to easily finish a lap without melting. There are three places to stop on the loop, each with a picnic table and water available, and they are now getting names. Finally, something more creative than Water 1, 2, 3. The legacy Water 1 that has been there forever now hosts a 6-way intersection. Grey's Highway (also the end of Fat Chuck's Demise), Karaway, Hard Boil, Black Trac, and Litterbox all converge here, so it will be dubbed "Crossroads" for obvious reasons. The second one is where Lemonade hits the West Fenceline and will be called "Lemonade Stand" after the Lemonade trail that ends there. This will be a BYOL venue (bring yer own lemonade). The last one is located where Black Trac now ends and Sofa King Fun Trail begins. This is my favorite stop as it offers a nearly constant breeze under the shade of pines with a nice view to the Southwest. "Ventoso Vista" rolls off the tongue nicely and seems an appropriate moniker. (Breezy View) Signs for these will be coming soon as that is something I can work on in air conditioned comfort while the Texas Summer broils outside.
  15. Made another attempt this morning to get Trailforks Support to update their data and it looks like they are on it already! Edit: Thanks go out to Mark at Trailforks Support for his fast response. After some back and forth dialogue we have the Trailforks site current once more.
  16. Here's a screenshot of the latest map on MTBProject
  17. Took an early morning trip to the sauna. I wanted to get a GPS track for a new section I've flagged and started cutting. Happy to report it is 0.63 mile long and it looks like there is room to expand and get 0.75 mile easy enough. No idea how long this will take to finish, but there will be some very interesting sections with techy climbs, bench cuts with a little exposure, and some flowy goodness. This and another section already flagged should add right at another mile to the loop. Started about 0700 and left around 1100, drenched and dripping from the RHR Sauna. TMI?
  18. Just ordered this Presta/Schrader Head w/hose from Amazon to repair a floor pump, the part could easily be adapted to a compressor using AB's idea. https://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-Floor-Pump-Auto/dp/B00JLYDKIA?ref_=ast_sto_dp Also saw a Ryobi 18V Inflator adapted this way, for folks who use Ryobi. Just snip the OEM head off the hose and install this Planet Bike head (no hose) for Presta/Schrader flexibility. https://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-Floor-Pump-Auto/dp/B00JLXNIF6?ref_=ast_sto_dp
  19. I hear ya AB. It is a scorcher outside these days. If I can get off the trail before it hits 90F I can enjoy riding (or trail work). That means rolling early in the a.m. and often being on "Spider Patrol" if nobody else has gone before me. The loop is now 13.0 miles starting/stopping at the trailhead, so ~1.5 hours of casual riding. By September there should be even more new trail that gets carved out in small chunks of morning time during the blistering Summer. Rode out there Sunday with a buddy, leaving at 9:30 and done by 11. We then sipped cold ones under a tree and shot the bull till 1:30 or so while enjoying the shade and a light breeze. Conditions were just about perfect with the rain Saturday morning tightening up the surface and keeping the dust down.
  20. Signs for Fat Chuck's wet up today. At the T in the Campground Fine print says, " You won't like it!! " At the Y for Fat Chuck's The fine print says. " A Technical Climb for Pain, Suffering, and Bragging Rights " Edit: Just came to the realization of how reopening Fat Chuck's (0.7 mi) brings the total trail at RHR to 14 miles. Though riding it as part of a loop ride would subtract ~1 mile of missed singletrack from the max loop distance of the 13.3 mi loop.
  21. Also, yesterday added one more clump to Litterbox, just past the Lizard metal sculpture. It runs over a pile of gravel left around a tree, then through slightly more varied terrain than the existing trail was on. This replaces a boring straight section across open land with something a little more entertaining. We are trying to come up with ways to spice up these prairie sections that were added to extend mileage. I did manage to kill my ageing Ryobi 18v String Trimmer on this section, so the tall grass clean up on Fat Chuck's will have to wait until the replacement arrives at Home Depot in a couple of weeks, or, until Paul gets back from Angel Fire and brings his trimmer out. Whichever comes first. Looks like we may get a little much needed rain this morning. (fingers crossed) This should tighten up an expanded berm and some bench cuts done on the entrance and exit of new section on Black Trac that were touched up earlier in the week. I hope to get a ride out there today or tomorrow to see if this improved the flow through those two points. EDIT: Rain follow up. Looks like about 3/4" this morning. Might be sloppy the rest of today, but tomorrow should be hero dirt.
  22. Today I finished clearing the corridor on the first hill of Fat Chuck's Demise. After years of disuse it had become more and more overgrown. No more! Fat Chuck's Demise LIVES! This is one of the oldest trails at RHR and a piece of ranch history that has offered Masochists, and many other riders who venture onto it unbeknownst to Fat Chuck's reputation, the opportunity to experience this most challenging set of climbs. The first is the worst. I don't have much nice to say about Fat Chuck's, other than how anyone who has conquered it have accomplished something to be proud of. It needed to be there to provide pain and suffering to riders improving their balance and loose rock climbing skills. So, I put in the time to get it opened up once more. It wasn't easy, but probably not as much work as the riders will put into it from now on. Bwahahahahaha Granted, going this way robs you of about a mile or so of sweet single track as it is a short cut (of sorts) to Water 1, but, if you want a challenge, Chuck awaits. Ready to crush your spirit, get you to turn around rather than walk up, or, maybe you will experience that exhilaration which only comes from taking the hill! Signs going up soon, along with a little weed-whacking to be done where it splits off to the right side of the Y. If you already know where to find it, Go get some. Good luck, and we're all counting on you.
  23. Opened a new section on Tristy yesterday. The full loop is now 13.4 miles. Flagged another half mile section, making two sections ready to cut that could add close to one more mile. Also, have started clearing Fat Chuck's Demise for the masochists. New signs ready to be installed to direct victims to it.
  24. Polished up three bench cuts yesterday and added a small berm to the entrance of the latest addition to Black Trac in anticipation of the rain coming to bed it all in. It was a sweat fest that necessitated application of copious amounts of iced tea 🧋 to counteract dehydration and brewskis 🍺 to relax the muscles. The nearby weather station indicates just shy of 1 in. of rain accumulation overnight. Considerably less than the 3+ inches that had been forecast. I expect the dry conditions of late will soak this up quickly and trails will be prime by Thursday or Friday and into the weekend.
  25. Added new signs for Tristy (a nod to the lost Tris Cross trail), Loblolly, Y-Knot, Litterbox, Black Trac, and... Sofa King Fun Trail, which begins at the last water stop and includes The Grind, The Wall, and Reveille's Romp before rolling onto Fofenique. But wait, there's more! A new 0.3 mi. section has been added to Black Trac and was opened for business today. Paul got first wheels on it. It still needs a little polishing on some bench cuts, and I'm looking forward to the rain next week to provide a more malleable surface to dig in. Tristy (begins where Karaway meets the road at the FR512 gate and ends at the road before Lemonade) has one of the two new sections completed. There is a small jump toward the end, and a berm is planned. If you aren't racing at Bluff Creek this weekend, come get some RHR goodness!
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