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Rocky HIll Ranch Trail Conditions


Ridenfool

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ARR has a members ride on the 15th and I'm hoping the weather will cooperate for this without having to reschedule.

I'll update the conditions as I learn more. I don't plan to ride out there for a few days. In the mean time I'll be employing the calibrated mole mounds in my yard to estimate conditions at RHR. When they are dry, most of the trails usually are as well.

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Paul is wrapping up a new addition to Tristy today. It should contribute a few more tenths of a mile to the loop.

Reports from a couple of locals is that the trails are in great shape with the exception of a few low spots that have standing water or are a little squishy. No deep mud or sticky clay.

Forecast is looking very nice for the Austin Ridge Rider's Members Appreciation Day ride on Saturday.

I'll be creating a track for an "Easy" Route for beginners and adding it to the online maps at Trailforks and MTB Project. This will get newcomers to the ranch up to the Crossroads Rest Stop to sample the trails on top with the least amount of pain. πŸ˜‰Also, will be updating other trail changes to those sites.

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Posted (edited)

Green-Beginners Loop route is live on Trail Forks. Soon to be on MTB Project too. 9.7 miles with 6 places to bail and go back to the parking lot on the service road. Should be a hit for new MTB riders and anyone wanting to skip the more challenging trails.

Paul's new extension to Tristy looks like it will add another 0.4 mile to the loop. May be done in a few days.

I'll be doing a minor reroute on Rabbit Hole tomorrow at the Tea Party location to avoid a section that became submerged after the recent deluge.

Edited by Ridenfool
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Posted (edited)

Update for Saturday and ARR's Member Appreciation Day at Rocky Hill

There was a squall that came through in the wee hours of Saturday morning and it only dropped about 0.2 inch of rain. The rest of the day is forecast to be overcast to clear with 0% chance of further precip.

This small amount of rain will have little effect on the trails and the surface should be very good for today's event. There will be a couple of short sections on Karaway, Tristy, and Y-Knot (Green trails) that are still seeping/damp from last week's deluge. The worst of these spots are armored or have bridges, some short sections might throw up a little water as you go through.

On Rabbit Hole (a Black trail) there were two spots with standing water when I was riding on Thursday. The first can be ridden through (with a ladder feature planned), and I have created a permanent reroute to avoid the second wet spot on this peninsula in the photo.

Yes, that is a rocking chair at the Tea Party site where an inferior decorator practiced their skills. What else would you expect when you go down a Rabbit Hole? Enjoy!

RabbitHoleReroute.thumb.jpg.aa31b35fb8254d7815abd4ac53ee4aed.jpg

Looking forward to a fabulous day at Rocky Hill Ranch.

Edited by Ridenfool
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Posted (edited)

The ranch got about an inch of rain overnight. I expect that this weekend will be sloppy out there.

If you must, just take the road to MiniMe then follow with Switchback and Hard Boil to get to the top. Take a right onto Karaway and ride the Green trails and maybe Litterbox, It will be mucky in places.

Avoid Black Trac, Sofa King, and Rabbit Hole if standing water was found on the Green trails. The clay layers on the Black trails can be sticky (onto tire and bike) and slippery after a heavy rain.

Edited by Ridenfool
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Another 0.6 inches of rain overnight. Just in time for the weekend! πŸ˜’

With the level of saturation from recent rain it will be a few days before I'd suggest taking a spin. If you do, it may be wise to avoid the Black trails as they cross many clay layers which could be nasty riding. Saturday's high winds may help dissipate some of the water.

On a brighter note, Paul has reported a lap using the Start/Finish loop at the pavilion and has hit a new HIGH SCORE totaling 17.1 miles on the wheel. (GPS shows minus 10% of that)

Hopefully I will heal up and be back out there in another week or two. Have graduated to a cane now and can hobble without it for short distances.

Edited by Ridenfool
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Expect to see more Recommended Routes on Trailforks and MTB Project coming soon.

The next one will be a short, 4 mile loop that may be named "Test Track (or, While You Wait)" and will be a good warm-up if you are bored in the parking lot waiting for friends to arrive, want to test settings changes, or, just want to do a short loop to add to a longer ride that day. It will take riders on Kims, Pams, Holdens, Fofenique, and Home stretch, which, amazingly, now net four miles.

This will be used as a kids loop on race days as well.

Riders wanting a little more can add Corkscrew before returning on Fofenique.

I'll get the track posted for this lastest route soon.

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Posted (edited)

After being on injured reserve for three weeks I finally got out to ride again. I can say without doubt that lethargic recovery of an injured foot takes its toll on fitness. I got in a 15.6 mile ride in 85 degree weather and was wiped out at the end. Still, it is great to be riding again and a few more rides and some trail work ought to have me back in shape.

There are a few soft spots left from the recent rains, and more in the forecast. On Karaway the worse section has been bypassed until it dries or can be rerouted to avoid where the water collects.

The new section added to the beginning of Fofenique is a blast! A fun downhill run with a few switchbacks and a short reversal which then connects back into existing trail.

The new section on Tristy was soft and damp in many spots and I'm hoping it will pack in and not hold water in the future. Keeping fingers crossed as this is a nice addition to that trail. Another place further down the trail where water collects will get a small reroute to stay above the muck. Edit: DONE!

On Rabbit Hole (which I skipped this time because I felt like a Soup Sandwich at that point) there is that place where a stagnant lake appears after a decent rain and which cannot drain. I'm calling it Lake Looking Glass to maintain the Wonderland theme. It will be getting a long bridge soon to span this reservoir. There is another short bridge planned on a nearby trail section and these should address the remaining post-precipitation problematic spots on Rabbit Hole.

Overall, the trails were very fun to ride, with good traction and no dust. The few wet sections weren't sticking to the tires. There were several others seen taking a spin on them while we were there.

Sunday should be excellent with overcast sky and slightly lower temperatures. Come get some!

Edited by Ridenfool
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Posted (edited)

The Monsoon season appears to be upon us. Monday, RHR received an inch of rain and the current forecast for the next ten days is for daily showers totaling another 3.5 inches through mid-month.

Snorkel and fins are optional.

Β 

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5 hours ago, Ridenfool said:

The Monsoon season appears to be upon us. Monday, RHR received an inch of rain and the current forecast for the next ten days is for daily showers totaling another 3.5 inches through mid-month.

Snorkel and fins are optional.

Β 

The time lapse radar yesterday was very interesting. There was a big red blob over LaGrange for about four hours straight. The storm line wasn't moving at all. Very different. I wonder what they ended up with

Β 

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Weather update.

7.7 inches over the past week. Another 1/4 to 1/2 inch in the next two days will bring it up to 8 inches.

It may be a while before some of the trails can be ridden as the accumulation drains off/through the ground.

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Posted (edited)

It is confirmed that several trails are submerged in places. Several are impassable due to fallen trees. The Wall is currently blocked by a fallen tree.

It may be the weekend before the slop dries enough for us to be able to get in and work on things.

My suggestion is to avoid the black trails and be prepared to take to the roads if anyone decides to go against reason and try to ride RHR in the next few days.

Edited by Ridenfool
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Posted (edited)

Rerouted the newest addition to Fofenique to avoid an encroaching lake that had covered the lowest section of the trail and also consumed two of the four Pink Flamingos that were stationed there.

Submerged myself in DEET before going out there and had no problems with the mosquitos.

Things are not too bad, but lots of trails across side slopes are wet as water soaking in above seeps out across the trail.

I expect Looking Glass Lake on Rabbit Hole is impassable, so avoid it for now. We are trying to conjure a bridge for that, but it may be a while.

The Wall is closed and taped off until we cut up the pine tree that fell there into smaller pieces. Take the bypass to the left onto Mini Me, then right to the road. You can pick up Fofenique by staying on the trail just to the right that parallels the road where Mini Me intersects it.

As I'll be volunteering at the Warda race on Sunday I don't expect I'll put wheels on any RHR trail until next week.

Edited by Ridenfool
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I sliced and diced the fallen Pine that was blocking The Wall feature and took down the caution tape.

Got a report that there are another four or five trees down that will need a chainsaw. Nothing location specific beyond "they were all on the second half of the loop." Great, that narrows it down to 8 or so miles. 😳

There were quite a few riders out today.

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Posted (edited)

Took a lap today to see how things are and get locations for the fallen trees.

After a successful recon mission I went all lumberjack on the downed trees to have a clear loop for the long weekend.

The trails were in fine shape. A handful of gooey spots, but nothing sticking to the tires and they should continue to dry out over the next few days.

There was some blood loss. I could tell because when I swatted the mosquitos they left red spots. I didn't have any problems with them while riding, but when stopped and/or working on trail they zeroed in on me. Taking precautions with spray, witchcraft, or other deterrent would be prudent.

Forecast is looking good for the Holiday weekend.

Come get some in the Lost Pines.

Edited by Ridenfool
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Posted (edited)

I rode a lap yesterday and went out again today with loppers and folding saw to clear some of the more annoying growth.

Had to call it quits as the cumulative wear and tear from yesterday and today had brought my riding prowess down to 'soup-sandwich' status. So 16.8 miles yesterday and 14.1 today. That is enough, I think.

The trail has some overgrown bits that are offset with lots of flowers topping off the tall grass, and this makes for a nice ride. Nearly all the wet spots have almost dried up.

There was rain in the forecast later today and once it heard I don't plan to ride tomorrow it cancelled and has been downgraded to "cloudy" instead.

Now, it's off to the rain closet, and then I have big plans that include collapsing on the couch for the rest of the day.

Edited by Ridenfool
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Rocky Hill got about 3/4 inch of rain overnight. Very likely to be sloppy out there today.

About five miles away as the crow flies we got hammered with 4.4 inches of rain and some hail last night, so, it could have been a lot worse at Rocky Hill if that cell had scooched over that way just a tad.

Yesterday, I did a partial lap with some tools and cleaned up several trouble spots, opened up sight lines in key places, and fixed a hastily crafted reroute so as to flow better. Was planning on riding those changes today and will now be putting that off for a while as rain is forecast through Wednesday of this week. Might go do some dirt work instead if the weather allows.

Β 

Edit for an Update: A local rider went out there this morning and reported the clay as being "ungodly" 😳

Edited by Ridenfool
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