Jump to content
Ridenfool

Rocky HIll Ranch Trail Conditions

Recommended Posts

I put wheels on the new section just before the sun went down. Made three passes in each direction. It seems to flow well both ways, but won't know for sure until it has some traffic to beat it into proper trail.

Ribbons are up to direct traffic onto it, so day use riders will start burning it in on Saturday.

Best news is how it measures out at 0.25 mile instead of the 0.2 I was expecting. Due mostly to my murdering some extra Yaupon to extend it a little as I finished it up this afternoon.

I hope folks like it.

Next project is putting an optional section on Black Trac into the game permanently, for the extra couple of tenths it will add to the overall loop.

Edited by Ridenfool
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got a ride in today and managed an 8.7 mile loop with the new section and taking Other Way and Freeride Road back to Karaway, then picking up an optional section of Black Trak that is taped closed for now. So much fun we rode another lap for a total of 17.4 miles for the day. Getting back to managing a proper RHR ride again!

My plan is to add another 0.3 miles to that BT option and make it all part of the regular loop. That would bring the total to 9 miles. Look for this addition in the coming weeks.

Paul is working on another section that might net another 2 - 3 miles. It will have some machine-cut sections, so hopes are that the build will go a little quicker than my organic, hand-picked Yaupon method.

Oh, and there is a tree down on Loblolly, the new trail in the NW corner of the property.

Edited by Ridenfool
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Knocked out several more bench cuts on Corkscrew. Got immediate positive feedback from a local rider while working on the last one for the day.

Thank goodness for the imminent Blue Norther, I can get a couple of days rest.

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/16/2022 at 9:57 PM, Ridenfool said:

Got a ride in today and managed an 8.7 mile loop with the new section and taking Other Way and Freeride Road back to Karaway, then picking up an optional section of Black Trak that is taped closed for now. So much fun we rode another lap for a total of 17.4 miles for the day. Getting back to managing a proper RHR ride again!

My plan is to add another 0.3 miles to that BT option and make it all part of the regular loop. That would bring the total to 9 miles. Look for this addition in the coming weeks.

Paul is working on another section that might net another 2 - 3 miles. It will have some machine-cut sections, so hopes are that the build will go a little quicker than my organic, hand-picked Yaupon method.

Oh, and there is a tree down on Loblolly, the new trail in the NW corner of the property.

9 miles would make a nice 2 lap option and make it worth driving out there again some time.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Albert said:

Are they still charging $10 to ride out there, even though half the trails are now gone?  Just curious.

As far as I know, yes. Here's their Day Use page. https://www.rockyhillranch.com/day-use

For perspective, I think Bluff Creek Ranch, nearby, has been the same price as RHR for years while always offering a little less trail than RHR has now.

Fortunately, neither place charges by the lap. 😉

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Berm Meister, Paul, has been busy and there are several more new berms freshly grown in key turns.

I straightened out the end of the new trail that had an "S" turn to bring it out on Switchback just before crossing the road. It wasn't fun this way, so the congestion is is now gone.

The new trail now finishes on the legacy line it already follows from a long retired trail. It took hours to clean up the last 30 foot section that had a fallen Cedar to cut into smaller pieces, and a healthy Yaupon population to thin out. It now flows much better into the next section leading to Water 1.

While I was working on that, Paul built another sweet berm. 🤷‍♂️

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were out piddling around on Corkscrew yesterday and did a couple hundred feet of bench cutting off-camber sections and trail widening, as well as significant work on one of the steep switchbacks that I hope will make it flow better. The bench cuts lead into this turn and should allow riders to get a good head of steam as they approach it.

Corkscrew3.thumb.jpg.652f6f06d2292eee46d27d06df8a4739.jpg

 

Going forward, my focus has shifted to a new trail I've scouted that will add about a mile to the overall loop. This trail will be named Litter Box and will make good use of many, many piles left behind by Cats (earth movers) that were digging there over the years and which had taken some legacy trail sections in the process. Yet another example of making more lemonade from all the lemons acquired over the past decade of Caterpillar infestation.

Edited by Ridenfool
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is going to be sloppy, then cold as... well, you know. 🥶 Might be tolerable again on Sunday.

On the bright side, some work done over the past few days will net a 0.2 mile extension to the overall loop. This gets the loop very close to 9 miles now if Other Way is included.

More to come.

 

Edited by Ridenfool
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two more berms went in yesterday on Lemonade, created by the Berm Meister. He passed on to me receiving feedback from a few TMBRA racers about how pleased they are with the trail improvements and flow, quoting "It is like a whole new Rocky Hill."

I'm headed out today to finish some more bench cutting on the newest section. It won't be part of this month's TMBRA race route, but it is open to day use riders and needs traffic to bed it in. This extends Corkscrew and includes a new section of Holden's Way part 2 (a recently added 10 and Under race section) into the overall loop.

Here's a shot of where Corkscrew now begins as a Y off of Holden's Way.

CorkscrewSign.thumb.jpg.f8b9ea3bec4b90ba87ee165b9792038f.jpg

 

 

... and here's one of where it comes back into existing trail, roughly where the Ike's Peak section used to be (for the old timers who remember it). The merging hairpin seen to the left will be retired after the Rocky Hill Roundup race.

CorkscrewMerge.thumb.jpg.9963591b7a5046e0709989e3ce72aaa2.jpg

Edited by Ridenfool
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Expanded the bench cut on the new section of Corkscrew yesterday and had a couple of riders come through, offering praise and thanks. Their tires had a little clay, Sunday should be just about perfect for a ride.

Also cleaned up an extension on Black Trac that will be made a permanent addition to the loop. Until after the race, just look for the raked area on the left before the big climb out of Black Trac. This is a fun section.

Finally, got MTBProject cleaned up and showing the new loop so folks can more easily find their way around. Still waiting to hear back from Trail Forks after notifying them.

It will be 54 degrees this afternoon, which is about the perfect temperature for riding for me.

Come get some!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was a good couple of laps this afternoon. Saw quite a few folks out today, so I'm not the only one thinking RHR is perfect at 54 degrees F.

 

As expected, Y-Knot's latest trail section was a little soupy in spots after the recent precip.

A little history: When Y-Knot was originally built over a decade ago I had routed the trail through these trouble spots before knowing they were, well, trouble spots. After the rains came I had to abandon this area and re-create about half of the trail elsewhere to avoid it. Now, we have no alternative but to run a section through here (to accommodate building Lemonade) and will need to find some way to make it work. There are several ways to approach it, and all are labor-intensive.

Fortunately, there is a gravel base layer under these spots that results in them being more wet than they are muddy, and it usually drys in a few days. Riding on it in this state doesn't seem to be causing lasting damage, it is just slinging dirty water on riders for a few days after a rain. I think we all know trails like this. Folks from wetter climates would probably just call it good trail and ride.

If it gets bad due to extended rain, Y-Knot can be closed to dry out using an easy bypass already available. Resolving this issue likely won't make it onto the short list of things to do for a while, though Paul was putting small trenches in today to help it drain in key spots.

 

All my work on the new section that begins Corkscrew payed off with a really nice connector that I rode for the first time today. We have received unsolicited positive feedback from several folks on it as well. Further down Corkscrew, the second of the climbing turns still needs more dirt moved. That will be a priority for me to get this done before race day to provide better flow. (probably start on that tomorrow)

The third climbing turn was significantly improved with the Berm Meister's tender ministrations last week. By bringing the berm in tighter it now allows riders to carry more speed into the climb. It is still a grunt. (there will also be a longer, alternate route to bypass this turn, and is already in the works)

 

Edited by Ridenfool
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot has been done in preparation for the upcoming TMBRA race. Quite a bit of trimming here and there (never ending), a few new berms have sprouted, Paul added one new bridge on Y-Knot and has done repairs to several other wood features on Black Trac. The feedback from pre-riders has been gracious on trail quality and appreciative of our efforts.

Additionally, I've cut a quarter mile on the new Litterbox trail as a first pass. About three quarters of a mile to go, then another pass to get it tuned up for riders. I put wheels on what has been done so far and I think it will be a lot of fun when completed. Maybe a month or two out on this project if nothing else takes me off of it.

Once the race is past we are expecting a crew of volunteers from a running club that hosts events at RHR. I'm looking forward to working with them again as they have done some fantastic work out here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With what's out there now, is it easy to do a complete loop of all the trails that are out there?  If not, can you describe a route that does?  I may go out there this week to ride.  Is the course marked for the race?

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The trails have been routed to make for a continuous loop. As more are built, they will add to that loop.

The only choice would be to add one mile by taking "Other Way" instead of Karaway, then pick Karaway back up off of Freeride Rd. This week Other Way will be blocked by a ribbon for the race, but if interested, just go under it. Personally, I'd just stay on Karaway and avoid riding a section of road.

Folks riding during the week should listen/watch for gravel trucks at the 2 main road crossings, one on Karaway, and another where Karaway leads into Lemonade (sign across the road).

On MTBProject, find the "Rocky Hill Ranch Loop" to use as a guide. It is listed as a Recommended Route. If you have the Texas area maps downloaded to the phone app you may need to update Texas Area to see the latest RHR trails. There are still intersections with the service roads and this app makes it easy to stay on the loop until we get some better signs up to lead riders around the place.

Currently, the race route is marked with arrows and would be a good way to get a loop in. Then, just do it again till you have enough. 😁

Have fun Albert!

 

Edited by Ridenfool
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The TMBRA season opener had wonderful conditions today. Started a little cold, but was perfect the rest of the day. The course was a little dusty, but it seemed like everyone enjoyed themselves. Many commented how the new trails have made the current 8 miles more of a workout than they had expected.

John, Maureen, and Tony, it was nice to see you.

Folks with a day off Monday keep RHR in mind. High of 82 and 0.01 in. of rain in the forecast. No cold weather excuses tomorrow. 😁

Edited by Ridenfool
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a huge thank you to Tejas Trails, a running group who have been volunteering at Rocky Hill. These people are incredible. On Friday we cut nearly a mile of Yaupon into trail corridor. In freezing temperatures. These guys and gals are epic. There is one couple who came all the way from Sonora, several others from Houston and Austin and one local member from about half a mile away.

They are back today for more. It will be only a little warmer, with a good chance of light rain. They have more folks coming on Sunday. I'm having to get very creative coming up with more work for them to do and am happily overwhelmed with doing anything I can to make good use of the help they offer. It is like herding a plague of locusts the way they move through thick brush. ha ha Literally weeks of work for a solo builder. I really want to share a ton of gratitude for their good work.

I'm completely knackered from yesterday, and their enthusiasm has lit a fire under my butt and I'll be back out there flagging more trail for them to cut while I have them on site.

Thank you to Chris and PJ of Tejas Trails for organizing these work days and for sharing your members. We could not have made such significant progress without you.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's really great!  I still haven't gotten out there since the back half was closed, but it's looking like I will be able to go tomorrow.  I haven't been on my mountain bike in over a month, so really looking forward to a fun ride on dirt.  Is the course still marked from the race?  I assume the stuff that was cut last week isn't yet rideable?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are some arrows up from several races, but the ribbons are all down. Generally, the arrows make good guidelines.

If you find yourself needing a reference, use MTBProject and follow the "Rocky Hill Ranch Loop" (a recommended route in MTBProject).

The new sections still need some work before they are open for riders. Several bridges need to be built.

You should have plenty to enjoy.

I'll be out there tomorrow as well, doing some mapping and noting section mileages, so a slow plod about the place. I'll be on a white Specialized Levo with a green full face helmet. Say hi if you spot me out there.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Rode a lap including two new sections not yet opened, and, an optional section on Black Trac that will become part of the loop soon. Total, from and to the Pavilion where the showers are, with all this the loop will be 10.5 miles.

It will likely be a few weeks before these are all ready for prime time, and I'll keep y'all posted, as well as update MTBProject as the new stuff becomes available.

The goal is to have at least 13 miles ready before a Fall marathon event.

Edited by Ridenfool
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did go out there yesterday and rode a lap (I followed all the race arrows).  I noticed it took over 2.5 miles to get to the top!  I think that's the most circuitous route I have ever taken to the top, but I did enjoy it!  Once up at the top, it was remarkable to see how much has changed out there, and I do miss much of the trail that's not longer accessible.  I look forward to the arrival of new trail, and having a goal of 13 total miles sometime in the Fall is great! 

Thanks for all the work you and others are putting into these trails. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...