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Ridenfool

Rocky HIll Ranch Trail Conditions

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Opened another new trail section today.

The end of Litterbox now comes out behind Water 1 and flows into Black Trac's new (and old) entrance. I hope folks like the flow of this new section that twice crosses the ancient, original Black Trac downhill run. (long ago retired due to erosion) This rolls into the initial wood feature on Black Trac at a better angle than before allowing riders familiar with it to carry speed into the following climb.

The new addition brings the total distance to within a few hundredths of a 12 mile loop when every trail is ridden.

More to come!

 

Trail conditions were dry.

Outside air conditioning was set at 72F.

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5 hours ago, AustinBike said:

Very possibly.

Wednesday and Thursday look OK right now but I *may* have a work thing that I have to attend to, so I would say I am 80% good for those two days at this point.

Thursday is looking better, as it'll be a bit cooler (high of 82 instead of 90).  Less wind as well.  But that can always change, of course.

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Did some bench cutting today on a new section on Black Trac created with the help of the TMBRA PayDirt folks.

This will be a series of ~10 switchbacks gaining about 50' over a quarter mile. It should be completed shortly.

This section passes the new Water Station 3, which has a great view and some shade to sit in. Ought to make a fine spot to hang out while making the loop.

Here's a pic.

Water3.thumb.jpg.4829e85ee6fa35e396c68164ae61c932.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Alright, I took advantage of the outdoor air conditioning yesterday and today and have completed the new section and cut out the old climb on BT to the road.

Here's where the new part begins...

BT_Switchback.thumb.jpg.19aa2afcc4c469bb8e6f762cae74f449.jpg

 

Most of the old climb will eventually be repurposed as a downhill that leads into this new section. Ought to be a hoot!

Paul has also opened up another new section on Karaway. Between the work done on Karaway and on Black Trac we have gained over 3/4 of a mile of new trail.

I'll get a "wheel" measurement tomorrow.

Thanks again to the TMBRA PayDirt volunteers and to Brian Nash for their contributions that brought these new sections online in record time.

Edited by Ridenfool
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Posted (edited)

Mileage Update with recent additions.

Using the standard race start/finish line that starts at the pavilion and ends by going around the pond before crossing the finish line, here's current distance for the whole loop. (deduct 0.3 mi. for Trailhead to Trailhead measurement)

12.67 miles was measured on the bike's wheel.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

More trails coming soon to a Rocky Hill near you.

 

Edited by Ridenfool
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Posted (edited)

Paul and I have been at it again. Today we cut in another new section that puts that Black Trac uphill before the road crossing back in the mix... as a downhill run into the last new section of switchbacks up to the new scenic overlook water station.

We also made the BT "option" trail a permanent part of the overall loop so there is no missing it. Paul is adding some fun stuff at the end of this section where it currently has this wonderful dip. It will be like a roller coaster section, as he's taking the trail back across that ravine twice more in succession. There is one bridge to build, and we hauled all the materials he'll need down there today. It could be live by this weekend.

These new parts won't add much distance, I guess maybe a little more than a  tenth of a mile, but they should up the fun factor with some new dips, challenging climbing, and a short downhill run.

Come get some!

Edited by Ridenfool
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Paul just sent photos of the completed new fun run.

 

Entry, crossing bridge, then bend to the right

PW1.thumb.jpg.666c5079ff0dd6e23a7c315c9bcf4388.jpg

 

Exit, coming from far side to bottom of photo to rejoin the trail

PW2.jpg.3cfe6dcc3e77455e2bcbfbc51b22ee33.jpg

 

Also, he built this while soaking luxuriously in a rain storm that dropped .36 in. on him.

Kudos to Paul the Duck for getting this done!

I can't wait to ride it,

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Took a spin today, conditions were fantastic. Planning another ride this afternoon.

The latest bits added over the last week now have distance up to 12.8 miles.

Also, flagged another new trail and scouted for more places to build.

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Posted (edited)

The latest map update is on MTB Project online and should be in the updated Texas area download this coming Saturday.

Making more signs, and I have flagged two new trails, with a third in the planning stages.

Two other new trails by Paul are going in between the 512 area and the fence. Presently, you cross the road and go downhill on a fenceline jeep road. Soon, you will take singletrack to the East of the Jeep road, ride back up the Jeep road, then take singletrack back down on the West of the Jeep road. These should add almost a half mile.

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Posted (edited)

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!

Edited by Ridenfool
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Posted (edited)

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.

 

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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.

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Posted (edited)

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.

Edited by Ridenfool
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Posted (edited)

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.

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Posted (edited)

Signs for Fat Chuck's wet up today.

 

At the T in the Campground

FatChucksA.thumb.jpg.01dcdfb7499182432dc43e44a537eea7.jpg

Fine print says, " You won't like it!! "

At the Y for Fat Chuck's

FatChucksB.thumb.jpg.99c7d1b100b006bd0a8266edf4d946c6.jpg

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.

Edited by Ridenfool
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Posted (edited)

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.

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Posted (edited)

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?

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Posted (edited)

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.

Edited by Ridenfool
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