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mack_turtle

rank trails in order of heat stroke danger

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with summer in full swing, the places we choose to ride might change depending on just how hot locations can get. what's your take on trails that are less horrible when it's close to 100°, and what trails you avoid?

for example, Reimer's Ranch trails seem to have very little tree canopy, so I would think that would be among the worst places to ride on a hot day. I've only ridden there during cool weather.

BCGB has lots of tree cover, but being low and wet right now might mean additional humidity.

what's your list?

(perhaps I am a bit fixated on this topic, but I just don't do well in extreme heat compared to some of you.)

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For me, it's not going to be a list but a description of trails I avoid in the heat.  Lack of tree cover is not necessarily a big item for me if I can manage to keep the speed up.  I wear sun sleeves and a wicking beanie under the helmet and that helps shield me from the sun and keep me cool.  Anything bowl shaped where air can get superheated and/or humidity is trapped I avoid.  Thumper encompasses both the main things I avoid in the summer:  slow trail, bowl shaped.  Walnut is the best since it's fast and shaded.

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I should have added that humidity is key.  I will generally try to avoid riding in the mornings even if it's cooler. For me it's all about evaporative cooling.  That's why speed is important.  WC is fast and shaded so in the afternoons it doesn't feel bad at all.  BC has shade (DD) but slow trails with climbing, or faster trails with no shape (1/4).  Picnic and Peddlers are the best in the heat.  SN is also pretty good in the heat.  On a very humid day I'll resort to road riding or getting on the trainer.

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7 minutes ago, ATXZJ said:

Tax dollars at work. Does this me we get to pay less?

I just wish the Director of PARD were an elected position, instead of the next COA lifer sitting out their days until pension, and making life easier for themselves by removing facilities and reducing the amount of time and money spent maintaining things.

I emailed the previous Director when she removed the picnic tables and trash cans from Walnut, and was told it was "for safety reasons". What utter bullshit!

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5 minutes ago, TAF said:

I just wish the Director of PARD were an elected position, instead of the next COA lifer sitting out their days until pension, and making life easier for themselves by removing facilities and reducing the amount of time and money spent maintaining things.

I emailed the previous Director when she removed the picnic tables and trash cans from Walnut, and was told it was "for safety reasons". What utter bullshit!

Didn't you know? It's their money not yours lol.........

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I'm sure it's complicated, but they're not opening most of the pools this summer. I can't imagine COVID has anything to do with it. they are likely not finding enough lifeguards, but I doubt that's the whole issue. with this heat, I'd love to go flop around in the water at Dick Nichols but the pool is empty. they could at least let us skate in it if they're not going to put water in there.

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I'm going to be riding Pedernales for the first time tomorrow morning - starting at 9:30am. Hope it's not on the top of anybody's heat stroke list! 

Around here it makes sense that Walnut Creek would be the best place to ride in the summer, but I couldn't say what would be the worst. I know for sure that I won't ride City Park in the summer, partly due to level of exertion required and partly due to horseflies ripping your flesh apart. Likewise I have no interest in riding LGT in the summer. Personally I try to avoid direct summer sun exposure between 10 - 6 on any trail regardless of how fast I can move. Brushy has been fine so far this year in the mornings between 8-10.   

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On 6/25/2021 at 5:33 PM, throet said:

I'm going to be riding Pedernales for the first time tomorrow morning - starting at 9:30am. Hope it's not on the top of anybody's heat stroke list! 

Generally pretty good tree cover on Juniper Ridge and Madrone trails. No water refill options outside of some of the main lots though. But if you start your ride at the blue circle lot, then you can half-way at the red circle lot, where there is a water spigot. Edit...then you'll have an incomplete sentence. Intended to add... then you'll have a mid-ride refill. But I rekon (hope) the incoherent point came across. 

2709375_Screenshot_20210625-174005_MTBProject3.thumb.jpg.31869b56c17a41650de5563ddd195d89.jpg

You'll need to go check in at the gate near the red circle, so you can confirm with them that the spigot is on before deciding your parking situation. 

Edited by Barry
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1 hour ago, throet said:

I'm going to be riding Pedernales for the first time tomorrow morning - starting at 9:30am. Hope it's not on the top of anybody's heat stroke list! 

 

Have you ridden there before? Some of the stuff outside the park is actually pretty good. That juniper trail is as anti-fun as they come.

 

 

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6 hours ago, TAF said:


I emailed the previous Director when she removed the picnic tables and trash cans from Walnut, and was told it was "for safety reasons". What utter bullshit!

I've alway thought we should just bring out own picnic table up there and chain it to the trees (again).  I suspect it would go un-noticed for months (of not longer)

-CJB

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3 hours ago, ATXZJ said:

Have you ridden there before? Some of the stuff outside the park is actually pretty good. That juniper trail is as anti-fun as they come.

I've ridden Flat Creek Crossing many times but never Pedernales. Honestly all I'm after tomorrow is a couple hours of exercise. If it turns out to be not that great, I won't be terribly disappointed, and I'll have one more local trail system to check off my list. 

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On 6/25/2021 at 6:42 PM, ATXZJ said:

Have you ridden there before? Some of the stuff outside the park is actually pretty good. That juniper trail is as anti-fun as they come.

Back in the day, I put on a couple of races which started in Flat Creek and connected thru to Ped Falls - full laps of both. I bet my padlock is still on that gate which connects the properties 🙂

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54 minutes ago, TAF said:

I bet my padlock is still on that gate which connects the properties

Certainly there was a lock there last year. The "right" way to ride both places is to hit the road and go around. But I always hop'd that gate and make a b-line to the ranch check-in. I pay'd my cash, sign'd in, and did my loop back around to the gate, which I hop'd again back in to the 'nales.

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4 hours ago, natas1321 said:

Pedernales has always been a fun ride for myself, nothing really difficult and hardly run across anyone else on the ride so it's nice and peaceful.

Sent from my moto g(7) supra using Tapatalk
 

This was our experience today. Just enough tech to keep you alert, but nothing to cause any real exertion. Plenty of shade for most of the ride too. Rode for a few hours starting at 10am. The 85oz of fluid in my Osprey pack was enough to get me through the ride, although I had a bottle with me as well. Overall it was a really pleasant ride and worth the trip. Some really spectacular views from some sections of trail. Reservations are still needed, but we were able to snag those online yesterday afternoon.   

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I think Reimers is alright as you get good airflow out there. Pacebend was wicked hot the other day, tree cover is too dense and even though it is not a bowl, the airflow is low. But with both you can always take mid lap swims if you want. 

I think level of difficultly is also important to figuring out risk. WC is pretty easy, there are no sections that are going to make you work hard for long enough to blow out. But someplace like Mt. Lakeway, you could be climbing for long enough that the heat really gets to you. As Antonio said, same with Thumper. 

 

As a COA employee, I'll tell you, getting your council member involved is often the most effective way to get something done. For WC picnic tables, maybe reaching out to YOUR member but also Leslie Pool (CM 7). Ask about picnic benches out there. Also ask if there is a way to fundraise for them if that would help. 

And the pools, that is a function of Covid, but not the current risk. When they would normally do their hiring fair in the spring, Covid prevented it, so they didn't have the chance to hire enough lifeguards. Also some pools are still F'd from the freeze. Add to that the larger issue in Austin of lower paying jobs not being filled ANYWHERE, at least until the federal unemployment ends this week.

 

 

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