Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bike 06 : MTB - Six Mile Run Reservoir Site

It was a nice morning so I dug out my mountain bike, a black/silver Trek 6000 and headed for the hills.

I've already done a couple of small upgrades on the bike this year; a new, slightly longer, slightly higher stem; and some narrower, straighter and lighter handlebars.

This morning as I set out, the bike still had 1.5" inverted tread road tyres on. I'm fitting 2.2" Continental Mountain Kings in the next couple of weeks.

Did I say head for the hills? Well, not really. Instead I headed for Six Mile Run Reservoir site, a small local open space adjoining the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park, the longest, thinnest state park in the USA.

There were only two cars in the car park and a woman returning from a walk with binoculars when I got there. The weather was good at that point although the ground was damp under foot.

I was not very ambitious. I just followed the main path for the most part, the road tyres were frequently losing grip and traction.

The paths are really good and show some signs of local cycling volunteers having reinforced and cleared really good sections for mountain biking. Twice I had to make a serious ford of the river ... okay, it wasn't the Colorado, but it was about a foot deep with no stepping-stones and since I wasn't convinced there weren't gaping potholes in the bed, I sucked it up and waded across. Brrrrrr ...

The trails were good, but the wildlife was really good. Plenty of stuff crawling on the ground; rabbits, groundhogs, some sort of ferrety thing? But bird life was teeming; warblers, finches and larger birds. Best of the day? A hummer - yes, I know it's early and only a flash so unidentified - and a belted kingfisher - Europeans, imagine a giant kingfisher several times the bulk of our common (?) kingfisher.

I'll certainly be back before very long. A set of real dirt tyres will make sure I can enjoy all the little whoopy trails I felt were beyond the road tyres - I know, I'm a wimp. But for sure I'll also be back with hiking boots, binoculars and a notebook. Oh yes, and some Crocs for wading across the river.
* see my Bike Index here