For this past holiday weekend some friends (Nick, Marty, Erik, Kristi) and I all headed up north to Pine Creek Lodge, a nice, basic, and affordable campground in Wellston right near Big M Ski Area, home to Lumberjack 100. The intention of the weekend was to pre-ride the Lumberjack course do a fair bit of mountain biking around the area. While much of our riding ended up being cut short from original plans, it was still a great weekend spent outdoors.
The trail tally for the weekend was as follows:
· Big M: Rode most of the outer trails as part of the LJ100 route. After some mechanical issues and as the afternoon rolled on we opted to cut our ride short and go eat dinner.
· North Country Trail, Segment B: Only rode from Udell trail head to Steinberg road and back. Super-fun segment, but rain set in and radar showed it to be a big storm so we headed back and went to visit Tippy Dam instead.
· Arcadia Dunes: This is an incredible IMBA-designed trail in a land preserve. Rolling, flowing, fun climbs and downhills here are great. If it wasn’t so hot I would probably have done a second lap.
· Midland City Forest: Rode this by myself on the way home, as I wanted a break from driving. Apparently I missed a traffic backup by stopping here. Interesting, tight trail with some very sketchy areas, yet fun to ride. Needs a bit of work in some places, but otherwise good. Met a guy named Mark Mutton here who explained the basic trail layout and showed me around a bit; this was very helpful and appreciated.
Coupled with a whole bunch of great food and coffee, sleeping in, and generally nice weather, this was a great weekend. The biggest downside was cutting the back of my right calf on my chainring while failing to make it up an iffy armored climb at Midland City Forest. I stumbled, and in keeping myself from falling I caught my leg on the chain ring and put this gash in it. Once cleaned up it doesn’t look too bad, but I’m still having a bit of pain from it whenever that muscle tenses and the skin there stretches. (Tomorrow’s planned single speed ride should prove to be interesting.)
We also ate quite well, with much of our food coming from either the Dublin General Store (home to lots of great meat products) or simply stuff cooked up on the fire or in Tak and Jon’s cabin. (They came up as well, but rode, stayed, and traveled separately.)
This was a really great weekend.
Here’s all the photos taken this weekend:
· Marty, Erik, Kristi, and Nick at the top of a random climb in Big M.
· Nick riding along a fun, fast, flat piece of trail in Big M along the Lumberjack course.
· Erik, Nick, Kristi, and Marty as we all took a brief rest somewhere along the Lumberjack route in Big M.
· Erik’s Pivot Mach 429 and my Titus Racer X 29er at the top of one of the harder climbs in Big M along the Lumberjack route.
· Bratwurst from Dublin General Store grilling on a rack at our camp site at Pine Creek Lodge in Wellston, MI.
· Looking down at the water at Tippy Dam as Kristi stands on the rocks.
· Erik, Nick, Kristi, and Marty while we took a trip to the Tippy Dam on the Manistee River.
· My bike in front of the sign for Arcadia Dunes, a mountain bike trail designed by IMBA and located in the C. S. Mott Nature Preserve.
· My bike in front of the Midland City Trails kiosk showing a map, trail rules, etc.
· Pet cemetary found along the Frog Hollow loop of the Midland City Trails.
· Chainring cut and grease mark after stumbling on a steep armored climb.
· Chainring wound acquired at Midland City Forest, cleaned with water and with antiseptic ointment applied.