As Nick said, driving out to Potawatomi (the mountain bike trails at Pinckney State Recreation Area) for the 8-hour ride I was supposed to do on Memorial Day Weekend was probably the best drive time to ride time ratio ride I could have for that trail. Leaving the house at just after 7am put me on the trail at around 9am, and this weekend was some amazing riding. The trail conditions were perfect, I was able to make every climb cleanly on the first try, and I didn’t have any “oh crap!” almost-falls. It was all I could ask for.
I ended up getting in four laps of the full trail, which gave me 73.12 miles completed in a moving time of 07:42:04. My total time for the ride was 08:37:27, with the gap time eaten up by stopping to urinate, a visit to the toilet between laps two and three, filling water at the pumps, and eating a tasty Danielle-made protein bar while stopping to talk with some folks. This was a bit short of the 8-hour prescription, but I imagine it’s close enough. (Strava data for the ride can be found here.)
I had brought supplies for and somewhat considered a fifth lap, but I was feeling a bit tired and wanting to get home. This would have put me out on unfamiliar (and rapidly emptying) trails until ~8pm without emergency lighting, which would not have been a good idea. Especially not when creeping up 10 hours of challenging trail…
The photo above was taken on one of the boardwalks along the route. I believe this one to be near the end of the Gosling Lake Loop in the north end of the system, but I may be mistaken. This one stood out to me more than many of the others because of how the grass is grown up along side and through it, giving a feeling of riding on a plank sidewalk through an unmowed field.