Friday, February 21, 2014

Having Myself A Mighty Fine Time In Arlington Biking The River Legacy Park Mountain Bike Trails

Today I returned to River Legacy Park in Arlington for the first time since I got my bike's wheels rolling again.

Today also was the first time I've rolled my wheels on all the trails I used to roll my old bike on.

The couple times on the River Legacy Park mountain bike trails with my new bike I have avoided a long section of trail due to the fact that I had trouble on a couple of the climbs  with my old bike, as in trouble with the thing that holds the gear mechanism in tension going slack at the worst possible time, pretty much throwing me off the bike.

I'd been feeling very mountain bike worthy of late at Gateway Park, so today I decided to once again roll over the climbs that vexed me at River Legacy Park.

This was a good decision. I was surprised at how well the new bike handled that which the old bike balked at. At one point I made a mistake and took the wrong option at a junction, going the red arrow way, with the red arrow indicating the trails had an extreme challenge or two. It was at the bottom of an extremely steep drop I realized I was on an extreme trail. And then I was further surprised to find I was easily able to pedal up the next extremely steep climb.

This had me wondering if I am now able to handle the EKG and Fun Town sections. I tried EKG when it first opened, years ago, and quickly had to bail. Later I walked the EKG section and about had a heart attack due to the steep climbs and getting confused by the maze of trails.

When River Legacy Park first allowed the building of a mountain bike trail  the initial trail was a bit boring, few climbs and drops. It was one convoluted four mile loop. I would pedal the loop three times to get in 12 miles. It was sort of boring, twisting and turning and having to pay close attention to avoid hitting trees.

And now, years later I don't know how many loops have been added. Five? Six? Seven? There are loops off of loops. Loop bypasses. Loop connections where you can take a shortcut from one loop to another.

Several sections of new trails have been added since I last pedaled River Legacy. I have no idea how many miles of trail there now are. It would not surprise me if the miles totaled 20 or more.

And then there was the new signage, which you see in the photo at the top, where my handlebars are indicating, by pointing to the left, that that is the direction they wanted to go.  That would be the Prairie Loop to the left, with the Prairie Loop Bypass to the right.

Every few hundred feet there are the 911 signs you see in front of my handlebars. Each 911 sign had its own location identifier, as in the one above is PL 5, which I assume means Prairie Loop 5.

I have been on the River Legacy Park trails when an emergency medical team has been in the process of rescuing someone. Most notoriously a few years back in the aforementioned EKG section where a woman was injured due to wrecking on those treacherous trails.

These 911 signs seem to be a real good idea to me. The River Legacy Park mountain bike trail  system has grown so big, with so many junctions and trail options that I can see where it would be very difficult to explain to the 911 rescue people from whence you need rescuing.

More than once I have helped a confused hiker who found him or herself disoriented a few miles into the trails. Methinks it would be a mighty fine idea to add directional arrows pointing the direction back to the starting point parking lot. Useful both to bikers and hikers.

I suspect I shall be returning to River Legacy Park again soon. I have never seen the trails in such good shape. And the weather currently is being wheel rolling perfect. That will likely change in the near future...

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