Wednesday, May 22

Capitol Voyeur

My first visit to Capitol View Park in Frankfort was everything I expected it to be.  It was a park.  You could see the state Capitol.  On top of that I discovered miles of mountain bike trails.  Luckily I had my mountain bike, kit, and a lunch hour to burn.


At first I felt off my game.  It's was warm, the trails were not 100% dry after recent rains, and I was in a totally new and unfamiliar place.  There was nothing I could do about the strangeness of the place.  I figured out I had too much PSI and let a little air out toward the end of my ride.  Finally, my body just put out the sweat in bucketloads to cool itself down.

It's true what you've been told:  Capitol View Park (or CVP if you prefer) is the midpoint between Veterans Park (VP) in Lexington and Skullbuster (SKB) in Scott County.  VP is an easy distance with a nice, smooth, flowing trail.  SKB is much longer, rough and rooty, and taxes your focus and persistence.  CVP is a good mix.  It has shorter options, a variety of surfaces and terrain, and it gives you opportunity to have a different ride every time.

 
The singular con I have for CVP is that it's a very confusing place to try and navigate on your own the first time.  I didn't get lost exactly, but I ended up turning back instead of exploring deeper because I wasn't sure which trails were intentional and which ones were user created out in the boonies south of the East-West Connector.

If I had felt a little more sure-footed I might have pushed further into the jungles of Frankfort, Kentucky, but as it was I just didn't feel as confident as I usually do in a new area.  I had a much different experience than I did solo exploring at SKB.

 
I saw deer, a big ole black snake, and a surprise(d) jogger.  It was really cool to ride in the bottoms along the Kentucky River.  My last bike ride along the river was The Long Commute Home.

Now, I said I didn't feel sure-footed, but I did feel pretty solid behind the pedals.  I wasn't super fast, managing only a mere 7.2 mph average for my 7.8 mile ride, but I climbed like a surly billy goat.  Short and steep or long and steady...I cranked.


 
After my lunch ride I went downtown for some work related fun.  Then I headed home in the afternoon to sock in a good session on the mower.  Blah, blah, blah.  But an unexpected thunderstorm nixed my mowing dreams, so after the deluge subsided I jumped on the Orange Blossom Special (because it was handy on the Bikeport) and went exploring in the woods behind my house.

When I was younger I used to roam the vast Chainring family holdings utilizing a series of old, old, old logging roads.  They were grown over and washed out for the most part.  Lately I'd been hoping I could get up there and slash and burn my way through to have my own private MTB trail network.  Seems the ATVers/hunters have beat me to it.  Off my back porch (The Red River Regional Bikeport) I rode 0.7 miles into the woods on a narrow two track after a heavy rain, and I had FUN.

I stopped at the bottom of a stout little climb that goes all the way up to a shoulder that would put a determined mountain biker within striking distance of the crest of the ridge.  Oh, and then the miles of ATV trails increase manyfold.

My 0.7 mile bomb run back home had a nice aesthetic flow to it.  If you can't find me over the next few decades you'll now know where to look...

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