Biking Exploration

This weekend I managed to ride Hog Run again, check out some of the American Tobacco Trail, and give the Garner trails a look.

Hog Run is, so far, the best place to ride single-track in the area. The graduation from beginner trail up to advanced is well defined and fits those descriptions properly. There is no doubt in my mind that if you want to start riding off road and have never done that before, Hog Run is the place to start. Listener, gore, and I went riding there on Saturday and had good few hours of riding.

Sunday was more adventurous. Gore and I struck out to check out the American Tobacco Trail. We visited the Wake county portion that is around three miles long. The path is not unlike Umstead in that it’s mostly crushed gravel. But, due to heavy horse use, the surace is rough. We flew up and down the three mile stretch in no time despite the constant jarring surface. It’s really is a peaceful, serene envornment to ride through.

We moved on from there to the Garner trails. The parking lot was dead, and we didn’t see anyone else out there at all. From what I could tell, these trails run from intermediate to advanced. I never got my stride in these trails and no maps made the navigation very difficult. The constant twisted back and forth and the trails seeming to overlap made it easy to get confused.

More Hog Run

Saturday I rode more Hog Run. I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked, but I got a good hour or so in. The trails there are just exceptional and well maintained. I still need to get the front wheel on my bike re-trued. A few too many whacks to some roots.


Snopes is an awesome web site. It’s not unlike FactCheck but with less of a topic focus. Myths, wives tales, urban legends, it’s all here and debunked for the most part. I’ve been spending far too much time here.

The forums are really where the meat of this site resides in my opinion. But after reading most new stuff regarding urban legends and the like, I noticed that hardly any new posts came up. At least, it was a relativly slow trickle of posting going on. Seemed kind of odd. Then I noticed that most of the more intense posting was occuring farther down the forum list in the SLC area. I don’t even know what “SLC” stands for, but this is more like normal forums. I find it a little funny because even the layout of the page seems to lend itself to the concept of a group of animals congregating at the bottom of a lake, rising to the surface occasionally to feast on a new post in the urban legend forums above.

Hog Run

Having just recently get into the mountain bike scene, I had only ridden Umstead and Crabtree. And Crabtree not as much as I’de like. Gore and I struck out for Harris Lake to try Hog Run. The beginner section is very nice and easy. It’s a great run for anyone, and you can get some good speed on it. Intermediate and advanced were also pretty fun and a good workout. Advanced was a little much for me with the constant up and down some pretty good hills. I think the killer for me was large roots or logs on uphill runs. It was a very satisfying run.


The “war” on drugs.
The “war” on crime.
The “war” on terrorism.
The “war” on piracy.
The “war” on spam.

Is there a thing that can’t be fought in the context of a war anymore? Concise wording has been replaced by sensationalistic hyperbole as the norm, it seems. Many of the words used in english to describe a struggle against something are just words about physical conflict. Words like ‘struggle’, or ‘fight’, or ‘resist’. The obvious penultimate physical conflict being war. If you aren’t fighting a war against something, you must not really be opposed to it. Or so the government (past and present administrations included) would have us believe. Politics in the US are extremely polarized. Issues are portrayed in black and white with each side having their own laundry lists of supporting evidence. No one will look for ways to reduce crime. Not when you can wage war on it. Anything less would be inadequate for todays extreme politics.

The concept that war is the answer to everything that we don’t like in society is insane. Can we wage war on poverty? What about healthcare problems? How about war on drunk driving? Or maybe war on AIDS? War on war?


Listener and I rode some Umstead yesterday afternoon. Then I went on to ride all of Crabtree with gore. It was a pretty long day of riding for me and I really enjoyed getting into the woods on some single-track. This was really my first time out onto something more difficult than hills in Umstead and I was surprised at how enjoyable it was. Even when the burn came on going up a hill, it felt good to reach the top and keep riding the path.

Group ride at Umstead

Most of my friends, it seems, have bikes. And since Listener convinced me to get back into biking, I’ve been riding with her and gore. So, yesterday we widened the circle some and went riding with about six additional people. We did a relativly easy ride since some people were really on a shakedown run with their bikes. We all rode up to the cemetary spot on the Old Reedy Creek trail and then four of us turned around. The rest rode onwards towards the Harrison entrance before turning back around. I’m glad no one had flats or ended up with a busted bike and I think everyone had a pretty good time. It was a good day for a ride and I think we’ll do some more of these in the future.

Finding your limit

Yesterday I rode Umstead and a little of the Black Creek greenway. Starting at the Old Reedy Creek entrance, I rode up to the water fountain and then back down to Weston Parkway via the greenway. I met up with gore and we rode back up into Umstead. Basically we rode two huge hills to the north of the Old Reedy Creek trail and, of course, back up. It was pretty good and by the time I was done I was out of energy. Almost two solid hours of riding.