Thursday, February 16, 2012

Local Ride: Albany Pine Bush, Water Tower Trails

Well, technically it is winter but there is no snow, hence the question mark. Some sections of ice for sure but even those are all but gone. My last three rides were in the Pinebush, on the water tower trail network. There's a good mix of single and double track so you won't get bored. Lots of opportunity for elevation gain, much more than you see on Schenectady Central Park or even the Shale Trail in Colonie Town Park. There are some technical trail features like log crossings, definitely enough to keep it interesting. Also there are several sections where the singletrack meanders along the sides of deep ravines for a little added fear factor. The Cemetery loop is fun too, good mix of flowy singletrack that climbs and descends. I'd really like to hit that place on a night ride...totally spooky. As of right now studs are not needed, just tires with goods knobbies because there are lots of leaves down which can make corners at speed pretty slick. The upside of riding in the Pinebush, because of all the sand, is that it drains well. This spot is an excellent alternative to ride when other areas can't be ridden for fear of trail damage. The downside is the ticks, the ones you find here give you lime disease and they are just plain gross...little blood sucking bastards. I am going to probably end my riding once Spring arrives because you can guarantee that with the mild winter we've had so far, they will be out in full force when the temps start to rise.

I used to ride here years ago, but stopped because I found other places to ride and other groups to ride with. Also I started to get involved with the Saratoga Mountain Bike Association so I was spending a lot of time riding in Malta, Saratoga and North Umberland. The Pinebush is a great place to ride, I am glad I came back.