i went to castlewood today with a small hope that the trails would be dry enough to ride. it was a small hope. and there were small areas to ride.
i knew better. i knew it would be soggy and sloppy. but, hell, it's march and i have been nearly blanked on winter mtb riding. so i was rushing the season.
i thought i'd try love trail first. i rode up about a 100 yards and turned around. it was soft, not muddy, but it was looking increasingly so as i went up. no dice. then i went up the ranger station climb. there was hope! the rock and gravel climb was solid as a rock. and it remained so all the way to the junction with the grotpeter and rollercoaster. ah, no dice from there. dead stop, mud and ruts everywhere. i sat a bit dejected. then i just went up and down the hill a few times, what the heck? i can always use more climbing.
bored with that, i spun over to the cardiac climb. i knew it would be as solid and forbidding as ever. i didn't expect justin's trail to be any good, but one look at it gave me the go ahead. i took it all the way to the top of cardiac and down that. nice! so i reversed course and did several laps on that, climbing cardiac and down justin's.
that was it. other than those areas, it just looked too muddy to ride. there was no way i was going to tear up the trail. i left there with zero mud or splatter, which makes me very happy since i wouldn't have the time to clean it off the bike anyway.
if this sounds like the riding of a man desperate to get out and ride his mountain bike, it is.