Saturday, September 1, 2012

Perfect Weekends - Soldier's Creek

Bike Trail At Soldier's Creek
By Kayla Baker

It is a sad time for The Crimp Chronicles this month, because we have lost our "Gear Geek" and "Perfect Weekends" writer, Lauren Day, so that she can go off to this thing called "college"...? Really though, we are all so proud of her for getting into the University of Florida's College of Architecture. I will be taking over her column of Perfect Weekends, and this month I am going to talk about a place that is very near and dear to both of our hearts, in memory of Lauren.

As climbers, or athletes in general, I'm sure that climbing is not your one and only hobby or sport. One thing that Lauren and I used to do quite frequently together is go mountain biking at a place that some of you may know as Soldier's Creek. Soldier's Creek is located about 15 minutes from Aiguille Rock Climbing Center, so if you are looking for something adventurous and fast-paced to do one day after classes or work, this is the perfect place to go that is very close by.

Bike Trail At Soldier's Creek

From the start of the bike trail, through the single-track loop, and back out to the end is about 1.5 miles (or 2 miles if you decide to ride the add-on trail, which is slightly more advanced). Because Soldier's Creek is not a long trail, doing multiple laps on it is usually a good idea. And don't let the short length fool you; this trail requires good riding technique and balance, whether it is on the natural drops, thin wooden bridges, or just taking some tight turns.

Biking at Soldier's Creek

If you don't think you are ready for the technical riding that Soldier's Creek offers, you are still in luck! Right across the street you will find the Environmental Center, which holds a few more miles of off-road biking. On this side of the road, you may run into some fellow outdoor enthusiasts touring the Environmental Center. Once you hit the end of the dirt road, if you hang a right, there is some more technical riding, but if you are just looking for a nice place to relax and chat it up with your riding partner (let's say, a picnic by the lake?), there is a beautiful place for you to do that too. At the end of the dirt road, instead of turning right into another trail, you will take a left onto the last boardwalk and ride it all the way down to the end. Once you arrive at your destination, the view of Lake Jesup will surely make you glad you came out to ride.

Whether you are just starting to get into off-road riding and want to work on your technique and speed, or just want some fun trails to hit up on the weekends to have some fun, Soldier's Creek is an exciting experience that you will want to come back and ride over and over again!

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