Went over into the woods across town today with the cross bike after talking to a neighbor down the street who spends lots of time in there. He's the serious mt biker, and this "unofficial" trail is considered by many in the serious set to be the toughest trail in these parts. All context though people, we're talking Long Island now. But the trail is tough.
I've never spent much time in there even though I can get to the trailhead in 15 minutes from my front door. Guess one of the main reasons I haven't been in there much is I don't have the patience to figure the place out. The trail is barely cut into the landscape and there are a lot of "wonder which way to go now" moments all over the woods. As is usually the case with me and family and responsibilities, when I get a free hour or two I don't want to spend it taking wrong turns and getting lost.
But my neighbor got me juiced about going back in there. He swears that, once you figger it out, there are 18+ miles of uninterrupted singletrack. And I don't doubt it. There's lots of real estate in there and lots of back and forth trails. There's also lots of crap--rusted out cars and refrigerators, evidence of several squatters camps, plenty of broken glass thrown in for decoration. But there is also some riding that is pretty hard.
Needless to say I was in WAY over my head in some sections, and it wasn't just because I was aboard the cross bike. Several places the trail drops down fast in a tight singletrack corridor of veggie with turns and very curious lines hidden at the bottom. Tough stuff. But I did manage to find some more cross-friendly trail and several miles of fireroads with deep, deep sand. With not too much thought there can be some killer cx training in there. This'll be my project for the off-season.
A few shots of the milder sections (with, of course, power lines to frame the scenes--can't have the great outdoors on LI w/o power lines):
In other cycling-related business, heard from VeloNews today and they're going to run a little something, something I wrote. Those of you brazen enough to do cx LI might feel the pain in VN21.