Trails like people come in all different shapes and sizes. And just like with people, each person has their own preference. What one person likes best about one trail, may be the exact reasons that another person hates a trail.
With a trail like Erwin Park in McKinney Texas, you are likely to find one person who loves the trail for the challenge it presents from the very root heavy terrain. While at the same time you will likely find another person that hates Erwin because of the roots. You can see what that trail is like in this video.
Same goes for a trail like Big Cedar and climbing. Because Dallas is such an overall flat metropolis, most people love Big Cedar because it offers something unique, a place to go and stretch the legs and do some climbing. However, I have come across many different people that adamantly hate the Big Cedar trail because it is just too much climbing and that’s not their thing.
I can’t fault anyone for having their preference. Each person has their own unique style that they want to ride. Some are roadies at heart and want nothing more than to sit in the big ring and pound out a slow rhythmic cadence while flying across the trail. Others like myself enjoy continually challenging ourselves. Spending a long climb spinning out a 100+ RPM cadence for 5 miles to crest the top of a long climb is on my bucket list of things to do.
I desperately want to go to the mountains, to climb a long mountain pass and feel like my heart is through my skull and my legs are through the floor. There is something un-nervingly attractive about that kind of a challenge. Mostly because it is something that I have never had the opportunity to do before. My recent vacation to the Womble trail in Arkansas was the most climbing that I have ever had in one sitting. And the longest climb on that trail was only a little over 300 feet.
The wife and I have talked about taking a vacation to Mount Scott in Oklahoma near Lawton. There is a 2.5 mile climb to the top of that mountain that sounds painfully delicious to me.
But I digress, enough about my disgusting desire for pain filled climbing. Back to the original topic at hand, choosing a good trail to ride.
First, distinguish the type of trail that you want to ride. Whether it is technical, or simply flat and fast. You dictate the style that you ride, not the trail and not anyone else. Make the decision about what kind of trail you most enjoy riding and then seek those out like a bee to honey. There are plenty of different websites out there that help you to distinguish the type of terrain, the type of riding and what can be expected upon accepting each trails unique challenge. Use those to your advantage and formulate a list of at least 3 to 5 trails you enjoy riding on a consistent basis.
If you don’t find any, then go join a club or a group or organization. Maybe you are the type of rider that would prefer to always ride with another person. You may just be needing that social element to spark life into what would otherwise be a dull trail. Then again, if that is what is holding you back, then you should check out the services of Strava and start interacting with riders that are near to your location. That is a wonderful way to compete on ordinary rides and trails to make your ride more fun, interesting and potentially meaningful.
Love your ride!