So apparently my idea of a fast trail, and other people’s is quite different. Many thought that Spring Ride was a very tough and technical trail with a lot of hills. So I’m thinking that no one is ever going to believe my estimation of a trail again πŸ™‚

Maybe it’s because I live on top of a moraine, which means that I don’t have any flat trail anywhere around home. So I don’t notice hills so much, and neither does King generally. He has lived on a vertical slope his whole life. I actually thought that the hills on that trail were not particularly steep with the exception of the one hill on the white loop. And even that didn’t seem all that enormous to me. I have a couple of hills like that on our Jefferson Forest loop, so I thought it was kind of normal since we go up and down that all the time. I think the Dufferin Forest trail is quite a bit harder than the Ganaraska trail with all that deep sand. It also occurred to me that I always pick more difficult trail whether for training or for competition because King is so much better behaved when he has something to think about. Not to mention that I have only ever competed in Ontario, where there are either hills or rock, or both.

But what did throw me a bit was that many thought the footing was tough. I found the 9 mile white loop a bit rough in spots. But the other two two loops seemed really good to me. King and Dressy both found the blue loop easy enough except for the bit of road at the end with some sections of loose rock. But even there, King seemed to clatter over most of it easily enough barefoot since the rock was just randomly mixed through loose sand. I think maybe that after the torrential rain through the week there were more washouts though. And Misha pointed out that the last four miles were the toughest, and that was common to multiple loops. Which is a good point. I only rode that once when I pre-rode it all. Whereas the 50 and 75s rode it over and over again, which multiplied the effect.

2 Replies to “Trails”

  1. The only *big* hill was the one on the 9 mile loop. Luba tailed me up both times (stopping long enough a couple times on the way up to grab a bite of grass). The rest was totally do-able, even for our horses that train in the flatlands of Ontario that used to be the Champlain Sea. There is a piece of trail along the old rail bed that we rode 5 times on the 75 mile ride. I didn’t find the footing to be bad there, and I usually ride barefoot (but was booted for this ride). In fact the “catwalk” – the rail bed is up on a ravine – was one of my favourite parts of the ride, and when we hit the muddy part, I knew we were almost home!! The rivulets of water at that spot were absolutely magical at night, lit up by the glow sticks. Thanks so much, Deanna, for pre-riding a great trail and providing so much advance info. MUCH appreciated by a super planner like me. πŸ™‚

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