The weekend in Cuyuna continues! The plan for today was to ride the entire system that was Easy or Intermediate. I did complete this task, though I maybe should have spent a little more time making a plan. What I did was basically ride out far and then come back, it would have made more sense to do a loop at the Mahnomen Unit first and then out to Sagamore. Starting at Red Rider I headed West, riding the trails when I could. The westward heading section in Portsmouth is currently closed due to construction, so I took the paved trail until I connected to the two-way trails that lead towards the campground and the rest of the units. Then I took Galloping Goose and the Demo trail west. At the western edge I then had to take a combination of paved trails and road to get to the Sagamore Unit.
I’ve never ridden here before and wouldn’t recommend it. All of the trails were grass and only the Discombobulator would be worth riding again. The trails had been mowed somewhat recently, but trees were down on a couple of the trails. The main section here was an out and back trail with lots of side trails off it. It looks like they could make a loop, but run into private land on the western edge of the lake. There are some cool views of Sagamore lake and even the surrounding hills. I kept flushing out the same deer as I rode the discombobulator which really gets you lost in a directional sense. Having followed the road into this unit, I found a double track ATV trail that cut off some of the road riding on my way back. I did ride all the trails in the unit, hoping to find something awesome. I’ve heard that these trails are better in the winter and that they are always groomed quicker than the other units. I might keep that in mind for a return visit.
Another view of Sagamore
Some old mining infrastructure?
After traversing the roads and pavement to get back to red dirt I took a break and ate some food before hitting the hardest section of trails. I decided to hit all the side trails and worry about the rest of Galloping Goose later. I basically hit them as I came to them and decided that I’d stop at the top of each set of hills and relax for a minute. This meant lots of climbing and some cool descending. It is easy to see why Mahnonmen is the favorite section with something for everyone! The crew was out setting up for tomorrow’s race and some of the markings were already down. I was doing pretty well until I hit the Crusher which is at the end of this section. Basically the Crusher, crushed me. It is fairly steep climbing and because I missed a turn, I had to do it twice! I also did Roly Poly twice which is a little nerve racking as it is a rolling descent on the edge of the mountain! Despite eating more food, I was feeling it. I had also finished my two water bottles and I think it was deceptively warm since I was in the woods I didn’t feel it. I finished this section by climbing to the top of Miner’s Mountain before refilling on water at the Rally Center. When I headed out in the morning and all the way around Sagamore it had been pretty empty and quiet. By the time I got to the Rally Center it was crazy busy with lots of families, teams, and just people!
View from Hopper Hill
From Miner’s Mountain
After refreshing myself a little I went back and rode the entire Galloping Goose loop. Sidewinder has been closed and this is the easy loop that connects a lot of the other harder trails. There are a few trails that I didn’t ride because they are Expert. I should probably try them sometime when I’m fresh to see what they are like. I was feeling the sugar swings off the food that I was eating as I would feel low, eat something and then be okay again pretty quickly. I think for this long of a ride, I needed more real food and less gels and bars. Having ridden all these trails I kept heading east and rode Switchback back to Dragline. Since the North Drag Line and Man High trails were closed I didn’t ride the short connector to the campground. Drag Line is pretty easy and connects back to Yawkey.
Manual Lake from Haul Road – if you look you can see Red Rider.
I had thought about not doing Yawkey since I had just rode it yesterday, but decided I really couldn’t say I rode the whole system if I didn’t ride it all in the same ride. So I did. I was running out of water again and was feeling pretty beat, but I did ride Yawkey again. I actually rode Bob Sled even though it is marked as an Advanced trail. Riding Yawkey wasn’t as easy this time, but I did manage to finish it!
My total ride was 45.45 miles in 6:11 moving time.
I was toast! It felt so good to jump in the lake and cool off after returning to Red Rider. I spoke for a while with a family from Roseville that was up for the race and their daughter is racing really well.
After drinking and eating I decided to drive into town. I needed to charge my phone and did that at Red Raven bike shop while enjoying a cool beer. I had hope to do a bike demo they were having, but missed it. I then stopped at Victuals that had recently opened and enjoyed some lactose free ice cream. All of their ice creams are full dairy but lactose free! Victual is a cute little high-end gift shop with ice cream, cheese, and other food items. I headed back to camp for dinner and more relaxing by the fire.