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Hurkey Creek Epic

May Valley & Hurkey Creek

 

My first attempt to ride the “24 hour loop” went a bit pear shaped, and I missed the turn off to Rage through the Sage and Tunnel of Love.  While getting my steed fixed up, I got a lot of useful trail intel from the shop owner. The trails he marked for me on a very basic map were some local secrets, and there is no way I would have been able to ride them without this inside intel. The good thing was, I managed to map a loop that included the Rage through the Sage and Tunnel of Love..

I must say though, there was one thing that made me (almost) hate these trails….

 

Hurkey Creek Trails Map
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Trail Stats & Information

 

Nearby Town : Idyllwild
Length: 17.29 miles
Trail Type: Loops
Skill Level: [what the books say] no info
Skill Level: [My Opinion] Technically easy to moderate. Physically moderate.
Duration
: My time was 04:25:15
Elev Gain
: 2,181 feet
Top Elev : 5,435 feet
Min. Elev : 4,378 feet
 

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Book Description

I could not find any Mtb Trail books describing the Hurkey Creek Trails, so the below descriptions are based on my personal experience :
>> The Hurkey Creek Trails just a few miles from Idyllwild offer some fantastic and scenic trails. Some of the trails are pretty popular, and are used in the 24 Hour Race held in the Spring. Trails such as Johnson Meadow, Exfoliator, Rage through the Sage and Tunnel of Love are some of the must do rides in this area.
May Valley offers some fantastic loop trails that can easily be combined. To get the most out of these trails you will really need a local to show you, or some local advice on which trails to take and HOW to ride them, for example the Lower South Ridge must be done counter clock, giving you an excellent downhill experience, rather than a hike up.
Visit the Hub bike shop, and get a map and  some advice before heading out.
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My Experience

Luckily for me, I had done a section of this ride a couple of days previous, so I had a much better grasp of the layout, I also had a slightly better map and a head full of trail info.
Again I set out early, I was on the trails at 6 am. the first 45 min. was on trails I had done before, so that went pretty smooth. Then onto the un-mapped “Meadow Trail” a sweet short trail that connected me to the Murkwood Trail. From here it was a gradual climb that took me to the Lower South Ridge Trail. From here it was a funtastic and pretty technical downhill to Coldwater Trail.  The Coldwater Trail is a moderate climb, it coud be an easy climb, seeing as it is pretty gradual however the sandy singletrack makes it some what demanding. You then continue pass the Murkwood Trail where you were more than an hour ago. When you hit the fire road, make a left, and immediately look for a well hidden singletrack on the RIGHT hand side, this will connect you to the Second Brother, that will then connect you to Cahuilla Cutoff. The Cahuilla Cutoff is also a really nice fast trail with a few “no warning” tech spots, so be careful. At the end of this trail, you cross a fire road and continue straight onto the “Coffee Pot” … Why is it called the Coffee Pot?.. ride it and you will know where the name came from.
The Coffee Pot ends at the beginning of the Exfoliator. I described this trail in my previous review, and all I can say is that the second time on this trail was just as mental as the first.. A MUST!!
This time I took the right left hand turn and crossed the creek and started the short but demanding climb to the top of Rage through the Sage.
Rage through the Sage is another fantastic and fast roller coaster ride,  not highly technical, but because of the potential speed you can reach, it’s not a trail to hesitate on which line you are gonna choose. If you choose the wrong line, my advice is to stick with it and hope for the best, ‘cos chances are you will bite the “Sage” if you try and change.
The Tunnel of Love is also a fantastic trail, a lot like the Exfoliator,  fast and sweet… Very Sweet!

 

Conclusion
I would say that 98% of the trails I did here are on singletrack, and sweet singletrack at that!. This ride is both technically and physically moderate, but there are one or two sections that are demanding . Lower South Ridge can even be pretty dangerous if things turn sour on certain sections. ( I actually endo’d on this section, and miraculously landed on my feet)
Exfoliator, Rage through the Sage and Tunnel of Love  are pretty well known trails, and once you’ve experienced them, you know why they are well known.
These trails are fantastic, but there was one thing that really put a damper on things.. Horse flies!!.. I’m not talking 2 or 3, I’m talking swarms!. I could not stop for 20 seconds to study my map without being attacked.
I mentioned this to some of the locals, and they said that it was really bad for some reason, and they confinced me that it is never this bad.

 

Other Info:

Traffic on Trail : I had all the trails to myself, I did not see anyone.
Wild Life : A few dear along the Johnson Meadow section
Scenery : Great scenery
Getting There : Click HERE for directions from Idyllwild
Other : Take sun lotion and plenty of bug spray, the horse flies are terrible

 

My Trail Rating : 8 / 10


 

The Hub Cyclery IdyllwildThe Hurkey Creek and May Valley Trails review is proudly sponsored by :

The Hub Cyclery Idyllwild.

Don’t even consider riding the Hurkey Creek Trails before paying a visit to The Hub Cyclery. This is not your average Cycle Shop, the owners themselves are not just avid mountain bikers, they also build the popular Siren Mountain Bikes. The Hub Cyclery is well stocked with everything you and your bike will need on the trails, and a lot more. When you buy a Trails Map at The Hub, it comes with some free and unmissable advice and recommendations.

For more info please visit : www.hubcyclery.com

 


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My first time riding in the Bozeman & Big Sky area. Arrived on another glorious sunny day, set up camp and headed straight to the bike shop for a map and advice. There are plenty of trails to choose from in this area, but I quickly opted for the Bangtail Divide Trail.
So, did this first Bozeman trail impress me? or was it a big disappointment?

Bangtail divide Trail

Trail Stats & Information

Nearby City: Bozeman

Length: 23.8 miles

Trail Type: Point to Point with shuttle or loop [ for loop add 8 miles to total length ]

Skill Level: Aerobically: strenuous; Technically: easy

Duration: 4-6 hours

Trailhead Elev: 5,560 feet

Top Elev: 7,950 feet

Book Description

A relatively new trail to the area, the Baingtail Divide trail was completed in 2003. The trail spans from the Brackett Creek Trailhead to Stone Creek for a total of approximately 23.8 miles. The trail is well built and hardly technical, but due to the length, is considered an intermediate trail.
Built with bikers in mind, the trail has excellent descents on both ends of the trail with a couple big grassy meadows that provide a great view of several mountain ranges to include the Briders, Crazies, Absaroka, Gallatin, and Madison.
There are several different ways to ride the trail. You can car shuttle from one end to the other, you can ride it as a loop if you add about 7 or 8 miles of highway riding, or you can ride it in sections by using Olson Road which puts you onto the southern part of the northern 1/3 of the trail. The most common choice is to ride from the southern to north (Stone Creek to Brackett Creek)

My Experience

Trailhead is easy to find, the trail is well marked. There is a lot of climbing on this trail, but it is definitely doable, just put your steed into low gear, switch off , and enjoy the climb. This trail is in my books technically easy, but it is a long ride and a long walk out if anything goes wrong, so go well prepared. I did this trail as a P2P (point 2 point) starting at Stone Creek and finishing at Bracket Creek, however this trail can be done from both directions.

Conclusion

Oooohhh yes!! this trail is what mountain biking is about, not too strenuous, 23 miles of sweet singletrack through stunning scenery. The trail is well maintained and well marked. The scenery is fantastic, and it came with the smell of fresh pine and 1000’s of wild flowers. The 2-3 hour total climb is rewarded with a fantastic smooth downhill with in most places more than enough visibility to open up to a fair speed.. Don’t open up too much, cos there are a few very tight switchbacks that appear out of nowhere, and some have some pretty brutal drops that you definitely don’t want to hit going too fast.. If this trail doesn’t put a smile on your chops, then nothing will!

All in all, the Bangtail Divide Trail is a definite “Must Ride Trail”.. I did this one in 4 hours 29 min. and I enjoyed every second of both the riding and the scenery.

Other Info:

Traffic on Trail : 5 mountain bikers, one jogger, one hiker

Wild Life : I did not see anything

Scenery : 23 miles of scenery

Other : Take extra fluids, don’t forget the bug repellent there are ( were) lots of pesky horseflies.

My Trail Rating : 9.5 / 10



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Yesterday I went to Owenhouse Bike Shop in Bozeman for a $12 spare derailleur hanger and left the shop with a brand new bike.. a bit impulsive? maybe!… a necessity?… No!.. But it sure feels good.
So now my big problem is I have to decide which bike to take on which trail!!… man, life is a b1tch!!

About the Giant Trance X4 2009

Giant Trance X4

The 2009 Giant Trance X4

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Frame Technology
Trance X is cutting-edge superiority with features like a hyper-engineered main triangle, absolutely dialed geometry and 5 inches of Maestro Suspension that’s active under pedaling and braking alike. But all you need to know is this: Trail riding just got that much better.

Features
– Marzocchi 33R 120mm suspension fork, Giant Air rear shock
– Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
– Race Face Ride XC handlebar and stem
– WTB Speed Disc rim/sealed hub, wheelset

Average Retail Price : $1500

Giant Trance X4

2009 Giant Trance X4 Specs

2009 Giant Trance X4

HDR photo’s of my new Giant Trance X4


Frame Technology
Trance X is cutting-edge superiority with features like a hyper-engineered main triangle, absolutely dialed geometry and 5 inches of Maestro Suspension that’s active under pedaling and braking alike. But all you need to know is this: Trail riding just got that much better.Features
– Marzocchi 33R 120mm suspension fork, Giant Air rear shock
– Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
– Race Face Ride XC handlebar and stem
– WTB Speed Disc rim/sealed hub, wheelset
Average Retail Price