With temps nearing 50 and Christmas calories weighing me down, I went riding on the Battle Creek Park Reserve mountain bike trail system on the east side of St. Paul for the first time this afternoon, early enough to give me time to explore since the MORC reviewer notes:
One common complaint with this trail is that there is no one right way to ride it. This leads to confusion on the part of people who are not familiar with the trail. It also causes some scary near misses by bikers bombing around blind corners not expecting to see people coming the other way.
I got lucky, though: five other guys showed up at the Battle Creek Community Center parking lot at the same time and they let me join them. L to R: Tim Larson, David Gavin, Eric Marr and Dan Malecha. Not pictured: Tim Brinkmann.
I’m not exactly sure where we went, but one of the guys said we covered 17 miles. Looking at the map (jpg) of the area, I’m guessing we covered 50% or better, including sections called “Jesus Saves,” the “Wall of Death,” and “The Luge.”
The trails were 90% dry, with just an occasional muddy spot. Despite the warms temps, “The Luge” (a series of big berms) was a combination of ice and frozen dirt as it’s well-shaded. Still, it had surprisingly good traction.
There weren’t any technical areas, though there were a few walls and downed trees for some skinny riding.
Given the two-way traffic on these trails, I’m likely to only ride here in the early spring and late fall when the lack of leaves makes for better visibility. Oh yeah, warm and dry winters, too.