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Author Topic: AHT Ride Report  (Read 10963 times)

chuckc1971

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Re: AHT Ride Report
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2011, 07:00:54 AM »
You all got me scared, so we're bailing on the AHT.  Just going do ride French Lick till we fall over.  Sounds like autumn would be a better time to tackle it anyway and tomorrow the wife has got time restraints on me and if I don't make it home in time I might loose some saddle time. :'(  I still didn't find a map, was it a link in one of the blogs you guys wrote?

I will do all of this trail.... Just got to make the time (and hope I get permission  ::) )

I have an AHT map on my computer, but it has precious few details.

Bentcrank

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Re: AHT Ride Report
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2011, 10:44:33 AM »
Just let me know Chuck, I'm game and will be back when it cools off.

Dave G.

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Re: AHT Ride Report: 20 Aug 2011
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2011, 10:22:39 AM »
OK guys, here's my report on behalf of Al and me:

Al Weir and I tackled and defeated AHT, but not without an epic fight to the finish!

Our adventure began Friday night by setting up camp, then drove down Cold Friday road to the trail crossing and stashed a gallon of water.  We then stashed a gallon by the 462 crossing, and headed to Corydon for some Mexican dinner and beer.  After returning to camp full of El Nopal's best, we hooked up our lights and rode Firetower out and back with a loop of Rocky Ridge.  It was amazing to ride swoopy flowing Firetower, then maneuver the highly technical Rocky Ridge loop.  Great ride!

Saturday morning, we packed our stuff.  Along with the usual spare parts and tools, we packed 100L Hydrapacks and a water bottle of Perpetuem, enough Heed and Perpetuem to mix up along the way, a dozen Powergels, and a couple of sandwiches (PBJ and ham) and potato chips.  We were ready to roll!

We started out at 830AM by bombing down the fire road to the steel bridge, intending to ride AHT counter-clockwise.  For some reason, we could not find the trailhead to go CCW, so we turned around and went back to the steel bridge and went CW from there.  It was easy going at first, then after a mile we hit our first hike-a-bike.  It was tough, but we were able to ride alot more than we hiked till we got to the 462 crossing and stopped for water.  We realized at that time we were not drinking enough, I had only taken in one liter and all of one bottle of Heed. (cont'd)
David Gardner
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Dave G.

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Re: AHT Ride Report
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2011, 10:41:47 AM »
(cont')

We refilled our bottles and mixed up Perpetuem, and I snacked on half a PBJ.  We took off, Al noted that this section had been cleared of some of the old deadfall.  We went off course a little when the AHT crossed horse trail, but successfully backtracked and got back on AHT. 

The trail took us along a very scenic section that proved to be nearly deadly for me.  I was admiring the scenery off to our left, and didn't notice a fallen tree wiht a piece of branch sticking out into the trail.  I shoulder checked the butt end of the branch, pushing me left, and as I was grabbing a handful of brake, ran off the trail and endoed.  I flipped over and to my left, landing hard on my back on a stone and just stopped.  Al heard me yell, backtracked thinking I just fell off the edge of the overlook, and found me about ten feet from the edge!  My back hurt, but I was able to get up and keep riding.  Whew!

We made it to the first cabin, stopped to take a load off, and eat.  My back felt OK but occasionally twinged.  Surprisingly, we had good cell reception, and I got a call from Frank Lueken from Ferdinand.  He saw my post on Find a Ride thread, and called to invite us to meet him and his buds at FSF to ride Sunday.  We made plans to meet him, not really knowing how my back would feel the next day.  We then trudged on.

Many more miles and hike-a-bike sections later, we arrived at the Cold Friday Road crossing.  We were both getting scratched up alot by sticker bushes encroaching on the trail in several places, and knocking down spider webs constantly.  I was beginning to cramp occasionally, but nothing too bad.  I had just run out of water in hydrapack and bottle, so we took our last gallon of water, made new Perpetuem in bottle, and split the remaining between us.  We had about two liters each to go to finish the ride/hike, along with a full 24 oz bottle of Perpetuem. (cont'd)
David Gardner
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Dave G.

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Re: AHT Ride Report
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2011, 10:57:12 AM »
(cont'd)

Al told me that this final segment would be the most difficult terrain to cover, and he wasn't joking!  On most of the previous sections we had to hike up, we could ride the descents.  But this section had many places we hiked down just to keep us from killing ourselves!  Quite a few of the descents were simply beyond our skillset, some were doable but we chose to be safe rather than sorry to get so far and get really hurt.  We were both cramping badly at times, at times it would switch between my quads, then hamstrings, then adductors, and occasionally my calves.  It was very painful to dismount and mount, so I hopped as many fallen trees as I could.  With only about three miles to go, we began to catch a second wind and knew we could finsh the ride successfully.

We were really tired, and once contemplated bailing out where the trail passed near the campground.  I felt like we had to press on, since we were so close, and also I wanted to find out exactly where the trail head we could not find connected to the fireroad at the beginning of the ride.  The last mile or two of AHT were rideable, then came the final descent!  We rode it down successfully, then saw where it was in relation to a very large TRAIL CLOSED sign.  We passed it so many times that morning, and it was right there in front of us!  Oh well. (cont'd)


David Gardner
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Dave G.

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Re: AHT Ride Report
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2011, 11:24:43 AM »
(cont'd)

We knew success was ours!  All we had to do was ride the fireroad back up, past the steel bridge and up to the campground.  I was well into my second wind, and cranking along in full granny.  Al was fighting cramps but plugging along, occasionally stopping to stretch.  The climb back up the fireroad was not as bad as I thought it would be, but seemed to take forever.  But finally, after several hours of sticks flying up in our wheels, murderous climbs, thrilling descents, hike-a-bike, stickers slashing our arms and legs, dehydration (even after consuming four gallons of water), and a bruised back, we made it back to camp alive at 630PM.

My recalibrated computer had our mileage at 29.68, which included both ways on the fireroad, and two or three times we went off course on horse trails.  Actual moving time was 6 hrs 45 minutes, but total trail time was about ten hours.  Incredibly, I picked up no ticks, but scratched off alot of what appeared to be chiggers.  Whatever I didn't get in ticks, I made up in sticker scratches, log scrapes, back and shoulder bruises, and poison ivy all up and down my right forearm.  Our arms and legs look like we fought several cats.  However, it was all worth it!  We showered, got the campfire started, then cooked burgers and brats over the fire.  Washed them down with tasty beer!

My back was so sore the next day, we decided to pull up camp and head home.  I called Ralph to offer our regrets for not joining him to ride, then headed north back to Indy.

I've run several marathons back in the day, but this was even harder than any marathon I've ever run.  I may not ever do this again, but if I do, it will be to do it CCW, the way we originally intended. 

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it!  Thanks to my good buddy and fellow SWW Trail Bum Al Weir for helping me up all the times I fell down.  Now I'm off to the doctor to make sure my back isn't really messed up.

Dave
David Gardner
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Dave G.

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Re: AHT Ride Report
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2011, 11:48:56 AM »
I forgot to include our weapons of choice in this epic war! 

I rode a 2010 Niner RIP9 120mm FS, 2x9, 2.35 Panaracer Rampage.  Al rode a 2011 VooDoo Canzo 100mm FS 29er, 2x9, 2.1 Maxxis Aspen rear, 2.25 Maxxis Ardent front.  Both bikes performed well, with only a minor derailleur tweaking on mine by an errant stick.

Dave
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Paul_Arlinghaus

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Re: AHT Ride Report
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2011, 12:04:17 PM »
Oh, your guys are in big trouble!  :o 

Technically the park would like for bikes to stay off the fire road down to the iron bridge.  There is a horse trail that uses that road and bikes could go pretty fast down it. 

Once we complete more trails, accessing and completing the AT from the camp ground area will be easier and make more sense. 

You punishment is to go back down and do it again the other direction.

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Bentcrank

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Re: AHT Ride Report
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2011, 01:11:20 PM »
If you are going to get on the loop from the trail area, I would think the easiest would be where it crosses the Fire Tower trail.

AL

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Re: AHT Ride Report
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2011, 01:25:41 PM »
There is a section of shared Horse trail/AHT that crosses the Fire Tower Trail but we only realized this as we rode it. It was not marked as AHT Access that I could remember. This would be a good point to start from in the future. My trail maps did not have the MTB trails marked on it and the only Marked AHT access near campground is from the Iron Bridge.  The only other option would have been to ride hiking trails from campground which I really did not want to do.

DNR has spent alot of time clearing trees from the Trails leading to the Indian Creek Shelter and it was much better than last year.  However many more trees have fallen.  You would come across fallen trees and would notice that a tree had already been cut in the same location :-[ There is no easy access to sections of this trail and the DNR has to hike in their equipment.
The Thorn Bushes were really thick in some spots. You could not have walked through them.  Ouch!!!
I also noticed some improvements in trail markings from last year, however it is still easy to miss the trail in some spots.  It was nice to see that DNR is putting effort into improving this trail.

A very brutal ride.  Would not attempt this ride with out another rider and a big bag of gear.  No quick way out if you get in trouble.  Be prepared.



« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 01:56:57 PM by AL »

Dave G.

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Re: AHT Ride Report
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2011, 05:18:50 PM »

A very brutal ride.  Would not attempt this ride with out another rider and a big bag of gear.  No quick way out if you get in trouble.  Be prepared.


Amen brother!  I'm glad you were there to help me when I fell on my back.  I'll probably find out tomorrow how the x-rays turn out.  In the meantime, I'll be working from home for the rest of the week while the muscle relaxers take effect.  My back only hurts when I breathe deeply, or laugh out loud, steer to the left, etc.  TRTP DINO may be out for me  :'(

Dave
David Gardner
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john7722

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Re: AHT Ride Report
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2011, 07:33:35 PM »
I want to do this AHT desperately.
My work schedule makes it nearly impossible to make arrangements to ride with a locals.So I most likely will be riding alone or with my wife.
So I ask again! Why cant the trail be marked appropriately ?
I will even donate $ to the cause.

Doe

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Re: AHT Ride Report
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2011, 08:40:20 PM »
Fun to read that ride report, DG.  Sure makes me want to go out and do something like that...minus the endo/dehydration/cramps, etc.!

Paul_Arlinghaus

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Re: AHT Ride Report
« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2011, 09:14:56 AM »
I want to do this AHT desperately.
My work schedule makes it nearly impossible to make arrangements to ride with a locals.So I most likely will be riding alone or with my wife.
So I ask again! Why cant the trail be marked appropriately ?
I will even donate $ to the cause.

The AT trail is a complicated trail.  It was built as a hiking trail, but even for a hiking trail, the trail layout makes it easy to get lost.  Add in that the trail is mostly in State Forest land, and gets rearranged due to logging very often.  There have been efforts to blaze the trail, but they often have added to the confusion by marking it slightly differently than the last group.

Making the AT trail easier to follow is not as easy as buying signs.  We have segments that need
 to change.  Long term it sol be easier to follow, but it will always be an adventure.
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ELduder

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Re: AHT Ride Report
« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2011, 08:56:56 AM »
Great story Dave glad you made it out alright except for the back which I hope is only muscular issues. The ride sounds awesome minus the poison ivy.

Where the AHT crosses the rocky ridge trail which way would be the proper way to go if you intended on doing the whole thing?
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