Monday, August 26, 2013

Copper Harbor IMBA Epic

Most fun trails yet! Can I back this up?

I think I can. Plenty of elevation gain, but not just up a mountain across a ridge and and back down, like Shenandoah Southern Traverse. Not nearly flat like in Santos or Alafia River State Park.

Nice stiff climbs, that reward you with that gravity gain, every so often. Not a fan of climbing, just wait a few minutes and enjoy a technical descent. Don't like it rough, smooth flowy trail is right around the corner, need to drop in or ride some banked planking, they got you covered. Just got to have a bermy flow trail, they named it The Flow, just so there would be no mistake. You can even choose Daisy Duke for a side dish of table tops and doubles towards the end.

It is weird though, cause I really am not fond of all the planking. particularly banked planking. I watched their video of the Edge and I saw the rider rail it, but I guess it is part of that berm thing I still am working out. Michigan, like Wisconsin, use a lot of planking. Going down Stairway to Heaven, had me say "Here We Go", ironically the name of my favorite downhill trail here, followed closely by the red trail. Stairway to Heaven, had me thanking deity when I finally made it to that nasty rock drop at the end, of which I was much more comfortable with! Those twists and turns while gaining speed or trying not to lock up the rear tire, rivaled any pucker factor I can remember. AND it is a two way trail. Luckily, out of 3 times down, I only came across one rider coming up. He stopped and luckily again, it was one of the few places that you could step off the planking with less than a 2 foot drop or greater. I would vote for this one becoming one way.

While the IMBA Epic loop described here can be ridden in full, they have taken Paul's plunge and John Lincoln Green off the the map. Deep in the woods there is a sign for Paul's Plunge, but I saw nothing for John Lincoln Green (it may be what another map called Kamikaze XC trail).
Note: Go Left, when taking the turn off of Say Hello on to DZA Beet.

There are new trails and with this being one of the shortest Epics, I think some of the new stuff needs to be added to the Epic.

Mango could replace Paul's Plunge altogether. Mango is a funner, well thought out trail. Paul's Plunge is old school and could be prone to erosion. While Paul's Plunge is still there, but taken off the map, it is best if Mango takes the majority of the traffic. You will lose about a mile from this already short epic, but add Bullwinkle in to get it back. I put it all together for a still short 14 mile funfest;

Copper Harbor Loop, Garden Brook, Woopidy Woo, Bullwinkle, right on Garden Brook, Blue Trail, (do not go to the lodge, go down the water line to) Dza Beet, Here We Go, Ma Maki, Say Hello, left on Dza Beet, Simeh, De Deet, Red Trail, Mango, right on Ma Maki, right on Manganese road, left on Clark Mine Road, left on Pauls Plunge, left at bottom (John Lincoln Green maybe), stay right after the bridge, left on  Manganese Road, right on unnamed trail, Ma Maki, Der we Went, Stairway to Heaven, Copper Harbor Loop to Trail Head

Note: Very easy to miss towards the end. Once you start up the Manganese road a steep trail juts off to the right.  It is a fall line trail and steep (the only place I needed the granny ring)

Most riders will be happy going left on Ma Maki off of Mango. Paul's Plunge is definitely a double black diamond and the unnamed climb is just to say you are a tough guy!

I wish there was a way to add in The Flow and keep it a loop. There is a slight duplication on Ma Maki as it is. So what's a racer on sabbatical do?  He does three 11 minute intervals up Brockway mountain road, then took a right down The Flow twice, Daisy Duke on one of them. And then took a left down The Edge. And filled in with things I missed the previous ride and tried some things in reverse.

Race Memorial Day Weekend

I followed Dave down the red trail to get this video:

Here are some links that might help you out:

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