Mountain Biking Silent Lake 10k
Sunday August 29, 2010 – Drew and Scott visited the mountain biking trails of Silent Lake Provincial Park. The park is located off of Route 28 between Apsley and Bancroft in the Kawarthas.
The park office was not open when we arrived so we checked in using the honor system.
It would pretty easy for them to figure out which car hadn’t payed since we were the only car in the parking lot.
We got ready to go and hit the trail. The trail started out narrow and a bit rough. It seemed like we were climbing for a long while. Not steep but steady. We startled a good size deer and observed it’s tail as it crashed through the woods escaping our intrusion.
Early into the ride Scott got bogged down in some deep mud and then lost his momemtum forcing him to stop and brace with his foot. Not much bracing as he plunged his shoe into some very wet dark wet mud.
We continued to climb. The temperature was about 20 C and pleasant. We made our way a few km then met up with a paved road that led to campsites. A left turn and a quick connect on the pavement and we were back on trails. However these trails double as cross country ski trails in the winter. They were wide, in good shape and nice. These were “beginner” type trails as opposed to the intermediate difficulty trail that we started on.
The sun was working it’s way up and the sunlight was streaming through the trees. It is turning into a very nice ride at this point.
We continued this trail for about 15 to 20 minutes. It rolled gently up and down and was easy to navigate. There were a few wet spots but nothing to give us any grief.
The trail led to a “warm up” hut that would be very handy in the winter.
We stopped and took a break.
There was an outhouse for comfort. At this point it was decision time. There was an intermediate trail that was about 12km that went the left. The other option was to continue on the ski trail which would loop us back around. Due to the time we opted to continue on the ski trail and start making our way back.
I took that shot with the camera balanced on a log using the self timer.
The trail continued along in a mild decent. It was a bit wetter and bumpier along this section but still very navigable. After about another km we came upon a tree that had fallen and was blocking the trail. This was evidence that this part of the trail was not getting much traffic. There was no way other riders had gone around this so we determined nobody had been on the trail since the tree fell. It was windy the day before so perhaps it had fallen then. Scott stepped up and in lumberjack fashion he wrestled the tree to the side allowing us to continue.
We continued on and the trail started ascending again. It was fairly wet through this part and I was having some trouble with my shoes slipping off my pedals. In a few steep spots my feet came off as I pushed hard and I lost all momentum. I ended up walking my bike up over a short distance. Note to self: change from the low profile clipped pedals to some pedals with some grip for the next mountain bike adventure. The trail was pitching a bit harder in this section. I decided to stop and lower the seat post on my bike by about 3/4″ – 1″. That made a big different and I felt a lot more comfortable going down some steep inclines.
The trail ended at about 8 km and we found ourselves back on a paved campground road. We had been riding about 1 hr 15 min at this point and we had planned to go about 1 1/2 hours. We decided it would take too long to double back using the trails so we headed down the road. We got to experience the reward from all the climbing we had done as the road was a 1.5 km downhill coast back to the parking area. We could see the campers starting to rise and smell the bacon and coffee as the campers made breakfast.
We worked up some speed descending on the roads and the mud started flinging out of our tires. We both were getting pelted with small clumps of mud as we raced downhill.
We returned to the parking lot which now had 1 car besides our own. We still had the place to ourselves.. We took a few minutes to enjoy a final view of the lake.
The water was calm and it was very peaceful.
After that we loaded up and headed out. No crashes this time. This was a really nice ride. No bike traffic here. We never saw even one other rider the entire time. This is ride for the repeat list.