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#477131 - 09/09/10 01:49 AM The Single Track!!!
Maladjusted Offline
Gang Member

Registered: 11/17/05
Posts: 222
Loc: Longview, TX
I thought this was worthy of posting. Copied from SERA website.


The Single Track

Without question, the best gauge of a rider's skill is the "single track" trail. In the sixties, we called them "pig" trails. In the seventies, they were "boogie" trails. In the eighties they were the "tight" trails. I missed out on the nineties, but somewhere in there they became "single track" as opposed to "double track" or ATV trails. Then you move to the less challenging "jeep trails" or "fire roads," and then up to the "hard packed roads" or "red roads," as they are sometimes called. They all demand a certain skill level to ride. Novice riders find fire roads and hard packed roads challenging. Intermediate level riders move quickly to the double track roads and jeep trails for a fun ride. But the real fun, the real reason to ride dirt bikes is the "single track" trail.

The single track is the sole domain of the dirt bike. No four-wheel drive truck, ATV, mountain bike, or horse can ride the single track. There are single tracks were even a human couldn't negotiate. But a good rider, on a well set up woods bike, can not only negotiate the sometimes impossible single track, he, or she, can actually fly through the trail at truly unbelievable speeds.

It is always amazing to novice riders how anyone can move through the tight, twisty, trails as such speeds. These lightening fast riders seem impervious to the thousands of obstacles Mother Nature puts it the way of their on-coming machines. Roots, ruts, sandy berms, logs, low hanging limbs, deep powdery sand (moon dust some call it), prickly bushes, sharp cutting wait-a-minute vines, and of course, bike sucking mud are all part of the single track. The fast woods rider deals with them as if they weren't there. Of course the slower rider deals with them also, it's just that he knows they are there. Boy does he know it. Ask him and he will tell you elaborate tales of tragedy about mud holes seat deep and up hills straight up to the sky. Ask the fast rider and he will probably comment "Yea, there was a little mud."

Whether you ride it fast or slow, it is the single track trail that test a riders soul. Most riders can handle the single tack pretty well for a few miles. Maybe even ten miles. But after thirty miles and then forty the single track becomes a relentless, pounding, twisting blur of sharp turns, trees, roots and thicket. It takes on a life of its own. That's because at this point in an Enduro or Hare Scramble the rider falls into a "Zone". He is running on sheer natural instincts. He no longer thinks about the next turn or the trail ahead. The body numbs and the mind wanders. Shifting, braking, sliding through turns, all are on automatic. The rider finds himself thinking of the next check point. There are people there. Humans. Something, anything, but the everlasting "single track" threading its way, turn after hairpin turns, mile after mile, towards the end of your misery. You pray for some open double track or jeep trails for a few minutes break. Anything to break the brutality of the "single track".

But the "single track" knows your weaknesses. It knows how tired you are. It even knows if your having trouble with your bike. If your rear brake is fading, then the "single track" is mostly steep down hills and long straight-aways with sharp 90 degree turns. If your bike is loading up, there is absolutely no place you can get out of 1st gear and hope to clear your engine. It knows if you busted your left hand on a tree, and will continue to put sturdy saplings in just the right spots to whack you again, and again. Ask any rider and they will back me up on this. The "single track" knows.

But just because the "single track" is uncanny in its ability to torture, and relentless in its pressure, that doesn't mean the "single track" always wins. In fact, more often it is the rider who is eventually the victor. This is because the rider has several potent weapons in his fanny pack. First, there is "experience". The more time on the trails the easier the "single track" becomes. Stamina, skill and confidence all increase as a rider gains first hand knowledge of what Mother Nature (and the promoters, but that's another story) can throw at you. Second, is that illusive element which causes the rider to gain any experience in the first place. That solely human trait of conquest. You ride the "single track" because it is difficult, and the more difficult it is, the more you want to ride it.

The "single track" demonstrates the riders skill level. Better riders go faster, and it shows the most on a "single track". It's a fact. But more than that, the "single track" is a test of a riders true urge for conquest. We call it, "Fun", but in fact we are fulfilling out urge to conquer the trail. It doesn't matter whether you ride it fast or slow, it only matters that you ride it. Every time you finish a loop or a particularly hard section, you feel as though you've accomplished something. You've been tested and you were victorious.

At least until the next trail ride.

Victor Ostrowski
Ft Walton Beach Fl
vico@nuc.net


--------------------
ST 4 - *Maladjusted*

'08 250 XC
'07 250 XCW
TSCEC #303
_________________________
TSCEC #303 +40B
'08 KTM 250 XC
Barnwell 1%'er
ROR - Row One Riders - "It's 8:01 somewhere!!!"

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#477173 - 09/09/10 04:41 PM Re: The Single Track!!! [Re: Maladjusted]
Greg Offline
Vet AMSA Director

Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 1277
Loc: Austin, TX
Thanks for that post!

I spoke to one of the forest service workers at the GPW several years ago. She told me that they had to hike sections of the trail to make sure they were ok. She said there were places where they couldn't get their backpacks through the tight trees. That was funny to me to think that hikers need a wider trail than dirt bikers.

Greg

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#477207 - 09/09/10 10:59 PM Re: The Single Track!!! [Re: Maladjusted]
ratchetman Offline
Gang Member

Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 252
Loc: Kingwood, Tx
Quote:
It is always amazing to novice riders how anyone can move through the tight, twisty, trails as such speeds. These lightening fast riders seem impervious to the thousands of obstacles Mother Nature puts it the way of their on-coming machines. Roots, ruts, sandy berms, logs, low hanging limbs, deep powdery sand (moon dust some call it), prickly bushes, sharp cutting wait-a-minute vines, and of course, bike sucking mud are all part of the single track. The fast woods rider deals with them as if they weren't there. Of course the slower rider deals with them also, it's just that he knows they are there. Boy does he know it. Ask him and he will tell you elaborate tales of tragedy about mud holes seat deep and up hills straight up to the sky.


I remember a few years ago when I was working the last check at Caney Creek. Cole Kirkpatrick blew through the last turn harder than I ever hit the first turn. It was unreal to imagine riding on that level as viewed from a lowly "c rider". A few times I have gone fast enough that everything seemed to be in slow motion....then I hit a tree.
_________________________
'06 KTM 200xcw
'04 Honda CRF450R
TSCEC 965
TRH

Pain is only weakness leaving the body.

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#477232 - 09/10/10 02:34 AM Re: The Single Track!!! [Re: ratchetman]
ktmlance Offline
Gang Veteran

Registered: 08/18/04
Posts: 966
Loc: Watauga, TX
This story is spot on. Go riding with a AA rider, they will be just cruising and you can kinda keep up their riding 50% and then you enter the single track, boom 2-3 corners and there is just a dust trail.

I love single track it is safer and a much shorter section can be an adequate test.

We have to work to keep the quads out of the singletrack or the danger level goes up and the fun level goes down.

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#477253 - 09/10/10 04:43 AM Re: The Single Track!!! [Re: ktmlance]
AmberT Offline
Gang Daddy

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 628
Loc: Bedford, TX
love it!!
_________________________
Thanks to SD Suspension, SMS Racing, CycleWerks, & Strapless Transport Stands
2013 KTM 200XCW

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#496228 - 02/23/11 05:08 PM Re: The Single Track!!! [Re: AmberT]
hammertime Offline
New Boot

Registered: 01/20/11
Posts: 16
Loc: Longview, TX
Awesome! Gonna pass this one on for sure.
_________________________
2011 KTM 300XC
Barnwell Mountain rider
Thanks to: SMX Optics "Steel MX", Twin Air, Factory Backing, Motion Pro


Scars the original tattoo invented by nature, perfected by dirt bikes.

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#501513 - 04/15/11 03:34 PM Re: The Single Track!!! [Re: hammertime]
WRP Offline
New Boot

Registered: 04/13/11
Posts: 20
Great read! Passed this on to my blog for sure. Thank you!

Luke
_________________________
Luke
www.woodsriderparts.com
2002 KTM 300 EXC
2009 Husky WR250

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#513320 - 09/23/11 03:08 PM Re: The Single Track!!! [Re: WRP]
jayT88 Offline
Old Boot

Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 16
sweet, loved it!
JT

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#584350 - 10/22/15 04:32 PM Re: The Single Track!!! [Re: jayT88]
Danman Offline
Gang Boss

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 340
Loc: Texarkana, Tx
Well stated!
_________________________
2013 KTM300XC

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