Monday, May 22, 2017

18 May 2017 - Neuse River Trail - Bike Ride

Last Thursday the 18th looked like a good day for a bike ride.  The big rains were over and the release of excess water from the Falls of the Neuse dam was ended, so I thought it would be ok to ride.

My first clue that the Neuse River Trail was not back to normal was when I turned down the road that leads to the car park for the trail and found that the gate was closed and locked.

I went ahead and parked in the small lot right at the dam and noted that there were other cars with bike racks so I got ready to go.

A fellow had just arrived at the parking lot and was discussing the trail and noted there were two trees down and some water and mud and that he had just started from Anderson Point Park and was about to ride back.  Anderson Point Park is about 28 km from the dam.

I decided to head out.  Sure enough even before arriving at the seven mile mark at the WRAL Soccer Center I came up on a log across the road.  I think it must have been lying alongside the path and when the river overflowed due to the release of excess water from the lake it floated in such a manner to position itself right across the path.  I figured this was the first tree down that the fellow talked about.

Also a few hundred yards down the trail there was a muddy patch and following that a puddle that was a maximum of 2-3" deep but served to nicely wash off my tires.  Then less than a mile later was a tree that was actually down across the trail.  here are pictures of this tree:

This is looking down river and there is a beaten path to the left where hikers and riders made a detour.

This is looking up river after going around the tree.  As you can see the trail is totally blocked and a detour must be done, which was on the high ground and dry.

After passing the seven mile mark there were a few puddles and some dried mud but no other obstructions.  I had to decide where to turn around or to go on to Anderson Point Park and turn around there.

I decided to turn around at the one hour mark which would make for a nice two hour ride.  So the first bridge across the neuse, as part of the trail, and not a side trail was at about the 19 km mark and I found that to be a good spot to turn around.  Here is a picture:
This is after crossing the bridge and looking back from the north side of the river.
The ride back was uneventful, except for the mud, the puddle, the big tree, and the log.  When I got back to the parking lot I did note some mud on the bike and washed it off when I returned to Swan Neck Ln.  Here is the picture of the bike:
Mud On The Bike.  Hard to see in this picture but there were some nooks and crannies that really needed a good wash to clean them out.
Here are the stats of the ride:

37.37 ... kilometers (total distance)
19.00 ... kilometers per hour (average speed)
01:58 ... hh:mm (time rolling)