Thursday, October 12, 2006

Spider Woman in a Nutt Shell

Yesterday I took a half day off work to go get my FS bike fitted a little more properly to myself. Since the only bike shop that I trust these days is in Columbia I took the bike out to Harbison State Park yesterday after the shop visit.

It has been awhile since I have ridden in HSP so I was excited to hit the single track. I rode firebreak --> stewardship ---> Midlands ---> Spiderwoman --> Inner Woman ---> shortcut to Crooked Pine ---> Firebreak back to the car.

Let me explain Spider Woman. This trail is as "remote" as it gets in HSP. This park isn't really that big so by remote I mean it is closest to the river and furthest from the car. It is that type of trail that you always want and don't want to go on. I always make sure to hit it if I am in HSP because it is some of the best Singletrack in South Carolina. (I am sure this would strike an argument up with some)

Yesterday was my first time on a geared mountain bike since the Shenandoah 75. (This is what I am calling it until next year when I ride all 100 miles) I felt really strong on the bike even though I had some free ride tires on a cross country course.

So Spider Woman is split into two loops a big outter loop (SW II) and a little inner loop (SWI A.K.A. Inner Woman).

Here is my interpretation of Spider Woman I and II. The entrance describes the trail as advanced and immediately the trail shoots downhill for about 100 feet. With a couple small turns. Then it shoots you right back up the hill and around a quick corner for some more curvy downhill sections with a couple whoops in there for good measure. The beginning will make you holler out if you haven't been on the trail for awhile. WooooooHoooooo!

Then the trail climbs slightly before peeling off to the right and back downhill again to a tricky rooty turn with a small drop off directly after. The dropoff is followed by a tricky uphill climb around a corner with some baby heads thrown in.

A quick downhill follows with whoops and a hairpin turn to the right. The next bit of Spider Woman is the only relief there is. It flattens out for a few turns and snakes around some trees. Then you come up on the first ditch whoop combined with two steep quick uphills. Once at the top you will again find yourself going downhill on the backside of the hill you just climbed, a quick couple corners and you start climbing the ditch.

This section is just steep enought to make you breathe hard. If you are riding with someone else you will see that the trail sweeps through the ditch at the top and down the other side. A quick uphill after the downhill ditch and back down again with a sharp drop off at the end.

A quick flatter section and then another semi-steep climb followed by a quick up and down and some whoops. A small tree crossing and you come up to Inner Woman.

Inner Woman is an exercise in itself. You go up up up and it is pretty steep the entire time. I have gotten to where I can climb it all in the middle ring but I am huffing like a smoker after four flights of stairs.

Your reward for climbing Inner Woman is fantastic. There are rocks and whoops and banked turns abound. Then you shoot back out onto SW II about twenty feet from where you left off.

This is where your "Man Test" begins. The rock garden is coming up and it is no joke. The trail is littered with baby heads and boulders everywhere. If that's not enough, there are four switch backs to negotiate while you huff it up the hill. Yesterday I cleaned it. Yay me.

At the top of the Rock Garden you swing around a curve and follow some whoops and a narrow ridge ride by the river. Again you have some quick ups and downs and then you start back away from the river on a climb out of SW II.

It is a great trail and all of that happens in about 3.5 miles. It is definitely not a diddle daddle trail. It is one of those trails that you want to eat alive and then spit it out at the end and stomp on it. Yesterday I did that and it had been awhile.

Three rides this week and counting. . .



Sir Belt Buckle said...

Nice job getting out & riding. I went out last night as well. Did 30 miles on the road trying to get ready for the race this weekend. Since it's one of our employees last days today, we had a bit of a party yesterday at work. (read, beer & liquor & bbq). So, needless to say about 10 miles in i was cramping ... bad. By the time I finally made it home I could barely walk. Wasn't pretty. No idea what caused it but am guessing it was the 5 drinks I had from noon-5:00. :)

Keep it real.

Team LandRover said...

Yo, I'm out on riding tonight. And most likly another week or so. I'm eating everything in site and working on getting drunk daily. nick

jpelton said...

I wish I could have made it out there with you yesterday. That thing that pays the bill sucks. Reading the blog makes me want to run out to spider woman and spank her.
It looks like I am going to miss out on Pisgah this weekend aswell. I am starting to go into DTs. Sunday will be 2 weeks since I have been on the bike.
What is your plan for next Sunday 10/21? Dupont? Pisgah?
At this rate it looks like the Swamp Sweat this year will be my first fatality to the Zen Master.
Its all good, I will bring the beer.

ExtrmTao said...

Too bad I won't be swampin' it up. I am going to be SWankin it up instead.

Might be able to squeeze a ride in next weekend at Dupont or Pisgah but it would have to be short and early since my pops will be in town.

jpelton said...

Tell me more about the Swank 65.
I would definately rather ride in Pisgah than Chucktown.