Wednesday, June 20, 2012

If you took my advice and visited Rangeline Nature Preserve (see other post for RNP review) you will definitely need to venture down to French Lick, Indiana for a day's worth of riding.

I was pretty unsure if I was going to put up with a 2.5 hour drive just for one place but let me give you some insight as to how wrong I was. - For the drive, bring a friend - Mountain biking is no fun alone anyways. It's better if you can make your friend drive so you can catch up on some light reading.

When you arrive in French Lick DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT stop at the Subway; unless you like veggie sandwiches or COLD steak and cheese. Seriously. Horrible.

You are going to want to park in the golf course parking lot. It's near some trains and it's past the first resort into town a little bit. When you get there, go into the golf pro shop and sign in on the clipboard on the front desk.  Then check out all the fancy golf outfits and wonder why you are wearing spandex. Next, suit up.  There's no need to drop trow in the parking lot. The pro shop is very courteous about you using the restrooms (which are SUPER nice) by the way.

When you are ready to hit the trail follow the sign down the gravel path and turn right over the covered bridge.  Straight across, through the practice greens, and over the road will get you to the trail head. My suggestion to begin your adventure is to stick to the right when starting out.  Either way you go uphill but I guess if you go right you are following the trail how it is "supposed" to be ridden.  Now climb!!!!  You'll climb your ass off for a while (not too steep, or difficult, just long and gradual). = at some point after the top of the climb you will cross a fire road - take a minute and travel towards the actual road that you can see (to the right if you are traveling the "correct" direction). Climb up the small grassy hill there and check out the sweet view that overlooks the valley and golf course =
Head back over to the trail and get ready for a nice lengthy downhill. You did all that climbing for something right? Now enjoy the fruits of your labor. For those that are more mountain bike savvy and want something a little more entertaining (or if you aren't that great but don't mind walking your bike occasionally) you will want to hit up the blue loop.  It's a straight ahead as you are making a left bend on the downhill.  It's pretty well marked.  The blue loop is AWESOME.  DO IT.The intermediate loop will put you back onto the green and you won't actually miss too much.
If you absolutely MUST know what you missed, well...enjoy the rest of your downhill and as you come to the bottom head back up and do it again.Worth the 2.5 hour drive?  You bet and all I did was a green + blue and an extra green. Was a total of about 2 hours easy wheel spinning time.

Oh, when you are all done. Indulge yourself with a shower in the locker room and put on some clean clothes for the drive home. Remember, you've got 2.5 hours and no one wants to smell you.

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