My Top Five Mt. Bike Rides of 2013

5. Hoosier Valley Road

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My Go To Ride because of the location to my house and the ability to get 20 plus miles in very quickly.  The ride is mostly flat and does have large sections of sandy areas.  I typically go off of the main road and explore the various two-tracks that spur off of Hoosier Valley.

4.  Lost Lake Trail

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Like the Hoosier Valley ride, I like the Lost Lake trail because I can get to it within a few minutes from my house.  It’s a 6.5 mile loop so I will typically do 2-3 laps when I ride.  I love it in early summer and mid to late fall but typically avoid it in the middle of the summer due to the amount of deer flies and campers. LLT is an easy ride with few hills; and of late I started to do some more “exploring” on the countless unmarked trails and two-tracks that you cross while on the main pathway. http://www.michigan.org/property/lost-lake-pathway/

3.  State Hospital Trail

The State Hospital is my mid-summer (daily) destination for riding.  It has lots of hills and climbs that are hard to get up and FUN to come down.  I will usually get a 7-15 mile ride in at the SH with a quick ride over to Hickory Hills.  This past spring the State Hospital hosted its first Mt Bike Race called Conquer the Village http://www.conquerthevillage.com/

The SH also offers some freeirde options with some extremely fun jumps; here’s a few videos of some of the freeriding you can do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XQuNuwMLQY

And this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P-Sj–HnV4

2.  Arcadia Bluffs

I rode this trail on the same day that I rode the Big M.  It’s only a 10 mile loop but don’t let the distance fool you; on the day we rode it was nearly 90 degrees and humid.  What’s more, we had already gotten 20 miles on at the Big M trail that included several long climbs.  Arcadia Bluffs doesn’t have a lot of long climbs but it does have countless switchbacks that I was not prepared for.  I was not anticipating how much upper body strength this trail would take out of me (it might have been the fact that we had already completed a long ride and it was hot).

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I plan to return to AB next summer and take the family as there is great Lake Michigan swimming nearby. You can find information about the trail Here: http://www.trailheadbikeshop.com/ride/mountain-bike-rides/arcadia-single-track/

1.  Big M Trail

I was only able to spend a morning out at the Big M trail, but I totally loved it.  It offers miles and miles of great trails with everything from beginner to expert levels.  Myself and the guy I was riding with took some of the larger climbs on and we were not disappointed when we got to the top (Great Views).  The Big M is a bit of a drive for me so I was only able to get out there one time – but I plan to go back again next summer!

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