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Sanders, Making the best of an extended fall, Twisted Ankle

Winter is taking it’s sweet time getting here. By now we should be waxing skis or switching over to the fat bikes. Instead continue to live in a time warp of September weather. We can’t control the weather so we might as well make the best with what we have.

This is the only time that I can remember when I’ve been able to ride on dirt here in mid November. I know I’m not the only one taking advantage of the weather. Normally my social media feed is full of pictures from friends riding in the desert. Instead pictures are from here. While kids are in school the parents are the ones who are getting out to play.

Last weekend I did some rides on some of my favorite trails. I intentionally wanted to ride Twisted Ankle. This is due to the trail improvements made by the efforts of Headwaters Trails Alliance and the USFS. Rumor had it that the trail had some much needed maintenance done to control erosion as well as improve safety and experience. I was not disappointed in what I found.

Twisted Ankle is one of my favorite trails. A challenge to ride up and a blast to ride down. Sunday’s route had me riding down the trail. Swooping singletrack crisscrosses the hillside at the top then follows the ridge before dropping down the lower part of the trail. This next section of trail has always been fun and challenging. The challenge was not due so much due to technical features but more so to erosion from weather and use. I was presently surprised when I reached the eroded areas. New berms and wider radius corners replaced those where ruts from water had just about washed them away. The berms are not only fun to ride but define the outer edge of the trail reducing erosion from use. I think that it made the trail more fun to ride.

Near the bottom of the trail is a section that do to the limited line of sight many people go off of the trail. The trail was not only straightened out a bit but a short retaining wall was added to stabilize the ground. This improvement along with the other changes will create a longer lasting trail that not only will appeal to more users but require far less maintenance in the future.

The staff at Headwaters Trails Alliance deserves a big thank you for not only the work on Twisted Ankle but all of the trails they maintained and at times improved this summer. Without their efforts and the efforts of volunteers our trail system would be nowhere near the quality that it is today.

Looking for more information? Like Grand Mountain Bike Alliance (GMBA) on Facebook. GMBA is your local mountain bike group. Check out Mountainbikecapitalusa.com. Great site by the Winter Park Chamber! Keith Sanders is the President of the Grand Mountain Bike Alliance, 3x US National Mountain Bike Champion and owner of Beavers Sports Shop. You can reach me at keith@winterparkskirental.com