About this time of year everybody starts doing year in review shit. I won't waste my 3 readers time by doing such a thing I will reflect on a real bummer I ran across the other day. I was riding a very under used south Atlanta MTB trail the other day and ran across a dude who was also riding. It was one of the few times I have seen another rider on the trails at the beach or Clayton County International Park. It was the sight of the 1996 olympic beach volleyball tournament. Somewhere along the way some guys carved out an alright set of trails with some county support many many years ago.
These trails have maintained on and off by a various person or people. Nothing ever coordinated and I don't think the county really care that these trails exist except when they have to do their annual "Trail of terror" Halloween thing. I had ridden these trails a fair amount when I first moved to Georgia and even did some trash clean up while I was there. I moved from the county for school and have not been there in prob about a year or so. These trails are about ten minutes off I-75 and 15 minutes from 1-675 on HWY138. It's not a destination MTB trail. One problem is that these trails are not really maintained and poorly marked. Besides that the local SORBA chapter has decided to invest it's time into trails that are used more often which means anything north of I-20.
Don't worry I'm getting to the bummer part.
I'm just a little surprised that these very local trails just are not ridden that much considering the neighborhood they're located close to. I really wanted to get these on the map when I first moved here, life got in the way and along those lines I prob upset some folks somehow. Despite neglect and poor maintenance and a shit ton of tennis courts that hardly get used the small trail system lives on. I digress. Anywho this dude whom I'd never seen before gave me the local scoop since I really don't keep up with things like that.
He told me that the Epic Bikes shut their doors for good back in the early fall. Now that was a real bummer. I tried to support the shop as much as i could and often dropped by just to drop off beer to the guys. I don't know the whole story. I won't risk to speculate, I just know from my limited reading that it ain't easy being a specialized dealer. Let's face it those cats are known in the cycling community for being a bit heavy handed when it comes to their business. I liked the shop and the owner and the guys who worked there. I truly wish them all the best in their future endeavors.
I was also told about how the county is going to put in a "test" paved bike path of a few miles. Which is frightening because as I was riding the trails I saw hundreds of trees marked with engineers tape which means they'll be cut down. There is apparently some master plan it's just been my experience being a native of this county that traditionally they are not very good with the follow through.
This little park lost a fair amount of money over the summer when they closed down the water park located there and the "muscle beach" fitness center. Like I said there is a opportunity for great development of the trails and facilities there it's just that no one is interested. I tried when I first moved there, I was not taken seriously.
There was some good news one is that I noticed that the trails were getting marked. It seems like a local retired dude is going through the trouble of doing this arduous task. The trail system IS confusing with dead ends and a shitty off camber switch back. I don't know about the mapping at least someone is trying there. At this point I know someone should say "Well bro if this place needs that much love why not step up?!" I tried like I said before and it did not work out too well. I decided that if anything were to happen then maybe the dude who lived in Colorado for so long should shut the hell up and let things run their course. I have and they are.
Other good news is that Chiplote opened near these very same trails. I know it's not an Illegal Pete's, it's still a descent burrito from a Colorado company. Yes, yes, I know it's a corporate chain just ya gotta cut me some slack here. I find Colorado where I can now a days.
Does this make a difference in my day to day riding life? Not really I don't live up that way anymore. I hate to say this but I do live closer to a much better trail system now with out all the crazy politics of Clayton County. It is what it is as they say here.
I have not ridden lately because of the holidays and a lingering semi-cold which I am trying to fight off at the moment with plenty of rest. I may go out for a spin either on the 31st or 1st. I'll see how I feel. Thanks for reading.