I've had FRESH 'N TWISTY on the brain since Brent, Tim, Kristian and I rode Rocky Ridge County Park last Friday.  Yeah...that new trail on the southern side of the park really got my juices flowing and turned an ordinary afternoon ride into SOMETHING AWESOME.  I was hoping to be able to get out on the trails again this week for an after school ride before the weather took a downward turn...but neither Mark nor Kristian were able to get out.  So... with CRYSTAL BLUE SKIES overhead on  Tuesday...and with the local weather guys predicting a wash out for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday...and even though I had been planning on just doing an afternoon road ride...I threw my Stumpjumper up on top of the Cruz and headed over to Rocky Ridge.  I just couldn't help myself!

Instead of a road ride I threw my Stumpjumper on top of the car and drove out to Rocky Ridge to enjoy a perfect September evening -- September 27, 2016

This would be my second SOLO RIDE in just as many weeks.  My plan was simple...ride FRESH 'N TWISTY.  Not once...not twice...but at least three times.  I wanted to pay attention to it.  I wanted to see if it flowed just as well in both directions.  I just wanted to play on it.  Last week, when Brent showed me the trail, we rode it counter clockwise.  That's how I started out yesterday.  I had seen this part of the park before.  Way back in 2009, Jay Zech & Gung Ho Bikes sponsored an orienteering event at the park.  I remember taking my son, Alex, on his first orienteering adventure...parts of which covered the area that is now the new trail, FRESH 'N TWISTY.  Even then, I thought this section of Rocky Ridge was unique and had a different feel than the rest of the park.

My son, Alex, on his first orienteering adventure -- April 5, 2009

Last week, when riding the trail, I brought up the rear of the group.  While riding it on Tuesday, I got a new perspective.  It is still fresh and soft, but I can't imagine that...considering the number of people who are riding it..the ground will stay that way for long.  I think, what I love most about this new trail, is how it snakes back and forth and fits right into the contour of the rocks and hills on the ridge.  In total, it's 1.2 miles of new trail packed into such a small area.  It's almost like one of the fun house rides at an amusement park in which you constantly see and pass other people who are on the same ride as you but who are also a significant distance ahead of you or behind you.   

Hammering through FRESH 'N TWISTY in Rocky Ridge County Park.  Check out this ultra kool photosphere to get an idea of what the park and the trail look like -- September 27, 2016

Having fun on FRESH 'N TWISTY.  I love, love, love how this trail uses the natural landscape...like the huge rock that you see behind...to make the trail just flow -- September 27, 2016

My 2016 Stumpjumper -- September 27, 2016

Looping back around I turned up FRESH 'N TWISTY again...this time clockwise.  Except for a brief hiccup exactly a tenth of a mile into the trail (there is a difficult rock section that is significantly easier when riding the trail counter clockwise) I had just as much fun.  Yep...then I looped around once again to ride it one more time.  In less than an hour I rode the same trail...three times...and managed to get in nearly 7 miles of mountain biking fun!  My only regret is that Mark & Kristain's schedules didn't work out with mine.  Regardless, I smiled the whole way home....I just couldn't help myself!

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- September 28, 2016
All pics courtesy of SQUIRRELS WITH CAMERAS

Well...let's be honest...I didn't smile the whole way home.  My plan was to head to the BOBCAT CREAMERY in Manchester for a post ride milk shake...then I realized I had forgotten my wallet.  So, today after school, I got my shake...I just couldn't help myself -- September 28, 2016