1/19/16: The entry into Yorkshire is closed and being used to stage equipment etc. for Rt 75 improvements and who knows for how long. The area is accessible via Raintree.
This is a revisit to my 2012 post entitled Yorkshire Loop Was Given Back To The Scrub Jays. At the time I hadn’t had the pleasure of charging through the area with the Cycle Haus Boys, albeit rarely within 100 yards of the lead pack who are usually holding about 25 mph. Not knowing the course and falling off the back, getting spit out, dropped, meant that I had to find my own way and more than once I ran into the lead group coming the opposite direction which could have been hazardous to all concerned. Surely I needed to prevent this and so I put my trusty Garmin Edge 500 to work. I stopped and started my ride as a good friend took the time to lead another good friend and I through. I stopped it again at the end so I could save it as a course. Below is the official Trail Of Tears.
The Trail Of Tears as shown here is about 13 miles in length over abandoned streets. In my 2012 post I speculated as to how and why this came to be but what do I know. What I do know is that it’s a great place to ride, a place to test your nerve and skills, and perfectly suitable to ride on a road bike. “So if it’s so great why is it called the Trail Of Tears,” I hear you asking, I’m glad you ask. It begins at approximately mile 40 of the Cycle Haus Saturday group Ride and by then I’m usually beat to a pulp. Even at that I’m averaging 20+mph through right handers laced with sugar sand and gravel always watching for crater sized pot holes some of which are hidden by tall grass. You need to be on your toes at all times. The younger more fearless riders drift through the corners with ease but not so much for me. I can’t free my mind and just let go anymore. Still it’s a great ride and the feeling of accomplishment is powerful.
You’ve read the above and your scratching your head asking yourself. Really! Why? Okay I’ll tell ya. It’s off the grid, the road less traveled. A place where the deer and the antelope play. I haven’t seen either but it’s a fitting description. I like to ride through during the week usually solo at about 15 to 18 mph just to enjoy the serenity of it all. Usually I’m the only one out there riding, always alert for the next hazard. It’s not cyclecross or gravel road riding but it’s our local roubiax ride that demands your full attention. It’s just different.
When you look at the map you realize that all the streets loop back to Yorkshire and so that feeling you get of being lost can be dismissed. The course begins and ends at almost the same spot just off Price Blvd., a premiere cycling flyway. It’s a right turn back to Price but by turning left you stay on Yorkshire for about another 5 miles popping out on Price a bit farther south and east. At the end there’s about 100 yards of totally bombed out road complete with some treacherous sand piles to navigate. Hey don’t knock it till you’ve tried it but before you fall off maybe just dismount and shoulder carry your bike through.
So what if something goes horribly wrong while riding in Yorkshire or any remote location for that matter. If your fortunate enough to have a signal how do you tell the person at the other end where you are and how to get there? And of course the answer is having a GPS tracking app. already setup allowing someone to track your cell or a dedicated tracking devise. One of my grand kids wears a tracker that also serves as a watch.This is a great use of technology. Again looking at the map all the streets appear and again they all loop back to Yorkshire and so the correct shoulder carry may be beneficial if you have to hike out. If you have a cell signal and someone picks up all is well. (Note to self; Check cell signal next time through). Hopefully you find your way and you don’t miss 2nd breakfast.