Martin’s Dairy and Creative Planning

The Fall has arrived for us trail junkies. The only downside of this time of year on the trails is waiting for enough light to see the roots. A couple times I’ve had to carry a small light or use my week roadie lights. The main solution I’ve discovered is leaving from my house, riding on the road for a couple miles of warm-up and then dipping into the woods as first light seeps through the tree canopy. Today, I hit the road before light and into what many athletes call a brick workout. My plan was to ride, run, ride.

Since I’m a husband and dad, and my wife, Jen, and I are both training for some fall/winter events, these long sessions can be difficult to schedule, but with some creative thinking, we’ve been able to increase our time in the woods. In addition to my pre-dawn departures, Jen and I have been running while our 5 1/2-year-old, Shael, rides his mountain bike. What transpired today was fun and challenging for all of us.

Martin's Dairy

On this Google Earth screen shot of Martin’s Dairy, I put a few yellow place markers to help you see my alternate route. The purple path is a route I’ve ridden on the road to the preserve. Now, I use a back way, which gets me off a dark, somewhat dangerous road and onto some access roads and singletrack. Makes for a much better ride, I get to ride longer, and I don’t have to drive my truck to the trails.

I rode out early going the back way (from the east area to the west area) through the woods to the trailhead at Martin’s Dairy (my estimate is about 5 1/2 miles) and then completed a full loop (just under 7 miles) at about 1 hour 12 minutes. After they dropped our 3 1/2-year-old, Gabe, off at school, I met up with Jen and Shael where Jen took off solo on foot, and Shael and I took off together – Sheal on his bike and me chasing on foot.

Shael on 7/10 Trail

This photo was not taken today, but it is relatively the same view. On this particular day, I was following Shael on my bike, but lately I’ve been chasing him on foot.

We hit Carriage>Bell>Kaye Paul>Kaye Paul>Powerline>7/10. It went really well. We waited at the end of Kaye Paul for Jen, but we were too slow, and she passed us and finished solo.

After we came back together, they headed home, and I went through the loop again on my bike, turned off after Kaye Paul and took the back way home. I’m not sure the total mileage for the day (probably about 20 on the bike and 4-5 on foot) , but it was more than 3 hours of time on task.

About Jim Newell

Associate Professor of English, Daytona State College / Thinker / Ponce Inlet Surfer / Improviser / Dad
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