Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Goodwater Loop

The Goodwater Loop is an epic mountain bike trail that circles all of Lake Georgetown. I have ridden various segments of it many times over the last ten years but had never tried the whole thing in one go. I gave it a shot today and completed in just over 6 hours. Including the segment of the San Gabriel River Trail from River Road, the whole circuit was just under 36 miles. Without that segment, the loop itself was about 31 miles.

Trail record logged by iSmoothRun
I logged the trail with iSmoothRun on my iPhone. The map above is a screen capture from that app. The colors represent speed with hotter colors indicating faster progress. I rode the loop counter-clockwise, starting from Overlook Park, the segment I am most familiar with. The section from Russell Park to Camp Tejas is primarily a jeep road and goes very quickly. The southern part of the loop, especially in the middle part, I found to be the most challenging with regard to longer technical climbs. The trail is described as alternating between dirt and rocks and rock and rocks. Except for the stretch on the jeep road, that is pretty accurate. Much of the rest of the trail is riddled with repeated outcrops of eroded limestone that add to the technical challenge. 

Lunch at Russell Park
Many spots offer great panoramic views of the lake and its various alcoves. I also saw a myriad of butterflies on the trail. I almost wish I had had a camera with me ... of course, the loop would then have taken a lot longer. These longhorns were at Crockett Gardens

I got through with only one mechanical problem. The bolt through the lower eyelet of the rear shock sheered in half. I did not take any big drops, so not sure how that happened. Fortunately, the remaining pieces held the shock on until I finished the ride.

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