Heil Valley Ranch Kicked My Butt, Repeatedly

Here are my first impressions of mountain biking at Heil Valley Ranch, after three years of saying, "I should really give that a try."

I need a better suspension.

Heil Valley Ranch should be renamed, "The Boulder Rock Garden," because that's the only thing you'll find on the trails.  Big rocks, small rocks, loose rocks, pointy rocks.  You know the terrain is bad when you choose to ride in the deep sand because it offers a more pleasant experience.  After the first 45 minutes on this trail that would make Sisyphus weep, I longed to see a tree root, tree trunk, snake, charging bull elk, anything soft to run into.

Riding a hardtail bike on these trails is the physical equivalent of hiring an army of gnomes to kick you in the urethra at the rate of one kick per second for an hour.  And that's on the way up.  On the way down, the gnome army marches across your taint double-time.  I have decided that the "Wapiti Trail,"despite its quaint Native American sound, is actually named after the repetitive sound your saddle makes against your butt as you ride.  I met an experienced rider on my way up the trail who looked like she wanted to weep after simply trying to descend this petrous perdition.  She had already crashed once on the shifting shale and wanted nothing more to do with it.  At that point, I could hardly blame her.

Anyone who enjoys riding Heil Valley Ranch is a masochist.  Anyone who recommends it to a friend is a sadist and should not even be allowed to decide on dessert.  They'd probably choose flan.  If your friend invites you to ride Heil Valley Ranch, ride as fast as you can in the other direction.  It's more likely that he wants to kill you and leave your body in the canyon.

Under a big pile of rocks.

Go if: you like spankings
Don't go if: you have any feeling left in your butt, feet, or hands, and want to keep it that way.


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