About three years ago, I bought a mountain bike with the consultation of a good friend, Andrew Tainter. He and I found a bike at Budget Bike Shop for about $600. Andrew said the components were really good, especially for the price. The bike was a really good deal, especially for an entry-level bike.
The next three years I used the bike occasionally for commuting and leisure rides around town. I knew I had this performance bike that was not being utilized. Then Matt Ehn called.
He said he and his roommate were going mountain biking in Kettle Moraine. I joined them for my first single-track experience about a month ago. We had such a blast! The John Muir Trails are considered by most to be the best in the state. Mens Journal calls it the best in the Midwest.
Single-track is the term for mountain biking over an area of... single track. At the John Muir Trail, they have 4 or 5 different routes from 3 to 10-mile loops. The single-track takes you through open prairies, and then into the woods. You go up and down hills of varying degrees with a few obstacles in the way: branches and limbs laying across the trail, pits filled with mud, tree roots, and all shapes and sizes of rocks.
This time when Matt and I went, we got better at picking up good speed. But when speed and obstacles come together, you have crashes. We both fell a couple times, but no big injuries. Matt's shoulder took on a small tree - the tree won.
We only got a couple pictures b/c we're still so excited to be on the track, that we don't pull off to the side and take some better action shots. Hopefully there will be better shots of the single-track in the future.
For an excellent workout, take a mountain bike on some single-track. I can honestly say that those two rides were some of the most fun I've ever had. Matt and I were laughing the whole way and extremely "stoked" when we got to the bottom of a big downhill run that was littered with boulder-moguls as you weave in and out of trees and around hairpin turns.