Into the Dark, Dark Woods

Shift Frequent Shifters Club
It's a scary place but like one of Scooby-Dos friends, I was up for the challenge.
It's a scary place but like one of Scooby-Dos friends, I was up for the challenge.

Yesterday was such a beautiful day starting out with temperatures in the 60’s. At lunch time I found an excuse to run home and grab my bike and some gear for an after work ride. I thought it would be great fun to try out the bike cam with a couple of powerful bike lights at Pfeifer Loop near Cooks Landing in North Little Rock. I have a couple of Princeton Tec Switchback 3 lights and I planned to have one on the handlebars and one on my helmet.

After work I drove to the base of the Big Dam Bridge on the Little Rock side and set the bike up. I had picked up some shorts a short sleeve shirt and a light jacket forgetting that this is Arkansas and weather turns on a dime. The temps were already falling into the 40s and there was a strong wind. Oh well, it would be a short ride and once I got to the other side of the bridge I would quickly be protected from the wind by the woods.

Brrrrrrrr….. It was a cold ride across the bridge with few people out to catch the finale of a beautiful sunset but I soon made it to the other side. The main entrance to the Pfeifer Loop is at the base of the bridge. I often use it as a warm up on the way to Burns Park. At just under 2 miles long with no real hills and only a few roots it is fast and twisty and a great way to get the blood flowing. I recommend this trail to anyone as a first mountain bike trail to ride. Once you’re comfortable here (which should only take a couple of laps) try the Rabbit Ridge Mountain Bike Trail at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. It’s shorter but has some slight elevation changes and more rocks and roots.

See also  James Gaston's Daring Descent

The entrance looked a little scary as I stopped to make final light and camera adjustments and take a photo of the sign. I rode in…

Adventure Ozark 8-Hour Adventure Race

What incredible fun! I had plenty of light to ride by and the shadows gave the place a whole new look. As I weaved through the trees and vines I kept thinking that I would see some wildlife soon. A little over half way through I was wondering where it was. I’d seen everything from armadillos to skunks to herds of deer in these woods during the day, I had expected more at night. When suddenly I saw these girls:

Obviously the experiment with the lights and camera didn’t work out as well as hoped. The very wide angle lens picks up a lot of darkness. On the other hand, I feel much more comfortable riding with lights at night. Next time I’ll try it on some more serious trail.

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One Response

  1. Joe – I rode Pfeifer Loop last week at night for the first time. It definitely is a WAY different feeling than riding it during the daytime. Even though you can’t ride as fast during the daytime, you feel like you’re going pretty fast with the limited visibility. I found that I also I have to ride by “feel” more than being able to see exactly what is in front of me.

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