I rode on single track Sunday for the first time in around 15 years. I had forgotten how different it was from road biking. I woke up Sunday morning with a bit of an upset stomach, so I didn’t want to do anything too strenuous, but I wanted to get out and test-ride my newly rebuilt ’93 Specialized Rockhopper, and I was hoping to find a trail connection between Belmont and Patapsco State Park. I hopped on the bike and rode from my house out to the Morning Choice Trail head on Landing Rd. I rode around a mile on the trail, out to just past the northern end of the Belmont property, then turned around. It was a successful test ride, but I wasn’t able to find a way through Belmont from that area. It’s all fields.
Compared to my road bikes, the mountain bike felt small, particularly on pavement. Once I hit the trails, it started to get a bit more comfortable. I think the frame is a little small for me. For road riding, I may want to think about a longer seat post. I rode with standard pedals and Power Grips straps, the same setup I use in snow. The brakes worked fine; the Kool Stop pads did the job nicely. The new fork worked fine, although with no suspension, the ride was a bit punishing in spots.
I did some more reading online trying to find out about the Belmont trail connection. Local riders call it the “farm loop.” Apparently one end of it intersects Morning Choice right near Landing Rd, and the other end ties in with Rockburn Branch Trail further to the east. It’s an unofficial, un-blazed trail, and the Patapsco trail map has stubs in the spots where the trail appears to intersect “official” park trails. It looks like the trail cuts across Belmont Woods Rd, so my next time out, I’ll ride down Belmont Woods and try to find the trail from that direction. All of this is on the south side of Belmont, which explains why I couldn’t find a connection on the north side.