SAGE TOWNSHIP – If you’re looking for a place to take a leisurely bicycle ride don’t head for the mountain bike trail at the Gladwin County Recreation Area. The North Park trail to the Gladwin City Park would be a better choice.
Maybe it was the narrow dirt trail with tree roots and stumps in the path threatening to throw an unwary rider up against a tree, or an encounter with the occasional hill that made us regret our lack of preparation.
At any rate, Loren and I packed up our bikes and set out from the Record & Clarion office to the Recreation Area off Pratt Lake Rd. thinking we would shoot a quick video and come back with a little story to tell.
Though we believe we accomplished both, it wasn’t as easy as we had assumed. It was however a rush that we’re sure the adventurous – and prepared – bicycler would appreciate.
Having hauled my bike out of the basement after a couple of years of non-use, I aired up the tires and poured a little oil on the sprocket and chain. So what if only five of the 10 gears were operable and the brakes were a little shaky.
Loren on the other hand has a real mountain bike with gears that all work. He didn’t, however, have a dry seat after the bike had been left out in the rain. Neither of us thought to bring water, helmets or a wrench.
Second thoughts entered the picture near the beginning of our adventure when my handlebars barely cleared two saplings on either side of the trail. A bit later as we encountered the first hill I realized that I needed those other five gears.
A few hundred yards in with perspiration beading on our foreheads and elsewhere we realized that bringing a bottle of water might have been a good idea. A wrench would have been helpful as my seat loosened from the jolting ride.
The North Park ride is serene and scenic, but if you want that rush of adrenaline that comes from the combination of excitement and trepidation this is the ride for you; kind of like a rollercoaster.
Loren and I agreed we’d both like to come back another time and complete the trail as we pulled off onto an access road and headed back to the parking lot after logging not much more than a mile of the six-mile plus trail.
Rick Seebeck from the Seebeck Family Fund (www.seebeckfamilyfund.org,), which maintains the recreation area for the county, said the gate is open seven days a week. The park closes at 8 p.m.
Trails for walking, bicycling, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing are open to the public year round. A paved half-mile bicycling loop is available for the kids.
There is also a canoe launch at the site from which paddlers can travel down the Cedar River to Wiggins Lake and beyond.
For more information check out the recreation area feature on the Seebeck Family Fund website.