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Cyclin’ ‘Round the Seven
by Tom Dillon

By now all y’all know about the Magnificent 7 Trail System and its cousins Getaway and Great Escape. Generally, unless you have the steroid budget of Lance Armstrong, you probably have a shuttle or a really nice buddy, drop you off at the top of Mag 7 to ride all the way down. But sometimes you may just want to get out there and do a loop or two.

First, get the Gemini Bridges area map of the trail system at in the maps area. You’ll notice that the trails form a sort of infinity sign. This, of course, doesn’t mean that you have to ride it forever, but there is a veritable plethora of ways to ride the trail for less than forever and end right back at your car.

Let’s start with an easy loop. Little Canyon, Arth’s Corner, and Great Escape. Let’s just call it Arth’s Little Escape for now. (Say, that kinda rings!) Start by driving out the Gemini Bridges Road from Hwy 191 (yeah, up and over the kinda nasty part) to where Gold Bar and Little Canyon trails meet. Ride up Little Canyon, connecting to Arth’s via a short piece of road. Head up Arth’s until you get to the intersection of Getaway, Arth’s, Great Escape, and Gemini Bridges Road, fairly close to Gemini Bridges parking. From here you can take Great Escape back to where it hits Little Canyon again and back to your car. I like this way because riding up Little and Arth’s hardly seems like a climb, and Great’s a bit more technical, so the overall elevation loss is a benefit. The drawback to doing the trail is the drive out to Gold Bar.

If you have more energy and time, you can continue up Bull Run, which reconnects up the road just a bit, or take the Getaway trail up. Hmmm, which way should you go? I like going up Getaway because it hardly seems uphill until it ends, at which point you have to ride up the road about a mile to get to the top of Bull Run. I’d rather save the downhill riding for the singletrack. Bull Run is really fun downhill, and Getaway is mostly smooth and fast coming down. Either way, the climb is pretty tame, and the downhill ride will put a big smile on your face. So, if you add this loop and come back down the Great Escape trail, it’s like a Crazy Eight! (Now, that’d make a good name!)

“Is that it?” Well no, young buccaneer! If you want to avoid the rather harsh drive out Gemini Bridges Road from Hwy 191, drive out Highway 313 to the other end of Gemini Bridges Road and head to the parking at top of Bull Run. As I mentioned before, the ride down Bull Run is a blast, and the ride up Getaway seems almost like you aren’t really climbing. Plus, if you feel the call, you can keep on going down and do “Arth’s Little Escape” (rolls off your tongue, don’t it?). But, beware! Remember, this is a credit card ride, all the fun up front (the downhill) and pay later (the climb). You don’t want to be caught riding back up in the dark. I’ve heard tell that thar be ghost riders who built trails here hundreds of years ago that prey on the souls of tired riders in the dark.

“But, where does that leave us poor common ridin’ folk?” Come close and listen here, ‘cause this is where I tell you about the magic of infinity. “Really? The magic of infinity? Did Einstein tell you about this? Does it involve riding faster than the speed of light?” Well no, bucko, but it does involve parking in orbit around Gemini. “The constellation?” Nope, closer than that. “The rocket?” Nope, even closer. The Bridges. “Of Madison County?” No. What? Really? No. Gemini Bridges. Park at Gemini Bridges and you are at the center of infinity! You can take a short loop down and back on “Arth’s Little Escape” without getting all tired out. It’s a credit card ride that can be paid off with the tasty beverage of your choice. Or do “Bull’s Getaway” (yeah, Getaway and Bull Run). Clockwise or counter-clockwise, it’s never tough, because if you get tired part way through, you can turn around and it’s downhill all the way back to <in a big echoing voice> the center of infinity! (And that tasty beverage.)

If I haven’t given you enough choices, consider adding the new 7-Up Trail to the options.

Gemini Bridges area Mtn Bike Trails

Tom Dillon chopped down the cherry tree and blamed it on George Washington. An avid cyclist, beekeeper, and computer guy, Tom maintains the Trail Mix website and is the Biking Representative on the Trail Mix Executive Committee.

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