Western: Yankee Springs

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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby SteveF » May 25th, 2011, 12:07 pm

It drains better than any trail in the area in my experience, but I suspect if we get as much rain as they're saying there will be a patch or two of standing water. With out of town buddies looking to ride it's probably worth trying anyway...
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby Mark H. » June 1st, 2011, 4:47 pm

Well the rain has not been kind to the trails. The rain has pushed alot of the sand down to the bottom of the hills, so it sucks all of your speed out & then you have to clime that hill & the water has taken alot of the dirt out & exposed alot of rocks. That said there's no trees down, one big mud pit on the main trail, I've never seen mud there, & the same mud pit in the warm up loop, with a trail going around it.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby MTBGearTech » June 17th, 2011, 11:24 am

I may be way way out of line here and I apologize if I am. IMO the trail would be much more fun if there were low bridges or something similar built over the areas that are traditionally very deep sand. Especially those at the bottom of a nice fast DH section or right before a climb. Has this ever been considered? I've ridden there three times since moving to K-Zoo. The first time was an absolute blast since the sandy areas were mostly packed down and rideable. The next two times were not much fun as the sandy areas really ruined my flow and had me walking a few times. I love the layout of the trail, more than any other trail I've ridden on this side of the state but the sand just kills it. Some are probably of the opinion that it adds to the challenge, which it does but when it also detracts from the fun (i.e. speed) I start to lose interest. I will add that I am coming from a DH/FR background and my idea of fun is rocks, roots and switchbacks at 30+ mph. I'm really getting in to the XC thing here and I'm even starting to enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes from clearing a steep technical climb. I just haven't gotten into going from 25mph on a descent to 3mph in a sand trap within a 5' distance and having to grind away to try to get through it.

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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby morgan1819 » June 20th, 2011, 11:28 am

Yankee Springs was my home trail for nearly 15 years ... probably averaged 50-60 laps per year on it. Your characterization of the trail and sand conditions is absolutely correct - great trail, lots of speed, a couple of potentially leg burning climbs, and sand in a lot of unfortunate areas. There have been some really good efforts on re-routes over the years, but as expected, the re-routes become sandy relatively quickly. So, because of the nature of the land, it would take a LOT of resources to get the trail to a point where it would flow, and not have major sand issues.
With the trails in Grand Rapids, and even Ft. Custer, growing in popularity, Yankee looks like it will be a good option when other trails are too wet to ride. I still ride it a few times during the cooler weather months. But I hear you - it's a little frustrating, because it could be (and was) so much better.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby Bigtymer » June 20th, 2011, 1:01 pm

If you spin correctly and use the right psi for Yankee Springs, the sand is easy to ride through. Kind of feels like surfing or skiing when you fly over it. So pick up as much speed as you can so you have enough momentum to go through the sand. You need to also know the trail so you know when the sand is coming up. Then once you start remember every rock, root and sand sections ,you'll start remembering which gear to be in certain sections. Thus your rides become pretty much effortless.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby G.R.XC-MTNBKR » June 20th, 2011, 9:07 pm

Bigtymer wrote:If you spin correctly and use the right psi for Yankee Springs, the sand is easy to ride through. Kind of feels like surfing or skiing when you fly over it. So pick up as much speed as you can so you have enough momentum to go through the sand. You need to also know the trail so you know when the sand is coming up. Then once you start remember every rock, root and sand sections ,you'll start remembering which gear to be in certain sections. Thus your rides become pretty much effortless.

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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby MTBGearTech » June 21st, 2011, 7:51 am

What PSI would you suggest? I'm running 2.1 Tioga Psycho Genius tires. I can usually make it through the sand but my last two trips out it was just too soft and deep. Keeping the speed up via spinning is key for sure but it would sure be nice to fly over a bridge or armored section while accelerating into the next climb, turn or descent. I guess it will just be something that I have to deal with if I want to enjoy the rest of the trail which is just amazing. I suppose it's like the Deer Flies that keep finding their way into the vents on my helmet *beep* . I need to invest in some Deep Woods Off asap...
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby Special Goodness » June 21st, 2011, 9:10 am

I've been out of mountain biking for about a year due to knee issues and some other things that just got to be more important. Last weekend I started riding Yankee again and I've been out 4 times since Friday. I have to say that I'm not very impressed with the condition of the trail. This being my home trail, I've done a lot of trail work here and I can't say that I think the work done over the last year or so was done to the same standards as when I was more involved. Some of the reroutes have been built on terrain that was obviously to steep to be sustainable and there are numerous sections that have become badly eroded and need to be rerouted to avoid further damaging the land. It seems to me (and I do realize how easy it is to stand back and criticize after the hard work has been done) that several of the fundamentals of good trail design have been overlooked. A bit more planning should have been done when building new trail to avoid recreating the same problems the reroutes are built to bypass. Let me say that my criticism is not a personal attack on the volunteers who have done so much work on this trail, but I do think it is important to have feedback when things don't go so well.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby Bigtymer » June 22nd, 2011, 7:09 pm

Well I run continental mountain kings 2.4 at 27 psi. The wider the tire the lower psi you can run, but our trails in Michigan are pretty smooth with roots and a few rocks sections once in awhile. So chances of having a pinch flat are less. So if you an average weight for your height, I would run between 25-30psi. Don't be afraid to play around with your psi. I doubt you would get a pinch flat with the type of terrain we have in Michigan.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby MTBGearTech » June 22nd, 2011, 7:58 pm

I've been running 30f and 35r, I may try some lower pressures to see if that helps. I'm sure it would help with traction over the rocks and roots on the climbs. I ride the downhills very aggressively and usually try to jump off anything that can be used as a jump. When DHing I run 28f and 36r using true dual ply DH tires and still had pinch flat every once in awhile which is why I'm running the slightly higher pressures on these lighter tires. Flatting sucks.

Really getting in to the XC/Trail thing though. It's nice to get out, hop on the bike and just ride without having to worry about shuttles, lift tickets, uncomfortable body armor etc.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby dirtjunkie » July 14th, 2011, 3:29 pm

Rode a few loops at Yankee last night. The trail is in pretty typical shape for Yankee in July. The only thing that threw me was the folliage overhanging the trail. There was a boat load of it. I've been riding there for years and I don't remember it being this overgrown. Must be a good year if your a briar bush :D
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby purple helmet » July 31st, 2011, 10:13 am

Yankee on 7/30 was as rough as I've ever seen it. Actually had me rethinking the wisdom of a rigid bike. Required total concentration to keep the rubber side down. I think the torrential rains didn't do the trail any favors...
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby ReidRules18 » July 31st, 2011, 7:50 pm

purple helmet wrote:Yankee on 7/30 was as rough as I've ever seen it. Actually had me rethinking the wisdom of a rigid bike. Required total concentration to keep the rubber side down. I think the torrential rains didn't do the trail any favors...


I completely agree. I was out the day before on 7/29 and the trail was very washed out. I thought that the trail was difficult to me mentally and physically on a level I haven't experienced in quite some time. Be careful out there as the lines have roots exposed, drops where you wouldn't expect them etc.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby dirtjunkie » August 1st, 2011, 2:56 pm

ReidRules18 wrote:
purple helmet wrote:Yankee on 7/30 was as rough as I've ever seen it. Actually had me rethinking the wisdom of a rigid bike. Required total concentration to keep the rubber side down. I think the torrential rains didn't do the trail any favors...


I completely agree. I was out the day before on 7/29 and the trail was very washed out. I thought that the trail was difficult to me mentally and physically on a level I haven't experienced in quite some time. Be careful out there as the lines have roots exposed, drops where you wouldn't expect them etc.


Concur!

I rode over to Yankee from home Saturday a.m., thinking that the rain was going to make it "Yankee after a rain". Man, the heavy rain seemed to have washed the sand into spots that it normally isn't as prevelant....and it was best described as "mashed potato's".

It's tough for sure....but that's Yankee!
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby SteveF » August 1st, 2011, 5:07 pm

purple helmet wrote:Yankee on 7/30 was as rough as I've ever seen it. Actually had me rethinking the wisdom of a rigid bike. Required total concentration to keep the rubber side down. I think the torrential rains didn't do the trail any favors...


Heh, I rethought the rigid bike in 1996--bought a Proflex and been riding full suspension ever since...
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