My day at Schaeffer Farms did not go well.
Schaeffer Farms is potentially the best mountain biking park in our area. Located in the hinterlands (out beyond Gaithersburg), Schaeffer Farms is a park that is a farm that is a mountain biking course. 15 miles of rolling trails wind their way through woods, creeks, farmland and cornfields, giving cyclists different levels of terrain and difficulty. The average grade is 2.8% (a bit more than train grade) while the steepest grade is 8.1%. Trails wind and climb through creeks, bridges, boulders, and trees, giving skilled cyclists ample opportunities to crash.
The trail network in Schaeffer Farms was built by Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (aka MORE) in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources. The MOCO Epic mountain bike race starts and finishes at Schaeffer Farms.
Excited for a day on the trails, I attempted to turn my "hybrid" Cannondale Bad Boy into a cross-bike, swapping on 33 nobbies for my 700 wheels. Well guess what…. they didn't fit. Even though the Cannondale is a "hybrid," simply moving up to 33s was too fat for the bike. Apparently, "hybrid" means I can put on mountain bike tires if I drop down to 26" wheels. Well.. great.
I wasn't going to give up on the day, and by cycling partner had already hit the trail with his new crossbike - so I attempted to mountain bike on my 700 x 28c tires. The Bad Boy is a good bike made to take abuse, and abuse it I did. I did a good route over the river, er creeks, and through the woods. It was an excellent ride and I am proud to say I did not crash into any trees. However, the terrain clearly dictated riding on nice soft balloons (mountain bike tires). Afraid of damaging my rims, I called it a day.
My cycling partner, however, had skillfully failed to avoid the tree that leaped out into the trail in front of him.
Schaeffer Farms is an excellent mountain biking park. Time for Rule #12.