With the heat of summer upon us, we thought the Cherokee County trails would not be as busy as they were in the spring. However with the collaborative efforts of multiple agencies including the Woodstock Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA Woodstock), Greenprints Alliance, City of Woodstock, Cherokee County, Cherokee Recreation and Parks Agency, and Woodstock Parks and Recreation Department, there are trails that eager runners, hikers, walkers, and mountain bikers are ready to explore no matter how high the mercury rises.
Wind in the Hair
The Blankets Creek Mountain Bike Trails located off of Sixes Road provide just one example of the collaborative effort in which heat does not deter visitors. A quick drive by on weekends proves that the parking lot is almost always filled to the brim with cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans equipped with bicycle racks. This is a common sight no matter if the thermometer is inching its way up to the upper nineties or not. One might wonder how these die-hard bikers can stand the heat. However, after a quick observation it is easy to see that those dedicated to the sport don’t seem to mind the heat as they have a breeze provided by their forward motion to keep them cool.
Another observation made with the numerous trail riders at Blankets Creek includes the presence of water bottles. Those mountain bikes may be missing a kickstand, but they are almost all equipped with a water bottle cage. A kickstand on a mountain bike spells disaster as it could cause more damage than good. Likewise, a mountain biker that hits the trails in the summer heat of North Georgia without a hydration plan could be facing disaster as well. It is helpful to know that for those biking without a water bottle cage, or a hydration backpack, there are drinking fountains located at the restroom building.
Speaking of hydration, let’s talk about the overall safety precautions one should take before hitting the trails for biking, hiking, or running. While hydration is extremely important, so is the use of the buddy system. Remember to have a biking buddy, or walking or running partner. If you are biking, don’t forget that maintaining a bike properly will help ensure that tires are properly inflated and handlebars are in place appropriately. And finally, keeping a first aid kit accessible either in a pack or in a vehicle is always a good idea.
If you are a mountain biker or one of the many visitors to the Blankets Creek Mountain Bike Trails for walking or hiking, what advice do you have to share for safety tips?