August 24, 2015
I've been here before and it's always a good time, however......Fountainhead is roughly 73 miles from my house, to put it lightly with D/M/V traffic, its a trek and proper planning is involved to get down there. Another hurdle is that you can't just show up and ride, the mountain bike portion of the park has to be open and predicting that is like predicting the weather.
I made sure it had not rained in a few days. I checked the facebook page every few hours the day before and the morning of for any updates. I even called the number for a status update...nothing was posted. Since it had not rained in 3 days, I figured the trail would be good to go since no updates were being posted...no news is good news right? Woke up, got ready and was out of my house before 6am. Made it down to the park around 7:30am and there are dozens of cars lined up outside the park, the main gate is closed. However I see a few guys pulling their bikes off their racks and pedaling past the main gate. So I follow suit, only to get to the trail entrance to see about 10 riders just waiting in front of a closed trail sign. People were calling the phone number listed, no answer, no updates. THIS CRAP PISSES ME OFF and why Fountainhead isn't worth the drive. I felt like Clark Griswold when he shows up to Wally World and Marty Moose is telling him the park is closed.
If they aren't going to follow a normal schedule on dry days, then they need to be Johnny on the spot with keeping the park status updated. I have better things to do than drive over an hour at the buttcrack of dawn only to find out the park is closed.
If this place is so concerned about erosion on wet days and wants to keep riders off the trail, then so be it. But keeping the trails closed on a Saturday morning for reasons I can only assume were because of morning dew or the guy who runs it is a drunk and couldn't get his #$% out of bed is unacceptable. I'm not waiting around all day until they feel they are ready to open.
I've never seen public trail system with more rules and regulations. I ride because I want to be free and escape all that. I don't need to be told how, when, where I ride or what I have to wear. If I don't want to wear a helmet (even though I always do) then I am an adult and that's my choice. Mountain biking is supposed to be an escape from all of that. Fountainhead can shove it. I'll keep riding at the Frederick Watershed when I want and how I want to ride.