29 Trails in 29 Days: Tools of the Trade

Scouting, locating, riding, and logging 29 mountain bike trails in 29 days has meant spending a lot of time on singletracks.com for me (even more than usual – shocking!). Before I talk about trail #29 (spoiler alert: I rode it yesterday) I want to highlight some of the tools I used to plan my 29 trail adventure.

Singletracks Trailhead Map

Before the 29 day challenge began, I started with the trailhead map on singletracks and centered my search on Atlanta (as shown in the screenshot above). I tried to pick a good mix of new and old trails, close and far trails, and short and long trails. After viewing photos and reading ratings and descriptions, I narrowed my list down to about 40 potential trails. I also checked my trail wishlist to see which ones I could add to the list.

Singletracks Mobile Website

Since I was on the road a good bit during the challenge, I found myself using singletracks mobile A TON. The “nearby trails” function helped me navigate quickly to the trail pages I needed where I could then check-in at the trailhead and update trail conditions. In the past I’ve been bad about updating trail statuses on the main website because I’d usually forget by the time I got home, but having the ability to do it at the trailhead was super convenient. At this time of year, current trail statuses are super helpful to everyone worried about rain/snow on the trail – so be sure to update whenever you can!

I also used the mobile website to get driving directions to many of the trailheads along the way. Although I printed out directions before leaving home most days, I found it much easier to navigate using my phone. Normally I’d use the GPS in my car but many trailheads don’t have a proper street address to input. On my iPhone I just clicked the “map” link on the trail listing, then selected “Current Location” for my starting point and Google Maps did the rest.

Singletracks Ride Log

I used the singletracks ride log to document each of my rides and input as much data as I could (temperature, climbing, etc.) about each one. The ride log gave me a good picture of my progress and even calculated summary stats for the challenge (almost 32 hours in the saddle, 8.05 miles per trail, and 7.4mph average speed). Unfortunately I wasn’t able to space out my workouts as I would have liked so I’m not sure how beneficial my “training” really was – guess I’ll see at tomorrow’s Snake Creek Gap Time Trial…

One added benefit to using the ride log is that everyone’s times and distances for each trail are averaged to give others an idea of the trail difficulty. You can find the average speed and time for each trail in the “Trail Stats” box on the main website.

Other Stuff

Of course I also reviewed each trail I rode and added photos and maps where appropriate. For those who are new to the site, we put together a tutorial on all the trail functions available on singletracks so you can get the most out of the website.

I suppose I could have gotten most of the trail info I needed for the challenge using other sites on the web but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have gone as smoothly and would have involved multiple searches. At the end of the day, that’s why we built singletracks – to make it easy for you to find the best mountain bike trails!

Related posts:

  1. 29 Trails in 29 Days
  2. Gearing Up for 29 Trails in 29 Days
  3. MTB Demo Days on the Trails
  4. Photo Blog: 30 Days of Biking, Days 18-22
  5. Crack for MTB trade and more Alaska mountain biking

10 thoughts on “29 Trails in 29 Days: Tools of the Trade

  1. I forgot to mention: one critical set of information I wasn’t able to get from singletracks during the challenge – weather forecasts. I became a heavy user on accuweather.com – radar, hour by hour forecasts, extended forecasts – you name it. I bagged trail #29 literally just before it started raining/sleeting Thursday afternoon and the weather hasn’t let up since then.

    Whenever I saw a chance for sun in the forecast I was pretty much out the door – otherwise I wouldn’t have come close to 29 trails in 29 days.

  2. Trek do you know of any weather sites that also list the amount of water/snow accumulation that has hit the ground for a given area? I’ve always found this to be a better measure of the trail conditions. Obviously I’m not going to go ride a trail when it is raining, but it’s often nice to know how bad everything was so I can plan my rides as soon as things dry up.

  3. No – but I was thinking the same thing.

    Even better than that, perhaps in the distant future trailheads will have soil moisture monitors installed so you can check online to see how saturated the soil is. Sounds crazy but the tech exists: the EasyBloom plant sensor tracks soil moisture – it would just be a matter of giving it a way to transmit the data in real time. Man, I’m such a geek. :)

  4. trek7k, Great job on the reports. I was beginning to wonder if you were going to make it. You did! You’re the man! Well you’re the man if you PM me and spill where the “Secret Trail” is. If not, I guess that makes you a sorry MTB rider that doesn’t respond to the masses. If you saw me you’d know what a mass I am, hence the handle. Good job I hope your front deralleur recovers or at least gets uncovered. Later,

  5. Madd- PERFECT for what I was looking for.

    Trek- I have a few new trails to show you that aren’t yet on the site when ever things dry up around here. None are secret like yours though. I’m assuming the one pictured above is the one you’ve told me about a couple times while we were out riding. Looks really well maintained.

  6. Wow…Congratulation on completing your challenge! I am sure you are glad to have the whole ordeal behind you, and it is quite the accomplishment at that; however, I must admit I am a little disappointed that it’s over. I have enjoyed reading your progress throughout the 29 days, and found myself compelled to check for new post throughout the day every day. After the weather delays toward the beginning of the challenge it really added that twist of “can he still pull it off”. Through your post we have all been able to share your in adventure, which is great for those of us buried under feet of snow and ice, up here in the frozen North that probably will not see trails for at least another month. I look forward to your future post and hope you will go into greater detail on how your gear held up to the challenge.

  7. The only time I ever use other sites for trail info is basically just an address to plug into my GPS when there isn’t a clear trailhead posted on here… other than that singletracks covers it all and it’s nice to just have one site to go to to plan out a ride… who wants to spend time googling and jumping from site to site, reading old reviews here and there when they can get pictures, videos, reviews, and directions in one spot. Keep up the great work!

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