Largest Mountain Bike Trails in the Southeast? Hmmmmm, maybe not.

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Let me be the first to say that I made a lot of mistakes as a student. For instance, I attempted to grow a beard before any hair would grow on my face. It only came in on my neck. Yes, it was the classic “neckbeard,” and I’m ashamed of it to this day.

That terrible memory — and the fact that my grown face now hides itself willingly under a mat of hair — gives me hope for the University of Georgia’s Red & Black newspaper and their reporter Lindsey Smith, who revealed this morning that Athens is developing “The Largest Mountain Biking Trail in the Southeast.”

Here’s what Ms. Smith reported:

There have been 1.7 miles of existing trails at Trail Creek Park with features catering to beginner and intermediate bikers. The additional trails Quehl is constructing currently alongside Southern Offroad Biking Association, or SORBA, will more than double the length of the existing trails and add more challenging features.

As much as I’m excited for the city of Athens, and as much as I know how great Mr. Quehl’s work can be, I think that to call four miles of trail the largest in the Southeast might be going just a tick far.

Oh! I’ve got it. Maybe they’re extra wide trails. Perhaps, in the absence of the territory necessary to make truly long trails, the system will be experimenting with extra girthy ones. We talk a lot about double- and singletrack, but rarely do we hear about triple- or quadrupletrack. They could be pioneering that technology.

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It can’t be length. The Blanket’s Creek system just outside Atlanta has around 15 miles of trail and a downhill run by Mr. Quehl. Coldwater’s got 25 miles of trail with a whopping 75 in the planning stages. FATS has 37 miles and is the greatest mountain biking trail system ever designed (anyone who says differently is not only a fraud but a scoundrel besides).

Or perhaps Ms. Smith meant that the trails will be the “largest” in terms of their fan base, at which we can only speculate. Even so, it’s going a bit out on a limb. Coldwater has over 1,300 Facebook likes. Blanket’s over 1,400. FATS only has 611… but they’re a plucky 611, damn it.

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We’ll know more in a few short weeks. I’ll be covering the Athens Twilight MTB crit. The qualifying TT for that race takes place at the self-same East Athens park, Trail Creek. I’ll take plenty of photos. Perhaps the quadrupletrack will be revealed!

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