"Ultimate Ride" Lake Hefner Paved Trails + Bluff Creek Mountain Bike Trails.
So the back story is this... Roughly 2008 a buddy got me back on a bike. Probably had not ridden with any regularity since I was a teen. Our local single track at the time was about 3.5 miles of narrow, bluff and camber riding, twisty and turny goodness. Over the past decade trail had lengthened and widened, and dumbed down a bit. A new parking lot infrastructure made this area a huge draw for hikers, runners, and cyclist alike. The system sits at the bottom of a dam for a lake. A multipurpose cycling and pedestrian trail surrounds the lake. There is a litany of residential neighborhoods surrounding this area of the city. A year or two after my toes dipped into the mountain biking waters, a buddy moved into one of these surrounding neighborhoods. Thus the Ultimate Ride was born. The connection of the Lake Hefner paved trails, to the Bluff Creek Mountain Bike trails.
A few years ago, I moved into the same neighborhood. The ride now is not near as impressive and done almost weekly (daily in some cases). But at the time, I imagined it being 100 miles and taking two days to complete. Afterwards I assumed we would crumble in my buddies AC filled living room to drink a thousand cold beers.
Variations of the ride leave it anywhere from 14 to 18 miles. I like to take the gravel drives down by the lake and ride the front of the single track twice. Rounding it out at 16-17 miles total from my doorstep.
The route unpacks at 2 miles of gravel, 4 miles of single track, and 10 miles of paved bike trail. Rarely if ever seeing any car traffic.
The route is relatively free of any climbing. And not necessarily the most adventurous. But with Oklahoma weather patterns it can become quite challenging. And the single track is twisty enough and rooty enough to keep you honest.
Obviously the upside to this ride is, it leaves from my doorstep. There are plenty of parking lots along the lake to start. Ride it any direction you choose. There's plenty of dining and patio beers on the east side of the lake. Parks galore, including a new skate and bmx park. All right off of the paved trail. Infinite spots to hang a hammock. Infinite spots to drop a fishing line in the water. Infinite places to watch the sunset or sunrise.