The International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) has designated the Fresno – Sauceda Loop Trail at Big Bend Ranch State Park an “Epic” ride.
IMBA has designated fewer than 50 Epic rides in the U.S. and Canada in the history of the organization. The Big Bend Ranch SP ride is the only mountain-bike ride designated as Epic in the state of Texas, and only one of two in the southwestern U.S.
Epics are selected by IMBA staff, including regional directors, who decide which trails in their territories are having the largest influence on riders, land managers, and decision makers. Epic rides showcase the possibilities for trail recreation on public lands, according to the IMBA website at http://www.imba.com/epics.
IMBA board member and Mountain Bike Hall of fame inductee Hill Abell describes the Fresno Saucedo trail as “a huge day in the saddle and super challenging.”
The Fresno – Sauceda Loop Trail offers a blend of single-track and double-track 4x4 roads, and it winds through recently opened Fresno Canyon with frequent climbs and often steep descents. Significant geological, natural, archeological, and historical sites and resources are scattered along the route, including abandoned cinnabar mines, desert springs, wildlife, turn-of-the-century ranch house ruins, deserted homesteads, and Native American pictographs.
Mike Long, owner of Terlingua-based commercial outfitter Desert Sports and “tremendous friend to the park,” and Jeff Renfrow of the Big Bend Trails Alliance and Desert Sports, submitted the nomination for the Epic designation. Long and his staff frequently lead rides in BBRSP and surrounding areas and, through the Big Bend Trails Alliance, have assisted with trail-building and maintenance.
“The Fresno – Sauceda ‘Dream Ride’ is the quintessential Epic ride,” said Texas Parks and Wildlife staff writer Karen Hoffman Blizzard, who wrote of her experience in the November 2009 issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. “It takes you out of the ordinary and into the Zone.”
The West Texas park includes over 200 miles of single-track, double-track, and old 4x4 ranch roads, including the ride to “The Other Side of Nowhere,” with steep graded climbs and some wild downhill runs. While Big Bend Ranch State Park has something for everyone interested in the outdoors, it has been described by many as “a pure paradise for mountain-bikers who like remote areas and physical challenges.”
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