So I woke up tired and lazy around 10 AM to a bright sunny day.I was up late last night doing research. My plan before I woke to this beautiful summer morning was to replace my front and rear tires on the dual sport in preparation for a cross state trip I was planning in the next couple weeks. As I sipped my morning coffee, staring out the kitchen window I realized it was September 1st. In just a few short weeks Autumn will officially arrive. In Buffalo NY, that means there’s not a lot of really pleasant riding weather left in the year. You have warm days and cool days in September, come October it starts getting downright cold!
As I contemplated the thought of cold weather arriving soon, I just couldn’t justify spending such a lovely day in the garage replacing and balancing new tires. Nope, I opted to go explore a nearby trail system, and abuse the nearly bald back tire on the CSC TT250. I figured why not take this opportunity to explore as well as practice skidding around corners, foot down turn around turns, and donuts 🙂 I finished my cup of coffee, slipped on an old ripped up pair of jeans with a sleeveless t-shirt, grabbed my riding boots and my full face motocross helmet and headed out the door!
Turning the key on the dual sport I discovered an ominous number on the speedometer. 2666 miles. I contemplated whether this was a good or bad omen for a moment then cautiously headed out on my trip. I suppose it’s a matter of perspective and I’m not a very superstitious man either.
One of the best things about having a dual sport is legally riding on the roads to get to the trails. The trail system I’d be exploring runs from North Tonawanda NY to just before the Lockport NY border. It’s probably about 15 to 20 miles of decent off road trails. If you’re from the area I’ll post GPS coordinates at the end of the post. Comment here or DM me on Twitter for a map. @TheMotoDude
This was probably my fourth or fifth time on these trails. It’s a single trail system used for snowmobilers in the winter with a hole bunch of side trails. The last time I was here I discovered a bunch of side trails that I wanted to explore further. Having already set out on my adventure I had no idea what a treat I was in for.
I spent the early afternoon doing donuts and skidding around corners further abusing the nearly bald back tire. After about an hour of riding like this I came across a fairly deep water crossing, I contemplated turning around but decided to proceed slowly. So happy I did because what I discovered blew my mind.
I had been down this trail before on dryer days. As I turned the corner I discovered a rock quarry. The other times I had been there the rock quarry was open with people all over working; doing whatever they do in rock quarries. This was a holiday weekend though, and there wasn’t a soul in sight. I decided to ride around the quarry and do a little investigating. It turned out this quarry was massive, with a huge network of dirt roads that I ended up getting lost. It took me nearly an hour to find my way out again 🙂
I continued abusing the back tire as I’d come to a dead end, or find a section that was gated off. I’m still not really sure if I was supposed to be there or not. I was looking all over for “no trespassing” signs or “posted” signs and found none. Occasionally I would find a gated section with a sign saying “do not enter”, and I respected that. Foot down turn around, peel out and head in the opposite direction.
After about an hour in this quarry I found my way out. I hopped back on the main trail system, almost at the end, near the Lockport NY border. The trail system ends around New York Highway 93. I had used up close to a quarter tank of gas and decided to drive into town, fuel up, let the bike cool off, and drink a little iced tea in the shade.
Once I was good and rested and the bike cooled down considerably I headed back towards the trail system. My friends and I had discussed on several occasions whether or not the trail system truly ends in Lockport. Just now using Google satellite it appears there are more trails to search out on my next trip. However, I digress. I hopped back on a different part of the trail that I had skipped to go into town. When I got to the top of a hill I noticed a new trail, that looked less traveled. I decided to explore it.
The trail was perilous, with lots of steep drops. It looked like the locals had just started carving out these paths. I rode slowly and methodically through it. I thought about turning back several times, but something told me to push on. I noticed a bunch of hawks circling in the sky, and decided to head in that direction. To my surprise this was the back of the rock quarry. A whole new section I had yet to explore.
I pulled off, took a selfie and rested for a bit. It didn’t look like many people had rode this section before. There was no sign of construction equipment, and I did find the occasional ATV track dried up in the mud. It made for some fun riding and exploring. With the massive quarry cliffs, I drove really slow, and some of the spots I rode into were pretty challenging. The scenery was incredible though, and the riding fun.
I discovered it was a quartz mine, which is maybe why I felt so good. LOL
After exploring this section of the quarry for awhile I came across some more quarry roads. I was lost again, and looking for a way out. I thought for sure somebody would eventually pull up in a pick-up truck or security vehicle and ask me what I was doing. Again I looked all over for “no trespassing” and “posted” signs but none were found. I figured if anyone asked I’d tell them the truth. “I was on some trails, ended up in this quarry, now I’m lost and looking for a way out.”
Paranoia began to creep in. What if I wasn’t supposed to be here? What if whoever discovered me turning thier quarry into my own personal motocross track, didn’t see the fun in it? What if they were pissed off and grumpy that they were stuck working a holiday weekend, and decided to rain on my parade and cause a problem for me? What if they didn’t buy my bullshit story about being lost on the trails and accidentally discovering their quarry even though it was the truth?
I finally came to a locked gate. There was a small country road on the other side of it. The fence ran a couple hundred feet towards a bunch of trees, and right at the end you could see some tracks where the locals were probably driving their 4×4’s through. It went through a drainage ditch next to the road. I decided this was my way out. I slowly rode my bike in the 4×4 tracks, maneuvered through the drainage ditch and at last I was on a legitimate road.
I drove in the direction I thought the authorized trails were on. Found the legal trails, and headed back home. I love finding adventure in my own backyard. If you’re from the area the GPS coordinates for the highway 93 trail entrance on the edge of Lockport is 43.155045, -78.712336 I’ll leave the exploring to you.
Thanks for reading and safe travels!