NOTICE: Access is currently unavailable due to new ownership
• No, this isn't Lance Armstrong's ranch...any longer
When you ride in the Hill Country you come to
expect certain things: descents laced with rocks, the occasional ledge
or step, loose sections amongst the cedars, and the occasional flat
in the open. When you ride on a privately owned ranch in the Hill Country
(especially when its owner [was] a world champion cyclist by the name
of Lance Armstrong) you might expect these very same characteristics,
but extremely well designed and built. Rest assured, Juan Pelota Ranch
will in no way disappoint your highest expectations.
At 8 miles in length, the trail is the perfect length for a race (imagine that); but more importantly, it’s the ideal length for an intermediate rider (1-2 laps) or an expert (2+ laps). Most would agree that nothing along this trail should be considered extremely difficult, but that is what makes this trail so much fun to ride. There are ledges and steps averaging a foot or so in height; fast descents and slow climbs; and several (read 5 or 6) small water crossings, most of which actually have water, so you can expect to get a little muddy. It’s these key Hill Country characteristics that make this trail a 3, often bordering on a 4. For example, at 1.75 miles you’ll hit a fast, rocky descent with a ledge or two for good measure, followed by a quick winding climb through some widely spaced trees. Four miles later you will find yourself on a lengthy descent worth mentioning thanks to its repeating banked turns/berms that wraps things up with a nice sized table top…so go ahead, get some air! Remember, what goes up, must come down and vice versa. It’s in the form of a false flat, followed by perhaps the trails longest climb, that you’ll regain any lost elevation. Following this you will be treated to a winding, soft-surfaced singletrack trip through the trees and a couple more water crossings.
For the most part there is a good bit of shade throughout the ride, though some areas bring you out in the absolute open and put you at the mercy of the day’s sun. Fortunately, the open areas are flats that you can race (no pun intended) right through. About 90% of the trail is sweet Hill Country singletrack, with the remaining 10% being doubletrack. There is a very short lived stretch of asphalt, but it’s hardly worth mentioning.
Unfortunately Juan Pelota Ranch isn’t a regularly accessible place to ride, unless you are friends with Lance Armstrong, of course. With that said, keep an eye out on the events page for any future opportunities to ride this trail.
~ MountainBikeTx.com(Nov 2009)
Really, really FUN!
~ DJKessler(Nov 2009)
This IMO is the best race course so far, and
hope in the future they could put this in the TMBRA series. It is semi
rocky with some very nice rock ledges (Tapatio style) but other than
that it is open FAST single track. Climbing... Nothing you can't slam
in the big ring...Insane downhill sections with sick berms that you
~ Sampson(Nov 2009)
As mentioned above, the trail is FAST. Tons
of downhill and extremely flowy. Lots of rocky descents that turn into
big dirt turns. The uphills are not steep but there are a good number
of them. This trail reminds me alot of Flat Rock Ranch but just faster
and never brutal. Gorgeous vistas. It'll be very exhausting to race
on, that's for sure.
~ PattyB(Nov 2009)