Rancho Juan Pelota
 Dripping Springs, TX

NOTICE: Access is currently unavailable due to new ownership

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8 miles


singletrack; doubletrack


2009 Mellow Johnny's Classic race course  |  Googlemap overlay (.kml)





• No, this isn't Lance Armstrong's ranch...any longer

Looking down at the start (pre-ride) A group of riders approaching the registration area (pre-ride) An an easy spot for passing early (pre-ride) Over the rocks and it's smooth singletrack (pre-ride) A small drop into some soft singletrack (pre-ride)
Many sections wind around (pre-ride) A quick whoop-dee-do through a dry water crossing (pre-ride) One of only a couple tight squeezes (pre-ride) It's all about momentum coming into the ascent (pre-ride) A fairly steep, yet short climb (pre-ride) A nice, flowing section of singletrack in the open (pre-ride)
You'll find yourself bombing down many descents similar to this one (pre-ride) Again, momentum is your friend (pre-ride) Not the ideal place to try and pass (pre-ride) Winding your way into the trees (pre-ride) One of several actual water crossings (pre-ride) Looking back at one of the larger water crossings (pre-ride)
Single file bridge in one of the open slower false flat uphills sections (pre-ride) Don't be distracted by the spectacular Hill Country views (pre-ride) Anyone seen Toto? (pre-ride) Following a long false flat section, you are rewarded with this climb (pre-ride) Dipping into the woods, the singletrack is soft in many sections (pre-ride) Log crossing + off-camber + drop-off = caution needed (pre-ride)
The final stretch of singletrack along the treeline (pre-ride) Early climb section (photo courtesy of velotainment) Early climb section (photo courtesy of velotainment) One small section of the doubletrack climb back towards the ranch house (photo courtesy of velotainment) A small hillside before the man made Pave section (photo courtesy of velotainment)
Single file bridge in one of the open slower false flat uphills sections (photo courtesy of velotainment) Livestrong course marker (photo courtesy of velotainment) Some dips in the faster sections with some rock garden and small ledges (photo courtesy of velotainment) One of the bigger ledges  (photo courtesy of velotainment)


  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.
~ 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 can rail.
~ 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)


Juan Pelota Ranch weather forecast

Last modified: 7 December 2011