HOW OFTEN do you see a Galbraith legend endo -- like a full-on flying squirrel on Flying Squirrel, no less? I can only think of once, which was a a decade ago when I saw Nick Mier (co-author of the great lost South Side trail, Nick & Pete) plant his front wheel in a mountain beaver hole and take a huge fall at the top of the double black diamond first face.
I have no idea exactly how far Nick flew, but I'm guessing maybe 30 feet in the air. One thing I do know, when we retreived his bike, which had pitch-poled down the trench a ways, we found that the impact had driven gravel between the rim of the wheel and the tire itself. I've been riding for a long time now, and I've never seen anything like that before or since.
The Freeride folks have put a bunch of work into the trail in the last few years (berming corners, etc.). They now call the trail by the name Luge, but the drop into the trench at the top is still the centerpiece of the trail, and it's still as nasty as ever.
If you are going too fast when you hit the top of the face, you're in big trouble because it's already too late to dump speed. If you're going too fast, the trench will suck you in and swallow you alive in the debris at the bottom, instead of the other way around. And this is just the first of three faces. Oh yea -- the mountain beaver burrow holes that are visible on the steep sideface in both these shots are still there.
THE THREE PIGS and Flying Squirrel are very different trails, but either together or separately, they are basically about the same thing -- sweet singletrack descent from the mid-mountain to the bottom and Galbraith Lane.
In fact, you can think of the upper of the Three Pigs and the Flying Squirrel as just alternate routes to reach the lower two of the Pigs, because that's what they are.
The Flying Squirrel is the most extreme and difficult of the two feeders for the lower Pigs, and it also requires the longest ride on the 2300 Rd. to connect with the lower Pigs.
Like all the Pigs, the upper Pig is honey-sweet singletrack and happily rides both ways.
The upper Pig starts just above the Blue Rock, near the bottom of Kaiser and Mullet.
The Flying Squirrel starts further up the Tower Rd. / 3000 Rd., across the road from the bottom of the fabled Scorpion. Both connect via short runs on the 2300 Rd. with the middle of the Three Pigs, and thence the bottom of the mountain.
Each section of the Three Pigs is divided from the others by gravel access roads off the Tower Road / 2000 Road. You can also pick up -- or exit -- the trail at each these points.
So, for instance, you might climb the Tower Rd. from Galbraith Lane for a while and then think, "it sure would be nice to ride some singletrack." At that point, you can turn right on either the 2030 spur or the 2300 spur off the 2000 Rd., ride a little ways, and then hang a left into some sweet singletrack climbing.
The Three Pigs is also useful, providing the South Side's best singletrack climbing route from Galbraith Lane to the Blue Rock, where you can connect into singletrack climbing routes to Arsenio (Kaiser > Oly > 187 > Log Cabin Trail) or the Towers (Kaiser > Bottle Openner > Keystone > Naughty Nellie > Wonderland).
IT'S AMAZING how few riders take advantage of the Three Pigs, though. It's an ancient Galbraith Trail that dates back to the early '90s, but it gets a fraction the use of nearby trails. Riders coming down from the Blue Rock seem to always take Shawn's Trail or 911, and riders climbing always seem to be in a hurry, so they just hustle up the road.
Try the less-travelled path. If you add The Three Pigs to your next ride, either climbing up from -- or coming down to -- Galbraith Lane, you won't regret it
And here's an added bonus -- during the summer of 2009 the Pigs benefited from substantial trail work (particularly in the lowest Pig, where an ugly section of half-buried corderoy logs was completely eliminated).
Much of this work was spearheaded by David Waugh AKA Legendary David, pictured at left building a ramp). As a result, The Pigs are in better shape now than they have been in a decade!