It will be hours before any teams take the field here. But laying in wait, just beyond the trees at this St. Francisville sport complex, is something they call The Beast.
Mountain biker John Odenwald says, "You show up here, you hurt, you get thrown, and you get cut up and you say yeah, that's The Beast."
Ty Gose says, "It's definitely something you do at your own risk."
The Beast is an eight-mile long wooded trail. It's located at the West Feliciana Sports Complex on the north side of St. Francisville.
Odenwald says, "This is what we have here, the topography change from up on the plateau down, and the river's right over there. This is where the river's washed out, and we're on the edge here. So we're going to be going up this kind of elevation at a quick rapid rate or dropping off on stuff like this. And it makes for a great downhill or a fun, difficult uphill."
Odenwald warns us that "Any of these roots can just jack you right off the bike."
Gose says, "It has a little fast track, it has a lot of climbing, some downhill technical stuff. It's got a little bit of everything for everybody."
It's an unlikely challenge, a mountain bike trail in south Louisiana that's not for beginners.
Odenwald says, "You go down one we call The Escalator, which is really the high point, and you come down this deal, sliding down this escalator-type deal, and at the bottom you've got a ravine that's this wide, I mean it's this wide. You've got no room for error and you're going over in the ditch."
Gose says, "I've biked in Montana and I've biked in the Smokey Mountains, I've done some in Texas. Those are great, very different, great trails, very different. But The Beast has a little bit of everything."
Odenwald says, "That is a kick in the pants. This is one of the best kept secrets in Louisiana, if not the country. You've got to bring your A-game because The Beast will hurt you. And that's what makes it fun."
Gose says, "Even though Louisiana is not known for having any mountains, you're doing a lot of climbing. The ravines and bluffs are pretty serious and this trail takes advantage of that"
Odenwald says, "Very few trails will attack the hill, and that's why this is The Beast, because you show up and I like to say The Beast does not disappoint."
It's tough, it's dangerous, and it will push you to your limit.
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