More on mountain biking in Washington. We have been riding a bit for the last year….weekly rides and of course with the two of us at least one "adventure" rides a weekends. So far this year we have ridden every month, yes even in Jan. and Feb…not normal for our Colorado memories…and yes riding on dirt not snow! We are still "adventure" riding because these areas are all new to us since our latest more in October. Two weeks ago (during the NW heat wave=multiple days of 100+ dregree weather) we decided to go on a long epic ride, we started on a well used, lose gravel road and began climbing and climbing and climbing. Eventually we decided that the 7 miles of climbing with an elevation gain of 3500 feet on a 103 degree weather was just too much…we turned around and rode the other end of our planned loop. Holy cow! Some of the sweetest, smoothest, and most fun trails we have been on in years… The trail was buffed out perfectly. I kept looking around waiting to see Wilderness Trails, Hikers Only sign.. we both commented that we felt like bikes weren’t allowed on the trails. It felt like we were way out in the Wilderness Areas of a National Forest. It was one of the greatest rides.
Today we rode with one of Keith’s co-workers near a town called Black Diamond for about 3.5 hours. We were only "lost" for 1.5 hours! We did find some of the most winding, rooted, and log obstacle trails around. We stumbled along a "stunt park" on a plateau with 6′ elevated bridges with drops at the end, gap jumps and ramps. It was another great day on a bike! 🙂
So I have come to the conclusion that the NW, at least the "greater Seattle" area, wants to preserve some of the small wooded areas for activities like hiking and biking so they build the most twisty trails to add as many miles in a small place as possible. This has been proven on about 5 areas we ride. You can be standing 5 feet on the side of someone and you are on another trail completely. This makes for some trippy riding. The trails are tight so you need to be paying attention to the width of your bars, ignore all the roots, and get used to the fact that there are no maps and/or trail signs. It takes about 5 rides in one area to get comfortable with a loop you can ride over and over again. It is really fun to explore all of these areas and options…very seldomly do we ride the same trail twice! (this is most often because we take just one wrong turn) 🙂
The seasons also seem to change a trail completely. In the winter the trails are bare- wet ground and no vegetation. In the spring, the ferns start to grow and the trails are covered with ferns. In the summer everything is blooming so you don’t see much of the trail and in the late summer and fall, the shrubbery tries to ride with you…blackberry stickers stuck in your skin or on your clothes. Our "go-to", familiar rides are still changing on a monthly basis due to the change in vegetation. So gorgeous and so fun.
We hope you enjoyed reading this…………..