Friday, October 27, 2006

Another Fall Sub-Epic

It has been really nice out the last few days so I have been taking advantage of it by pedalling around the country-side enjoying the fall scenery. Yesterday was no exception...I decided to explore the South Fork Asotin Creek Trail. I was told it would be a cool place to ride, but the person telling me this must not have actually biked up it. After noon (when it was pleasantly warm out) I rode the 23ish miles up Asotin Creek Road to the trailhead. Right after I hit the trail I found a skull, which later I think was a sign to go back. The trail follows the creek bed up and requires several creek crossings. The fall colors were spectacular, but the trail was like riding one long rock-garden....the pic here shows the trail by the skull...yes there is a trail there...

If you need training on how to ride a trail made exclusivly of loose, fist-sized rocks covered with a mat of yellow fall leaves then go there! After a mile plus of riding this jarring, slippery trail (plus two more skull/bone piles) I decided I had enough and turned around. It may have been better on my full-suspension bike and I may try it sometime (probably not).

On the way back I spied a cow trail that traversed the hillside above the creekbed trail so I took it and was back in a flash - I finally found truth in the saying "Beef it's not just for dinner"...Moo!

At the bottom I decided to reward my dissappoinment by climbing up Smoothing Iron Ridge Road for a better view of the world. The road climbs the ridge between on the North and South Forks of Asotin Creek.

The pic here shows the canyon were the Asotin Creek (North Fork) Trail runs...a Cadillac trail compared to the South Fork trail...I was amazed at how rugged it was, something you don't notice riding through the trees on the trail below.

Up on top, late in the afternoon, the views were totally worth the long, steep climb up. I sat an had a snack under this huge old dead tree.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sun + Rain + Ice + Mud = FUN???

This morning the sun was shining and the air was crisp and cool...another perfect fall day here on the edge of hell. By noon the beauty of the day was calling me to ride somewhere on the dirt. So I packed up Baloo in the Subi and made my way to Moscow Mountain for some inspirational single-track riding. The weather was forecast for rain today, but I bah-humbugged that thought and ingnored the clouds on the horizon as well as the rising winds. I made my way to the top and uncontrollably hit as much single-track as possible including exploration of some unridden trails I had noticed on previous rides. Let's just say that I was having way too much fun to notice that clouds had turned the sky an angry dark gray. What caught my attention was the ice pellets that were stinging my skin...Whoa...instant reality check...time to go down off the mountain now. I was grinning all the way down because there is nothing more thrilling than a fast, twisty single-track decent on wet trail with freezing cold rain soaking you, mud flying in your face, and ice pellets stinging your skin...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Fountain Grade Epic?

We're going where? All I heard was lots of climbing so it was, "yeah let's go!" It was another SeanMan epic ride into the unknown...Well after we started the SeanMan gave me one eye-popping little detail he neglected to tell me about one of the climbs - As he had put it, "I was happy that I didn't drop below 3mph..." Wow was all I could think...that must be one steep pitch up and it was a gravel road. Well you know hill steepness to bike riders is sometimes like the size of the fish that got away to fishermen. Then bit later as we are pedaling up a 12% pitch (which means steep to you) he says this is nothing compared to what's to come. Just as we top another 12% pitch he stops and points - "The Wall," otherwise known as Fountain Grade.

It can be seen here in the distance (look close and you see the SeanMan riding in the foreground - Click the pic for a better view)

Yep it looks steep and yes it was steep also - the SeanMan said he saw 16% on the altimeter. What a great climb and long (very long) to boot.

Up on top we cruised through some rolling hills and found the ultimate Buba Redneck hangout. There is a place up in the middle of the woods called the Forest Saloon and the parking lot out front was stocked full of Buba SUVs and big redneck pickup trucks plus one Isuzu - I later wondered what happened to the poor sole that drove that one.

We continued our journey in a cool, light rain past Soldiers Meadow lake then home. Total climbing today was 6300 feet - most of that in one stretch.

It as another awesome day of off road riding - beats a boring road bike ride any day. The cheering section at B&L (that would be you Bruce) or anyone interested in epic off-road rides can join us anytime.