Just a little ride report I posted to the BBTC Listserve about today. If any of this sounds fun and you're in western Washington, head to www.bbtc.org and sign up for one of the upcoming "ETS" rides.
Nine mileage-hungry bikers met at the Tokul West parking lot this morning under partly cloudy skies to embark on a lengthy tour of the Tokul West and Griffin Creek singletrack, along with a heaping dose of the maze-like forest roads that connect the two. Bob "Don't call me Neo" Anderson mapped out anepic 50-mile route that not only hit all the goodies, but even challenged us to ride some of them in the unconventional direction. If you thought maneuvering through the switchbacks on Full Bench was tough in the downhill direction, just try and climb them!
We did and, for the most part, failed miserably. Our results would have faired better with horseshoes and hand-grenades, as the saying goes.
Our merry party of 9 quickly dropped to 8 after the first few miles, then we were off. We made our way up Full Bench then over to some of the lower trails before we climbed back up Pink Ribbon to Bypass and then over to the restaurant-themed corner of the woods. I came down with a horrible case of the chain-sucks and found myself limited to just a handful of gearing combinations for the remaining 35 miles. Couldn't complain too badly though, since Pete "No relation to Bob" Anderson was on his 29er single-speed churning the cranks of his 32x19 gearing so fast on the forest roads I was afraid he might snap his feet off at the ankle. Seriously, think Energizer bunny with a crack habit and an unfilled Ritalin prescription and you just might get the idea.
It wouldn't be an ETS ride if we didn't make at least one (or three or four) wrong-turns that required some backtracking but as we're fond of saying on these rides "You don't sign up for an ETS ride and complain about some extra mileage due to wrong turns". And nobody did.
We exited the Tokul West singletrack after about 16 miles or so then embarked on a northeasterly track beyond the power lines and up and around numerous forest roads that, quite frankly, I didn't know were there. It was right about at this time that Chris "I hate Seinfeld" Newman informed me that he hadn't ridden over 20 miles in a year. D'oh! Twenty miles and a couple of creek crossings later, we were sliding into the wonderful singletrack that is the Beer Run trail at Griffin Creek. I never rode this trail before but me likey whole bunches. Joe "Not a Smurf!" Martin led the way, pedaling for his life with my big wheels closing in behind him. From there it was straight across the double-track to Conspiracy where we allowed our gracious leader Bob (I'm really just an enabler on these rides, Bob was the true ride leader today) take the pole position. And we were off! I hadn't ridden this trail in two years and that, friends, is a matter that needs fixin'!
Naturally we capped our rapid descent down Conspiracy off with one final wrong turn that lead us all the way to someone's backyard in Carnation. Oops. We eventually made our way back to the proper exit and hopped back onto the Snoqualmie Valley Trail (aka Joe Martin Super Speedway) for a 3.5 mile sprint back to the cars. Doug "Plenty in Reserve" Carrol poured on the speed and blasted past the group with such velocity, it was impossible to tell his bike is two different colors. This feat was only topped by that of Stefan "I ran out of Nicknames" Pellenz who refused to let the weight of his Nomad keep him from wandering on this beautiful March afternoon. Unfortunately, while six of us pedaled on with visions of Fall City Grill dancing in our heads -- and while Pete spun his brains out on the rail-trail-- Mauricio "Mile high Club" Palacio pulled up lame with a flat tire. 46 miles into the ride, onto the finishing stretch, and the SVT done him wrong. But he quickly recovered and finished strong! Everyone did. It was an awesome day!
49 miles and 3780 feet of elevation gain. Pedal Time = 4:54
Thanks for reading and, once again, thank you Bob for putting one helluva route together!