Fort Ebey

Went to Fort Ebey State Park with Joe M. and Doug C. today to ride the very hilly singletrack out on Whidbey Island. The rain was coming down in buckets when we woke up this morning, but northern Whidbey Island sits in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains and is usually dry. Not only did we stay dry today, but the sun even came out for a couple hours too!

A common misconception for people who've never been to Fort Ebey is to think that because one never gets higher than 300 feet above sea level, that the ride won't be hilly or that large elevation gains will be impossible. Wrong.

Even though the highest elevation we reached today was a scant 264 feet above sea level, we still racked up 4,289 feet of climbing! Simply put, there isn't a flat stretch of trail in the park. We rode roughly 29 miles of singletrack and were in the saddle turning the pedals for 4:05. While there we rode nearly every trail two or more times and made a point of doing them all in both directions. The only trails we encountered that definitely had a "right way" and a "wrong way" were Cedar Hollow, which should always be ridden clockwise, and Hokey-Ka-Do-Do, which should always be ridden downhill away from the Bluff Trail. Riding either of these in the other direction is just stupid. A case can be made for every other trail in either direction, but these two should be one-way only.

Click the following pics to see the larger version of our elevation profile from today and a trace of the route we took. Keep in mind we rode nearly every trail at least twice and some as many as four times each.

Elevation Profile: 4,289 feet cumulative. Represents the total time in the saddle, excluding paused time.

Map of our route


Anonymous said...

One more to add to your list of trails that should be ridden in one direction: Brave Heart. Downhill. Save the uphill crank for the water tower trail.

Doug Walsh said...

Funny you mention Braveheart, as I was actually going to say that it should only be ridden uphill. LOL! I only ever ride Ebey between November and April and that trail is so slimy during those seasons, I hate to ride down it because it's going to be a nonstop slip-n-slide with the brakes locked up. So, instead, I always go up it. I have a standing offer for everyone with me that I will buy all their drinks after the ride if they can make it dab-free all the way to the Hoot-In trailhead by going up Braveheart. So far I've not had anyone win the bet.