Okay, I need to learn to pay attention to the fine print in trail reviews and guidebooks. Work was done early yesterday and I was heading east with bike, gear and good weather all around. The destination was Tiger Mountain State Park about 30 miles outside of Seattle near the town of Issaquah. The plan was to get in about a 3 or so mile dirt road climb and then start hitting up some singletrack. I got to the trailhead, suited up and started peddling my rather portly rent-a-piggy up the mountain. Just like me this bike could stand to go on a diet. It was all good as I need the excercise. I was not to far up the road when I passed the Northwest Timber Trail on my right that I was planning on coming out on at the end of the ride. To my non-engrish reading surprise, there was a barricade and a sign saying it is closed from October 15th – April 15th. WTF? So I pull out my guidebook I had stashed in my pack and actually starting reading those pesky little details (you know the section that does not include stuff like turn here/there, this is cool, that is cool.) Yep right there in the guidebook it tells me that all the bitching singletrack I was looking forward to was CLOSED. What to do now? So I read around and find out there is dirt road loop I can do up there that will get me a good heaping of excercise, some scenery and a tiny bit of singletrack. So I was off up the mountain on Plan B.
The dirt road climb up Tiger Mountain had some steep sections but overall it was not too bad as there were spots where you got a reprive from the climbing. There was plenty of forest all around but there were a few spots were distant views could be seen.
Mount Rainer was the dominant landscape feature, and I could not help but stare at it whenever it was in view. There was nothing wrong with the weather today that is for sure. The view of Rainer reminds me a great deal of Mount Fuji in Japan the way it just towers over the surrounding landscape.
The rest of the ride included some bombfest fireroading and as well as some steep up and downs. There was not just cool stuff to see off in the distance. There were lots of small streams crossing under the roads that were quite pretty.
I used up the better part of the day up in my loop out here. It is ashame I don’t have any pictures I can show you of the Preston Railroad Trail, the Northwest Lumber Trail and the Fat Hand Trail which are touted as really killer singletracks. Oh well, I’m going to be back at some point when they are open. For now my time is Seattle is over so,
The orginal plan for today was to pickup and rental bike for a shop in Seattle and go for a ride on Friday and get the bike back Friday evening. Well things went smoothly and I am pulling out of the bike shop and I have maybe two hours of light left. What is close by? After a minute or two of Googling I found out that Colonnade was sorta close by. Before you know it I was there. For those that have not heard of the place, Colonade has gained national attention due to novel concept and the excellent use of land. This model is starting to find it’s way to other parts of the country. Read more about Colonnade
Once I saw how cool the place was I had to get to riding. I had not checked into my hotel yet, so all my stuff down in my suitcase. Screw it, forget changing I grabbed just my helmet, shoes, and gloves and hopped on the bike. Polo shirts and MTBing, thing could be a new fashion trend.
Blah Blah Blah, I rode a bunch of it, I got nervous ticks looking at some of it and if I lived up here I would make this a regular stop. On with some pics:
You don’t measures technical trail features per trail here, it a per foot thing.
Pick your poison
More Wall Ridage
It is not all about getting in the air and steeps, take a look at the skill stuff near the bottom. There is stuff for the newbs and dews.
Check out Zelik riding this log, can you say excited? Zelik’s Dad was nearby and watched his kid giving the smaller stuff a go for well over an hour. It is so awesome how the mountainbikers here took an underbridge eyesore and turned into a killer skills progression park and a wonderful place for young kids to learn about mountain biking and develop some skills other they video games.
I’m spending this week in the Puget Sound/Seattle area. I have been here about four or five times but it has always been during July or August which most folks will tell you is a pretty glorious time here. The rest of the year is known for a lot of overcast and rain. The weather was just that when I arrived Monday evening and all day on Tuesday. However, just as I was finishing up work in the afternoon the Sun made an appearance. I had not planned on grabbing a rental bike until later in the week so here I am off work with sunshine and no bike. The time involved with chasing down a bike and then getting to a trailhead would eat up most of my daylight so what the heck, I’m going for a hike. So straight to one of the Banner Forest trailheads located near Port Orchard I went.
This place is known as a mountain biking area with about 10 miles of singletrack. I only scratched the surface of the trails here on my hike which may have been 3 miles at most.
Most of the stuff I hiked was twisty with some small ups and downs that looks to just be a hoot to ride.
I love the the flora of the Pacific Northwest. Green green green and very mossy.
I saw a few log rides as well as few spots that have oppurtunities for some minor air time.
This was a pretty cool log ride. It is optional as the trail runs about half way down it’s long length. Then the log is cut where it crosses the trail. Log riders have to come of the log and immediately get back up on it on the other side of the trail, ride the next section the make turning roll off the log where you merge back onto the trail. Very Cool!
While I have been up the Pacfic Northwest and B.C. before, I had forgotten how the thick foilage in places can really make for pretty dark shade. I was enjoying my hike and I traveled back into the woods a little further than I thought so the waning light and thick foilage made for a couple of spooky spots near the end of my loop.
I’m going to be spending a few weeks in Seattle Area in few months so I have a feeling I’m going to get back over here with a bike. Oh, two minutes after I got in my car it started raining.