Sunday, July 22, 2007

Getting Lost, Twice.

Not long ago I was planning big for this weekend, I was going to be finishing my day Friday in North Bend and could just jump on the 90 after work and head straight to Spokane for some riding with old friends. Michele had call Friday so she wouldn't even miss me(not that I've seen much of her the last month anyway). Well, my work schedule changed putting me in town Friday longer than I wanted to be and Michele was going to have today off so I decided to stay in town.

Yesterday I decided to go and scout places that Michele and I could ride together so I loaded up the Element in the morning and caught an early ferry to Southworth. Banner Forest is only a few short miles from the ferry terminal and easy enough to find. Without a map or a local guide I took off into the single square mile of forest looking for some fun, I'll be damned if the ride didn't deliver. I've heard reports that Banner has anywhere from 10 to 20 miles of trail within it's borders and I'm guessing I covered a good portion of those trails. The forest is pretty dense and with yesterday's heavy cloud cover after the first hundred twists and turns I had no idea which way I was headed. Occasionally I would cross the wide main trail that runs from one entrance to the other guaranteeing that no matter how lost I was I could still easily get out at anytime. The trail weren't tough for the most part, I had to deal with the normal regional hazards such as the wet roots but nothing to technically challenging. My bigger issue was that I've done very little riding the last few weeks so I was tiring quickly on the numerous short little climbs that encountered along the way. After about an hour and a half or so I popped out at the parking lot still wanting more. Rather than head back into the forest I caught the return ferry looking for another ride.

Once across the sound again I drove to Renton in search of the infamous Tapeworm trail. I found the park easy enough, finding the right trail on the other was not so easy. For this trail I actually had a map in a guide book, a guide book I left in the car. I rode all over the place without actually hitting the correct trail. The GPS shows that I rode all around Tapeworm but never on it. I hit Mr. DNA and Parasite, part of Crop Circles, and all sorts of service roads but never the right trail. The trails I did hit were among the twistiest, tightest trail I've ever seen. Definitely a great place to hone low speed bike handling skills. I'm certainly going to head back soon and see if I can figure it out a little better.

As for today, Michele had to work after all so I'm all alone doing a little around the house work and maybe I'll get out on the Volpe a little bit this afternoon.


JMH said...

Where have you ridden in Spokane? I lived there for four years, and it is where I started mountain biking.

Great singletrack pics in your last post, I miss the trails in the northwest. I will be in Portland in just over a week, and hope to get some riding in while we are there.

Sean said...

I also got started mountain biking in Spokane. My family moved there when I was 15 and all I did was ride my bike. We lived right near the rifle club and it was just a stones throw from my front door to the many trails of Riverside State Park. After high school I left for a couple years and when I came back I started to branch out to more of the lesser known trails, Thorpe, High Drive/Hatch, Mt. Spokane, Dishman hills, Liberty Lake, and Beacon Hill. I never really rode outside of town CdA, Sandpoint, and the like but that's certainly on my list of places to go. Right now what's high on my list is local day trip stuff, getting back to Riverside(it's been 4 years), and McKenzie River Trail.

Have fun in the Rose City when you're there.