Saturday, November 24, 2007

The places I have yet to ride

The new issue of Bike hit my mailbox today and got me thinking. Many years ago, when I first started mountain biking, I only rode the trails right out my door in Spokane. I couldn't really see why I would ever need more than what my little park could provide. I occasionally ventured off to do other trails, but never far from home. Mt. Spokane, High Drive, Liberty Lake, Beacon Hill, never anything more than a half hour away and still fairly similar terrain. By the time we left Spokane for Missouri, MTB trail wanderlust had set in completely. I wanted to do it all and was building up a decent little list in my head.

In the last couple of years I've ridden in some amazing places and knocked a few very big trails off of the list. Sedona, National Trail, and MRT come to mind right away.

Here's what's currently on the list, in alphabetical order.

Crested Butte, CO - Twice I've been to CB and the first time Michele and I had bikes with us, at least we did when we started our trip. An unfortunate Yakima failure led to the loss of our bikes and a MTB free stay in CB. Poor and not feeling able to absorb any unplanned expenses, I refused to rent a bike, even with Michele urging me to. I retrospect I really should have gotten a rental, oh well, that's hindsight for you.

Fruita, CO - I spent a couple months in Palisades, just a few miles away from Fruita back in '96. I didn't have my bike with me or any idea of what Fruita had to offer at the time. I was back in Spokane by the time the buzz reached me.

Gallup, NM - Gallup is a recent addition to the list, I heard about what the area had to offer only a couple years ago. The last time I was in Gallup I even had my bike and the option to ride but all I wanted to do was bust-a-move back to the 'nix so I've only got myself to blame that it's still on this list.

Gooseberry Mesa - I don't remember the first time I heard about Gooseberry, but it was a while back. It's a full day's drive from Phoenix and I made plans a couple times to head up there and it never happened. Totally my fault that it never happened.

Grand Canyon North Rim - Again it's a fairly new addition to the list and supposed to be relatively tame, but it's the fucking Grand Canyon. How can it not be on any self respecting mountain biker's list.

Maah Daah Hey Trail - This is the first trail I remember feeling that I really wanted to ride. I read about it in an issue of Bike sometime in the early nineties. It's the first time I ever really thought about riding somewhere other than the trails I already knew.

Moab, UT - Been to Moab, ridden in Moab, but only Slickrock Trail and rumor has it that's just the tip of the iceberg. Not a big priority to get back but it still makes the list.

Mt. St. Helens - Close by and supposed to be fantastic riding. It's my understanding that there are still some access issues due to last winter's storms but still good for multi day riding.

Orcas Island - This is a fairly new addition to the list. My one big plan for '08(not including NAHBS) right now is to make sure that I get up to Orcas for a multi day bike camping/mtb adventure, and that's why I'm now the proud owner of a brand spanking new El Mariachi.

Seven Summits Trail - Heard about the trail in passing a couple years ago but the new issue of Bike is what actually put it on the list. Not too far away from here and a definite candidate for a quicky trip this summer, if I ever get around to getting a new passport anyway.

You'll notice no middle America or right coast trails on this list. Not because I don't have any interest in say Pisgah or State College, but I just don't see traveling that far for a ride. Then again there was a time when I didn't see driving across town so you never know.

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