Sunday, July 19, 2009

Windigo - Mrazek: Mountain Biking

Finally rode some trails today that I've been wanting to ride for a long time. My friend Raym and I dropped my truck off at Shevlin Park, then took his truck up to Dutchman Flat (next to Mt Bachelor). We rode from Dutchman up a trail that I believe was marked as Flagline, but isn't named at all at my map and that I was told later in the day was probably Windigo Trail. Anyway, we rode from Dutchman NW toward Happy Valley and the top of North Fork Trail. Then up to the road 4601/370 intersection and the start of Mrazek Trail which we rode all the way back down to Shevlin Park.

The first mile and a half was fantastic. It's a very fun, windy trail, in a cool kind of forest and has some good views along the way. Then it starts to climb. It actually wasn't too bad of a climb and was still a fun trail but we started to run into snow. It's still pretty early in the year to try to ride at that elevation (we were up to 6,800' one time that i checked, i'm not sure what our highest was) so i was expecting some snow and plenty of blown down trees across the trail. I was not dissapointed, there was an abundance of both. So there was a fair amount of carrying the bike over snow and trying to find the trail again, and a lot of climbing over fallen trees.

There was also an incredible amount of mosquitoes, maybe the most i've ever seen. It was a little ridiculous and it was very obnoxious and distracting. They were so severe that they caused Raym and I to lose our tempers a little bit. Anyway, after an hour or so we were through the snow and the worst of the mosquitoes. There was some seriously great downhill riding that brought us to the top of the North Fork Trail. We stopped and had lunch on the bridge. Some nice hikers we met there let us dowse ourselves in their bug-repellent spray, which was a great help.

From there on the ride went on pretty much without a hitch. Lots of good trails and scenery and fun riding. No crashes or mechanical issues. We finished up with a little over 26 miles.

After the ride I went up to Elk Lake to meet my girlfriend and several of our friends. The water was surprisingly (to me) very comfortable and refreshing and was exactly what i needed after the ride. Then we hung out on the beach, had a brew or two, played some games and swam some more. A pretty great day!

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