Monday, July 31, 2017
Lets ride some gravel Pilgrim!
Friend of the Blog Jim, is constantly posting awesome photos of his gravel rides over on his blog, including a recent trip on the GAP trail (which he conquers on his Surly Ogre). Inspired, I wanted to get in some gravel riding myself this summer. The original plan was to ride on the Wilapa Hills trail on the Miyata trail runner, but I did some figuring; 1) the Miyata needs alot more tweaking and test rides before I am comfortable going on a remote trail with it so the Handsome Devil got the nod, and 2) when all is said and done the Wilapa trail is about a 200 mile round trip to the trail head and I was only going to go about 15 miles on the trail ride. It occurred to me that the John Wayne Pioneer trail - that's the Iron Horse to you and me pardner- was only about a 70 mile round trip to the trail head and I had done a part of it once before.
Someday I would love to go to and through the tunnel, but a 40 miler was in not the cards today. I was aiming for a 20 km round trip before the day got hot.
The trail uses an old rail road right of way and the section I was on is a steady 2% incline up to the tunnels at Snoqualmie summit. A 2% incline isn't too hard but it never lets up for about 20 miles, or in my case the first 10 kilometers of the ride. That can be a bit of a grind but I had a nice shady trail.
The occasional trestle
And sometimes the HD would get a breather while I took in the view.
Although the trail palette is mostly cool greens I did see some occasional color.
I made a note of this picnic table on the way up and stopped on the way back after I had ridden to my 10 km turn around.
The view was great and I wanted a little snack to stave off the fatigue I felt on my last long ride. Overkill probably for this ride but a good excuse to stop and admire the view.
The beauty of putting in the work to ride 10 km up a 2% grade is that you get to fly back down with very little effort. With 20 km of gravel in the books I went to the McMenamin's Anderson School in Bothell for lunch and a pint. They have been open for 2 years and I keep meaning to go but they are on the other side of town, traffic, life, blah blah, so today I finally made it and I will definitely go back. With any luck the Wilapa Hills trail on the Miyata will happen in late September or early October.
Ride gravel. Smile. Repeat.
PS this is post 19 for the month, a new record and not one that will be broken anytime soon.