Today I decided to take a pass on working, and instead have a relaxing morning at home browsing the cyclingnews.com website followed by an afternoon of mountain biking on Tiger Mountain. It brought back memories of my life up until this past February when I once again became gainfully employed. I have been enjoying my new job, but there is certainly something to be said for having no daily obligations other than having fun!
I had never ridden at Tiger Mountain before but had heard a fair bit about it with it being some of the closest mountain biking to the city of Seattle. It is reached by driving about 30 minutes east of Seattle, I had no problem finding it and thanks to the trail map I copied from the Evergreen MTB Alliance website I had no problems navigating the trail system either. Trail system navigation was also made easier by the fact that there are only 3 point-to-point trails there, each under 3 miles in length. Needless to say I rode all the trails, some of them multiple times. Here is a shot of PT parked at the trail head with the Blur ready to roll:
The trails were reasonably fun, but a little too graded for my tastes. Trails through NW forests should be pretty gnarly with all of the roots, rocks, and holes that are naturally occuring, but these had seen a lot of "improvement" through loads of gravel, grading, etc. I understand that some of this is necessary to avoid erosion, but the north shore trails in Vancouver see the same climate we do, and they manage to keep their trails pretty unruly! Oh well, I guess for some mountain biking close to the city it isn't that bad. Another thing that popped into my mind: why the heck aren't there more trails?!? There is tons of land there, and it seems to be in the process of being logged, so it isn't like keeping the forest pristine should be an obstacle to trail building. The trails are interwoven with a network of dirt roads, and at some points I found myself descending on dirt roads, which I hate (what a waste of potential energy that could be used instead to rip down awesome singletrack!). The scenery varied quite a bit, from the not-so-scenic:
To the beautiful green, lush forests that the PNW is known for:
I have been sick with a cold lately, but I think I am getting over it now as I didn't feel too bad during this 2.5 hour ride. Hopefully I will recover adequately (and the weather will co-operate) to finally do my birthday challenge in the coming week!
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