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Good Fall Ride, even after the rain

28 | Oct | '14

I decided to see how the trails were after the heavy rains this week, since I've never been out past the normal Oct 15 closing.  I rode from the parking lot: NW Timber- Joyride-Silent Swamp- Preston RR, so pretty much all up hill.  With the exception of the switchback on Preston RR right before you hit Bail Out, it was pretty dry at least not lots of standing water.  That one switchback was a couple inches deep of flowing water, so I guess I'd suggest skipping that and cutting onto Preston RR via Bail Out if heading up (and bailing out there if heading down).  It's slippery on the roots and large rocks, and there are sections on this that are much harder to stay on the pedals than in the dry months, but overall I was surprised how few times I have to hop off.  Once I passed Bail Out, it was surprisingly dry for the most part.  The higher I went, the dryer it got.  Overall I was surprised how dry my body stayed. I put fenders on for the ride and that helped (particularly in the river on Preston RR). Again, I was riding up (that's my favorite direction actually), and that's usually less spray than higher speed descents.

By the time I got to the East Tiger Summit it was getting dark, and cold!  I brought night gear, so added a few layers, flipped the lights on and contemplated doing Off The Grid down, but chickened out since I havent done anything like that at night yet.  I figure I'll get to that next week once we lose daylight savings time (and I'll probably descend Preston RR not OTG in the dark, or just stick on NW Timber and Silent Swamp). 

Overall a pretty good ride, far better than expected.  I'm happy that the "mountain biking authorities" (whoever they are) are keeping these trails open more of the year.  I got a sense of where the water is going to stream or pool and where it might be rideable much of the season, so will keep at it.  It's nice to be able to get 12-15 miles and some solid climbs in without having to fly to California for the weekend...

Submitted by hardtail on 10/29/2014