When conditions are perfect, you just have to go. We had barely returned from our last Cascade Mountain bike riding adventure when another passing summer storm system dumped enough rain on the dusty trails to return them to perfect mountain bike riding conditions. Summer is short in the Cascade Mountains so when there is an opportunity like this, you are duty bound as a mountain biker to go ride.
We were feeling pretty good after a couple days to rest our weary legs. The wind was howling so kayak fishing was out, trail conditions were perfect in the mountains, so we loaded the bike gear in the truck and headed into the Cascades.
We camped at a spot that is a little higher up the mountain. We wanted to try and ride to the mountain climbing camps at the edge of the National Wilderness, but you need to be in good shape. It is a stiff ten mile climb up the side of Mt. Adams and then down a rarely used trail in a remote section of forest. No fooling around.
The recent rain had left the trails and roads dust free and in perfect mountain bike riding condition.
Everything was clean and green. No dust and perfect bike riding conditions.
The semi regular summer rain storms are keeping the mountain creeks and rivers flowing.
One day we headed up towards the climbing camps to test our fitness level. You don’t head off into the woods unless you’re sure you can make it back. It was relatively warm and windy following the storm front that had recently passed through. After about seven miles of climbing, at about 5000′, I had had enough. It was clear that I had still had work to do following the semi truck accident. There was still about four miles of climbing steep mountain roads to the camps, I just didn’t have it.
We headed back down the long, steep switchbacks around the ancient lava flows with a great view of Mt. Adams and the last remnants of the clearing storms. Best to stop if you want to take a look; this is a nasty lava rock road with a steep cliff alongside.
With the high altitude riding out of the way, we explored more of the many miles of trails in the National Forest. Today, we are riding around the mountain instead of up.
Even though most of the trails here do not have difficult technical sections or steep drops, there are plenty of rocks, roots and chunks of timber on the trail. They may not be technically difficult, but they can be tricky and very rough. On a harmless looking section of trail, my front wheel went into a hole covered by tree bark and over the bars I went. I’m normally very careful out here in the middle of nowhere, but sometimes things just happen. I lost a chunk of skin from my forearm, but it could have been much worse. Going over the handlebars is something you always want to avoid.
I rigged up a field dressing of paper towels and duct tape over my missing flesh and was able to ride the final day of the trip. Took it a bit easier than normal to avoid any further mishaps and enjoyed a great day of mountain bike riding in the Cascade Mountains.
It’s going to start getting cool very quickly in the Cascades as we leave summer behind and head towards the long Pacific Northwest winter. We hope the mountain weather will continue to be in our favor and allow us more riding time on the fantastic trails of the Cascade Mountains.