Aug 162017
 

One of our potato cams was acting up yesterday so we were not able to post some of the mountain biking photos from our most recent adventures, so here’s a few additional photos. We will be so happy when the new camera comes in, hopefully tomorrow.

We had planned on riding in the Mt. Hood National Forest, but it was too dusty and pretty crowded so we only camped overnight and left early the next morning. When nature is involved, you have to be flexible

MTB camping in the Mt Hood National Forest

There are plenty of switchbacks on the steep Forest Service roads through the Cascade Mountains

Cycling on SW Washington Forest Service roads

This section of road could use a few more switchbacks, instead it is a grueling climb up a steep, rocky Cascade Mountain ramp. This is the ominous black tunnel to the top of the mountain

Steep climb to the top of the mountain

The Forest Service roads connect to remote singletrack bike trails

SW Washington singletrack

The trails have some challenging features, like this off camber switchback. When you’re out here in the middle of nowhere, better be sure you can make it because it’s a long way to the emergency room…

Off camber switchback on SW Washington mountain bike trail

Stay tuned for more cycling photos. We may even get out there fishing again if the fish decide to start biting again. We’re in a pretty good spot to see the solar eclipse this Monday so we will probably be adding to the millions of Eclipse 2017 photos on the internet as well.

Aug 152017
 

It’s been mostly hot and windy, the fishing is terrible so why not head off for some mountain biking in the Cascade Mountains? We’ve been having a great time lately packing up the bikes and heading into the mountains, getting back into that great feeling of flying down PacNW singletrack.

Headed up into the mountains for some mountain biking

We checked out the “brand name” trails in the Mt. Hood National Forest, but the trails were dry, dusty and mostly blown out from all the use. Some of the trails in this area have gotten too famous for their own good and the increased rider traffic has taken it’s toll. There were a lot of vehicles roaming around so we decided to try our luck across the Columbia River in Washington, which turned out to be a good move. The trails there, not nearly as well known, were in much better condition.

Mountain biking on SW Washington singletrack

We camped out at a primitive camping area. Most of the camping is pretty primitive in these parts, which we don’t mind, but you must bring everything you need with you. This is known as “dry camping” because there are no facilities like running water or toilets. This kind of camping is something we do all the time, so we know what to take and what to leave at home.

Mountain bike camping

The trails around here are really great. Hardly any other riders, local people mostly, and the trails remain in pretty good shape because the local riders have a tendency to not destroy the trails in their neck of the woods. This is rugged, mountainous country so you have to be prepared for anything. If you are willing to venture off the beaten path, you’ll find plenty of places like this.

Prime SW Washington singletrack

These are the Cascade Mountains and there is plenty of climbing to go along with the great downhills. We are working into mountain biking shape and are starting to be able to climb to the tops of some of the local peaks. The climb up to this peak is a brutally steep haul up rough Forest Service roads. It’s a great view from the top and a really killer downhill as payback for the hard climbing required to get up here.

On a mountain peak in the Cascade Mountains of SW Washington

We’re in town for a few days to take care of business, then we’ll be off on another road trip. We’d like to get some fishing in, but the smallmouth bass fishing is not that good, salmon season will be getting under way in a couple weeks, so we might just wait for the big fish and continue our fun mountain biking adventures.

We’ve also been scraping by with some pretty crappy camera gear. We’ve been using Panasonic Lumix cameras for a few years, but they only seem to last about two years. These are not cheap point and shoot cameras, they cost nearly $400. That’s a little bit too much to pay for a camera that only lasts a couple years, so we are back to camera brands we’ve trusted for years and are awaiting the delivery of a new Canon PowerShot G9X, so you can expect the run of somewhat below standard photo quality to come to an end. Stay tuned.

Aug 092017
 

As I mentioned yesterday, after a long time away from the off road cycling, we spent a few days deep in the mountains of southwest Washington state getting back to the mountain bike basics. Just the bike, a cooler full of beer and food and enough water to last a few days in the more remote foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Nothing fancy, just a lot of singletrack and wide open forest service roads.

Mountain bike camp in SW Washington

We got started as early as we could, usually about 7:30 AM to beat the record heat that would come later in the day. The midday temperatures were over 100°F every day and the air was full of smoke from western wildfires. We could ride until about 1:00 PM when it just got too hot. By then, we’d ridden more than five hours of challenging terrain in the Cascade Mountain foothills, so we could kick back and have a couple beers to get through the afternoon swelter.

Even with more than a month without rain, we were far enough off the beaten path so the singletrack trails were dry, but not too dusty and blown out. Didn’t take long to get back to the reason we ride mountain bikes out in the woods.

Mountain biking SW Washington singletrack

Mountain biking SW Washington singletrack

The singletrack trails are all connected by Forest Service roads. The singletrack riding is the most fun, but the miles of riding on the Forest Service roads really help to build fitness. It’s like riding a road bike, but only on dirt.

Mountain bike riding on Forest Service roads in SW Washington

We couldn’t get enough of the singletrack riding, especially after not having ridden for some time. Never can have too much singletrack if you’re a mountain biker.

Mountain biking SW Washington singletrack

Mountain biking SW Washington singletrack

So, we are stoked again to go bike riding, especially since the fishing seems to be especially poor. Stay tuned, because there is another cycling adventure coming up shortly.

Aug 082017
 

We spent a long, somewhat hot extended weekend mountain biking excellent singletrack trails and forest service roads in southwest Washington. This area is well off the beaten path and it was pure enjoyment to be out on the trail without crowds of people.

Mountain biking on pristine SW Washington singletrack

We’re back in civilization stocking up on supplies before we head back out into the woods and we will try to have a few more photos and story about the two wheeled weekend in the hills. Stay tuned for more tomorrow!

May 072017
 

It was a beautiful spring day today, perfect for a bike ride around Hood River, Oregon. This area is undoubtedly one of the best places in the United States to ride bikes. Riding on the road through the valleys and mountains of the Columbia Gorge or on one of the many trails on a mountain bike, it’s pretty hard to beat. We are lucky enough to be able to ride here all the time, something we are very thankful for.

The road through the Hood River valley to Mt Hood

The spring pear blossom bloom is pretty much over. Some of the apple trees are still blooming. Lots of bees flying around.

Mt Adams 5-7-17

The mountain biking is great, but we are on a short and quick fitness program, so you get more workout bang for your buck on the road bike. For the next couple weeks, if we aren’t kayak fishing, we will be bike riding. Looks like decent weather as well so we are looking forward to every day.

Apr 232017
 

We went for a great spring bike ride a couple days ago around the Columbia River Gorge and posted a couple photos from the ride. It was a great day for a bike ride. It was such a nice day, I took a few photos before we went riding with a different camera. When it’s really nice, you are thankful for your good fortune and take it all in.

Bike ride to Mt. Hood on a perfect PacNW spring day

There are a lot of nice places in the world. Some places are nicer than others, but almost every place has that one perfect day out of the other barely manageable days that keeps you hanging on. Take advantage of that perfect day and get what you can from the rest of it.

Apr 212017
 

The off and on spring rain stayed “off” today and provided for a great spring bike ride in the Columbia River Gorge. It’s finally starting to feel a little bit like spring, but there are still plenty of rain showers and clouds to go around. When you get a nice day around here, you take advantage of it. It’s a nice time of year for cycling in the Gorge if you read the weather correctly and dodge a few showers.

Hood River Valley 4-21-17

The pear tree blossoms are blooming in the Hood River valley and this weekend is The Dalles Cherry Festival, so it’s a big spring weekend. There are going to be a lot of people checking out the blossoms, so be careful if you’re driving, or especially if you’re riding a bicycle around the Columbia River Gorge.

Hood River County 4-21-17

We got the kayaks and kayak gear out and will be getting ready for the fishing season’s first trip. The weather and wind are uncertain for the next few days, so we will be getting the gear ready to go for the first available fishing day.

Apr 162017
 

Well, we were on the road again for the first back to back bike riding days of 2017. I don’t care what anybody else says, we had a harsh winter here in the Pacific Northwest. Usually, winter stops the kayak fishing because there really isn’t any realistic chance of catching a fish worth being out in some really bad weather, but winter only slows down the bike riding because there are usually a few days a winter month you can get outside and ride. Not this past winter. Anyway, it’s great to be out riding bikes again.

Heading out for a bike ride in the Pacific Northwest

Yesterday was a beautiful day, today was kind of overcast and breezy, but not bad at all.

Heading for Mt Hood on a bike ride in the Pacific Northwest

We want to get out on the mountain bikes, but the long winter has really hurt our fitness levels, so the fastest way to get back in shape is to get some road miles in. The roads are hilly enough and all the good mountain bike stuff is, well, in the mountains. Not much fun pushing the bike uphill. If the weather stays decent, might get some fitness back. Kayak fishing season starts soon as well. Being fit and as healthy as you can be is really important.

Apr 152017
 

It’s been a long winter and we are finally starting to see some decent weather here in the PacNW, time to get out for some spring bike riding. Because of the harsh winter, the opportunities for outdoor exercise, except for shoveling snow and digging out stuck vehicles, were few and far between. It’s going to be a longer and tougher struggle to get back into decent condition after being stuck inside for months. Anyway, we got started on the road back with a nice ride around the local back roads.

Spring bike riding on Pacific Northwest back roads

The trees are still pretty bare, but nature kicks into gear pretty quick in the springtime around here. With all the snow we’ve had this winter, there is a lot of snow melt rushing down the local creeks and rivers to the Columbia River.

Rushing creeks full of water from melting snow

Hoping to get another ride in tomorrow and start getting back in shape!