September 7: While riding up the steep hill at the end of our Tiger Mountain traverse, a blog came to me. Of course, it slipped away as I reached the top, of another false summit, on the wrong road, gasping for breath, thighs burning.
October 24: While riding/hiking up the steep fire road, towards the top of Predator, a multitude of thoughts ran through my head. How much further? What is the trail going to be like? Will there be any pig left at the camp when we get down? Is it beer 30?
September 7: A week of stormy weather, hail storms, and power outages made this morning’s ride questionable. Laying in bed, listening to the torrential rain made the possibility of a “down” day enticing, inviting, and we pulled the blankets up around us as we checked minute by minute weather on our cellular device.
October 24: Jumping out of bed at the first snooze we finalized preparations for our trip down south. A big day for Huckwagons, we didn’t want to be late. Letting Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance (EMBA) use ourSweet 16 bike trailer to shuttle at the grand opening of Predator was a big deal for us, EMBA, and DNR. The trailer would get to be out on the road and we would ride bikes for the day…with about 400 other dedicated shredders!
September 7: “Rain all day”. “Rain ending in 8 minutes”. “Last time we rode there it rained and we got so cold”. The warmth of the covers beckoned, but the lure of the unknown trail and a day of adventure called our names. Sore and well used from trail work the previous day, we slowly pried ourselves from our haven and got ready. Fully loaded oatmeal, coffee, and a suitcase full of riding gear options, we were on our way. No coffee stops or sausage muffins for this road trip. Just three of us and a trusty trail dog. It was good to be back in the Previa, too. Our musty road trip rig of seven years. With her new engine, she is a beast again and will get us anywhere!
October 24: Out of coffee? No peanut butter? Time to hit the road. Another suitcase full of riding gear options, a cooler with Inversion IPA and pepperoni sticks and we are on the road to meet our other travel companions. Exit 199 for Americanos and Sausage Muffins are our breakfast on this fine morning. No time to waste. We have riders to shuttle and trails to ride!
September 7: Pulling in to the upper lot at Tiger Mountain, the air was cool, and damp, but not wet. Layering would be the answer to stay warm – and extra gloves. It was our first time at Tiger and we had been warned about the grind to the top. Glad we layered, we stopped to take off our jackets and continued upward. Even pedaling in the mist, we stayed warm.
October 24: The upper Tiger lot was blocked for vendor parking and setup. We needed to get in there! Four wheeling in Chez Prev to get over the rock garden we were Rubicon. Monster VAN! Excitement filled the air. Riders lined the parking lot and road leading to the EMBA tent. The pig was on the spit. Anticipation. A shuttle day? We don’t have to pedal up?
Well, okay. We did pedal. To lower Predator. We would do that for our warm up and take the next shuttle. Little did we know, the line would be thrice as long. Good thing mountain bikers are a good group of people. Talking, joking, shivering, we waited. And waited. And then? Shuttle rigs galore – and, the HUCKWAGON! At the front of the pack. With a warm van to sit in! Gary in the passenger seat. Heat controls at his finger tips. And, all was right with the world.
September 7: Trails for the day? East Summit Trail to OTG (Off the Grid) to Fully Rigid to Silent Swamp to the Powerline road from Hell.
October 24: Trails for the day? Lower Predator THEN East Summit Trail to OTG to Upper and Lower Predator
September 7: Muddy with wet roots and rocky gardens made for a technical, flowy ride. Amazing workmanship and challenges physically and mentally. Definitely will do it again with a beer at Issaquah Brewing to end the day.
October 24: Hero dirt. Roots, rock gardens, gnarly steep single track, flow. Even more amazing workmanship. Definitely will ride it again. Dinner at the new McMenamins in Bothell. Good thing we were driving Rock Crawler to find a parking spot.
How was the pig? All gone. But, we had our pepperoni sticks and IPA in our cooler so, all was right with the world – STILL.