Browse Tag by mountain biking
29+, Advocacy, Alaska, Bicycle, Cordova, fat bike, Mountain Biking

Trail Talk: McKinley Trail ride

Another day, another trail that needs some TLC. McKinley trail has some of the best potential in the area for a good MTB trail, even as a loop- as it connects with the Pipeline Lakes Trail to the west. Who knows- there could be a possibility to extend the trail up to McKinley peak, or at the very least to the 610′ knob to the NE of the lake. A trail does already extend beyond the McKinley Lake cabin, up to the Historic Lucky Strike Mine- but its mostly a creek and needs some serious attention.

Though not designated as a MTB trail it’s (mostly) rideable, full of really fun sections that are linked by sections needing quite a bit of work. Much of the trail has turned into a narrow & deep rut full of very slippery roots and log waterbars. Pedaling in these sections is difficult or impossible. In it’s current state most wouldn’t consider it suitable for bikes. Though I’ve talked to a couple people about riding it, I have never seen anyone else on a bike while on it. It showcases many examples of why a trail SHOULDN’T be built a certain way in the rainforest. Much of the trail has become a creek, and there standing water (mud) in many places. A good indicator that a trail needs some revamping is when new trails are made. Hikers are blazing new trails to avoid mud pits and bogs as well as slippery stairs and rooty sections like that below.


That’s one hell of a way to sell one of my favorite trails in this area isn’t it? All that said- a lot of the trail has been hardened with rock and literally TONS of gravel have been brought in to make a solid trail. These sections have good drainage and are a lot of fun to ride. There doesn’t seem to be any good reason why the whole trail isn’t built in this way. It would make for a super great flowy trail. The USFS is currently in the process of replacing the old “corduroy” with bridges and new sections of trail for safety in some areas and to protect the old trail built for mining in the early 1900’s. After one of their first bridges was installed I spoke with the local USFS trail coordinator about how a taller bridge required dismounting the bike and that kinda sucked. In riding yesterday I saw a couple new bridges- slightly wider and low enough to ride over without having to get off the bike to get on the bridge. Well done.


Relive ‘McKinley Trail’

When the trail was originally built I’m sure the stairs and waterbars worked fine- but it’s time to revisit the techniques used and while that’s happening it seems like a good idea to expand the opportunity for other non-motorized users groups.

I’m curious how many folks out there are riding in Cordova and what trails they think have potential to become a flagship trail for mountain biking in our National Forest. Where do YOU ride in Cordova?

A link to the trail on GaiaGPS can be found HERE.


Advocacy, Bicycle, Mt. Bike, Seattle

Mountain biking on Beacon Hill?


When I moved to Seattle I sold my mountain bike.  I had a 5″ travel Coiler that I had a lot of fun on when I lived in Alaska.  The Colonnade wasn’t completed, and almost everything that I saw in books and online recommended trails on the east side and points beyond.  I’m not a huge fan of having to drive to my point of entry for whatever sport I want to participate in.  Hence my lack of participation in track racing, mountain biking, surfing and even snowboarding- which I found a lot of enjoyment in as a patroller in AK, but have left by the wayside here.

To some, the journey is the destination.  When I’m on my bike and I leave my door to go on an urban CX ride- sure it is.  But it’s not the same for me if I’m on a 5″ bike and have to get to Issaquah with it.  It involves getting there.  Though possible to pedal there, then ride, then ride back- I’m sorry- I won’t be doing that.  I’m a lazy rider.  Like many sports (even a number of cx races)  it involves driving there- carpooling of course, to keep you on your carbon tippy toes.  Way less fun.

But there is hope.

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Advocacy, Film/video

Pedal Driven: A bike-umentary

My family lived in Oakridge, OR when I was born. My first memory of riding a bike is when we lived there- riding up a hill with my dad and wanting to get off and walk.  He just kept telling me “10 more feet, you’re almost there- don’t give up….”  My dad was a millworker, and then the mill shut down. What used to be a logging town, is now a mecca for mountain biking- and IMBA is working on shaping Oakridge into one of it’s first “Ride Centers.”  It’s been many years since I’ve returned to Oakridge, but this movie makes me want to return.

Pedal Driven documents the efforts behind building trails, with a focus on the Northwest.  It has riding from in and around Seattle, not by big name pro riders, but by the people that are doing what they can to grow mountain biking as a sport and to increase trail building on public lands.  Release date set for sometime in 2010.


Awesome Land. Women of Dirt.

This looks like it could be good.

Awesome Land: Women Of Dirt Premiere Feb 5th, 2010 – Seattle, WA. The Premiere will be at the NWFF Theater on Capital Hill. The film will show in that theater through the 16th of Feb. Theater details and full schedule here: