Chris’s Overzealous Riding Goals for 2016

Although it was an extremely ride-productive year for me, looking back on 2015, I really fell short in the pre-season planning department. In fact, out of three goals I had set for myself and submitted to you, I only completed one! Granted, many, many other worthwhile opportunities for adventure presented themselves upon which I capitalized, however, it would simply be a mistake not to look ahead, compile a grip-ton of rides, including destinations, events, races, and trails, throw it up on the wall, and see what sticks.

So, for 2016, I decided to get ambitious, expensive, and really push the limits of what my wife would be willing to put up with. Love you, honey! While I’m sure very few of you actually care about my 2016 ride goals, I hope that by reading this you too will start planning, join the discussion, share your own goals with us, and aspire to new mountain biking experiences this year.

Syncline Trail, Bingen, WA. photo: Chris Daniels

Outerbike Moab

By the time you read this, I will have already biked Moab during this year’s Spring Outerbike demo event April 1-3, but, to the chagrin of our beloved Editor in Chief, Greg, I will not have demoed a single bike. Sorry. While Outerbike is most known for its conglomeration of bike companies, their newest, sexiest rigs, and a chance to put several of your favorites to the test all in one place over one weekend in the MTB capital of the USA, this year I’m focusing on everything surrounding the demo–the riding. Other than the full demo pass, Outerbike Moab offers two other types of participation in the largest demo event in the universe: the Social Card, which grants folks not interested in riding access to food, beverage, and parties throughout the weekend; and the BYOB (bring your own bike) pass, which includes everything the Social Card offers plus access to shuttled rides to Amasa Back, Magnificent 7, and Navajo Rocks as well as the expo’s home Brand trails. Interested, but can’t wait till next year? Get in on Outerbike’s Summer expo in Whistler or, if you want Moab, the Fall Outerbike features an additional day that includes shuttling The Whole Enchilada!

Captain Ahab, Moab, UT via Flickr Creative Commons (no changes made). photo: Leslie Kehmeier

Enduro Races

Last year I raced my first Enduro and, although I learned the only difference between an Enduro race and any good, epic day of riding with friends turned out to be about $90, I told myself I’d be back for more in 2016. We’ve recently discussed reasons to (and not to) race and, among all the arguments in favor of doing so, I find it a great way to expose your weaknesses and strengths as you push yourself to the limit, ride new trail without pulling out the maps at every turn, and an opportunity to connect with other mountain bikers in a unique way. The Cascadia Dirt Cup and Oregon Enduro Series, Washington and Oregon’s premier enduro race organizers, respectively, are hosting a slew of races from Bellingham to Bend, and I hope to snag a few local venues as well as a couple in up-state Washington.

Do you even Enduro? Cold Creek Trail, SW Washington. photo: Chris Daniels

Oregon Adventure’s 17K in a Day

This year, Oregon Adventures’ 17K Vert In a Day becomes 18K as 1,000 more feet of singletrack have been added to the top of Dead Mt. This was a 2015 goal of mine that slipped my grasp, but I plan to make the 18,000 feet of descending, 4,000 feet of climbing, and 45 miles of sweet singletrack happen this year in Oakridge, OR. In addition to this festival of shuttles, Oregon Adventures will pack your lunch and snacks, don you with a free T-shirt, and provide local guides. All you have to do is show up with your bike ready to shred. And hey, no shuttle-shaming me this time.

Meadow crossing before diving down Alpine Trail, Oakridge, OR. photo: Chris Daniels

Ride Reports

As Singletracks’ only editorial team member in the Pacific Northwest region, I must bear the overwhelming burden of bringing to the surface ride reports from our nation’s Upper Left. Feel sorry for me yet? I know, but someone has to do it. Stay tuned for reports this year on the following trails:

  • Lewis River: everyone’s heard of the McKenzie River Trail, but Washington state has their own river ride, and sources close to me say the Lewis River Trail easily rivals “America’s #1 Trail” to the South in all aspects.
  • Timberline to Town: Affectionately known to locals as “T2T”, the only thing you’ll have to earn to drop 4,000 ft from the Timberline Lodge at the base of Mount Hood to Rhododendron, OR is the $2 bus fee (equipped with a bike trailer on weekends) that takes you to the top. What’s more, if timed right, for $5 you can get 2.5 hot laps in and be home in time for some daytime soaps.
  • Capitol Forest: of all the new-to-me trails slated for my 2016, Capitol Forest is at the top of the list. Located just south of Olympia, WA, the mixed bag of technical climbing, swooping XC, and flowy downhill was recently popularized as a stop on the 2015 Cascadia Dirt Cup series. Plus, with trail names like Tokyo Drift, The Luge, and Roots of Fury, how are you not tempted by this trail?
Sneak peak at T2T Trail. Rhododendron, OR. photo: Chris Daniels

Destination: Bellingham, WA

Galbraith Mountain has been on my ride radar ever since I transplanted to the Northwest two years ago and while I may reach as far north as Bellingham, WA in the form of a Cascadia Dirt Cup entrant, from the looks of the extensive network of singletrack, my experience on Galbraith might be better served over the course of a long, relaxing weekend instead.

Galbraith, Bellingham, WA via Flickr Creative Commons (no changes made). photo: Vik Approved

Don’t let 2016 pass you by without doing some of the raddest, most challenging, and funnest riding you’ve never done. Plan now and let us know what you’re up to this year!

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