06 September 2010

Sadie Creek Labor Day Exploration

The dismal weather cancelled a planned ride for today with The Broken Spoke shop crew but as I had the time I went and did a ride I hadn't done before in the Sadie Creek ORV trails. The trailhead is about 8 miles west of Joyce on Hwy 112 past Port Angeles on the left at Twin River Rd. Got there a bit late in the morning and didn't get riding until around 10am. It wasn't too bad at the start, just a light mist. A family was there with 3-wheelers and motos and looked like they had camped for the weekend.

In the spirit of trying new routes, I opted to go out what I knew would be the less fun direction from what the topo map showed. Needless to say, it wasn't long before I was doing more hiking than biking and the rain really started to pound. I wore a couple wool jerseys, arm warmers and knickers and was pretty comfy as the trees kept the rain off some. On a dry day I probably could have ridden more of the climb, but parts were just relentless and it's doubtful whether I could have done it anytime. My low gear is 27" (32/34) and maybe a 22/34 could have coped, but mainly it just let me know I was not quite in shape for it!

Once I made the ridge after an hour the terrain became better, but the rain increased and so did the wind. Every viewpoint was shrouded in fog and clouds, but it was quiet. No doubt the weather sent most folks home early for hot cocoa and warmth. Smart. As with every ORV area, there were a fair amount of rocky sections, which is fine for a 3-4" tire, but at 2" I was getting pounded a few times on my rigid Redline, but all the better for improving my line picking skills! Could have let more air out, but was trying to avoid the chance of a pinch flat, but next time I think I can go down another 10lbs and do fine.

The ridge rolled up and down all the way to the intersection with trail/road PA-S-1300 which drops to road PA-S-1000. There I opted to cut the ride short and head down. I had already been out for over 2 hours and wanted some warmth and food...that and hitting the ground a few times was enough to make me a sissy-boy. Visibility varied from great to less than 100 feet with the fog, with a good dose of rocks and mainly a descent through a drainage creek encouraged rapt attention. There was a recent clearcut to navigate with berms dug every so often. When I finally got to PA-S-1000 I was cold and wet, so on with the Patagonia shell, which was like heaven.

The way back was just a smooth gravel road with some small bridges and a couple of big diameter rock sections where they must have put in culverts lately. It was an easy return and lots of deep puddles - one even on one of the bridges!

By the time I returned, the whole ATV family was gone and I was alone. Total time out was over 3 hours and I covered a whopping 15 miles! With stopping and photos, I think I averaged about 4 miles an hour. It was a good day though, and I was glad to have gotten out!

Can't wait to ride the rest of the trail, but I'll try the clock-wise direction. I've opted to call the counter-clockwise direction "Sadistic Creek".

At home it was time to clean the Redline...not bad once I rode through a few of those puddles!

04 September 2010

A Quote to Ponder

"Modern industrialized states [are] resentful of a few cleverly arranged pounds of tubes and spokes. The cyclist creates everything from almost nothing, becoming the most energy-efficient of all moving animals and machines and, as such, has a disingenuous ability to challenge the entire value system of a society. Cyclists don't consume enough. They can propel themselves 1500 pollution-free miles on the energy equivalent of a gallon of petrol. The bicycle may be too cheap, too available, too healthy, too independent and too equitable for its own good. In an age of excess it is minimal and has the subversive potential to make people happy in an economy fueled by consumer discontent." -Jim McGurn, 1994

--As I have tapered off the randonneuring season and moved into the fun ride season (including more dirt), I find myself caught up in planning, dreaming and thinking about bike touring. I miss that feeling of daily movement, new places and being outside. A time when the burden of making dollars and being occupied with paying for things that have limited value in a real sense become mere memories. Here's to all those who are out there now - I hope to be joining you soon!
Now, where to go?