For an informal group of slackers, we sure have a lot going. In an effort to keep you informed while keeping myself marginally sane, I have put together a list of activities for 2013.
I will update the calendar on my site to include them. However, now is the time to put these dates on your own calendar.
There is an entry fee for participation in our group rides on May 11th, June 22nd, and July 27th – involvement in trail work at Growlers, Coldwater or the Castle Rock Bike Park, or contributions to your home trail system. Here’s the bottom line – if you’re a mountain biker, you build and maintain trail. End of story.
February 9th – We are in the process of putting in a kick-ass line that will shake you right to your shoes. Let me warn you in advance that we are planning this as a downhill only line. However, I know how dumb you guys are so feel free to blow a gasket by attempting to ride it up. We already have approximately one mile in. We will be aiming to do some tweaking on that section while also completing three others. I need approximately 35 dirt animals to make the dream come true. I promise you that this is an addition to the system that will get your attention.
May 4th – Paul Norris will be the point man for the first of two Friends of Coldwater work parties. Goals are to improve the 211 Trail, which we reopened last year, and to deal with as much brush-clearing as possible on the 230 Trail. The 230 is a vicious hike-a-bike that provides the connection between the 211 and the 230A. We need to get it taken care of so that we can have a legit loop. The existing switchbacks were designed for hikers. Maybe at some point in the future we will attempt to make the rideable. Paul will be strutting out serious hospitality for this one, with the menu to include a barbecued pig.
May 11th – The 5K is back for the eighth consecutive year. Ride it at whatever pace you want. The goals are to push yourself and to finish. It is likely that we will hit the same general route as last year. Two significant changes in lieu of last year’s unfortunate situation – there will be no ribbon and no support. That means you need to learn the route and take care of yourself. The 5K has been an instrumental part of who we are. It forces everyone to train earlier and harder than they would otherwise do. No matter what level you are at, there are benefits that might even equal the pain you will experience. Particularly if you are a newer rider and have not yet transitioned to bigger stuff in the Cascades, this is a great way to up the ante. Finish the 5K and you will be ready for Ape Canyon and other spectacular rides during the summer and fall.
May 25th-26th – Round and Round 24 Hour Race in Spokane. Still working out the details. Last year, we had a large group from GGR at this event. This time around, it looks like Dave, Kevin, Randy, and I are the only ones dumb enough. We are planning on two two-man teams, neither with even the slightest chance of winning but with the potential to rack up plenty of miles and endure as much pain as you can shoe-horn into a single day. At my advanced age, the sun is going down and I am running out of chances to crank out 100 miles in 24 hours. If not for that, Dave would never be able to talk me into it.
June 1st – If we are snowed out on May 4th, this will be the alternate date for the Friends of Coldwater work on the 211 and 230 trails.
June 22nd – After suffering a partial setback in 2012, the fabled Tour de Gulch will return with the full-on experience in 2013. This is a group ride with one goal – to put a smile on your face. There will be 5 to 10 ride groups available, each with its own pace and unique style. We’d love to see everyone come out who has worked at the bike park, Growlers, or Coldwater in the past year. And if you’ve done big trail work elsewhere, you are invited as well. Do not miss the 16th edition of the annual party on wheels.
June 29th – Part two of our work at Coldwater will be headed by Brian Mahon, who has been our project manager on the 230A for the past seven years. The Friends of Coldwater have done a lot of dirt work on the first mile. Barring serious erosion issues it should be in pretty good shape. We will focus on cutting back everything to the intersection with the 230. There is a section at the back end that is always high-maintenance, so we expect the same this year. If snow prevents the May 4th crew from brushing the 230, we will also hit that.
July 20th – I’m tentatively referring to it as The Root Canal. Rob and I are working on the route for a 40 to 50-miler that will leave you with a need to consult your therapist. Unlike the 5K, this will be a situation where we break up into several groups and hang together. It’s tough to sustain a pace of more than about 6 miles an hour at Growlers, so you do the math. While a portion of the ride will be on gravel, I am aiming to have about 85 percent on single-track. If you are wondering about climbing, the answer is yes. There will be climbing. Completing this ride will be a significant accomplishment for those of us who are in the intermediate range of the biking world.
September 21st– Last year, we had a grand opening at the Castle Rock Bike Park. This year, we are having The Bike Park Blowout. In 2012, we had more than 350 people on site for food and unlimited fun. Our goal is to put smiles on people’s faces throughout the entire day. I need about 35 volunteers to pull this off. Talk to anyone who was involved last year and they will tell you it was a joy to be down there watching all those kids have a great time. We will again get all the volunteers there early for clinics and demos, so you will have plenty of opportunities to witness carnage.
Bonus – Have you ever attended a single-track climbing championship where the climbs were no more than 250 to 300 feet? We got together for this type of madness in 2010 and 2011. It puts a dent in my heart to give it up, so I am trying to come up with some way to make it work in 2013. We select five nasty climbs. You are judged by the number of feet you ride without putting a foot down while your fellow riders ring cowbells, blow air horns, and provide advice. How hard can it be? I will get in touch with Paul, Mel, Dave and a couple of other people and see if we can make it happen. If it does, it will probably be in October or November.