If a brain injury or bad DNA has left you unconvinced that the Growlers and Stella systems offer some of the Pacific Northwest’s best trail, Saturday’s ride would have changed what’s left of your mind.
Joel, Dave, Jack, Erik, Lipton, Paul, Mel, Silent Bob and I rode up from the Growlers side, testing part of a new line Paul is working on and also riding Little Sister before heading for the Spike.
Mel’s hardcore training regimen turned out to be a detriment. Not far past Double Down, she applied so much torque that she ripped off her left pedal, and she and Paul were forced to call it a day.
The climb from the bridge on the Monahan Creek to the clearcut is tough but doable, with the top-out point at about 2,000 feet. The tread is in sterling condition, in large part because Ken Pearson, Bob Stanton, and Joel have spent so much time on it training for this weekend’s Cascade Creampuff.
And the downhill – oh, my. Swoopy stuff, plenty of interesting switchbacks and the occasional log-over popping up seemingly out of nowhere all combine to make it a great descent.
If you haven’t been up there, you need to make it a priority. And if you have, you need to hit it again because it’s not going to get better than it is right now.
Saturday reminded me why I’m not into driving two hours to ride eight miles of trail – what we have here is off the chain.