Contacted Ken Roberts Monday night about ridding on Tuesday. He was up for it, but right after I left for the ride he called to leave a message that he could not make it.
That left me. I mounted up and headed out into an area I was not real familiar with but had been guided a few times.
Made my way to the Ten Trails area. After I got into the trail network I concentrated on staying high on the ridge and keeping the double track on my left. I had a couple of times where I was unsure, then would see a stump or pile of logs that I recognized from a previous ride. I did turn around at least three times on the return trip because I had crossed the gas line and was heading down a trail I did not recognize.
A lot of snow and mud on the trails. After I had gained the ridge a brief snow and hail event passed over me, causing me to head for shelter under a large tree because it was so intense. The trails were slick to start with but the mix of snow left them like riding on grease. I did shoot some video and here is the Link. (Video)Stella Snow Solo Ride
Rode at Growlers today, the sun was out but it was very windy. I rode with Aaron Dennis and we stayed on the lower trails doing Predator along the road, then the first road trail, followed by Carnage.
Peace and Pound was in excellent shape. As we approached the end of Pound I spotted Paul Norris and Guy Smith riding in the same direction as we were but on the Creek Side trail. Paul, Melanie, and Guy were with a couple of new riders.
Aaron and I rode creek side back to the road, then did Walk in the Park over to Beast and Belly.
At the top of Beast, we ran into Guy Smith again. We all did a couple of loops and decided to see if we could find Terminator.
Rode the lower trails with Paul Norris this afternoon. We did Predator and Cousin Edie for warm ups and then Paul showed me Terminator and New Guy. Terminator was a blast, lots of large rollers on the one section we rode. The way Paul described it there are other trails down through this section that are part of the Terminator Trail.
We went across the road and Paul had me lead on the trails we rode a couple of weeks ago; Shooter, Trail of Tears, and Frosty Balls. I only made a couple of wrong turns and think I could probably find my way through on my own now.
Friday; Berry and I rode Growlers. We did some of Predator and the road trails as we headed toward Legacy.
Then we road up to Vortex and started climbing. Vortex was in great shape for climbing. After reaching the top of Vortex we opted to climb WTF. WTF was a tough go until we got passed the downhill section. We did ride all of it up except the short steep in the middle and that was hard to even push my bike up.
WTF is an interesting climb because it has so many sharp steep ups followed by short flats. Pump like hell past a couple of stumps then balance as you catch your breath for the next push.
Some great views from up on top, we could see Mt Rainer, Mt Saint Helens, Mt Adams, and the Goat Rocks.
We opted to return down creation. Just a couple hundred yards from the end and a large chunk of wood jumped up and broke my derailer off.
I tried shortening the chain and making a go of it as a single speed. That doesn't work! I coasted and walked back by the road. Berry and Lucy did Double Down, Upper KMA, Middle KMA and the road trails on the return.
Thursday ride at Stella, rode the trails with Bob, Ken, George and Von. Ken lead us on three loops called Supply and Demand.
After the first of the Supply and Demand loops, Ken took us off on to the Mouse Maze trails. There were a couple of times, I swear we were just riding around in the woods. I could not see the trail and I just stayed glued to Ken's back wheel.
This series of trails was just loaded with roots, logs and stump overs. I was able to clear most everything but there were a couple of tight spots where my handle bars would not fit through.
We exited off the trails onto a cat road. Von and George opted to drop down the ridge trail and ride the creek trail back to the bridge. I opted to go with them. The ridge was steep downhill but the trail was in very good shape, the track or tread was grippe with only a few slick spots.
Went out ridding with Ken Roberts and Bob Keeney on some of the Stella trails. They took me to a section that was south east of the ridge trail. I wish I could remember the names better but there was the skeleton trail, named because when they were building the trail they came across an elk skeleton that had been shot with an arrow, the skeleton was completely intact with the arrow head still stuck in the neck portion of the back bone. Ken said the head had a 5 point rack on it and that almost all the meat had been stripped by scavengers.
We also hit Ken, Bob, and George trail, the Canadian trail, Fast and Furious, and Tire Bitter are all the trail names I can remember.
Tread was still a little slick this after noon.
Rode the Harmonic Convergence today which was held in the Stella trail system. Bob Stanton, Joel Rogauskus, and Ken Pearson organized the ride. This ride was organized for single speeders, but geared riders were welcome. I rode my geared bike but honest, I did not shift gears all day. I rode with the old trail gnome group lead by Ken Roberts, with Aaron Dennis doing the sweep.
There were a half dozen or more groups, serpentine lines of riders moving through the rain forest.
It was a great day for it, temperature around 50 deg, with overcast skys and the rain held off until the ride back, a little after 2:00
Our group ranged from about 12 to 16 people all day, riders joining and riders slipping away into other groups. We started with a very mellow pace but finished strong by the end of the day.
This was only the 4th or 5th time I have ridden at Stella, a vast system of trails. The experienced riders say that it usually takes a couple of years to become familiar with the trail system.
I did take some video...
Rode the Growlers trails on Wednesday, ran into a couple of new riders along the road. They were from Portland. Bruce and Pascal had never ridden these trails before and were curious about the system. Bruce told me that they had been riding the Scappoose system but that all of the trails had just been wiped out by logging.
Bruce had heard about a trail that went from Stella to Growlers. The Golden Spike, about 24 miles of new trail that needs a lot more wheels on it. I told them there was going to be a ride on the trail this coming Saturday. Harmonic Convergence
Met up with Paul Noris and after hitting the road trails we rode up Jekyll and Hyde. Then we hit Double Down. As Paul guided me down the up trail on Double Down, a large root wad jumped out and sent him over the handle bars. He later said his wrist was feeling a little sore, and tomorrow would be the tell. We continue on with him guiding me through Ace of Spades and Canoe Log. We finished out ride by shooting down KMA both upper and middle.
Just as we hit the middle KMA we ran into Ryan, Miles, and Greg. Ryan had crashed on the new WTF trail and banged up his knee.
The tread was great.