Monday, September 27, 2010

POP Year End Party

Last Sunday was the year end party for the Pend Oreille Pedalers at Chris and Leah's house.  The day started with a planned group ride at 11 o'clock.  However, at 11 it was pouring rain.  As we sat under Chris' carport contemplating weather forecasters and their ability to be so wrong, we all expressed a desire to ride regardless of the weather.  As 12 o'clock neared the rain started to let up and we saw a sucker hole appear in the sky to the West.  Being the suckers we are, we jumped on the bikes and headed out.  We started with about 15 riders and with 2 different ride options.  One group rode the Wylie Knob loop clockwise while the second planned to do the Cowboy Trail out and back.

Larry and I discussed our ride options earlier in the week and had decided that we'd done Wylie several times before and it lacked much interest.  Neither of us care to do a lot of road riding on our mountain bikes and the climb is not fun.  Even though there was some group pressure, we stuck to our plan and hit the Cowboy Trail with the group.  And it was awesome!  The trail was nice and tacky from the recent rain.  However, there were also some wet and muddy spots.  The dichotomy between tacky/good traction and slimy/slick on the same sections of trail made route selection very important.  I think it was probably the best conditions I've seen on Cowboy as summer often brings a lot of loose silt to that trail.  Technically, all the challenging sections of the trail were ridable.

Cowboy group getting ready for the fun
Once we got to Grouse Creek and the planned turn around, things got interesting.  Leah threw out a challenge and asked if anyone wanted to wade the creek, climb up Wylie and descend a new trail she'd heard of.  That's all I needed to hear.  "Challenge" and "new" in the same sentence locked it for me.  Larry was not so easily convinced.  However, he and Ted ended up shedding their shoes and socks...but not with some grumbling.

The ride up Wylie was as usual.  "The Nasty" as it is known, is a 25 minute climb up an old washed out road.  The surface is often loose with lots of rolling rocks.  The grade is steady and relentless.  The top is always a pleasant sight.  I splashed my face in the creek.  We all reminded each other of how the climb "really wasn't that bad" and continued over the top and down the other side.

This "new" trail Leah referred too, really wasn't really a new trail, but a very old series of trails/roads and that have started to get some use.  Although the word was that they had been cleared by the horseman, no work in fact had been done.  The Hobbit Trail, as it is referred to, has a lot of potential.  I'd actually ridden it before 2 summers ago.  It's current state is very rough though.  There are lots of down logs and brush growing into the trail.  Stay tuned for possible POP work party to open this up.

We made it back to Chris and Leah's right at 4 o'clock for the start of the BBQ.  Chris and Carlos smoked a couple of lambs and Fred from Laughing Dog supplied brews.  It was an awesome time of grazing, drinking and socializing.  Paula and Arlene gave out some year end awards; the biggest award going to Chris for Member of the Year (great job Chris!).  We had a big fire to gather around.  The weather continued to hold.  Things couldn't have turned out better.

Oh but wait, things did get better with a little game of extreme croquette that went into the dark of the night.  It was a challenge.  Ted took top honors, but we all had fun.

yeah, pretty much what you see is what I could see during my shots
If you aren't a member of POP, check out their website and consider giving $20 to support your local bike club.     

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