Mia and I welcomed 2015 in glorious fashion. I was in bed by 9:45 and asleep by 10:15! In other words it was pretty quiet. I had been up since 5AM, worked a full day and was pretty pooped out by the time 9pm hit.
We both pretty much loafed around on Thursday, watched some of the Ducks football game (I still think college is not as exciting as NFL) and read.
Friday we both took off from work and I finally got out to to Stub Stewart State Park to ride their mountain bike trails. I parked at the Buxton trailhead for the Banks-Vernonia trail and biked up the trail for 2ish miles before turning into the woods for A LOT of climbing! Basically my reasoning for the Buxton trailhead is that parking there is free as opposed to paying $5 to park up at the day-use area in Stub. I didn’t have any cash, and didn’t feel like hitting an ATM. It’s probably also the cheap accountant and Yankee in me too.
For my East Coast riding friends, I can best describe the Stub trails as very Franklin Falls like with a crap-ton more climbing. I started at 400 feet elevation and topped out at around 1500′ at the highest. What I climbed up would make for some crazy good downhill flow, but climbing up it was more of a workout, which I desperately need right now. NW Trail Alliance has done a really good job out here, and I look forward to seeing how it all develops.
I opted to not hit the “freeride area”. Mostly because that is way out of my skill set for the most part, and for a lamer excuse, I was getting in my maiden voyage on what I hope to be a successful partnership between me and a bike. I picked up a new 2014 Cannondale F29-5 on a ridiculously low price (over $700 off MSRP) from Bike Gallery. It is my first 29er mountain bike and my first hardtail in well over 6 years.
I only changed out the seatpost, seat and crankset. All else is stock at this point. It is a fairly quick handling bike, and I am a huge fan of the lefty suspension. I’m still not totally convinced that 29″ wheels are ideal for someone of my height, but I’m willing to give it a shot. I still have the full suspension Rush for longer or more difficult days of riding.
The F29 climbed really well, even though my legs are a bit blah right now. It handled the uphill switchbacks really well too. Wish I was in better shape to give it a bit more of a push. The long term goal will be to pimp this sucker out as a full on XC race bike. My only complaint has to be the mediocre Deore disk brakes. The Rush has the XT 785 brakes with ice tech pads and the stopping power on those is phenomenal. The deore are good, but nothing compared to the XT brakes.
I can see me spending a fair amount of time at these trails. They are close to home and offer a fair amount of challenge. I still wish I could ride trails from my front door, but I’ve accepted that living out here, that just isn’t going to happen.
For Saturday Mia and I took Codi out to Hagg Lake for another hike. This time we started out on the south side of the lake at Bobcat Cove. The Boat Ramp C parking lot was gated off until March. The first 800 meters of the trail was slick, mucky clay and was pretty gross. If that whole trail had been like this, it would have been a very short day.
Once we got to the beach at boat ramp C things firmed up and we really didn’t have any more issues. The trail was damp and muddy in spots, but totally hikeable. Not sure I would have been biking on it though.
Codi was totally in his element today. He had a TON of off leash time and I think we totally tuckered him out.
We hiked east towards the dam that created the lake. Probably did right around 5-5.5 miles. Nothing overly tough. I was pretty surprised at how few people we saw. The weather was decent. Low 40’s, cloudy, but no wind to speak of at all.
We were home by just after 3pm after swinging through Forest Grove to check on the opening date of Sugar Mommas Bake Shop. Grand Opening next Saturday, January 10th! We’ll be there.
That’s about it for now. It’s Sunday and back to the working world tomorrow…….
Thanks for reading,