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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Seattle, WA
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    891

    Seattle Area Mags - Where Do I Start Riding?

    Now that recreation is allowed, I'm curious what Seattle area mags recommend to dip my feet into the mountain biking scene. Just moved here right before COVID-19 struck.

    I've got a capable bike (2014 Trance Advanced + 160mm Pike) and I just need some recommendations. I have googled, I know the names of spots, but I'd just like a little direction and to hear what y'all have to say.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    1,074
    Quote Originally Posted by thejongiest View Post
    Now that recreation is allowed, I'm curious what Seattle area mags recommend to dip my feet into the mountain biking scene. Just moved here right before COVID-19 struck.

    I've got a capable bike (2014 Trance Advanced + 160mm Pike) and I just need some recommendations. I have googled, I know the names of spots, but I'd just like a little direction and to hear what y'all have to say.
    What are you looking to ride? Distance & elevation? Emphasis on the down or the up? Experience level, and where did you ride before?

    Where do you live so i don't recommend something 90 minutes away from you haha.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    891
    Quote Originally Posted by californiagrown View Post
    What are you looking to ride? Distance & elevation? Emphasis on the down or the up? Experience level, and where did you ride before?

    Where do you live so i don't recommend something 90 minutes away from you haha.
    I live in downtown Seattle area. My experience level is moderate. I've only ridden a bike park once. I've ridden very long rides with lots of climbing, but I have very little experience with both wheels off the ground simultaneously.

    I'm looking for all kinds of riding and I like climbing as much as descending. I LOVE adventure riding, but want to get into shorter rides that are more flexible too.

    1. A bit of enduro park-type lapping that I could do in sub-2 hours. I'm a beginner here, but would like to expand on this.
    2. Some longer XC-style rides. 20-50 miles. Rollers are good.
    3. Some longer uphill for the downhill type rides. Climb 5k feet to descend 5k feet. Shorter ok as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Cascades
    Posts
    524
    All this information notwithstanding COVID/closures.

    Quote Originally Posted by thejongiest View Post
    1. A bit of enduro park-type lapping that I could do in sub-2 hours. I'm a beginner here, but would like to expand on this.
    Duthie is often packed on weekends, but if you can get out there for a weekday evening you can get some good practice getting both wheels off the ground and generally enjoying very short, fun bike-parky laps.

    Raging River has a great short loop, up Upward Mobility (3.3 miles, 1000 ft climb), down Poppin' Tops and Flow State. Poppin' Tops gets a black diamond but you'll be fine, everything is rollable. If you want to make this ride longer, go out Raging Ridge to the clearcut, then turn around. Raging Ridge might be one-way now due to corona though.

    If Raging River was too easy from a tech perspective, Tiger Mountain has a bunch of good rocky and rooty fun. Off The Grid is running well right now, and has a good mixture of flow and discrete tech features.

    Quote Originally Posted by thejongiest View Post
    2. Some longer XC-style rides. 20-50 miles. Rollers are good.
    I'm not an expert in this by any means. Grand Ridge is a good place to ride XC, but the best long rides I've been on in WA are still under snow.

    Quote Originally Posted by thejongiest View Post
    3. Some longer uphill for the downhill type rides. Climb 5k feet to descend 5k feet. Shorter ok as well.
    Longer laps at Raging River and Tiger are the best bet until the snow melts. I did 22 miles/4600' at Tiger the other day without too much faffing about. No Service out at Raging River is fun and pretty long. Descending 5000' in one go is tough though.
    kittyhump.com - Fund Max, Cat Appreciation, Bike

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Imaginationland
    Posts
    3,715
    We all know its return policy that takes your ass to the cleaners at Raging. That climb will put me on sewing machine legs if I'm not in shape.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1,074
    Long classic PNW style ride would be the full lollipop at Raging River: raging ridge-no service-upward mobility-raging ridge. 20 miles 4000' vert. 3-4 hours. There are a few other long trails there that Evergreen MTB Alliance will be opening this summer that you could ride on the way back down. they have already been soft opened, but are currently closed. there are also open-secret trails there that are very freeride oriented. Dont ride this in the heat of the day. After climbing 3000' and descending a relatively rowdy 2 mile trail, you are left with a 1200' climb back out that is entirely exposed to the sun, and is a sufferfest. Go early or late.

    Shorter but best bang for buck: Tiger Mountain. climb masterlink to top. Ride Preston, OTG, NOTG, EBAD, or Predator down (in order from easiest to hardest). 2000' 10ish miles. 2ish hours. If you just want a 2 hour training ride without anything technical or much "fun" Grand Ridge is a good option. Easy to connect in with duthie for some good mid ride jump trail laps.

    Short laps, but fun trails: Tokul East. ride up the fire roads to access trails. short, 20 minute laps, and short trails, but really fun spot to poke around and ride different stuff. Tokul west is really fun as well- Tokyo Drift is a high speed trail with jumps and not too much tech and is sublimely routed and built even if you arent into jumps. Black Diamond Open Space is also really good for just ripping around shorter trails, but not much vert there.

    Skills progression: Duthie. It is a progression skills park meant to help folks progress on the freeride side of things. Has everything from 6" drops to 30' jumps. the trail system, and each trail is built to help you progress incrementally. great resource for learning jumps, drops, berms, etc. Gets crowded and is popular with families and kids.

    Legal shuttle trails: North Mtn in Darrington. Just opened to the public last fall it has 2-3k descents that are prototypical PNW steep, loamy tech downhill trails. awesome place. Be aware that the trails are rated relative to the area, so the "blue" trail would likely be a black at other places. You can pedal the road to the top too, its a long pedal but pretty flat comparatively.

    Backcountry epics: Evergreen MTB Alliance has a number of "Premium" trails that are backcountry oriented (https://www.evergreenmtb.org/trails?...il&task=search). Middle Fork Snoqualmie is probably the only one snow free right now. Id guess youd like Ollalie even though its an out-and-back. Realize that if you get some of these trails early, they will not have been brushed or maintained over winter. There is a ton of this type of riding out there, just have to do your research to find it, and get out there to figure out how to connect it all. Gifford Pinchot Natl forest has unlimited potential as well, but thats a full weekend commitment. Head over the cascades, and the Teanaway forest has a ton of great trails to explore, and it is in the rainshadow so when its raining over on the west side, its likely to still be dry over there.

    Trail work: Once Covid is over, join a few Evergreen trail work parties. youll get to know a few folks and theyll be able to tell you more about what is available to ride in the area.

    Local spots: Unfortunately, there isnt much local to seattle proper. There are a bunch of local spots on the east side of the lake in the suburbs (St Eds, Paradise, Lord Hill, Japanese Gulch, etc) but these are really just neighborhood spots to get a quick 30-45min ride in after work or spur of the moment sunday evening rip around.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    891
    Wow, thanks for all the beta! I've got a nice long list to checkout now. Sounds like the riding up here is sublime. The same can't quite be said for central Texas...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1,074
    Quote Originally Posted by thejongiest View Post
    Wow, thanks for all the beta! I've got a nice long list to checkout now. Sounds like the riding up here is sublime. The same can't quite be said for central Texas...
    Also, make sure to download the Trailforks app. It is the bible for trails around here, and if its a public trail, that app will have all the info you need, and track your location by GPS in real time whether you have a signal or not.

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