Winter seems to come to us later and later every year these days. Not that I’d notice it living in sunny California, with our long riding season and temperate weather. It was a warm day here as we drove away with a tinge of regret to drive six and a half hours north for a rendezvous with the family.
Fortunately (or not) for us, winter forgot it was time to get here. So after giving thanks for family, we celebrated by taking advantage of climate change by riding the crap out of our favorite ribbons of hard packed soil gleefully. Hurray, global warming!
We headed over to Talent for our first day of riding and hit up some of our favorite off-map trails. (shhh. They’re a secret, unless you’re a local.) Today was a bit of a special occasion, as my brother brought his son out for the first time to see if he was ready to step up to more challenging trail.
While they warmed up and took their time heading down Chuck’s, Inga and I headed out to ride the Old Man Trails for some bonus mileage. Some of the guys have been posting up photos of recent trail work on Facebook, so it was a treat to get out and check out their handiwork.
After drifting some loamy turns and flowing over the new bridges (nice work fellas) we pedaled out to meet up with Izaak and Alex where they were sessioning the hip line. Then we dropped in to enjoy more amazing trail. We didn’t get out of town much this summer so it was a real treat to get some “real” riding in. Flow, jumps and features, sweet bermed turns and loam. It doesn’t get much better.
The morning flew by too quickly. It was a family weekend though, so we passed on a second run to hang out with the rest of the clan. We did manage to keep riding a bit though; this time in the backyard. By the afternoon the backyard track was dry enough to be rolling pretty well.
Our weekend continued to get better the next day with a shuttle run down Mount Ashland, courtesy of Bill and Sue of Ashland Mountain Adventures. Thanksgiving weekend used to be the opening weekend of the ski area. The complete lack of snow is going to make it a rough year for those guys. We took advantage of it by taking a run down Timewarp, a descent that begins at the top of the mountain. Even better, we got Bill and Sue to join us for the run.
I totally spaced on packing goggles, and spent my run attempting to blink away tears and wishing I could see, while Izaak and Bill blazed ahead. Still, it’s hard to complain when conditions are this perfect.
Our bikes worked perfectly, the trails were amazing, with an awesome crew— another epic day.
The next day we managed to squeeze in one more run, dragging Sue out with us again. This time I donned a pair of loaner goggles and happily pinned it, though it’ll be at least a few more runs before I’m able to claim a half decent Strava time with all the fast guys rolling through town. Hard to believe I spent a year riding these trails as a local back in the day.
Word is storm clouds are gathering, and winter is coming. After three days of amazing riding, we’ve got our priorities set for next season. We’ll be back when the snow melts.