Sunday I was up early getting ready for some mountain biking at the Port Gamble (Tree Farm) / Stottlemeyer trails. The trails meander through 7000 acres of tree farm area. More on this later.
Co-worker A picked me up at my place and we made our way to a medical center to rendezvous with co-worker B. We loaded the bikes in the back of co-worker A's truck and we were off. How ironical - three dudes who work for the same place all riding Ellsworth Evolve mountain bikes. Mine's in the middle.
Upon arrival the three of us unloaded the bikes and pedaled around a bit to get warmed up. Co-worker C was to join us and act as our tour guide. After he arrived we were into the woods to ride.
Port Gamble has some nice, but tight, singletrack. A few of the trails were a bit muddy but most were well drained. My regret for this day was doing 44 miles the day before in and around Seattle. I had a hard time keep up during the climbs. Oh well - it's early season and I'm trying to work my sorry ass into shape. I did notice progress.
Generally speaking the trails are in good shape and go interesting places without being too easy or too hard. There are a handful of trails that go a bit too much down the fall line. The result is a deep groove (about 8 to 12 inches) to ride in. Too often there are stumps right on the trail. The trail builders did not remove trees properly. The root ball needs to come out. Toward the end of our day in the woods, co-worker A found a stump with his front tire, endo-ed, and collided with a tree in mid flight. He suffered a bruise on his left side that prompted him to visit the clinic later that day to make sure everything was OK.
Later this summer IMBA will be conducting a trail building school at this venue. I'm hopeful many of the locals will attend and learn proper tree removal methods. But, my personal overall impression of these trails is they are lots of fun. I'll be back to ride them more.
In a few weeks there will be a trail maintenance session. The purpose will be to install trail marker signs. The rockers who are keeping up this area have an awesome map. Trail markers to compliment the map will make this sweet!
Lastly, co-worker C, our guide, mentioned this 7000 acre parcel of land is up for sale. The land owner is very cool in letting trails exist here and letting anyone have access. The co-worker indicated if this is sold it will probably be divided up into 20 acre plots. The dream is to raise enough money through donations and grants to have a mountain biker organization buy it and keep it as is. However, the price tag is $30,000,000.00 (that's thirty MILLION dollars). Unfortunately, developers can float this kind of deal too easily. We'll see what goes down in the end. I'm sort of hoping the housing market stays depressed such that this cool system of trails remains.