Last weekend, I was able to get a first taste of mountain biking in Seattle winter weather. I don’t know much about layering in 40 F and humid/rainy conditions, so I put a bit too much clothing on. After 2 miles, I removed a fleece and continued to ride with a long base-layer, a windbreaker, long pants, and helmet cover. This worked pretty well – sometimes getting a bit cold on the downhills, then overheating slightly on the uphills. It only rained lightly during the first hour, then the weather held and I was able to see a bit further in the landscape.
The route I took came from the Evergreen mountain biking group, and covered a nice cross section of paved and soft multipurpose trails, gasline & powerline roads and actual singletrack. Instead of taking their normal Trilla route , I went for the motherload: the 39 mile Thrilla ride. It covers a network of trails that offers a surprising amount of riding right through small communities near Woodinville / Redmond.
The mud wasn’t too bad in most places, and when there was mud, it was not very sticky – mostly organic material, leafs – and kept me rolling. I only got a bit splashed now and then on some fast downhill stretches. Time for some carbon fiber mudflaps 🙂
My 2.4″ Hans Dampf up front was quite ridiculous in 99.9% of cases, as there were no rocks or sharp hazards to be found (except for one blackberry bush a bit off-trail that I managed to ride over).
It was a good first ride. The initial climb out of Woodinville on the gasline road had me going up a 20% incline for 1/4 mile. Nice way to gain ~500 ft! Starting at home, it brought the route to 47 miles, 4200 ft el. I was happy to be home with a warm shower and almost dry bike. Let’s hope there are more breaks in the rain to let the water drain a bit from the trails.