Saturday, October 25, 2014

Cattle Herding Mountain Bikers Are Us!

We started our third day with another great walk/hike to wear out the little man, Mariko, before heading out for another mountain biking adventure. It was raining just a bit, but nothing we couldn't deal with.

Bill, once again, loaded up the bikes (thanks again, Bill!), as we would be starting our ride in Twisp again. This time we would be heading into Winthrop, then up to do Buck Mtn., and Buck Lake.
Not a super clear photo, but this is the bike/ped bridge over the Methow River from Twisp over to Winthrop.

We had about 8 1/2 miles of pavement to get to the beginning of the Buck Mtn. Loop. Then we were on a dirt road for about three miles. Along the dirt road, we encountered some cattle being herded along by a guy on horseback. It appeared he could use our help, so we obliged.
Actually, we just rode behind them until they got to this spot where they could get off the road and we could safely pass them.

Continuing on, we climbed until we reached the double track section, then...we continued climbing...of course!
Following the little yellow bike signs.

As we continued climbing, the double track turned into singletrack. This was, for me, the most challenging singletrack so far. It was steep ups and steep downs, but we managed to negotiate most of them. Bill went down a steep hill that had a sharp right turn, then steep semi-off camber uphill. I heard him yell, "Sharp right!" When I got to the beginning of the downhill part, and saw the sharp turn at the bottom, I opted to avoid the likely crash by walking Mama Cass down. In the meantime, Bill had gotten off his bike, and slipped in the mud (the non-bike crash). Yes, this was much more challenging than our previous rides! However, the scenery was spectacular!
Beautiful vistas!
Melody on the singletrack.

After a brief wrong turn where the trail then disappeared, we got back on the main trail, and started a most incredible descent through the sage brush, and down the mountain.

Eventually, we popped out at a road. Bill and Melody were trying to figure out where we were in relation to how we would get to Buck Lake. Since they weren't sure, we just picked up the trail across the road and continued on. Then we came to another road that had a sign directing us to Buck Lake. 
Very nice Fall colors!

From the lake we were on a dirt road for a long descent. We didn't come out quite where Bill thought we would, but it was okay. We rode about 10 miles of pavement back to Winthrop, and then the short bit back over the bridge to the car. 

Today's ride was 36 miles. The singletrack was rated a 3 on a scale of 1 to 5. We now consider ourselves official mountain bikers!

When we got back, we took the dogs for a long walk/hike in the hills. I tell ya, if I did this everyday, I would be in the most awesome shape for road racing!

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