Rolled through Bellingham, Washington a couple of weeks ago. Didn't have a lot of time, but fortunately I had previously made the acquaintance of a kind fellow who happens to build a lot of trails around B'Ham. So my brief visit began with a quick guided tour of the goodness that has been built over the past year.
I wish I'd had more time to polish my skills, because it was a style of riding that I have not been privy to for quite some time. What little dirt jump skills I have were rusty at best, but man oh man did I enjoy myself.
It didn't hurt that the first evening of riding was capped off with a salmon and steak bbq. Many thanks EB!
B'Ham has some good things going for it. I enjoyed just sitting at a bakery watching all the different bikes roll by, and the trails are mighty sweet.
A new chainring arrived today from Jenson to replace one that I had blow up on me a couple of weeks ago. I slapped it on and took off on a nice afternoon loop with my father in-law and brother in-law.
Three cross bikes between us, and no tires narrower than 32mm. It typified what I like about riding. A lovely day, light rain to start the ride, and a beautiful location.
We rolled along at a comfortable pace, no one too concerned about how fast we rolled or what heart rates were at, although my brother in-law did take off and sprint up some of the hills. I guess he wanted to get in some intervals.
Our little country loop ended with a swooping long down hill back into town and a stop at Dairy Queen for huckleberry milkshakes before we peddled the last few miles home.
I'm visiting the in-laws at the moment, which isn't as bad as it sounds. They have a cozy little house in a beautiful part of the country. Late in the evening I pulled my wife's rigid 29er off the roof rack. Figured I'd take a quick spin up the road at the end of a long day of driving. About 100yards up from the house the road crosses a lovely little creek.
I looked at the rocky creek bed and realized the rocky cobbles of the stream bed would be perfect for a little 29er exploration. I took off upstream rolling and crawling over the rocks, hopping off and wading through shallow braids of the creek when necessary. It was a lovely ride through previously glaciated terrain, with mountain wilderness as a back drop.
I rode as far as I could before oncoming darkness required that I turn around. It wasn't a long ride, and it wasn't a fast ride (I'm pretty sure I topped out around 3mph), but it was a great ride. Crawling along a nontraditional bike route with in shorts and sandals on a warm summer evening was about the best way I can think of to unwind after too many long weeks of hectic packing and moving. The creek bed ride wasn't my plan, but I'm glad I indulged my impulsivity.