This is one of my favorite times of year. There’s a ton of cyclocross to be had, which is great fun, but even better (sorry) is the amazing mountain biking! The small window of time when the high country is clear of snow, often only a couple months. I’ve had this particular ride on my short list for a few years now. So Friday evening when I saw the opportunity to con my friends into it (after a couple beers) I jumped on it. Sunday morning we all piled in a rig and hit the road! (more…)
Summer in Ephrata sucks. At least for mountain bikers. Hot, dry, and dusty, yuck. I turn to my cx bike and take to the gravel roads. But sometimes I forget to get back on my mtb. And that’s where the Darkside ride comes in. It is always one of my favorite rides of the year, but I just couldn’t get myself excited about it this year for some reason. I waited until the last minute to drag out my poor neglected Trek Superfly ss, wipe off the cobwebs, and add Stans to the bone dry tubeless tires. Even on the way up there I still wasn’t feeling it, telling myself at least there’s beer afterward so not all is lost.
Well, I am officially stoked, that ride was awesome!!! Seriously, I don’t think it could’ve been more perfect. We started a bit earlier than usual, which gave us full appreciation of the amazing sunset over Tronson Ridge as we began our decent down the upper Mission Ridge trail. The fresh rain from a couple days ago left the trails tacky and fast, the air was crisp and cool with the smell of fall, and the Evergreen Mtb Alliance had everything well manicured. MR trail and Devils Gulch are the perfect blend of tech and flow. Then as if it wasn’t already good enough, we roll into the Wen Velo pit stop at the top of DG with tunes, bon fire, and beer! So rad. Back to the Mission Ridge lodge for food, live music, and a couple more beers.
(Thank you Shiggy for the awesome photos)
Devil Spur, so good.
Riders about to begin the decent down Mission Ridge trail.
Wenatchee Velo knows how to have a good time.
I have officially fallen in love with mountain biking all over again!
Wow, that happened fast… So here we are, it’s nearly August. Just wanted to thank everyone for a great season! ( I actually wanted to do it quite awhile ago, in addition to keeping up on my rad blog, but it sorta slipped away from me). As we look forward to next season we would love to hear from you. Let us know what you would like to see from Vicious Cycle in 2015. So far I can tell you (very unofficially) that we are planning to keep FTR a 5 or 6 race series, with probably a few new/old races to keep it fresh. On the gravel side of things we are thinking of adding another “spring classic” style Fondo as well as another mega mountain one. It would almost be like two seasons of fondo: an early spring block of three, where what the course lacks in crazy, obscene terrain mother nature makes up for in the form of pnw spring weather, then a break, then the big mountain epics.
I would also like to thank the small army of loyal volunteers that we have, much love, couldn’t do it with out you! On that note, I’d like to mention how important volunteers are to these events, without them it simply cannot happen. If you or someone you know would be willing to volunteer do it! It will be everything ever dreamed and more!!!
Still riding out the Goldendale buzz, so much fun!
We arrived in town at around noon on Saturday, got our base of operations set up and got to marking the course. I brought Brooklynn along to help. She was great, anytime I needed someone to sleep in the passenger seat, or say “wow, look at that mountain” she took care of it. Marking took a bit longer than I expected, there’s lots of turns. We got back just in time to turn around and head out to the Windy Ridge Saloon for an Irish Death and early check in (in that order). Any excuse we can come up with to hang out at a cool bar with bike friends. After that it was off to bed. At 4 am I was up to do one last preview of the course (Brooklynn wasn’t interested in coming). I got back at about 7 and the ladies had reg all set up with not much left for me to do.
We got our speech out of the way and got started right on time at 9 am. Looking in my mirror at this mass of cyclists behind me as we roll through town is always one of my favorite parts of the day. From there I tried to be a little bit of everywhere, but not anywhere too much. It was a lot of fun seeing everyone out there enjoying the ride. It’s always a little scary with a new ride. I made it back to the finish line just in time to see the first rider of the day Rusty Dodge come in. Everyone looked pretty tired and at the end thanks to Horseshoe Bend climb, rollers on top of roller on top of rollers, and a little headwind for a bonus. The ladies at the Grange did a great job of feeding us, big thanks to them! Also to our Lyle aid station and Horseshoe Bend aid station volunteers. Great support from the community!
I am so dang excited to show off Goldendale! Don’t get me wrong, I love the “classics” like my home course of Ephrata, but there’s something special about a new ride, somewhere you’ve never ridden. With that said I’m almost reluctant to share my story. It’s kind of like when someone tells you the main character dies at the end of a book you’ve been wanting to read. Yeah, it’s actually a lot like that. But here goes… (more…)
What a weekend! We totally blew the poor Bistro up at early registration Saturday night. That was awesome! Sunday got rolling bright an early with our two unicyclist taking off at 6:45 am (crazy!). As we did our riders meeting and neared 9:00 reality set in of just how many cyclist 200 is.
Gran Fondo Ephrata is just days away and we can’t wait! And maybe, just maybe we are going to have nice weather. We don’t want to jinx it, but we may just break the curse this weekend. The course is in great shape and we are looking forward to a stellar ride. But that’s just Ephrata. In exactly one month we will be in Goldendale for what is an absolutely amazing ride (trust me). Less gravel, but more climbing and breathtaking views. We will be giving the t-shirts a rest there and have a sweet thermal cap instead. And don’t even get me started on Leavenworth and Winthrop. So much epic gravel awesomeness your head will spin! Let’s get this started, see you this weekend!
Gran Fondo Ephrata
I consider myself a mountain biker to the core. I enjoy all forms of cycling, but always feel most at home in the dirt. Lately I just haven’t been feeling it though. I raced all of the FTR last year, marked all of our courses, and pretty much spent a ton of time on my mountain bike. By the time fall came around I was ready for something different. I tried to be stoked for cx, but wasn’t. All I wanted to do was giant 80-90 mile gravel/forest service road rides. So I did. And it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I felt any mountain bike mojo. The upcoming Echo Red to Red race was just the jump start I needed. Well, some shiny new parts help too. I am building up my Trek Superfly Pro as a super light rigid single speed. It’s been a few years since I’ve been full on ss so I’m looking forward to that. I’m also scheming to possibly slip another mtb into the quiver sometime this season (don’t tell my wife!). As we roll into the Fat Tire Revolution I am excited to share some of the ideas I’ve been cooking up to hopefully build some mtb stoke and get more people out in the dirt! Until then I hope to see you in Echo.
Gran Fondo Ephrata is exactly one month out with only 27 spaces left (as of Feb. 16 at 10:30 pm) This will fill up soon, don’t wait! We’ve had a very mild winter here so far, thus allowing us lots of riding on gravel roads normally snowed in. Heck, I did the whole gfe course in early Jan which is pretty much unheard of. I believe all of this will make for a memorable Gran Fondo Ephrata this year. Good or bad… I don’t know, but memorable.
Gran Fondo Ephrata 2013
Here’s a nice write up from our friends at Cycle Central on the how this whole Vicious Cycle thing came about.
And check out what CyclingWEST has to say about the toughest seven gravel grinds in the west. Guess who made the list. Twice.