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)
I have officially fallen in love with mountain biking all over again!