All right FFers, I suppose a ride report is in order after the fun ride a group of friends and I did last Sunday going from the Taneum Area to 410, Naches Trail and back via Cabin Creek.
We met at Eastons’s Turtle RV (Exit 70, I-90) and we were off to an early start, and it’s a good thing we did…
The morning ride was along single track trails, basically from Woods and Steel road to FR4510, then Cle Elum ridge trail (1326), followed the ridge to Windy Pass where we found a beautiful dusting of snow.
From there we followed Manastash Ridge trail (1388) for a few miles, and then down trail 948 to FR70 and Whistling Jack.
It was beautiful single track, some technical, some exposed (i. e. narrow sidehill stuff) all of it a lot of fun. I thought that since Skooks was riding a 950S I could have kept on his tail. But I was wrong , once again it’s the rider, not the bike. But even though some of us (=me…) sweated more profusely than others, we did have a ton of fun.
At the junction with 948 Skooks continued on the Manastash ridge as he had to head home, and we descended the 948 trail. Fun and engaging downhill, must have been a bitch uphill. At the very end of the trail we took a little side trail along the road, which it turned out to be pure unadulterated snot. As I rode on what appeared to be a ‘normal ‘ trail both front and back started sliding on their own, and I soft landed in what appeared to be brown grease. Could barely stand up on this snot. With the help of 4 (!!) guys we dragged the SE around and got it up, having scooped in the engine and bash plate at least 10 pounds of NorthWest best mud.
After all the sweating on the trail we headed to Whistling Jack and we got COLD. Temperature on 410 was way lower than what we had encountered until then. After food, gas, bathroom break we headed back up 410 toward Naches trail. It was once again C-O-L-D, and several of us swore we were getting heated grips next…
I rode the Naches Trail twice in the last month, once in each direction, but now the rain had been coming down and things were waaay more interesting. Right off the bat we hit an easy hill, which turned out to be another grease fest. Miraculously, and likely thanks to the Teraflex, I made it fine, and so did Steve, and I continued ahead. After much waiting folks start arriving with tales of bikes slowly sliding backward as they tried to climb. I just wish I had been there to document the carnage.
From then on, it was the usual Naches Trail, i.e. wet roots galore, rocks and mud with the occasional long hill to keep you well awake. No horror stories to report, Brad got a cramp attack at one point had to walk it off for a while. I had a few cramps myself, but standing up was all it needed to clear out, Brad however was not able to shake them off for a while.
We skipped the very last piece of the trail (steep rocky/muddy downhill chutes) in the interest of time, given that it would have been slow riding with limited entertainment value.
When we arrived the Greenwater parking area it turned out that MarkDW had a flat rear, thanks to the fact that I had dropped him to 12psi to give him better traction, but he had no rimlocks (oops). Oh well, he did have better traction (for a while).
MarkM, aka mr fixit, went at it with a vengeance and with much unneeded (and unheeded) advice from the peanut gallery he proceeded to change the tube. Did I mention that it was raining?
With parts, tools and lubricant (I spare you the jokes) from several riders, the tire was ready to go in no time. It took a little longer to figure out some weird ass rear brake mount fitting, but nothing that a big hammer/rock and WD40 could not overcome. A really great example of collaboration on the trail. Meanwhile I fussed with a bent shift lever that we almost fixed but that kept bothering on the way back and will need some heated TLC this week.
The way back was about an hour of pleasant gravel and dual track, fun to be able to keep a good clip, but c-o-oooold. Right before fording Cabin Creek the KTM 450 run out of gas (had a bottle along) and battery died. A little more fussing to get the bike going, eventually his buddy Chris towed him and Jason was able to bump start the bike. A short while after that we were at the cars, ready for a cold one or two…
So a great adventure day, with a mix of tight trails, wide trails, and fast gravel, and even a small ford, about 110 miles of fun.