Now that everything is done and my bike is basically clean, let’s talk about tires, chain lube, and mud.
Nothing but darkness and despair await you in Tekoa
From Warden to Escure Ranch.
From Ellensburg, over the Columbia, to Othello.
It’s amazing how much the reality of an experience differs from the expectation, especially when you’ve been planning something for a decade.
A decade? Yes. That’s how long I’ve been planning this ride. That seems ridiculous now that I’ve typed it out, because while it sounds impossibly long, it doesn’t feel like it now that it’s finally done.
Not all of us are lucky enough to have the triple anything mounts on our forks. Some of us are stuck with regular old double bosses on our fork blades, giving us space for one lowly water bottle cage on each side.So, how do you make the most of your space and carry all of the things that you want without resorting to using an entire roll of electrical tape and a bunch of zip ties?
Capitol State Forest is an absolute wonderland of gravel. The nearly one hundred thousand acres of land is managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and contains almost six hundred miles of gravel roads. It is a destination for hikers, horseback riders, campers, and dirt bike enthusiasts. It is also home to some amazing single track for mountain bikers.
Back in May of 2015, a friend invited me to a self-supported gravel ride in the hills around Elbe and Eatonville put on by a local frame builder. The ride was in its second year, and looked like it would be a fun chance to explore some places that I had never been on a bike. I figured that forty-ish miles with 4k of vertical would be hard, but well within my limits.
I was wrong of course..
What began as a seemingly ridiculous plan over beers at a dining room table in 2014, has grown into an annual ride across the cascades filled with gravel, good beer, and great friends.