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Posts tagged mountain biking

Hakuba bike tour

hakuba bike tour mountains river

Shiroumarenpo (白馬連峰) in the distance with the Matsu River to the right of the bike path

If you are in Japan in October or early November you may want to consider heading to Hakuba for a canoe/biking tour. The place is empty this time of year as nearly all of the summer hikers are gone and the winter skiers have yet to arrive. However, the colors are fantastic and not to be missed.

Hakuba mountain biking

Mountain biking in Hakuba in late October, the place was deserted. Good times.

Japanese Alps

japanese alps

This trail was part of our mountain biking tour last October in Hakuba. I don’t think I’ll ever have another October when I don’t look fondly back at those few days in Hakuba.

Mountain biking on Sundance

I just got back from my third ride in under a week in the Siskiyous. It’s been 5+ years since I’ve ridden up there three times in a single week. I didn’t have my camera on any of the occasions though. However, I need to test out my laptop (and the photo editing software on it) before our trip to make sure that I can post decent pictures on this blog while we are on the road. So, to that end, I’m going to share some old photos from the laptop of mountain biking in Utah with you.

Two summers ago I was at a family reunion at Aspen Grove Family Camp near Sundance Resort. I brought my mountain bike with me. One day I road down to Sundance and then road up, around, and down some of the single track trails on the mountain. I don’t remember all of the names but some were Archie’s Loop, Scott’s Pond Loop, and Black Forest Loop. There were some crazy downhill parts called something like Rock & Roll and Bonecrusher.

I had so much fun the first day that I went back again on Sunday. It may just have been because it was a Sunday in Utah or something, but I rarely saw anyone else. On the second day I purchased a lift pass which allowed for more downhill riding since you could take the ski lift up. (I know, pretty wimpy, but once you’ve climbed a mountain once the thrill and glory is gone and subsequent climbings are just a lot of hard work. I did climb it once without the lift!)

 ski lift at sundance

This was the lift as I waited for it to open.

riding with no hands

Seldom do you get to see this shot. People usually don’t take pictures mountain biking, myself included, since you don’t want to be hauling the weight of a camera around or risk breaking a camera in a fall. Those pictures you do see are usually of people on bikes on a trail taken by a non-rider. This is a picture while riding with no hands that gives you a good feel for the actual view of the mountain bike rider. I thought it was pretty cool, but as the photographer I’m biased. 😉

mountain biking in aspen trees

A self portrait among the Aspen trees… Some of the scenery was spectacular. What made it even better was the complete lack of people.

scotts pond

Not having spoken with anyone beforehand I didn’t know what to expect once I got up the trail. I was pleasantly surprised to find a pond near the top.

wasatch mountains

If you look closely at the above picture (lower right portion of the photo) you can see that the single track isn’t always great on Sundance. Sometimes it is pretty rocky and in this case it is also pretty dangerous; if you were to take a spill here you may end up going over a cliff of sorts.

mt. timpanogos


Every view was amazing, not the least of which was this backside of Mt. Timpanogos in the Wasatch Mountain Range.

Siskiyou Mountain Biking

As I write this, the last riders in today’s 12Mile SuperD are crossing the finish line near my house. Although not an easy race, it doesn’t match the Revenge of the Siskiyous races that used to take place here. Those races required some serious uphill climbs as well as the downhills. Today’s race only climbs 600 feet (while dropping more than 5,000).

On Friday, I rode my mountain bike along a good section of the route. I climbed about 1,500 feet before dropping the same 1,500 feet back to my house. On the way, I rode on Toothpick (out and back) and Caterpillar (downhill only).

ashland mountain biking map 

The Siskiyou Mountains above Ashland offer up some of the finest single track in the country. Besides Toothpick and Caterpillar trails, you can choose from dozens of other trails like White Rabbit, Catwalk (from Four Corners), Bull Gap, BTI, etc. Most aren’t for the faint of heart and take some getting used to. Toothpick isn’t very difficult, although, as the name suggests, it is sometimes not very wide. One side of the trail falls off steeply down the mountain. I wouldn’t want to crash on Toothpick because if you left the trail it would be a long way down.

On Friday the trails seemed unusually crowded. Crowded is a relative term however. We saw about 10 other people in our two hours up there. We also saw about 10 dogs. I’m not a fan of dogs–especially when I’m on a bike. I’m sure the hikers with the dogs probably aren’t too happy to see bikers either.

I once road the entire Ashland Loop Road (28 miles including 3,000 feet up and 3,000 feet down) without seeing another human being. I did see a bear on that ride though.

Next winter, after a fresh snow, I’ll have to take a ride up there with my camera. I’ve done it before without a camera and it was amazing. For now, I’ll just have to leave you with a single photo.

Mountain Biking near Mount Ashland with Mt. Shasta in the background

This is taken from approximately the center of this map between the bottom of Bull Gap and the top of Mt. Ashland. I’m on the other side of the mountain as Bull Gap though. (You can’t see Mt. Shasta from Bull Gap although you do have good views of Wagner Butte at times.) Mt. Shasta is in the background.