Tuesday Night MTB Ride Report – Eva Creek Event

This ride started in the morning at Fred Meyer.

Co-leaders Dave and Eric ran into each other at the store. Dave said his Old Man back was acting up and he wasn’t sure he was going to make the ride. Since Dave was bringing the snacks and drinks, he told Eric that Malcolm would cover for him. But by the time Eric got home, his Old Man brain couldn’t remember who Dave said would cover him. No matter. Eric was going to be there.

Later that day, right before Eric was supposed to leave for the ride, Eric got a call from the director of Borough Community Planning. Eric needed to talk to him before the upcoming borough meeting next Tuesday when the still-unpassed Borough Trails Plan was on the agenda, and the director was getting ready to go out of town. Eric chose talking to the director instead of leaving on time to make the ride. No worries. Dave hadn’t texted Eric about his back. He was still going, right?

Eric let Dave know he was running behind. But on the way to the Ester area ride, Dave texted Eric that he had gone to Birch Hill, the site of the 6/20 TNR, the NEXT week’s ride. No worries. Malcolm was filling in for Dave, right? But at the Ester Community Park, Malcolm had heard from Dave that he was on the other side of town, but where was Eric? See, Malcolm didn’t exactly know where to go on this ride.

The ride is supposed to start at 6. At Ester Community Park, Malcolm was desperately hoping one of the ride leaders would show up. Otherwise he knew he would get everyone lost. Eric is perfectly comfortable with that idea, but Malcolm is not so comfortable with incompetence. Malcolm didn’t start the ride right away. Fortunately, Eric pulled up at almost 6:30, and everyone was still there. A few minutes later Dave drove up. The ride was ready to start!

Eight of us rode over toward Gold Hill Road and took one of the side trails up to the Intertie trail. From there we took the “easiest” climb on the back side of the inactive mine on the side of Ester Dome. When we broke out onto an old open mining area, the skies darkened and the wind started howling. We looked around for the Son of Satan, but all we saw were our un-threatening selves, so we decided to get into the trees before the lightning started.

The lightning never did come, but the rain did. It was light at first, but it was also cold. Like low 50s F cold. With wind. Brrrr.

We got to where the Equinox Marathon Trail breaks out onto Henderson Road. Dave was considering bailing, but Eric suggested going just a little farther. Someone — maybe Kurt — said it looked like the clearer skies were coming. Dave decided to go a bit farther.

We rode just a ways up Henderson to the End of Maintenance, where it’s a bit cleared of trees. Dave looked out and said, “It’s not getting any clearer, I’m bailing.” He turned back toward the Equinox Trail. Ben, Garrett, and Malcolm followed him.

Eric and the other three headed up Henderson. The rain continued. And the cold. Along that section of road there are a couple of places to head west over toward the Equinox Trail. At the second, Kurt and Tony waited. Eric said we could bail there, with only on short uphill, or head uphill farther. Kurt was ready to bail: “This isn’t fun anymore.” Tony, Dean, and Eric didn’t argue. In fact, shivering Dean, who had felt he had brought too much gear on earlier rides, happily accepted Eric’s spare windbreaker. (Eric had earlier donned his raincoat in a failed attempt to ward off the rain.)

We headed up the old mining road and then down. Amazingly, Eric knew his way in this maze-of-an-area and led everyone back to Four Corners, the intersection of the Equinox and Eva Creek trails.

From there it was a blast of a ride back to Ester. Well, if you consider a “blast of a ride” being wet, shivering your arse off, and having to climb over four downed trees. Ah well, we got back to the cars in one piece.

Fortunately, Dave had left behind the snacks and drinks. Unfortunately, he had iced the drinks. And, unfortunately, the until-then-non-existent mosquitoes quickly became existent. But we survived nonetheless. Even Tony survived his bike attacking him when he tried to put it on his roof rack. And Dean, who had ridden to the ride start, decided to take Kurt up on a ride home in his pickup. That way he could return Eric’s soggy windbreaker.

If all that sounds like fun, come join us! We ride every Tuesday night until fall. Next week is the Birch Hill Bombing. Check out our schedule HERE. (The rides are free, but you’ll need to be a Fairbanks Cycle Club member.)