Thursday, July 4, 2013
Headed out yesterday to do a pre-run check before we do the 'Broke Bike Mountain" Run on the 13th. Hit all the stops, and checked out the roads. The reason this run is called 'Broke Bike Mountain' is because of it going over Forest Road 52, a.k.a. Skate Creek Road. Its a 24 mile long forest service road that snakes through the back country, is only open a few months of the year, and which the forest service doesnt have the budget to repair consistently. Most of it is in good shape. But roughly between milepost 13 and 14 the eastbound lane has subsided about 2 or 3 inches in spots. Bad enough, but then you add the fact there isnt a shoulder, and the road sits on the top of a 50-80 foot high bank overlooking the creek. As long as you dont fly through that part over about 30-35 you shouldn't have too much problem. Riding much faster than that and you can easily bottom out on your frame hard, or get bounced sideways towards the drop-off alongside the road.
Then about milepost 16, the road roughens up again for about a mile. But this is more just old asphalt patches and dips in the pavement. Again, if you just slow down a bit, the road won't reach up and try to take you down. The rest of the road is easily taken at 45, or better. And at least along this stretch, there are road signs warning about 'rough road'. There aren't any warning signs along the earlier stretch on the top of the bank. So I made a couple and put them up. Nailing them into trees alongside the road. The road along this mile or so long stretch is much closer to the creek. Maybe 10 to 15 feet above the water as it follows the course of the creek down the valley.
There's some pretty good and remote campsites along the road too. Plus they're free, which is always nice. We took a shit load of pics, and even a video with Robins new Nikon digital camera. But, when we got it home, it wouldn't download the photos to the computer. Hell, I don't think the computer even knew the camera was attached. So I'll have to post pics from this run later.
All in all, the run was a success. Skate Creek Road is a nice, remote, narrow two lane mountain road. The rough parts just had a little extra thrill into the mix. If you ever find yourself here in the Pacific Northwest; riding along the southern side of Mt Rainier National Park, take the road from Ashford to Packwood, and give yourself a thrill.
Catch you on the road sometime...