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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son and I just got back from running the whole figure eight up Devils Gulch and down mission ridge. Dont know if its an "epic" ride but it was 24 miles and four hours in the saddle. Devils Gulch was clear of blowdowns and snow all the way to the top. The only real problem with the trail was a lot of loose rocks have fallen onto the trail. The upper part of the Gulch started to get squishy just before it hit the Mission Road. The road was still closed and we quickly hit snow. The last quarter mile was a push through the snow. Going down the ridge was a lot of snow and mud and a few blow downs. The speed wasnt great. The last half to the saddle dried out and was decent. Motos have been riding this portion. The rest of the ride down the ridge was pretty decent. Anyone considering on running the figure eight might wait three weeks or so for the upper trail to dry out. :)
 

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Thank you sir! :)

btw, i consider the figure eight epic, a combo of 20 plus miles with 3000 plus feet of climbing can't be done by average folk. :)
 

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Skookum said:
Thank you sir! :)

btw, i consider the figure eight epic, a combo of 20 plus miles with 3000 plus feet of climbing can't be done by average folk. :)
According to my notes that loop is 26 miles and has 4400' of climbing. I don't think it's a epic ride but it certainly could be for some. Doing that entire loop in four hours is impressive to me, especially considering how much pushing in snow you guys would have had. We went up the Gulch to the upper trailhead and back down MR on Tuesday and had a great ride. Upper MR looked a little snowy for our taste.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
gearz said:
According to my notes that loop is 26 miles and has 4400' of climbing. I don't think it's a epic ride but it certainly could be for some. Doing that entire loop in four hours is impressive to me, especially considering how much pushing in snow you guys would have had. We went up the Gulch to the upper trailhead and back down MR on Tuesday and had a great ride. Upper MR looked a little snowy for our taste.
I will let you Borneo, and Igor do the "epics". The figure eight once it dries out and the trail gets cleared is one of my favorites. I might have to check out Kachess Ridge pretty soon. Although definitely not an epic I rode that in the reverse direction last year. It didnt make any sense, although Zilly wrote it up that way in one of his books. :)
 

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borregokid said:
I will let you Borneo, and Igor do the "epics". The figure eight once it dries out and the trail gets cleared is one of my favorites. I might have to check out Kachess Ridge pretty soon. Although definitely not an epic I rode that in the reverse direction last year. It didnt make any sense, although Zilly wrote it up that way in one of his books. :)
The figure eight is no slouch of a ride and one of my favorites too. I remember doing that ride last June and feeling pretty whipped afterwards. We hit the Gulch hard on Tuesday on the way up as my partner is in race training and it was still 1 hour 50 minutes to the saddle at nine miles...We did take a 3 minute break on the way. :eek:

I got a good view of Kachess Ridge coming back from the Gulch Tuesday. An out and back up the trail would be the only way to go now but I think you'd run into snow in Silver Creek valley around 4000' or so which is pretty low. The earliest I've ridden all of the Ridge is late June in an average snow year and there was still snow at the top then. This year is different of course and I'm guessing by Memorial Day the Ridge should be clear all the way out to Thorp. Zilly is wierd sometimes. The first time I rode Kachess Ridge I did it as an out and back. Never again. Another strange one is his Red Hill Ride over by Devil's Gulch. Instead of doing the obvious Red Devil Trail / Red Hill Trail Loop he completely ignores the Red Devil Trail and has you climbing up an old logging road to Red Hill Trail rather than climbing the Trail which is perfect for such. Go figure...

Have you ridden Little Kachess Trail? If you're in Cle Elum you're awful close. I did it last week for the first time. Parts of it are very technical but as a whole it's a worthwhile ride just kind of short. Not a trail for beginners!
 

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While on this topic i would like to find what you consider an epic. 50 miles with 6000 feet gain? i personally think a new category of listing of such trails would be in order, let's say we call these death marches, Massochistic Punishers.... :p
i wonder what people from let's just use Texas, consider as epic rides......
i know for myself DG/MR figure eight is a epic ride to me, especially considering i'm rolling close to 290 lbs. with bike and gear, and usually hitting it after working a construction job all week long. :D
 

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oh btw gearz i've seen your pics before and really like the shots, can't wait to hit some of the "death marches" you have pictured that i haven't ridden on myself. ;)
 

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What's an epic?

Skookum said:
While on this topic i would like to find what you consider an epic. 50 miles with 6000 feet gain? i personally think a new category of listing of such trails would be in order, let's say we call these death marches, Massochistic Punishers.... :p
i wonder what people from let's just use Texas, consider as epic rides......
i know for myself DG/MR figure eight is a epic ride to me, especially considering i'm rolling close to 290 lbs. with bike and gear, and usually hitting it after working a construction job all week long. :D
Definition of an epic ride is pretty subjective but I generally concur with Zilly's definition of epic in that it needs to be a looong ride with a lot of vertical and typically some gnarly riding is involved. For me typical parameters would be at least 5000' climbing, minimum 30 miles on up (unless the ride is really technical which makes up for mileage), and most importantly can't be done in less than seven or eight hours. For instance the Nason Ridge Traverse, which I consider a typical epic ride, is only 24 miles but there is nearly 6000' of climbing combined with some very technical riding and a fair amount of hike-a-bike. I'm kind of set up for epic rides with my 27 # 5" trail bike and can't imagine doing some of those rides on a big heavy bike. The rest of my crew (two other guys) ride similar bikes. We're not really that fast we just keep plugging along..........
 

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Thanks!

Skookum said:
oh btw gearz i've seen your pics before and really like the shots, can't wait to hit some of the "death marches" you have pictured that i haven't ridden on myself. ;)
I haven't died yet on any of those rides and am looking forward to many more great high country rides this season. My digital camera weighs over a pound but it sure takes good pictures.
 

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gearz said:
I'm kind of set up for epic rides with my 27 # 5" trail bike and can't imagine doing some of those rides on a big heavy bike.
My bike is 32 # 5" i weigh 249 lbs at last weigh in. You'd be suprised on how little bike wieght factors into it, rotational wieght and rolling resistance from tires make a big difference, as well as bike geometry. Being a clydesdale sucks on the uphill, but it's all good, i go faster downhill. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Epic Rides-Not for everyone

I was talking to a guy this past winter who lives out in the desert. He likes to do a lot of epics. I dont think he does that much climbing but his epics require a lot of backup gear. He also brings two or three lights in case he has to walk out due to some bad breakdowns. He gets his wife to drop him off in the middle of nowhere and then he bikes back. I think an epic might be any ride that in case of a breakdown you might be eight hours walking out and you would be coming out in the dark. DG and Mission ridge is kind of like an epic but in case of a breakdown you probably can coast back fairly easily. I am not doing any "real" epics anytime soon. The scout motto of "be prepared" comes into mind.
 

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IMHO it has epic potential... short on distance, but plenty o' vert. just needs a few mechanicals, a good crash, bonking friend, or a heavy FR bike to push it into the epic category.....

On the weight thing, I do agree that wheels & tires make a huge difference. However past 35lbs, doing more than 3k' starts to feel pretty epic (to me), especially with a short stem and 2.5's. Some people think it's stupid to choose a bike like that for an epic ride, but sometimes you don't really have a choice...

Have you guys ridden "comfortabley numb" up in whistler? Thats a GREAT ride, epic imho, super scenery, all singletrack climb, alpine, technical XC descent... my favorite epic... don't need a FR bike for it, but since it's in whistler that's usually what I've ridden it on. That ride alone is worth the drive up there. can be done right from the village, if you have the time....

Skookum said:
Thank you sir! :)

btw, i consider the figure eight epic, a combo of 20 plus miles with 3000 plus feet of climbing can't be done by average folk. :)
 

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borregokid said:
DG and Mission ridge is kind of like an epic but in case of a breakdown you probably can coast back fairly easily.
Ever taco a wheel? Would be hard to coast out of there then. :)
So what about if i were to do a 40 plus mile loop in Lake Sawyer doing every trail clockwise and counterclockwise, but with little elevation gain?
What if i ride 40 miles of forest road in the middle of nowhere?
I've done around 12 miles or so at a wet Reiter Pit in Goldbar and felt like i had just rode 25 miles haha.
Your friend in the desert i suppose just makes me find, along with other responses here, that epic is really just a subjective term. Defined firstly i suppose with riders from the area, then of course if you don't buy into thier definition then you can just make up your own mind haha.

FM said:
On the weight thing, I do agree that wheels & tires make a huge difference. However past 35lbs, doing more than 3k' starts to feel pretty epic (to me), especially with a short stem and 2.5's. Some people think it's stupid to choose a bike like that for an epic ride, but sometimes you don't really have a choice...
Yah i've seen quite a few big bikes rockin the XC trails from time to time, and every once in a while i bring my 44 lb Bullit out for trail rides although i don't think i've ever taken it past the 20 mile mark on a ride yet. i've also ridden numerously with people on longer rides totin 50 lb bikes. Very common site seeing people riding big bikes up in places like Tiger, Galbraith, Rat Pac etc....

FM said:
Have you guys ridden "comfortabley numb" up in whistler? Thats a GREAT ride, epic imho, super scenery, all singletrack climb, alpine, technical XC descent... my favorite epic...
i've heard from alot of people who love that trail. Definately on my hit list, along with McKenzie in Oregon. :)
 

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Skookum said:
While on this topic i would like to find what you consider an epic. ...
i wonder what people from let's just use Texas, consider as epic rides......
...
Well, damn, there's as much of an invitation as you'll get on a board like this. OK, I'll play. I wouldn't say "epic" isn't so much subjective as relative. It's a personal thing, pushing ones own envelope, relative to yourself. Zilly is off to a good start, but it's relative to his limits. My epic may not be yours, yours may not be mine. Doesn't make either any less though.

For me - since you asked - I think devils gulch is a really nice ride. Scenic, fun. Hell, it's a hoot, I look forward to doing it again. But epic? No, its easily day-tripable from Seattle. I'd call it a normal weekend kinda ride. The sort of ride you'd do if you were planning on riding similarly the next day. Hmmm, so what's an epic? Lets see, how about White-Ranger-Dallas-Palisades-Skookum? Now that's a really, really nice ride. One of my all time fav's. Bigger than DG, sure, but epic? Nah. I'd call it a big day's ride. Still day tripable from Seattle. Triple Crown?, now you're talking. I think for an epic, it takes camping at the trail head - at both ends, real food, enough tools to fix that taco'd wheel, a map and a sense of adventure. Helps to have a whacko commrade. Igor, you listening? I'll be back, this time with a 20t granny.
 

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icegeek said:
Triple Crown?, now you're talking. I think for an epic, it takes camping at the trail head - at both ends, real food, enough tools to fix that taco'd wheel, a map and a sense of adventure. Helps to have a whacko commrade. Igor, you listening? I'll be back, this time with a 20t granny.
i've ridden with igor at Tokul i believe, and i also vaguely remember seeing a post for a BBTC ride he did riding the figure eight one day, then riding a ride up in Leavenworth or somewhere some long ride the next, followed by a Rat Pac ride the final day??? or something insane to that effect. Guys like you and Igor remind me of guys i know that go big, you're all crazy in the head.
:D ;)
 

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the epic question

So what makes epic epic?. It truely is subjective and personal. I've had friends call rides back home in NE epic whereas I wouldn't but then again I don't believe that a 40 mile ride is epic to me and me only. I'm more into 100+ miles on a SS or how about 100+ miles above 9000' Too me these can be epic but not always. Epic has more to do with the day and how all happened. Could be just a killer ride and in the zone. It could also be a deathmarch. So I think all of the above are right. It just depends on who and when.
icegeek said:
Well, damn, there's as much of an invitation as you'll get on a board like this. OK, I'll play. I wouldn't say "epic" isn't so much subjective as relative. It's a personal thing, pushing ones own envelope, relative to yourself. Zilly is off to a good start, but it's relative to his limits. My epic may not be yours, yours may not be mine. Doesn't make either any less though.

For me - since you asked - I think devils gulch is a really nice ride. Scenic, fun. Hell, it's a hoot, I look forward to doing it again. But epic? No, its easily day-tripable from Seattle. I'd call it a normal weekend kinda ride. The sort of ride you'd do if you were planning on riding similarly the next day. Hmmm, so what's an epic? Lets see, how about White-Ranger-Dallas-Palisades-Skookum? Now that's a really, really nice ride. One of my all time fav's. Bigger than DG, sure, but epic? Nah. I'd call it a big day's ride. Still day tripable from Seattle. Triple Crown?, now you're talking. I think for an epic, it takes camping at the trail head - at both ends, real food, enough tools to fix that taco'd wheel, a map and a sense of adventure. Helps to have a whacko commrade. Igor, you listening? I'll be back, this time with a 20t granny.
 

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icegeek said:
I think for an epic, it takes camping at the trail head - at both ends, real food, enough tools to fix that taco'd wheel, a map and a sense of adventure. Helps to have a whacko commrade. Igor, you listening? I'll be back, this time with a 20t granny.
You coming to WA this year? High rides are going to open earlier.

Monte
 

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Hey Monte, yeah, I'll be back. Don't know when yet though. Might be late summer so I'm a bit worried about the dust.
 

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This was a write up for another site, so please ignore any kind of condescending route analysis for the BTDT's here (Been There Done ThatS)

;) Trails are in great shape. Get it before it gets smoking hot!

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Yesterday we rode both the Devils Gulch ride and the Mission Ridge singletrack. Devils Gulch is similar to a long blue run at a ski area, and MR is a solid black diamond. Both are good, but I prefer Mission Ridge far and above. MR=Steep double braking - power sliding - leaning back over the seat sections - to windy fast switchbacks, loose rock, sand, FAST bumpy single track, hike-a-bikes, anaerobic lung burning short climbs, great views all over the area. A little lightning and thunder, sun, cool breezes. 22 miles of single track in 2.5 hours actual riding time. What more could you ask for?

1. Looking towards the Enchantments
2. Dan Cappellini at the bottom of Devils Gulch
3. Captain Caveman near the upper section of Mission Ridge



 
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