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Well.... I know that the NW is under a ton of snow right now but looking for some typical winter riding recommendations. I will be out (both Seattle and Portland areas) in early January for a week of job interviews and have a day or two to ride. First, are Ape Canyon and other Mt. St. Helens trails typically snowed out this time of the year? What other recommendations do people have for a long (30-50 mile) XC or fireroad loop. I was thinking that I could always link up some fireroads on the Olympic Peninsula for a nice loop but appreciate all thoughts/suggestions.


Last, any recs on nice bike rentals in the seattle area? Portland has a ton of options but my riding days are most likely going to be when I am in the Seattle area and I would like to avoid multiday rentals. One thought, do any of the specialized dealers rent their test bikes this time of the year.

Thanks.

-Chris
 

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Moist and Delicious
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You aren't necessarily going to get 30-50 milers this time of year, with the exception of picking a fun XC area, like Tokul or Black Diamond, and hitting every trail.

So........... that'd be my suggestion. They're both in close, and have a lot of variables to make the ride fun.
 

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Check the peninsula

Get in touch with the ODS folks, i think there's contact info at olympicdirtsociety.blogspot.com

There's always a ride in Port Angeles, even if its just puttin the knobbies on icy pavement for 36 miles to go get lunch.
 

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For that type of mileage your best bets this time of year is Capitol Forest, Lake Sawyer, Anacortes Community Forest Lands.

In the Portland area i've heard that Syncline offers the best off-season XC.

Since you're coming in from out of town i would recommend Anacortes. Capitol Forest is probably melting and some of the clay trails you would run into with that big of a ride, well... And Lake Sawyer is real close to Seattle, but the tight twisty doesn't really work well for big epic rides, and it's not a real destination type trail system. Great place to pick up a ride, and fun trails, but nothing to write home to mom about like the other 2 systems.
 

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The Harmony and Growlers Gulch trails north of Portland are worth checking out.

I doubt they are still under snow, but I'd bet there is a lot of blow down.
 
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