Monday, August 3, 2009

Return to Tiger Mountain

Since our navigational blunder at Tiger Mountain a few weeks ago - where we missed the Preston Railroad Trail - Ian wanted a return visit to see what he missed.  I'm on vacation this week, so we decided to head back this afternoon.

After a late start (as usual), we hit Chiplotle in Issaquah for lunch beforehand.  Chipotle has become one of my favorite places to eat. Around $5 for a killer chicken burrito.  This is a chain restaurant, but everything is fresh.  You can see the dude grilling the chicken in the back - great stuff.  Besides, they also sponsor Team Garmin-Slipstream - that's cool.  We also hit the same Chiplotle before the last Tiger Mountain adventure and on the way home from the Rosyln race last weekend.  Give 'em a try.  Okay, I'll end the Chiplotle commercial now.

Fully stuffed on tacos and burritos, we continued the drive to Tiger Mountain and parked off Highway 18.  After a quick bike unload, we headed up the climb towards the Preston Railroad Trail.  This is a steep 2.4 mile dirt road climb.  It's been 10+ years since I've ridden up this and it was steeper then I remember - or maybe I'm just getting old. I was thinking maybe the giant burrito was a mistake at this point (burp).  Ian was doing a good job on the climb, though he needed to walk a few sections.  Nothing wrong with that - especially for a 10 year old.

Up, up and away.  This is a long climb and required some push time for Ian.

How much farther?  The pushing continues.

Some views available through the trees on the way up.  Lots of butterflies along the way to take away the pain.  Little do we know, they silently mock us.

Finally, the dirt road climb ends and the singletrack begins.  It's been a long time since I've buzzed this trail.  Oh yes, now shared with Ian.  I'll begin weeping now.

Short break before hitting the trail.  The entrance to Preston Railroad Trail awaits like a crazy train ride at the amusement park.  Except it's free, requires human power, and has some element of risk.  Oh yeah - it's also 10 times the fun.

Rare smooth section of Preston Railroad Trail.  It was just as rooted out, rocky and rough as I remembered - even more so actually.  Ian did a great job rolling down it, with just one slow speed crash.  I had a good time myself as well.  Amazing how we did this stuff many years ago with no suspension at all.  I thanked my Fox fork numerous times on the way down.  Even makes my Cannondale hardtail feel - well, not exactly plush - but not bad at all.

Checking out the view on the dirt road between the Preston Railroad Trail and the NW Timber Trail.  Ian's hair sticking out the back of the helmet - like mine did during my '70s motocross days.  Must be a DNA thing.

Rolling the NW Timber Trail.  Not as rough as the Preston and a bit more swoopy.  That's right - swoopy.

The NW Timber trail continues - then another dirt road back to the car.  Mission accomplished.

This was a real mountain bike ride for Ian.  2.4 mile steep climb, pretty rough downhill singletrack, a few more rolling dirt road climbs, then a couple more miles of singletrack.  11 miles or so total - plenty of effort for a 10 year old.  Ian said it was one of the hardest rides he's done. He was dragging a bit at the end, but no complaints at all.  He fell asleep as soon as the car started rolling home and woke up as I pulled into the driveway.  Yeah - I guess he was tired.

Overall, a good day out.  Not a bad use of a vacation day - that's for sure.


  1. Fantastic looking ride. Where idiot car drivers with pink skull stickers cannot follow.

    Hey, I was curious about your route and found this nice map.

  2. Let me know when you want to hit this ride. It's a Seattle area classic.

    Cool map link - even if from a Unicyclist.