Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Paradise Valley - Woodinville Wonder

I got two tickets to Paradise. Pack your bikes, we'll leave tonight...

Excuse the cheesy wordplay on the Eddie Money song. Eddie Money? Yeah - that Eddie Money. We did visit paradise however, this version located in the wilds of Woodinville. This little gem located only 12 miles from home - and I've never visited until today. What a find.

Son Ian's last day of summer today, school starts tomorrow. He ain't too happy about that. Daughter Amy however, is looking forward to it. Must be a boy verses girl thing. I suggested a late afternoon mountain bike ride to cheer him up. He was cranky about hitting St Ed/Big Finn area yet again - our neighborhood woods. I was cranky about the prospect of loading up the car and driving somewhere. We've been meaning to try out Paradise Valley, so he won - loaded up the car and headed out. Short drive later, we're ready to ride.

By sheer coincidence, while unloading the car - Tom and Scott - Old Guy Ride regulars pull in the lot. Their pal Doug also in for the fun, aboard a new Ibis Mojo HD. Damn nice. Wound up being a group ride with Scott acting as ride leader. Paradise Valley is a pinball maze of singletrack, so having a knowledgeable guide show us around for the first time was a bonus. Scott also raced expert class XC back in the day, and he's still plenty quick. Additional fun fact: His son Max is a junior world champion longboarder. Cool, eh?

Paradise Valley wound up being a surprise - the place is a total blast. Tight 'N' Twisty singletrack, full of roots for added technical fun. It's basically flat, no real climbs, but some Ups 'N' Downs. The occasional wooden structure to spice things up. The Roots-O-Plenty reminded me of my East Coast roots (pun intended. Ha!). There's not a lot of mileage, but the technical aspect more then makes up for it. Brain needs to be engaged for most of the sections. It was dry today, technical level would jump up a few notches when wet. Nothing like working your way over a maze of wet roots. Yes please.

Ride wound up being huge fun, due to the terrain and unexpected biker pal tour guides. Fantastic. I brought a camera and never took one picture. Call me lame. Too busy riding. Trust me, it's pretty cool. I'll grab some pics next time. There will definitely be a next time. Place is too much fun and really close to home. Score !

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