Sunday, June 24, 2007

Course Preview - Mountain Biking the Yakima River Delta

Dave's part of a team that's going to do the 'Righteous Richland Sprint Triathlon' - he's the biker - it's a mostly non-technical mountain bike course. The ride's in a week so we take the mountain bikes down to Howard Amon park, to pre-ride the course. Neither of us has been offroad in awhile (Dave starts the morning swapping the slicks for the knobbies on his bike). The course starts along bike paths, and then hits the gravel and fist-to-show size smooth river rocks (surrounded by dust/dirt) of the delta where the Yakima river empties into the Columbia river. It's fun - a great complement to road riding. We stop to adjust seat heights - determine which bike he's best off using (full gear, w/ suspension; or single speed, w/o suspension. No contest - gears and suspension). We're looking for good lines among the rocks and noting the branches and trees that lean into the course. Then you hit the new bike path tunnel underneath the highway, on the road by the gravel pit, and into the Chamna preserve - which has some nice paths used by hikers, dog walkers, horse riders and cyclists. We make our best guess of the path, find the turnaround and head back. Should be a good event.

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