A while ago I mentioned a Cycle Wild trip I was co-leading with the inimitable Ryan Good — well, it happened this weekend, and it was awesome.
All told, 18 of us made the trek from Hillsboro to Stub Stewart State Park following back roads to Banks, then hopping onto the Banks-Vernonia State Trail to take us the last 10 miles on one of my favorite multi-use paths ever.
(our route to Stub Stewart)
This was a no-rider-left-behind sort of ride, so we stopped in Banks to regroup — and to supply ourselves if needed. Aside from being about halfway between Hillsboro and Stub Stewart, Banks is also the location of a Thriftway grocery store, so we were able to buy anything we still needed (an essential for me, since when I left my house early Saturday morning there wasn’t much food to grab:)
Even with the short-short-short days right now, we made it to our cabins with plenty of daylight left. I think most of us had been prepared for monsoons, but the weather was surprisingly nice — still, it was excellent to get to a “campsite” where we all had dry roofs over our heads and dry places to park our bicycles (not to mention heat and electricity!). I also heard that the free showers were spectacular, though I didn’t take one myself. It was pretty darn plush.
We designated cabin #4 as the “hangout cabin” and built a giant fire in front of that one. And then everyone did whatever seemed appropriate for them for the evening, whether it was hanging out with everyone at the fire, drinking adult beverages, studying (Tam, you have amazing willpower!!:), going to bed early, or otherwise figuring out how to best enjoy time in the woods.
I have to say, I was super impressed by how awesome it was to talk to everyone. I was certainly expecting to have fun, but I wasn’t prepared for the depth and breadth of conversations, as well as how rad so many people were. Cycle Wild trippers, you rock! :)
Come Sunday morning, most people took off as they needed, some super early and others after a leisurely breakfast. I made time to take a long run on the trails around Stub Stewart, since it is an absolute travesty to be in a place with so many trails and not go running. :)
And that was it! An excellent weekend trip; cozy, heated, luxurious-feeling cabins; being able to sit on a dry porch to watch the birds and take in the woods… all lovely.
I often think that winter is the hardest time to get motivated to do outdoorsy things, but it’s also the time where they’re most necessary — otherwise, it’s so easy to hunker down inside and go slowly and imperceptibly stir-crazy. I’m so thankful to have been able to share this adventurous weekend with 17 other intrepid souls! :)