Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Southern Absaroka Mountain Biking

After reading CTV's post about bicycle rage on the Wasatch Crest Trail, I had to read it again to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I just couldn't fathom fellow cyclists pushing bad vibes on each other, and while on the trail of all places. Don't we all get outside and play to have an enjoyable and positive experience away from life's chaos? I guess it is a good reminder to respect others, even if we are slower than them.

Here in northern Wyoming, I am sure we have the same issues from time to time, but most of that takes place in winter on Teton Pass. We may even have a slight element of animosity between different user groups in the summer, such as horseback riders and mountain bikers, which is a shame since we are out doing virtually same thing.

This weekend, Lander mountain bikers David Reed, Brad Douglass, and I headed to an area where problems have occurred between bikers and backcountry horsemen in the southern Absarokas. As a cyclist, I feel that it is our responsibility to have good etiquette and respect everyone on the trail, or we may find ourselves locked out of the places we love. This weekend's mission was to practice good etiquette, avoid grizzly bears, and have a damn good time biking; all of which we accomplished on 17 miles of some of Wyoming's sweetest singletrack.

Pinnacle Butte trail circumnavigates the Pinnacles below:

The day starts with a nice climb up Bonneville Pass, and we almost immediately ran into a group of horseback riders. We quickly and quietly dismounted our bikes and walked around the horses . Simple acts like this will go a long way, and help build positive relationships between different user groups.
Nearing the top of Bonneville Pass:

Brad Douglass finding a little bit of heaven on some buffed out Wyoming singletrack:

The Pinnacle Butte trail is one of Wyoming's classic mountain bike rides. The loop is about 17 miles long with no exit points. It is key to bring plenty of Pro Bars and to have a hydration pack that that carries at least two liters of water.
David Reed dropping off Bonneville Pass and heading to Dundee Meadows. The wildflowers are still out in full bloom adding to the beauty of this trail:
Jeramie Prine enjoys a steep, long drop back to the trailhead after climbing 4000 vertical feet for the day:

We didn't experience any road rage or have problems with the groups of horsemen we crossed paths with. We didn't even run into any grizzly bears during this ride (very unusual). We did keep our attitudes positive and had good conversations with other users while respecting their space on the trail. It was just another fantastic day on the trail with nothing but positive vibes. Fall is a fantastic time to bike and enjoy the cooler weather with fewer crowds. Get out and enjoy it!

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