Rain…Lots of rain. As we climbed into the clouds, the rain got worse. To everyone on the ride, it was well worth it, though. The rain served to knock the dust down on the trail a bit, and made climbs tacky with very little wheel spin. Downhills were tricky over slick roots, but the smooth trails of Douthat kept us mostly on course.
If you have not visited Douthat State Park yet, you should. 20+ miles of big mountain riding. For this ride, we followed the course of the Middle Mountain Mama, an annual race held in the park. The trail takes you up a relentless climb on middle mountain, followed by a ridge ride and downhill run back to the valley. The ride then continues up a series of steeper climbs on the other side of the valley. These climbs are broken up with stretches of ridge riding. On a clear day, the views are spectacular. Downhill on either side of the valley is fast, smooth, off camber, and narrow. You can quickly get yourself into trouble if you allow yourself too much speed. There are a lot of switchbacks that seem to appear out of nowhere.
The crew in attendance, Jay, Josh, Greg, and myself had a great time. Stay tuned for a possible fall camping trip at Douthat.