Report from Nevin's Semi-Annual Middlegate Outing: by Chas Moser
Everybody had a good time at the fall Middlegate outing.
As usual there were over 25 riders. The TBSA contingent included Keith & Vicki,
Chas, Nevin, and George Smith. The weather was unseasonably warm, with daytime
temperatures reaching up into the high 80’s. Nighttime temperatures ranged from
the high 30’s to the low 40’s. The wind was gusty at times with several small
daytime ‘dust devils’ in camp. The riding conditions were generally pretty good
but, since it hadn’t rained for a while, it was a little dusty, although the
prevailing winds blew the dust out very quickly.
There were several rides going out each day. The TBSA rides will be described here. All of the TBSA rides started out at 10:00 a.m., with beginning temperatures in the low 60’s, so we never had to start out wearing our jackets. Many of us had breakfast and dinner at the Middlegate cafe to help provide needed support to help insure the continuity of the establishment. In any case, the food here is very good. There was a good turnout for the traditional prime rib feed on Saturday evening.
Keith and Chas took an enjoyable 52-mile warmup ride on Thursday towards Fairview Peak. The ride was primarily two-track and included lots of rocky climbs.
The rigorous 67-mile Friday ride started out with six riders including Keith, Chas, and Nevin. The ride started out with about 10 miles of two-track, followed by the infamous 12-mile “pipeline trail”. At the end of the pipeline trail everybody waited patiently for Rich the sweep rider to show up. When he hadn’t arrived after about 30 minutes, three riders including Keith rode back to look for Rich. They found him about two miles in on the pipeline trail where his bike refused to run due to a lack of current to the spark plug. Keith rode back to inform Chas and Nevin about this situation. One of the riders went back to camp to get his pickup to haul the ailing bike back to camp. While waiting for the pickup, another rider arduously towed Rich’s bike two miles back to the two-track. Keith, Chas, and Nevin continued on riding two of the best single-track trails in the area and miles of two-track, including some gnarly, steep, rocky sections.
On Saturday, Nevin led eight other riders on a 82-mile ride. The ride started out on about 10 miles of two-track, followed by about 10 miles of twisty power line two-track, then up into the mountain range east of camp. The ride traversed several loose, shaley, very steep hill climbs. Keith, Nevin and three others made it up the first hill climb. Chas, George and two others failed to make it and decided to go back, retracing their route back to Hwy 50. Those four riders stopped at the recently rebuilt Cold Springs Bar & Grill for refreshments (the original Cold Spring Bar & Grill had been devastated by fire a number of years ago). While Chas was disappointed that he failed to make the hill climb, he was elated that he hadn’t dropped his bike after three days of riding. Will wonders never cease? Too much thinking, Chas!
The quest for the Sunday ride was the top of Fairview Peak. Nevin led Keith, Chas, George and four more riders on this 35-mile ride. Nevin took all the steepest, nastiest two-track on the way over to the Fairview Peak long twisty climb. Chas took his first fall on the way over to the Fairview Peak Road, plus another bike had a flat tire. Chas led on the way back from Fairview Peak and he did not hold anybody up! The two-track going back was a lot of fun, plus it was fairly smooth for the most part except for a narrow gully in the road at about the half-way mark. Chas got stuck in the gully with the bike resting against his boot. Since Chas could not get his boot free, shouldn’t that be classified as a tip over? The other riders claimed that it was not a crash since the bike remained semi upright! All in all, four days of excellent riding.
ON THURSDAY - -
ON FRIDAY - -
Click here for MORE photos