What? I’ve never been out there before. Can’t believe I’ve never been to Henry Hagg Lake! Some of the Veloshop kids just ride out there after taking the MAX train to Hillsboro. I’m glad we drove!
Hagg Lake mountain biking/hiking trails are rad except for the mushy parts (sorry trail conservationists!) and riding over a handsome snake (sorry snake!) and having a moth splat on my cheek near my mouth (sorry moth!). Like last Thursday in Forest Park I had my cycling friend Natalie with me, this time to enjoy the forgiving skies, sun, the reflections on the lake, mile after mile of winding wooded trails, and my new rear fender. I wouldn’t say Hagg Lake trails are really ready for riding yet, unless you want to practice riding through marshes and 8-inch deep puddles. I created a lot of giant mud sharkfins in the air by screaming through the puddles and even made a mud-angel (complete with blackberry thorns in my side)! My bike and I got way muddier than anything from last cyclocross season, by far. The best part is that it worked like a charm, even with a fistful of mud sitting on top of each derailleur.
I guess I’m trying not to feel guilty about riding wet trails because it’s already done; I thought about it almost the whole time when I wasn’t thinking about the moth and the snake – and having a fucking excellent time. There were only a few dry sections. It seemed like every time Natalie or I would say something about “Yay, the trail is drier here,” it’d open up on a marsh again. Maybe by June or so it will be better. Those marshes aren’t marshes year round. I wonder what happens to the ruts. No I don’t.
Somehow I got this “eco-centric” (not a word) idea in my head that Hagg Lake is some “puddle” we could get around quickly. Hagg Lake is actually sizeable, and it takes much longer to do 15 miles of damp singletrack than it takes to ride 15 miles of fire lanes and roads. Though it was my strongest ride yet and I’m pleased, I’m humbled, and I’m fried.
Postscript: This ride left me with two slow leak flats. I found and patched 5 blackberry thorn holes, and then took my bike on a ride out at Browns Camp. Patch kits are cool.