John Pimlot and I rode at lake Hogan last night, he got over to my place around 4:45 but we had to hook up his light and I had to lube my bike so we didn’t leave until 5:15 and we got to the Lake at around 6:00PM. We parked at a day use area a few miles before the Bear Creek trailhead so we could geta few extra miles of climbing in (there are some fun road climbs/ descents on the way). When we set out it was still light enough that we didn’t turn the lightsuntil we reached the Singletrack at Bear Creek.
There isn’t a lot of Singletrack on the route we took. The singletrack that there is is mostly cow trails but it’s skinny and fun (more so in the dark). We dodged trees for a while but then before we knew it we were done with the singletrack and onto the fireroad.
Once on the fire road after a bit of discussion we decided to share lights so that we could go further without worrying about lights dying. It worked pretty good, my light is good for about 3-4 hours on the low setting which was plenty bright. We did have to stick together because the moon was behind the clouds most of the night and it was pitch black without the lights.
The night was gorgeous, the lake was reflecting back all the lights from the far shore and the starlight above. The temperature was great. We were a bit worried about rain but we didn’t see a drop the whole ride. When we got about 8 miles out John says “how far are we going”. “How far do you want to go?” I replied. We never really hammered this detail out so we kept going.
After we were 11 miles out and we had just finished a big creek crossing we kicked back to refuel (there were about 4 big creek crossings each direction). The question came up again. Both of us were feeling good, the weather was great and neither of ushad anywhere to go so we kept going.
Finally at about 13 miles we hit a long climb. We kept climbing but we decided we would turn around at the top. But the climb kept going, it would level off for a while and climb again. Finally at 14.5 miles we hit a gate with a barbed wire fence going as far as the eye could see in either direction.
I guess it’s time to turn around. We ripped down the mile+ downhill, no sharing lights at 30 MPH in the dark. When we finally turned around we had been riding for about 2 hours so we had quite a ride back to the car. Good thing we shared lights, John said his light only lasted about 2 hours.
By the time we were about half way back John and I were both feelingthe effects of the longish ride. So we skipped the singletrack on theway back and stayed on the road the whole way. We hit a couple of fast road descents on the way back to the car.
The car was a site for sore eyes (legs rather), 29 miles of dirt in 4 hours. There was very little climbing probably less than 1500′ totalbut it was still by far the furthest I have ever gone on a night ride. See you on the trails