Saturday, January 15, 2011

Post Canyon Playground

If you're a mountain biker, you've likely heard of Post Canyon, that little playground located just outside of Hood River, Oregon. If not, here's a taste:

Post Canyon Playground from Hermosa Tours on Vimeo.

Although it's mostly famous for having some of the best freeriding on the West Coast, Post Canyon has something for everyone. With more than 3,000 vertical feet of descent (or ascent, if you want) from top to bottom, and 50 square miles of trails and fireroads, there is a ride for every style. There is also no shortage of wood in Post Canyon, with freeride stunts rivaling BC's North Shore that will challenge even the most daring rider. Feeling timid? Warm up on Family Man's low-to-the-ground bridges and ladders, small pump track, and intermediate jump line, Middle School.

Popular trails in Post include 2 Chair 2, Gran Prix, Chorus X, and the iconic XC line Seven Streams, which climbs up to Family Man from the parking area on Post Canyon Drive. New favorites include Three Blind Mice, the new 8-Track, and Bad Motor Scooter.

Post Canyon has designated bike-only trails, and many miles of moto trails, some of which are shared with mountain bikers. The signage has improved dramatically in Post in recent years, thanks to hard-working local trail stewards (Gorge Freeride Association, and others), and an official map was released last June. All trails in Post are located on Hood River County Forestry land; the County has played an instrumental role in local efforts to develop and maintain the trail network.

Hood River locals love their backyard trails, but Post Canyon attracts riders from all over the country. Post is rideable spring, summer, and fall, and is busy on the weekends when downhillers and freeriders show up in droves to hone their skillls, shuttling to the top. This equates to a lot of traffic on the county roads, and the route to the top can be confusing for newcomers and first timers to navigate.

Hermosa Tours is psyched to be offering the first ever shuttle service all the way to the top. Stay in touch for more information about pricing and other details. We'll help keep your costs down by offering a punchcard - Buy 9, get the 10th shuttle FREE!

Post Canyon alone is reason enough to visit the Gorge; factor in all of the other amazing trails, fun town, and beautiful scenery, and you'd be crazy not to come and check it out!

Contact Ryan to learn more about Hermosa Tours' Western Headquarters, located in Hood River, and start planning your trip to the Columbia Gorge today! Feel free to call 855-MTB-POST with questions about shuttles in Post Canyon.

Video by Allison at Extremeline Productions, featuring riders Allison and Dave Diller.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Syncline Synergy

Here in the Northwest, we've been jonesing to get out on the trail. Cold spells, rain, snow, and more rain  made most of our trails impassable for the past six weeks or so. Great snow up high has also made the lure of the snowboard hard to resist, but to be honest, nothing can compare to sweet singletrack explored on two wheels.

The window we've been waiting for opened yesterday, with temperatures in the low 20s (cold for the temperate Columbia Gorge), it was finally dry enough to make the pilgrimage east to the Syncline riding mecca. Located just above the Columbia River, this trail network provides the spectacular scenery of the Gorge, and the opportunity to explore a very unique landscape. It is by far one of our most cherished riding areas close to Hood River.

Yesterday, the Syncline trails offered a little bit of everything to our group of intrepid riders: snow at the top, dry and squeaky enough to provide good traction, glassy patches of ice slippery enough to warrant a portage, frozen dirt sounding a crunching cacophony as tires rolled across the surface, and wet, heavy mud in the sun-warmed lower reaches, caking components and splatter painting clothing and gear. Freezing extremities, no matter. It was a glorious day on the trail.

The Syncline's iconic Columbia Gorge geology features long cliff bands of basalt breaking up expanses of rolling grassy fields, peppered with boulders and rocky ledges, dotted with oak groves. Trails weave in and out of damp drainages, climb to sweeping vista points, teeter on exposed cliff edges. We ride here in the fall, when shadows cast by lone oak trees tiptoe over golden, cured tall grasses. In the winter, the Syncline is a respite from gloomy, dark days in Hood River, just far enough east to escape the clutches of stubborn inversion layers. In the spring, the synergy of the Syncline is intoxicating, a combination of knowing longer days lie ahead and warm patches of wildflowers blanketing the velvety green hillside, inviting you to get off your bike and roll around in their fragrant bed.

Midstream winter, it's hard to imagine those long, sunny days. But we're ok with crunching ice, frozen fingers, and snowy traverses; for now, they're all we've got, and we'll gladly take them.

In the meantime, here's a video of an awesome early fall Syncline adventure, courtesy of our friend Allison at Extremeline Productions.

Syncline Mountain Bike Adventure from Hermosa Tours on Vimeo.

From Hood River, we welcome 2011, and the prospect of new adventures and lots of time in the saddle. Here's to a New Year, filled with friends, bikes, new places, and love for the familiar ones.