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Monday, August 3, 2009

Bogus Basin Mountain Biking by Bimmer

Posted By on Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 10:25 AM

Elk Meadow at Bogus BasinI'm of the school of thought that the best rides are the ones that start at your front door. I don't ride every day or even every week, but when I do, I usually leave out from my house.

But there is a place for mountain bike tourism. A few weekends ago I reported on a motor boat to mountain biking adventure at Tamarack. Only about 30 of you read that, according to our Web analytics. Which is fine with me. That just means I'm less likely to be prosecuted for trespass and that next time I go up there I'll be riding in peace and quiet again.

Yesterday's adventure was a bit less extreme, but also fun as hell. My friend Mark (the same one with the boat), pulled up in his silver Bimmer. I assumed that meant I'd drive, but he was all ready with moving blankets and a plan to stuff two mountain bikes in the back seat (where the babes usually sit). I was skeptical, but hey, it's his car and my bike has taken worse beatings than falling out of a speeding BMW.

BMW and mountain bikesSo we took off up the hill to Bogus Basin. I had ridden some of the shady, cool, temperate, uh, less than 100 degree singletrack just below Bogus over the past few years (like the Eastside trail and other trails around Stack Rock that make you feel like you are lost but you're really not). I had not ridden much of the trail system at the mountain, however. I think it's pretty new, actually.

A few weekends ago, Bogus had the lifts running for a Bikes and Burgers deal, but I was riding somewhere else and missed it. So this was my chance to check it out.

First thing we noticed was a guy named Gabe selling beer and burgers in front of the main lodge. We saw one biker climbing the switchbacks on the frontside and met up with three other guys whom we ended up leapfrogging up the mountain with.

The system is pretty self explanatory, and Bogus has maps available [.pdf]. There are quite a few extra loops you can do, too. We headed up Deer Point (Trail 91), which cuts back and forth across the front of Bogus, from the bunny slope over to the bump run. When you get to the top there are few options, but we headed up a bit more into Elk Meadows, a beautiful traverse across the backside. It is hard to believe we ski in the same terrain.

Ski lifts in summer time from bikeAfter the meadows, you cut across under Superior and can pop out near Pioneer Lodge, on the cat track. We considered heading back up and riding the face, but it was 5, so we just headed down a great little trail along the Sunshine run, where I learned to telemark. Again, it was wild being there in the full summer green.

Burger man Gabe had already packed up, so we headed back to Hyde Park for pizza and beer, just like when we leave out from the front door. I don't know what it takes to turn a town into a mountain biking mecca, but this place is damn close.

It looks like there's another lift-assisted bike fest up at Bogus on Sat., Sept. 26 and a SWIMBA ride on Aug. 15. But I might be out of town again... can't stay in mecca every weekend...

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