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  1. #1
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    Pilchuck Tree Farm Roll Call

    I've been attending the Pilchuck Recreation Association meetings for the last few years attempting to represent the wishes of local mountain bikers. The problem is: even though I ride the Tree Farm weekly, it's usually with the same relatively small group of guys, so I haven't gotten to know many other users. I'd appreciate it if you could answer the questions below to give me a better idea what a typical Pilchuck rider is like so I can better represent you. I'd also like to build up a larger call-out list for trail maintenance days.

    Favourite Tract/Trail:
    (The tracts are known by several names. Victoria Tract sees the most bikers and is usually accessed via 300th or the Glass School. Armstrong Tract is usually accessed via Bracken. Pilchuck Tract is accessed from 59th, Hwy 9, or Udell.)
    Frequency of Visits:
    Distance from the Tree Farm:
    (This link: Google Maps will take you to Google Maps with the Bryant store as the desination. Click [Get Directions], put in your address, then respond with the number of miles from Google's directions. I chose the Bryant Store because it's a commercial address that's roughly in the geographic center of the three Tracts)
    Current club affiliations (IMBA, EMBA, Skagit Bicycle Club, WHIMPs, Friends of the ACFL, etc.):
    Interested in doing trail work: Y/N
    Generic description of bikes:

    So my responses would be:

    Favourite Tract - Trail: Victoria - Bridges, Pilchuck - Smackdown, Armstrong - None (Can't stand the sand)
    Frequency of Visits: Weekly (year round)
    Distance from the tree farm: 16.3mi
    Current club affiliations: IMBA
    Interested in doing trail work: Y
    Generic description of bikes: 0x0 26" XC Rigid, 5.5x0 26" AM HT, 7x6 26" FR

    Some of you may be shocked to see that I ride the Tree Farm year round. Although the singletrack of Victoria is closed over the late fall/winter/early spring (usually Oct 31-May 1, but that may change with the amount of rainfall received), Pilchuck and Armstrong are open year round.

    And while I'm making PSAs...a member of the local Back Country Horseman has produced a video on what user groups should do when encountering each other on the trail. Yes, the pacing is a lot slower than your typical MTB video, but it's still worth a watch. There is a possible curse that goes along with it though--after riding Pilchuck all winter and never encountering another soul, the day after I watched the video, I came across TWO groups of horsemen. Fortunately, we all knew what to do and nobody got bucked or kicked... Click Here to check it out on YouTube

    - Rob
    Whatever turns your crank...

  2. #2
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    Nice see someone else "taking over the reigns" on the MTB side of the PRA. I was the lone mountain biker up there on the board when it formed and for the first few years. Helped by Mark and Joel some. Moving south meant I hardly ride there anymore. But, enjoyed the time with Duane W, and Evie, Scott, and of course George and Linda. Love that place. Especially bombing Bloody Leg/Ridge in good dirt. Used to ride there 2-3 times a week.

    I could write way more than you already posted about the various tracts but I will say that I loved Armstrong and didn't mind the sand there at all. Just gotta get the really sandy sections on the down portion of your loops. Way more trails out there than most people know. (And, no, they are not all named with Mariners themed names like in one poorly written mtb ride guide out there.) Almost got Duane to allow the EMBA 24 hour race there last summer. The old xmas tree farm spot would be a perfect staging area.

    For some reason, there really isn't a lot of interest in the tree farm like there used to be. More and better trails closer to Seattle made a big difference in usage though you will occasionally see Evergreen calendar posts for mostly Vickies.I was always surprised that The Skagit bike shop didn't get more involved. Seems like a lot of people "Just wanna ride" when up there. And, the majority of trail work is done by the equestrians. You may be able to get Scott at Bikeworks in Lake Stevens to get a little more involved.
    It's a great place on the North end to ride and Duane has always been vehimently oppoesed to charging money unlike what we have with Hancock now which is really cool of him.

    As for the horsey video, if it's the one by Trailmeisteripimpmywebsitewhereeverigo, I'd rather not watch it.

    Good try on trying to reign in the various users and getting them on the same page. The mtb community does indeed need to be better represented up there. Unfortunately, you probably won't get half the posts the "guns are tools" thread got/is getting.

    P.S. I dislike intensly people just parking at 300th and not paying at the Iron rangers. Especially the regulars... (Not you I'm sure, but you know what I mean...)

  3. #3
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    Hi - I just started riding ~4 months ago. Rode Armstrong once in mid-April and just tried Victoria a couple of weeks ago... and have been back twice more since. The Tree Farm will likely become a weekly ride for me as I try to develop my skills and increase my conditioning so am willing to help with trail work whenever I'm available. BTW - there is an iron ranger at the 300th St entrance too.

    Sherry

    Favourite Tract/Trail:
    I have not fully explored any of the Tracts yet, and don't know the names of most of the trails.
    Frequency of Visits: Hopefully at least once per week during the summer. Less often in the winter.
    Distance from the Tree Farm: 10.6 miles
    Current club affiliations: none
    Interested in doing trail work: Yes
    Generic description of bike: 2009 Mojo

  4. #4
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    Hi, I've been riding in WA/ at the "Tree Farm" for about 5 years.

    Favourite Tract - Trail: Victoria - Head to the Top over to the Sculpture and back down
    Frequency of Visits: 5-10 per year
    Distance from the tree farm: 28mi
    Current club affiliations: EMBA, Japanese Gulch Group
    Interested in doing trail work: Y
    Generic description of bikes: 4.0x0 26" XC HT, 5.0x5.0 26" FS
    - Be Someone

  5. #5
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    Been dragged out there a couple times a year over the past 5-6yrs...

    Favourite Tract - Trail: Victoria - Head to Ridgeline trail over to the Sculpture eat lunch then head back down.
    Frequency of Visits: 2-5 per year
    Distance from the tree farm: 35mi
    Current club affiliations: NWAC
    Interested in doing trail work: Y
    Generic description of bikes: 6x6 26" MTB, 7x7 26" FR

  6. #6
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    I hit the Tree farm yesterday with some friends who had been there a couple times before. Typically I ride Paradise, St Eds or Japanese Gulch. We started at the parking strip just off of 300th and climbed all the way to the monument. We came down what I think was the Victoria tract. The ride was the most demanding ascent I have experienced and one of the fastest and most fun descents. There was a lot of mud and standing water which slowed us down a bit and made for harder pedaling in areas but overall didn't detract from the fun. I will most assuredly be returning. I took my 29er HT on this ride and was glad I left my FS bike at home. I didn't feel like I needed the travel and the ascent would have been much harder.

    Favourite Tract - Trail: Not sure yet
    Frequency of Visits: Only once
    Distance from the tree farm: 23 miles
    Current club affiliations: None
    Interested in doing trail work: Yes
    Generic description of bikes: 4x0 29er HT, 6x6 26" AM

  7. #7
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    "Victoria Tract" is the name of the whole area. That loop seems to be the most popular these days. You probably rode back down Bloody Leg/Ridge/Under the Ridge or some version of that and Boot and Magic Forest on the way up. 9 square miles in there and so much more. But, I'd wait until it dries out a little more.

  8. #8
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    One thing i have noticed with VT, mainly the ridge trail, it has a sweet time to it. In other words the trails can suck if they are too wet, but I have also ridden there when they get way too dry and dusty. But, IF you can hit it at that sweet time DAMN they are fun. A couple more dry days and it could be good up there. In fact, I may have to take a trip up there in the next week or so.


  9. #9
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    It's great to see traffic on this thread! Back when I started it, I wanted to gauge how many "local" tree farm riders there were and to build up more of a list of people who would be available for trail work parties. At that time, I also thought there might come a day when we'd need to form a club to represent mountain bikers with the Pilchuck Recreation Association.

    Club formation has finally shifted out of granny gear. The first meeting will be held at Playa Bonita (329 N. Olympic, Arlington, WA 98223) on Wednesday, July 18. The meeting will be more of a "get to know you over dinner" session that will be relatively light on the official business side of things. We'll start ordering dinner around 6:00 and will get into official business when the majority's mouths aren't full. If you're interested in the club and/or interested in attending the meeting, please drop me a PM or e-mail.

    One of the goals of the club will be the systematic elimination of mud holes through trail bed sculpting to improve drainage and subtly harden problem areas. The extra-wet Junes of the last few years have really taken their toll on the trails.

    Rob
    Whatever turns your crank...

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