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    MTT
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    John Zilly ?

    I just got Zilly's trail book called "Mountain Bike! Southwest Washington": do you guys know if he did a Northwest one as well? Any other trail guides you find useful for our fine state? Do you think that none of these books are 100% accurate because all of our milage counters a just a bit different?

    Thanks in advance.........MTT

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    Yes, I have a copy of Zilly's Mountain Bike Northwest Washigton on my bookshelf. Also worthy of note is his Kissing the Trail, which is a trail book for the area closer in around Seattle.

    There are several mountain bike trail books for the area. Go to Amazon and search for mountain bike Washington or variations on that combo and you'll get plenty of titles. The thing that affects their accuracy more than the our differing mileage counters is the rapidly changing face of trails here and everywhere. Politics, weather, geology, development, etc. change trails and access regularly.
    Bikeys is good fun!

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    I prefer the Tom Kirkendal books-

    North
    and South

    Better maps, better routes, and more current.

    Things have changed a lot though, all these books contain rides that have closed for one reason or another... plus there are actually a few new places to ride! You can always cross-reference with BBTC or this board to make sure the info is up to date.

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    I think the mileage is probably OK on most of the Zilly stuff but I kind of wonder about the elevation gains. The SW Washington book was done in 1998 and I would guess he used a barometric altimeter and only measured the lowest to the highest. As Forest mentioned the trails do change. An example would be Fishhook Flats and the South Fork that you rode. That particular trail and the North Fork has been a big focus of the moto groups. The old guide books mention numerous stream crossings etc. Almost every stream has been bridged. They also cut in some new trail and this year they took a large section of NF Taneum and bulldozed it so that quads could run it.

    Washington-A Guide to the Classic Trails by Bennet-Leman is pretty decent.

    The Taneum-By Marc Fairbanks a student at Central and available in the Ellensburg bike shop is pretty good.

    The trouble with all the guides is you have to decipher them to figure out if the trail is something you would like or is it something the author likes. Zilly would rate his trails with wheels and a five wheelie ride would be most difficult but not neccessarily the best.

    I am going to have to take my new Lance Armstrong Altimeter up to NF Taneum and post the elevation gain. This Altimeter gains about 600 feet a day without moving. Its great for recording gains.

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    i have yet to see any of those dudes on the trail...
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  6. #6
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    Most of those books that are supposedly "Washington" seriously neglect the East side of the state.

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    Right Formica, that is why I bought the Southwest one, the Kissing the Trail book didn't have as much on the east side of the mountains. Yea the trails do change constantly, but I am less concerned about accuracy and more concerned with just making sure I get out and ride new trails.

    Thanks MTT

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    What choo talkin' 'bout Formica? You mean farther "east" than Cle Elum?

    Sad to say, I've bought both series over the years and Tom K's books were "the" guide in the early days. Zilly's KtT book was accurate for a few years and the next version updated nicely but all his stuff is on NWSource.com for free now anyways. (Still don't know why he did it.)

    Best thing to do is suppliment your book with the Green trails or USGS maps and a good question to the board here. Nothing out there is 100% accurate and ya just have to accept that. Look at all the options you have in front of you and then average it out.

    As for GPS or any other altimeter notations, they are all also notorious for being off either one way or another. Some even record to 5' increments meaning if you are rolling along and rolldown then up more than 5' even just coasting, you get the 5' "gain" bonus which is BS IMHO.

    There's only one book I'll never recommend. But, that's another thread.

    Never seen Tom either Skook and it's been forever since I saw Zilly. I also have the "Mountain Bike-WA" book by Amy and Mark Poffenberger which only real differnce is that they do a little more backround about the areas and off bike info. Never seen them on the trail either.

    You'll also find that many of the books just re-hash the same old rides. Going clockwise or CCW from the other writer for something "different" even though it may really not be prudent to ride that way. But, it satisfies the publisher.

    Just go in knowing that somewhere, it will likely be off a little and if you expect it, you won't be disappointed.

    Lastly, lots of good riding way East up Formica way and not nearly ridden enough. Quality stuff that rivals anywhere else in the state.

  9. #9
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    I think I've purchased most of the available guidebooks for WA at one time or another. None are perfect, but all have some good info and some errors. With mileage, IMO, you have to guess some, as no two computers are close enough to be right on. Zilly is generally good (never seen him on the trail either, heard he had kids and ran out of riding time), and as Borneo notes, available for free on nwsource.com. The one guidebook I'd strongly recommend against is the one by Santa Cri... something or other. Lots of inaccuracies, wrong names for trails, etc., generally the worst guidebook for WA in my opinion.

    Prior to Skooks Kettle trip, we bought a hiking guidebook for NE wash that actually pointed out which trails were open to bikes and rated them for biking, hiking and equestrian use. Still hiking oriented, but the best we could find for that area.

    Hopefully, the trail wiki at bbtc.org will eventually make all these guidebooks obsolete.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ACree
    Hopefully, the trail wiki at bbtc.org will eventually make all these guidebooks obsolete.
    i agree.

    Borneo is spot on in many points and i just want to add it's an incredible gift to us all he never took the time to make a book. A great percentage of rides would be rated as sub-par or disappointing.

    Someday i'd like to do a book with Gearz that's photo heavy, with long and short versions of various trails. i think that would be a fun and cool project.
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    You're too kind Skookie. Some of your rides are actually a freakin' blast.

    Yeah, I think with the knowledge here, one could put together a guide that would blow away the written ones out there. But, people want too many details and complain when the altitude is off by 100 feet or the trail is .1 of a mile before or after what was written in the book. The disclaimer should read that everything is the guide would be "close enough for you to figure it out if you try".

    Gearz, Monte, and many more here would be able to contribute so many routes and route variations that it would simply boggle the mind. This forum really is already the "un-guide book" for WA state. And, I thank you all.

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    BOB ETC.,

    I ALWAYS HOPED FOR FREE ONLINE MAPS AND THAT GUIDEBOOKS TO BE OBSOLETE. WHO WOULDN'T?

    THE DISCALAIMER FROM THE BOOK YOU FLAME

    "The lengths of the rides have been rounded to the nearest half mile and are approximated. This is due to the various options for starting points for each ride. I have ridden the same ride from different starting points with each ride having a different mileage, so keep this mind using distances in this and other guides regarding the Taneum and Manastash Trail Systems. Also, when using a gps it should be noted the unit will lose signal as the user moves up and down terrain, changes of aspect, and vegetation which will alter the gps units readings in coordinates, distance, and elevation; some times as much as miles off true location. A cyclometer is a good reference tool for trail distance and should be included on all rides."


    Oh, btw the segment distances and elevations were taken directly from USGS DRGs overlaid on a 10m DEM , and the Cle Elum dnr trail data.



    And Bob as far the data your recording for your present maps:

    As far as elevation and Garmin GPS'.... it is 1.5-2x the horizontal error, it is never one to one. Call Geoline and ask for Nick) Even Barometer fluctuate more than 30 ft at one spot with changing atmospheric conditions.

    The horizontal error when you folks were writing was no better than 30ft or 10m, Even today with WAAS, it still is only a bit better on the everage. I am sure you will argue etc., but until you sit on a monument with a Trimble R8 (mm accuracy post proccessed), ProXRT (mm -cmaccuracy post proccessed), Geo XH (,10cm accuracy post proccessed), Geo XT (<1m accuracy post proccessed), Juno (umm wow like 3-5m maybe, Nomad (see nomad), and 3 different Garmins (could be good on second and on the other side of the river the next) taking long counts ( a point a second for 12 hours) to establish comparative error, shut up.

    Even the .gpx files uplopaded to a gps may not be correct depending on the sats, the atmosperic window, and solar conditions.

    So is Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance handing out or recomending bad map data (as you folks have accused others) by the nature of the data aquisition and means to duplicate said data? Yes, it is.
    Is it sigificant error? No, it isn't.
    Shut up and Ride

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    I also want to note:

    Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance is freaking awesome!!!! They do and have done so much amazing work in Washington. The work in the Teanaway alone is impressive. I have always loved the trails there and I am happy mtn bikers are being represent as a larger portion of the user group.
    Shut up and Ride

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    Do you realize that this post is almost 5yrs old???

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    Yes I do. It does not change what they wrote or the relevance of their attitude to others.
    Shut up and Ride

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    Funny, I was just talking to another rider about Zilly as were driving through Sammamish. In his first edition of "Kiss" he had the "The last dirt trail" which was a route from Woodinville to I90 on mostly trail that connected Tolt Pipeline, Redmond Watershed, Beaver Lake, and Grand Ridge. Ironically, this route goes through what is now the Trossachs development where everyone parks for Duthie, hits Duthie HIll road almost at the Duthie Parking lot, rides around Duthie and catches the old Grand Ridge Trail all the way to I90. This was 1993, about 10 years before Duthie was conceived.

    Not long after, development cut that route into pieces so the 2nd Edition of Kiss had the "Son of the last dirt trail" Which bypassed Sammamish and added Tolt (pre-trail network), SVT past Tokul, and the Preston paved trail to High Point. Interesting that now some of original route is back when connecting Soaring Eagle, Duthie, and Grand Ridge.

    Anyway we discussed how we used to haul those trail books with us all over the state, or photo-copies of routes that would get obilterated in a camelback or pocket. Now we just pull it up on the smartphone. Something lost and gained in that as I still love looking through a good trail book.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
    Funny, I was just talking to another rider about Zilly as were driving through Sammamish. In his first edition of "Kiss" he had the "The last dirt trail" which was a route from Woodinville to I90 on mostly trail that connected Tolt Pipeline, Redmond Watershed, Beaver Lake, and Grand Ridge. Ironically, this route goes through what is now the Trossachs development where everyone parks for Duthie, hits Duthie HIll road almost at the Duthie Parking lot, rides around Duthie and catches the old Grand Ridge Trail all the way to I90. This was 1993, about 10 years before Duthie was conceived.

    Not long after, development cut that route into pieces so the 2nd Edition of Kiss had the "Son of the last dirt trail" Which bypassed Sammamish and added Tolt (pre-trail network), SVT past Tokul, and the Preston paved trail to High Point. Interesting that now some of original route is back when connecting Soaring Eagle, Duthie, and Grand Ridge.

    Anyway we discussed how we used to haul those trail books with us all over the state, or photo-copies of routes that would get obilterated in a camelback or pocket. Now we just pull it up on the smartphone. Something lost and gained in that as I still love looking through a good trail book.
    No you're right, i've been thinking of riding and the future possibilities more than actually riding lately. But there are a few possibilities that are within grasp.

    Firstly King County is planning on making a trail from Duthie to Soaring Eagle.

    Now stay with me here.

    South Fork Snoqualmie/Ollalie may actually still be funded and someday run from Hansen Ridge dropping onto Iron Horse just a few miles up from Rattlesnake.

    Work on Tiger Mt. will resume for a while.

    Work on/in/around Black Diamond will hopefully grow and expand.

    What is key in DNR Raging River, along with a few parcels.

    Now alot has to go right, and i'm not even sure who's representing Evergreen on the committee. And even then it's a mystery if funding will materialize and barring no major roadblocks.

    BUT there is an actual bonafide window of opportunity to link Soaring Eagle to Duthie. Duthie to Grand Ridge is a reality. Echo Glen (DNR passage to Raging River). Unfortunately you have Rattlesnake with no bike access and nothing will be built in the watershed, but you're still close enough to get to Ollalie and access up past the foothills well into the Range.

    The other thought that is more feasible is Raging River will allow for a dirt connection to Tiger Mountain.

    Raging River i think could also link up with Taylor. If you get to Taylor perhaps there is possibility to link up with Black Diamond. There is also the possibility of a Green River Trail.

    Alot of this stuff has been floating around for years, but i really would love to see these connections to happen someday. i think one way or another it's bound to happen, hopefully before i kick the bucket. But it's actually not just a pipe dream, these connections can be made.

    And just like Zilly's route, marrying different destination through off-road connections is something that captures the desire and imagination of riders whose primary goal is to enjoy cycling in nature. And the options you could manage with these types of connections provide nice variety in the experience.

    Or in short it would be pretty damn cool if it happens.
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  18. #18
    Just roll it......
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    Funny that this thread was re-hatched. I went down and found my V2 Missing the trail (1997). When I opened it up, a bunch of old maps fell out of it. Stuff like Victor Falls, Snoqualmie Bike Park, Rock Candy, Tolt....even a 2002 Whistler bike park map.

    I used that book a ton back in those days.

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    "Missing the Trail" I like that....

    Seems odd to me that we all "used" to head out on a wing and a prayer hauling a tattered page as noted before and nowadays people won't even leave Duthie for Grand Ridge or Beaver Lake/Section 36/Soaring Eagle 'cuz their skeered of what they might find.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanear View Post
    Yes I do. It does not change what they wrote or the relevance of their attitude to others.
    i'm still dead on about Borneo, go ahead and dredge this thread up in another 5 years while you're at it.
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    Ahhhhh......Victor Falls.....memories......

  22. #22
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    hell, I read my 1998 southwest washington Zilly book last night in bed, Great bedside reading and still relevant for most of the trails. It is great to plan my attack for the weekend and think about phat dirt and cosmic descents.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by boostin View Post
    hell, I read my 1998 southwest washington Zilly book last night in bed, Great bedside reading and still relevant for most of the trails. It is great to plan my attack for the weekend and think about phat dirt and cosmic descents.
    We've got a 1989 Kirkendall book- where everyone's rockin' the rigid forks baby! Works a lot better for reading and dreaming while I'm lounging in the tub than a smartphone or lappy.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  24. #24
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    I seen John Zilly lately,,, in fact almost every year he is at the bike expo. I love those old paperbacks & still use both i got back in '01 (?) Anyway, i think his guide books are still overall very helpful really good reference guides! Ya i do still chuckle at the almost antique photos showing late 80s rigid mtb's & werent some even fitted with touring racks?! Whatever just go to B&N or Fred Meyer & buy his cool lil books, well worth the nominal price. Now go pack the book, ride some Epic XC & leave your think you're so smart phones & GPS at home - Old School ROCKS!
    Ride ON!
    BMXer since '66, MTBer since '86, longtime roadie :nono:... "Life is a Circle"

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