By Ashley Lodato
About 40 mountain bikers turned out for the 2018 Methow Singletrack Celebration at the Sun Mountain trails on Saturday. Riders were shuttled by vehicle from Chickadee Trailhead to the top of Thompson Pass and had the opportunity to sample some of Sun Mountain’s best trails, says Josh Gewirtz, president of the Methow Chapter of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance.
In between rides, participants were treated to hot dogs, soda and beer at the trailhead. One rider allegedly even ate a ketchup-loaded hot dog while soaring off one of the many features on Wild Turkey, the most advanced trail at Sun Mountain.
Several new trails have recently been completed at Sun Mountain, including the Woodpecker extension (which now parallels the Meadowlark road grade) and the Pete’s Dragon extension, a 1-mile “smile-producing piece of tread” that was finished in early June, according to Gewirtz. Also underway is the climbing trail that connects from the Overland/Criss-Cross area to the top of Pete’s Dragon and Thompson Pass. The climbing trail is currently rideable in both directions from the middle, says Methow Trails trail manager Jon Albright.
Post-ride on Saturday, Old Schoolhouse Brewery hosted the Methow Valley Brewfest at the Winthrop Barn, with breweries from all over Washington in attendance offering samples. Local businesses like Blue Star Coffee Roasters, Methow Valley Ciderhouse, Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Sixknot Cider and Tappi provided food and drink, along with about a dozen Washington breweries. With live music for entertainment and sausages for sustenance, the Brewfest provided everything a mountain biker could want on a warm summer evening. All proceeds from both events went to the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance’s trail expansion project at Sun Mountain.
Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance is Washington state’s largest bike association and the largest single-state mountain bike organization in the country. Its mission is to create, maintain, and protect sustainable mountain biking opportunities in Washington. The Methow Valley chapter was started in 2012 by a group of local mountain bikers who recognized that the valley’s great trails and riding could be enhanced by partnering with an advocacy organization and with local land managers. The chapter’s first project was the 2013 upgrade of a section of the Black Bear trail at Sun Mountain, and since then the organization has been quite active in building and maintaining trails.
If you’d like to learn more about the Methow Chapter of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, including work parties where you can learn about building and enhancing trails, you can find them on Facebook or at www.evergreenmtb.org/chapters/methow.