Monday, April 12, 2010

Riding the Jiuzhai Valley

Actually we weren't in the actual Jiuzhai Valley but close enough that I'm not going to complain. Amanda and I have made our first attempt at finding good mountain biking around Jiuzhaigou National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Given that the majority of the hills around here top out at about 3400m (~11,000 feet) or more we have to relegate ourselves to the lower valleys and glacial moraines that exist and are flatter.
We decided to go up the Valley a couple of miles up river from the park entrance where Amanda has done some hiking on previous visits to the park. Being that it was a nice day out we suited up and packed up the French Beast from the East. As always the roads were nice and windy until we hit the flat part of the valley where we could our final destination. We chose a proper parking space, i.e where the beast could not pass.

Me, the beast, the bike, and the improbable road.
This is where Rob our savior (Thanks to Linda and George for also volunteering) with bicycle parts will be helping out tremendously, because after attempting to ride up this little stretch of road on mighty yet overly geared single speeds we were forced to hike it most of the way. 

Amanda facing up the valley.
We followed the road on our bikes until we hit some logging switchbacks and used the trail shortcuts to make faster ground. Being late in the day we decided to let this be a quick exploratory mission and an opportunity to take some pictures.

Me and the Trail.

Amanda and the Wood-stack

After about 45 minutes of Hike a bike we decided to hit the descent. It was a combination of rough trail and logging road but was mostly dry and not much animal business. It was a quick ride but after looking through the valley we decided that there is a lot of potential out here for some fun (epic) mountain bike rides and we look forward to further pursuits.

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