I grew up in Port Angeles, Washington and cut my teeth on mountain bike riding there. Before there were huge national level races on Dry Hill, it was a old beat down riding spot that was only accessible if you wanted to climb to the top and earn your turns. Back in the day (1998-2001) Dry Hill, the Joyce DH course, and multiple dirt jump spots in and around PA provided me with all of the adrenaline fueled riding I could ever ask for. Before there was that weird 4 cross course near the parking lot (which I helped build) there was an old dual slalom course that I rode at least 4 days a week. I would routinely ride up, do 4-6 laps on the dual slalom course, then do 1 lap on the old white knuckle downhill course. On the way home I would stop by Lincoln Park on the westside and hit some dirt jumps for an hour or so before returning home. Yes, I rode dirt jumps on a 26 inch bike before there were even such things as dirt jump specific 26 inch bikes. These were the days!
Coming from a small town, I figured other cities that are way bigger (like Olympia) probably had WAY more opportunity for rad advanced trails and huge communities of progressive riders who wanted to build big jumps and technical trails and understood the passion I myself felt about mountain biking and riding progression in general. Little did I know, in 1998, PA would be far ahead of a big city like Olympia in 2013, progression wise. Me and my friends, who were intermediate riders at best in the late 90's, were riding trails far advanced from anything we have here locally. This is not about bragging, but about the major difference and perspective in technical skill levels. What is thought of as a "gap" on the LLMT would have not even been considered as anything technically difficult on any trail we rode back in 1998! Even though bike technology is far advanced from where it was when I started riding, it doesn't seem to have helped progression in certain major riding cities (like Oly), and I ask why?? What is holding us back here?? Is it the DNR and their restrictions on trail building? Is it the fact that everyone here is afraid of progression? Does Oly just not know how to ride?? I just can't figure it out, so please if you are reading this, sign up for a google account and reply to this post and answer this question. Why is this community so far back on the progression scale compared to pretty much any other city in Washington? I really need to know so I can decide if this is somewhere worth spending time working on trails and helping in developing some sort of advanced network of trails for like minded riders. Or do I need to give up and just start building illegal trails and continue riding by myself and dreaming of a day when this community finally evolves?
(This post excludes riders in the Oly Dirt community)
My friend Casey in 2001. Yes, all of us boosted this jump on our hardtails like it was nothing. This is DNR land and it's 10X bigger than anything on the LLMT!!