Fu Manchu is the result of three years of struggling to find the best riding in Olympia. I didn't find any trails that satisfied my need, so I had to build one. Each year I lived in Olympia, I worked on a trail project. My projects grew bigger each year: first it was a pump track built with my friends, then making a short flow trail by myself, and finally Fu.
When I started building Fu, I knew that it had to be the complete opposite of Olympia's most commonly ridden trails. I didn't want shitty corners, or gentle descents, or flat trails for miles and miles. I didn't want a flow trail that doesn't have any flow. I didn't even want to pedal more than a few strokes going down it. Instead, I wanted the fastest, loosest, steepest, most difficult trail I could come up with. To find the perfect place for rowdyness, I made myself a map.
I knew I'd found the spot to build when I saw those contour lines nestled against each other. In October, I got to work scouting, flagging, and clearing the corridor. I had the entire line bult by February. All I've had to do since then was fine-tune sections and put in one re-route. Thanks to all who helped. I hope you know how much I appreciate your time and energy!
|Steep, loose, rowdy. Checklist complete!|
I made this video to showcase my trail and to display the level of riding possible in Olympia. The trails here are years behind the curve in terms of technical difficulty and flow. You only have to drive an hour north to find trails that are amazingly challenging and fun, but Olympia's trails don't represent the level of speed and flow that modern mountain biking has reached. To all of those who have been working on trails in the Olympia, I appreciate the effort and I hope that you never get tired of trail building. However, it is time to take a critical look at the work done in the past and learn from that. Take some educational trips to other riding areas like Tokul, Galbraith, and the North Shore and look at the work being done there. I believe that Olympia has the potential for great trails. It's going to take a critical eye, a desire to progress, and many hours spent improving the existing trails to learn what does and doesn't work. Step up your game, Olympia mountain bikers. You got this.
|Whoops, and not the creepy ICP kind.|
I'm leaving Olympia in a week. Fu Manchu is for those who ride it, please make of it what you will. I don't think that I'll miss the riding in Olympia too much, but I will definitely miss all of the people I've been riding with over the past three years. Thanks for having fun, building, talking shit, and showing me the best riding to be had. I am excited to go back to my home trails and make all of you jealous by writing about them on Oly Dirt. Don't forget to keep riding! That's the most important part.