To outsiders looking in, it may seem like new bikes, shiny parts and epic adventures are just part of the daily routine for the lucky ones in the bike biz. While it usually beats the alternative, the reality is, starting a new business and running this website has consumed our lives. Time that used to be spent on a bike seat taking in the views is now spent on an office chair staring at a screen. While we love what we’re doing and believe in our purpose, the crew here at the Wolf Den has developed a rabid case of cabin fever.
The Sea Otter Classic presented itself as the perfect excuse for a work trip/ one-year anniversary celebration. Instead of the typical flight or rushed drive to The Otter, we decided to road trip from Bend, Oregon to Monterey, CA without a clearly defined route. I flew up to Bend with one of our regular testers from Los Angeles and we were more than pumped to visit some new places and ride new trails.
A light rain picked up steadily as we drove back from the Bend airport. Our flight had been re-routed and delayed, leaving me without luggage, tired and cold. Sure it was a bit of a bummer, but there was no way to wipe the stoke from my face as we flew through the mist in the Drew’s van, aka Vandito. Rain meant that the typically sandy soil in Bend would be tacky and ready to shralp.
Wanting to make the best of our delayed Day 1, we decided to go for a ride on some of Bend’s finest. There was a calm silence as we climbed through the trees – the only sounds in the forest came from our tires and the wet snowflakes hitting the trees around us. For Drew the experience has become a normal one he knows as “prime”, for us wussified SoCal types it was a special treat. It was an incredible experience to pedal in the snow. And cold.
By the time we reached the top, everything was covered in a soft blanket of white. Our tires cut dark lines through the snow as we dropped into the trail, hooting, hollering and throwing dirt up to the sky at each of the alternating slalom corners. The only sections of trail left white were the ones we jumped over as we flew through the pines. It was completely surreal and one of my all time favorite experienes on a bike. Waiting for delayed luggage has never been so fun.
We ended the ride and raced the sun back to the van, stopping only long enough to thaw out our fingers. With empty bellies and muddy clothes we decided to class up the local all-you-can-eat sushi joint. We plopped down right in front of the conveyer belt and grabbed plates as fast as they came around.