It was raining lightly as I drove out of Seattle toward Snoqualmie Pass. I left early to make the three and a half hour journey to Lake Chelan for the 2012 Echo Valley Mountain Bike Race put on by Roger and Yumay from the NW Epic Series and 4th Dimension Racing. As I approached the pass I thought, "Oh great, another race in the rain!" Much to my delight, the rain quit shortly after starting down the east side and the weather improved the farther north I went. The Columbia River and Lake Chelan were beautiful in the morning light.
It was great to see many old friends as I entered the campgrounds and staging area for the race. Everyone seemed happy and excited as they checked their bikes, made final adjustments and prepared themselves physically and mentally for the Endurance 30/60 miler. They greeted teammates, friends and kindred spirits with high fives and hugs.
The ride started with a long climb up a dusty road with the snow covered Cascades in the distance,
before turning off on to the single track trails through the tree and brush covered hills above the lake. Many riders commented that the Echo Valley course was faster and less technical than the Stottlemeyer race, but many still found jumps, fast turns and steep climbs to challenge their mountain biking skills.
Even before the race was complete I overheard people talking excitedly about the third race in the NW Epic Series, the Capitol Forest 50/100 to be held on August 25, 2012.
I can't wait to see you all there.