Saturday, June 29, 2013

Columbia Plateau Trail - Pugsley NR test ride

Last Saturday I took the Neck Romancer out to the Martin Road Trailhead to test drive it over the railroad rock on the Columbia Plateau Trail.  Some advice if you're heading out on the CPT:

1. As Eric E. says, Bring a machete

2. Don't wear your best shoes. They finally dried out and I got the stickers pulled out yesterday.

I left the trailhead at 9am.  Like usual I was only going to go a few miles to see how the tires roll, but ended up going out about 17 miles to Horseshoe Lake.  Good news: the bike (hereafter to be called the Pugs, Pugsley, or NR, as Neck Romancer is just too awkward) rolls great on the railroad ballast, even with fairly high tire pressure for a fat bike of 9-10psi.

The brush and weeds started a bit before Lamont. Not too bad, I thought. Easy.

And quickly grew to unmanageable proportions in this rock cut so I hauled the bike up the bank. Forgot to mention the ankle deep water.

lots of wildflowers up above on the bank

at this point I thought about bagging it and returning later in the summer or fall when maybe the brush would die down, but I decided to go just a little further.  Surely it can't be like this all the way.  From up above I could see breaks in the weeds on the trail where I could ride through so I went down and up a couple times.

 The Pugsley rode pretty well in no-trail land also.

There's another section of brush after Lamont, and then it finally cleared up.

Lots of deer and owls.

 and this feller

Off in the distance I could see these two mounds I remembered seeing on a ride on the CPT in January 2012.  I also remembered seeing them on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail last summer.

Knowing the Plateau and JWPT intersect somewhere, I had to check them out.  Hence what was an "I'll turn around after 5-10 miles at the most" ride turned into an all day adventure.  I found the Plateau trail curves to the left of the mounds, heading south.  Finally turned around just before noon, and before hitting the JWPT, thinking I'm going to have to plan a weekend trip instead to Washtucna or so on the trail.  Like usual, the ride and hike back took longer.  I stayed on the trail all the way back and rode, pushed and pulled my bike through the weeds.  Thinking about a root beer float at Zips in Cheney kept me going.  Missed the Prom Fiasco.


  1. Sweet trip, sweet post. I'm serioulsy jealous. Especially the bits about mixing it up with the wildlife.

    Hope you bagged the RB float in Cheney and that it was everything you hoped it would be.

  2. oh yeah i got that RBF, never tasted better. especially after running out of water and eating just a couple dry energy bars on the ride. (found a hose at Lamont on the way back, but managed to spill one of my water bottles back on the trail.)