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Back! And More Sore Than Ever...

Getting personal is a little indulgent, so forgive me, but I have to plug the Methow Valley in north central Washington as cycling paradise, at least 3-4 months a year. We spent the weekend there, which isn't remarkable, but I actually got on a MTB and have rarely if even had more fun on two wheels. Not that it changes anything -- the rest of the world isn't exactly littered with amazing single-track trails through a ponderosa pine forest, so I'll hang on to the Litespeed. But... hoo boy. I also climbed the state's most famous pass, which I've been drooling over for three years. Washington Pass is 15 miles of non-stop fun, at least  until the uppermost switchback which puts you on an 8% grade for the last mile. It's not terribly steep, and at 5770 feet it doesn't get into Alps-style thin air. But the length and grade are comparable to the Col de la Bonnette, just at a lower altitude. It's hard to get excited about the rain, and the passes are buried from October to April, but in our warm, dry window this state is a place to celebrate the bike.