Full Circle

While huge, wet roots and dark woods may not sound like an enjoyable experience, it’s a classic Washington style that most Pacific Northwesterners—homegrown or transplanted—have come to love. Ruby Morrissey, Anthony Boussetta and Blaise Ratcliffe find the many possible lines on the bottom of Kachess. SONY, 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2500

Full Circle Seattle's Big City Life

When I first moved to Seattle 10 years ago, I was admittedly apprehensive about relocating to “the big city.”

I’d been living in the small mountain town of Durango, CO, where I’d grown used to waking every morning to blue skies and incredible singletrack right out the front door. In the Northwest, days began with gunmetal gray skies (and oftentimes rain), a much larger population, and the need to drive to go mountain biking. I’d come from a place with every kind of trail imaginable and an amazing community of talented riders. Here, I didn’t know the trails or have anyone to show me where they were.

As I began my search for new singletrack and a new crew, it didn’t take long to find some gems close to the city and a few folks to ride with. I quickly met people in the bike shops, out on the trails and in the parking lots—even in the dead of winter when the short days offered only a few hours to get loose and muddy in the dense Pacific Northwest woods.

During my very first ride on Grand Ridge, I came across a group of single speeders. What began as asking for directions soon turned into a good conversation, and 10 years later I still hang out and ride with several of them. The past decade has been nothing short of a good ride—for both the city and myself—as it’s seen the creation of the first-ever urban mountain bike park, the I-5 Colonnade, located under an unoccupied stretch of the interstate. Duthie Hill, 120 acres of densely packed singletrack, was a ground-breaking collaboration between grassroots advocacy groups and government land managers which now sees more than 150,000 user visits each year.

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