Contributed by Carey Booth
I enjoyed the free NWTA class at Easy Climb Trail in Cascade Locks on Sunday, July 16, 2023, with Elaine Bothe.
We had bike safety checks and went over the safety ABCs for air, brakes, chain, and crank, etc. My bike is an early 90s Giant brand with no suspension, which worked fine for this easy trail. Other people had very new full-suspension mountain bikes.
I learned about tire pressure, and if your tire says 40-65 psi, it’s the low end of air pressure that is better for mountain biking traction. Elaine had a digital tire pressure gauge, so I could check it as I let out air.
I was the oldest participant of the five of us at 65. We learned each other’s names, and everyone was friendly and helpful. We had all done some mountain biking on our own, but this was my first class and for some of the others too.
Elaine did a great job of introducing us to mountain biking positions with practice in a flat field before we hit the trail. I liked the merry-go-round pole image of how you move in a way that your bike can shift angles beneath you.
She explained the route, and told us she would stop at various intersections or change in terrain and use a thumbs-up signal when we were all ready to ride on. It was nice to know you wouldn’t be left behind. Getting off to walk or run up was an option, which I see as cross-training!
The trail was pretty easy with some ups and some downs and an interesting amount of bermed corners for banked turns. Features that could be jumped had easier ride-around options right next to them. The beautiful views of the Columbia River were revealed around various bends toward the cliffs.
It was an enjoyable hour spent learning and another hour of riding the two-mile trail!