Our Own Private Idaho|
Tuesday, April 24, 2001
Around the end of July this summer Nathalie and I left the safety of our little island in the pacific and headed for Sun Valley Idaho. For several months prior we had been trying to find a riding destination that was first and foremost, not Moab. With that simple criterea in mind we posted to newsgroups and searched the web. Sun Valley came up so often we had to check it out.
Packing up the rabbit we paddled to the mainland and 27 hours later arrived in town (Ketchum) as Sun Valley is a sort of psuedo-town attached to Ketchum all the action is in Ketchum. First stop was one of the local bike shops for the trail guide. The bike shops were fully loaded and the guide book was awesome. We chose to camp and even in peak tourist season found some of the most beautiful secluded camping we have ever enjoyed.
Two sea level city slickers in cowboy country... our impressions
Rides in this area usually start at about 6000' and proceed on up to 8000'+ and although British Columbia has no shortage of mountains our riding is at sea level and rarely goes above 3000'. This was not the thick moisture laden pacific air we are used to riding in. A bit of wheezing accompanied the first few days. Also it gets a bit warm in mid summer. Heat is another thing we don't have on the coast. We thought we were pretty tough climbers until we found ourselves still going up at 8000' and its 95 degrees out. Having said all that we loved the weather. Just drink lots and remember that you are not going to be as fast as you are at sea level.
The terrain, asides for being nice to look at is very sweet to ride on. We choose trails that were primarily single track although there are plenty of longer rides that feature mostly jeep roads and stuff, we looked for more technical rides in the 2 hour range. The trails tend to be multi-use (biker, hiker, horse people, and motorcycles) and are maintained very well. Trail access was great with only the very busiest trails close to town off limits to bikes. Because your in the hills you are either riding up or down. Altitude and temp aside the climbs are very nice. Mostly medium grade with lots of traction and smooth trails. Down tended to be very smooth, fast sweeping, rollercoaster type single track, very fun.