I am NOT coming back here again.
I’m starting to feel like I could retire if I had a dollar for every time I said that and turned out to be wrong. This time it was about Pass Mountain Trail out at Usery Park.
Once upon a time, I was a mountain biker. For a period of something like six or seven years (very roughly) starting in the mid-90s, I rode pretty regularly. It came and went in phases, sometimes more, sometimes less, but I had a lot of fun doing it and was okay at it. Eventually, though, the drag of working and going to school at the same time took its toll, and the weekend rides first waned and then eventually stopped. It probably didn’t help that I was working most weekends.
During the time that I was riding, I had two go-to destinations. My main one and first choice for a long time was McDowell Mountain Park, where you can find the glorious Pemberton Loop that I rode more times than I could even guess at, but Pemberton’s a long trail and a significant time investment (you’re going to hear more about that in an entirely different context soon). As I rode less and had less time available, I started mixing in rides out at Usery Park, which has a number of loops that can be strung together to create a ride that will fit just about anything you’re in the mood for, ranging from easy and short to hard and kind of hellish. The vast majority of my riding out at Usery was the easier and shorter kind, but one time I did the hard and hellish, and I decided I was never coming back to it. That’s Pass Mountain Trail.