#4: Hastings Ridge Road • 5.6 mi • 1254 ft

 

Use your imagination to picture the following image: a scraggly ridgetop of tan grass gets sliced across by an undulating doubletrack that descends off into the distance toward the faraway hillsides of Washington and the volcanic exclamation point of Mount Adams above. The doubletrack is bordered by old-timey barbed-wire fences held up by sunbaked wooden posts and an abandoned country schoolhouse sits at the top watching over it all. As you descend, you pass rusted-out farm equipment in yellow/green/red patinas, but you can only sort of register them because you’re now flying down one of the doubletracks at at 30 mph, rattling your brain out of your skull, hoping your 40mm tires don’t pop, and racing a friend on the track next to you if you’re lucky.

Now stop picturing and go ride it, because Hastings Ridge is the mystic downhill wagon trail of the collective gravel grinder’s dreams.