Igor Tolkov

Crossing Barlow Pass: the last climb of the ride was optional. It wasn't easy, either, as the 14-mile climb was unpaved and sometimes quite steep.

At one point my bike started rattling. I tried to figure out what was causing the rattle but couldn't. I later learned one of the bolts holding the rear rack in place had sheared. At another point while resting I watched a tree fall. I'm glad it didn't fall on me.

Once I reached Barlow Pass, I went hiking again. The hike I picked required a short ride along a closed forest road to the trailhead - that way I did not leave my bike in view and easy access of prowlers. But it was a rather long hike, time was running short, and ice on the trail made going difficult - in the end, I turned around early. I ran a bit going downhill, too. This is generally a bad idea on low-trafficked trails - you can startle a bear.

Luckily, after hiking I was riding downhill, the road was paved again, and the wind was at my back. I quickly reached my intended destination campground.

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