Folding Bike Blog

Weekend Bike and Hikes With the Paratrooper Pro

By Norman Radvany

I’m 42 years old and I’m using my Paratrooper Pro folding bike every day to go to work in Brooklyn. I love my bike!

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This summer I’ve been getting away from the city to enjoy the great outdoors with my bike. In August, during one of the casual weeks where I could find the time, I did around 80 miles mountain biking with a lot of climbing and steep sections. I hiked Mt Tammany twice and Mount Minsi once.

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I went to Delaware Water Gap for hiking and biking, and the Paratrooper Pro folding bike worked great.

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I was traveling by bus from New York to Delaware, so I folded my bike, put it in the bag, and simply took it with me. Having my bike made my trip so much easier, and the folding bike feature made it very easy to bring along. I didn’t need to drive during the weekend, I was using public transportation, walking, and of course my bike.

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People looked at me a bit strange in the village, probably because I came there without a car, but it was a much better way to get around and see the area.

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My weight is 210 pounds and as I mentioned before, my Paratrooper Pro folding bike worked great in the mountains, even for advanced mountain biking.

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4 Day Bike Tour on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail

By Sara Callan

During the summer of 2013, my two best friends and I decided we were going to take four days off from our everyday lives and escape on bikes. We made plans, gathered gear, and started out for the East end of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. There were headwinds, deep gravel, very little access to water, scorching heat, and very sore rear ends. There were definitely some difficulties and bad moments, but there was also triumph and empowerment. And so we decided to do it again this summer, this time being better prepared.

The John Wayne Pioneer Trail follows the path of the old Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul-Pacific Railroad through the 1,613 acre Iron Horse State Park. The East end of the trail by the Columbia River is arid, featuring sagebrush covered scrublands.  Conversely, the West end of the trail is green, forested, and also has a much friendlier trail surface. So as we sat around a table, cocktails in hand, this was decided to be the location of our second annual four-day ride.

 Montague folding bike Paratrooper

Notice the custom painted Montague folding bike “Saratrooper” in the middle!

We packed up all of our gear for a multi-day, backcountry bike-packing trip, hopped in the car, and headed out for Lake Easton. We ditched the car there, loaded up our panniers and packs, and spent the next four days with some of the most beautiful scenery from Lake Easton to North Bend and back again.

 Trip with Montague folding bike

Our first day was cool and overcast. We were full of energy and invigoration and so was the sky. We happily chatted along as we rode through mountain showers with rolling thunder above us. We passed many cyclist headed East as part of a three day race. We could see already why this end of the trail was used much more. The trail surface was mostly hard packed earth with some gravel over it- a much easier ride than the deep, large gravel of the trail bed on the East end. We stopped under tree cover to munch on energy bars, and later explored a graveyard of beautifully smoothed driftwood along the Yakima River.

 Trip through lakes with folding bike

Crossing the Yakima River

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Trestle over the Yakima River

We ended our first day at Cold Creek, across the trail from Keechelus Lake. We settled into a small backcountry camping site, which included a vault toilet and smoothed out pads for tents. We unloaded our tent, sleeping pads, and dinner and made quick work of set-up and relaxing. There are a handful of these little backcountry camp sites along the trail, but no running water aside from creeks. Luckily, after water shortage trouble last year, we brought a Grayl purifier with us. It works easily, like a french press, and gave us unlimited access to water through the mountain creeks. It was a real life-saver!

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After packing, breakfast and a cup of instant morning coffee, we dove into day two on the trail. Hyak is the next trailhead on the route, and we made a visit to the chairlifts at Snoqalmie summit, then took a few mile uphill detour to a lovely little business called Red Mountain Coffee. Their delicious pizza makes the extra uphill travel worth it!

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We continued on to Snoqualmie Tunnel, which is a big highlight of traveling this trail. The tunnel was built in 1912-1914 and is the nation’s longest tunnel open to nonmotorized traffic. It’s always a thrill to ride 2.3 miles through a mountain! After emerging on the other side, it was an easy 21 miles downhill to Rattlesnake Lake in North Bend. A quick dip on it’s rocky shores, a little food, and it was time to head back uphill to find a camp for the night. By this time in the trip we were sporting some sore backsides, although nothing like the previous year. The 10 miles back uphill were slow going and we were happy to reach Alice Creek as evening was setting in.

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Day three started off with about another 10 miles uphill to be covered. Even though our legs were getting tired, we ended up making better time than we were expecting. Sometimes you are stronger than you think! We took a break to play around at the West entrance of Snoqualmie Tunnel before heading back through the mountain again. The scenery all around us was breathtaking. Rugged mountains, glistening waterfalls, and fields full of fireweed. On the other side of the tunnel, we stopped at the Hyak trailhead to recharge phones, as this is the one place with running water and electricity in the area we covered. We wrapped up the day of riding and ended back at Cold Creek, which turned out to be our favorite gem of the trail. We sprawled our gear out, bathed in the creek, and dubbed our plot ‘Camp Condo’. It was a little slice of heaven.

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cold creek into the yakima

We were all a bit sad to leave Cold Creek on our final day. Taking a shower and eating real food sounded great, but our trip had been an escape. An adventure of fantasy and discovery of self and strength. We weren’t quite ready for that to end just yet. We set out for the last 16 miles of our route. It was a beautiful day as we crossed trestles and looked out over spectacular valley vistas. It was a quiet ride as we all pedaled along, immersed in our own thoughts. We reached our car, did a little celebration dance, and packed everything away in the trunk. We made a stop in Cle Elum and stuffed our faces with food, then headed back to responsibilities, families, and society.

Even though it was only four days away from civilized, day-to-day life, it was a little hard to readjust. For a moment in time, we had nothing to worry about but our bikes, camp gear, and water. It was glorious. We have since decided to make this a twice yearly tradition, with as many day rides in between as we can. Everyone needs an adventure in life. Everyone needs an escape to the REAL world around us. We are lucky here in Washington State to be surrounded with access to so much beauty. Break out your bike and go explore it!

Ride, relax, repeat.

saratrooper last year

Photo from last year’s trip – but a nice shot of the Saratooper loaded up.

Check out the following links to some gear we couldn’t do without:

Water filtration- http://www.thegrayl.com/

Montague Folding bike- http://www.montaguebikes.com/

Water boiling for food- http://www.jetboil.com/

Trail map- http://www.parks.wa.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/885

2 Comments

  1. Sarah Boyle
    Posted September 7, 2014 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Beautiful photos. I can see why you want to keep going back.

  2. Norbert Radvanszki
    Posted September 11, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    It is great trip. I wish to do one day.

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Montague Cycling Caps Now Available!

To match our new Silhouette T-Shirts, we worked with Walz Caps in San Diego, CA on a limited run of Montague cycling caps. These are hand sewn, 100% cotton caps with screen-printing on the sides and brim.

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The 3 panel design makes for a classic look and a very comfortable feel. They fit nicely under any helmet and keep the rain, sweat, and sun out of your eyes. Eddy Merckx wore a cap. You should too.

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Bicycling.com had the following to say about Walz Caps: “Once you’ve seen the cycling caps made by Walz Caps, you’ll likely find there’s no going back to the days when you wore nothing underneath your helmet… Fun, affordable and very, very cool, these cycling caps are perfect, even if you don’t think of yourself as a cap-wearer.”

Why not get one that shows your Montague pride?

You can order now at montaguebikes.com/apparel

One Comment

  1. Posted September 12, 2014 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Hi, you stated nice. Cycling caps provide great protection through the ride. Cycling caps protect head from heat and cold weather.

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Posted in Accessories, General, Lifestyle | Tagged , , | 1 Comment