Fitness and Ability

You need to be in good physical shape and have some technical expertise at handling a bicycle in rough terrain in order to enjoy the rides described in this guide. The following suggestions are included to help you decide which rides may be right for you.

1) You just purchased your first mountain bike and want to "get the feel" of it. suggestion: Explore the trails around Bennington Lake and practice riding on various surfaces and inclines.

2) You are ready to try "real mountain biking" for the first time. suggestions: Ride #2; Ride #6, option 1.

3) You are in good shape but are intimidated by technical single-track trails. suggestions: Ride #1, option 2; Ride #8, option 1; Ride #9, option 3.

4) You are a "weekend warrior", in good physical shape, and are an experienced mountain biker looking for a fun and challenging ride. suggestions: Ride #1; Ride #4, option 1, Ride #5.

5) Mountain biking friends from out of town are visiting and you want to "wow" them with what the Walla Walla area has to offer. suggestions: Ride #2, option 3, Ride #5, options 2 or 3; Ride #9 option 2.

6) You are in great shape, adept at technical riding, and in search of adventure. suggestions: Ride #1, option 3; Ride #9

Please be aware that some of the rides in this guide are long and difficult and many involve long low-gear climbs. Some the rides contain sections of narrow trail bordered by very steep hillsides or cliffs. Get off and walk if you have any doubts about your abilty to safely navigate a particular section of trail. The various "factor" ratings in this guide are only provided to help you compare between the rides. The choice of ride is your decision. Be honest with yourself and do not attempt rides that are beyond your ability. The route descriptions are designed to facilitate your ride but be aware that conditions can change dramatically in a short time due to acts of man or nature. Be prepared to cope with these changes as well as with changes in weather and mechanical difficulties.