Tales from the Trails: PNW High Country Short Story Contest

Tales from the Trails: Tales from the PNW High Country

A contest to tell the best mountain biking story from the PNW high country. Your tale must be based on an actual experience, but we encourage creativity.

Entries will be posted here and shared on the PNW Mountain Bikers FaceBook Group as we receive them. The stories will be judged by a panel of esteemed dirtbags to determine the winner.

For inspiration, here are the winning stories from the previous Tales from the Trails contests. 

    Tales from the PNW High Country Prizes

    Prize package for Tales from the Trails: PNW High Country

    The winner of Tales from the Trails: PNW High Country receives this great PNW-based prize package.

    Abit Gear

    - MTN Shorts in your choice of Regular Fit or Athletic Fit, 12” or 13.5” inseam.
    - Stoke Extender Pants in Regular Fit or Athletic Fit (once they're available this fall).
    - Swag pack of jersey, trucker hat and beanie.


    - Framed original artwork to the final winner.
    - Hat and Shirt.

    Transition Bikes

    -Transition Summit Jerseys.
    - Hats.
    - Water Bottle.

    Contest Details and Rules

    • Be creative! Have fun! Tales must be based on a real experience. 
    • Your tale must take place on a PNW High Country trail. Stories from front-country areas such as Tiger Mountain, Phil's, Galbraith, Sandy Ridge, Alice Lake, and similar won't be accepted. If you're not sure if your story is in an area that qualifies, please reach out to us here.
    • Tale takes place in the PNW, for the purposes of this contest, this is Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia, Montana and Alaska.
    • Give your tale a title.
    • Submit at least one image with your story, up to five total. We can also embed YouTube videos, but still need at least one pic.
    • Include your name and contact info
    • We will screen entries for appropriate content. Tales of doing stupid things, being weird, getting wild, building trails, crashing, partying, being a hero are all fine, but we'll reject anything that isn't good-natured or names unauthorized trails. This is 100% at our discretion.
    • Privacy waiver: As a condition of entry, entrants grant Abit Gear LLC, Dirtbag Supply Co, and Transition Bicycle Company (the “Sponsors”) the irrevocable right and permission to use photographs and/or video recordings and/or writings submitted on Sponsors and other websites and in publications, promotional flyers, advertising materials, derivative works, or for any other similar purpose without compensation to entrant. 

      Entrants hereby release, acquit and forever discharge the Sponsors, its current and former members, owners, agents, officers and employees of the above-named entities from any and all claims, demands, rights, promises, damages and liabilities arising out of or in connection with the use or distribution of said photographs and/or video recordings, including but not limited to any claims for invasion of privacy, appropriation of likeness or defamation.
    • We will pick a limited number of finalists to be judged by a panel of  dirtbags, who will select the contest winner.
    • Submission Deadline: entrants must submit their story May 15, 2024.
    • Email your entry to info@abitgear.com with the subject line Tales from the PNW High Country.
    • Entered stories will be posted to https://abitgear.com/blogs/tales-from-the-trails and shared to the PNW Mountain Bikers Facebook Group.

    Meet Your Esteemed Panel of Dirtbag Judges

    Xuân Mai Võ, Dr. of Veterinary Medicine and winner of our 2020 Tales from the Trails: Raging River contest. X is a USDA certified sawyer and Evergreen MTB Alliance trail volunteer who loves making a mushroom cloud of sawdust from her Stihl saw that she wields like a light saber against the dark forces of trail entropy. She can be found traveling with her bike between Raging, Tiger, and her home range of singletracks in the Swiss Alps.

    Dan Saimo, the owner and creative mind behind Dirt Bag Supply Company, is a long-time local builder and avid rider. Located in the loamy Snoqualmie Valley, Dan has forged partnerships with the Evergreen MTB Alliance, mountain bike companies, and local bike shops. Together, they strive to champion local trail initiatives while crafting apparel that resonates with builders and riders alike. Dan is also a co-founder of the Dirt Corps Race Team alongside Matt Patterson — a dynamic mountain biking team dedicated to building, riding, and racing. Semper Dirticus!

    Justin Vander Pol, is the founder of Abit Gear and was Evergreen MTB Alliance's first Executive Director. His passion for addiction to trail building and advocacy continues, now as a volunteer. Justin lives for rides with big climbs, big views, and massive, rowdy descents. To share this high country stoke with you, he created the guide to the high country rides of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest

    The Tales

     The Full Nason by Clinton Koontz

    "What is usually a pretty short trip seemed like an eternity. It was hot and dusty and I was out of water at this point. The one thing I will remember from this ride is that Nason keeps going, and going, and going, and going. Then it keeps going again."

    Who Would You Rather Meet Alone in the Woods? By Linea Jantz

    "I stood for a moment in the sunshine, heart slamming against each individual rib as I tried to get myself back under control.

    My senses abnormally sharp with adrenaline, I slowly came back to the present moment. The creek splashed merrily at my side, fiery paintbrush and wild tiger lilies leaning over the sparkling water. Trilling birdsong from the forest laid a comforting hand on my cheek."

    Pioneers of Deep Creek by Scott Smith

    "On one of the last sweeping corners, Brad's Panaracer Smoke tire slid off some wet roots, dumping him off the downhill side of the trail. I only saw his arms extend as he flew a short distance. I laughed at the irony of him crashing so close to the bottom, but Brad wasn’t getting up so fast. As I approached, Brad raised himself up slowly. His face had come down on an old rotten stump, and he had chunks of soft rotten bark imbedded deep in his cheek just below his eye. Luckily he had..."

    Read Scott's Tale

    Angel's Falls! by Armando Malo

    "I dove into the jagged and rocky descent. Bombing over large obstacles and cleaning the some sketchy switchbacks. I stopped to make sure they were following. One rider caught up but we didn't see the second rider until we looked up and saw him face down on the rocks. Then, he got up but bent over reeling in pain. Finally, he yells that he'll need help as he held his hand. The first thing that went through my mind was that we would not be out until dark."

    Read Armando's Tale

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