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Purple Heart & Kung Fu Theater -
Great Ones By Any Name

The Legendary Seth Bowman (LEFT) rides his Schwinn hardtail on a rock on Kung Fu Theater. Body armor freaks, please note Seth's trademark volleyball kneepads used as elbow pads. Lotta heart-felt effort has also gone into padding the top tube too... Meanwhile, Mongo (RIGHT) lands the first part of the Double Log Drop on Purple Heart... 
Trail name(s): Purple Heart & Kung Fu Theater
Difficulty rating: Moderate to difficult, depending on the line you ride and whether you stay on the trail
Elevation gain/loss: 50 feet
Best riding direction: Excellent in either direction
Best seasons: Provides good riding all year 'round, but can get muddy in winter (snowy too where the trail comes out of the trees onto the rock garden drop above the fork to The Fire Ring & El Pollo Elastico)

See trail map at right. Click here for Map Set Index.

Click here for Driving Directions from Interstate 5 to Galbraith, plus MapQuest maps and live WebCam shots of Galbraith and the main freeway exits for Galbraith.

PURPLE HEART wasn't the original name of this beloved Galbraith trail.

It was originally known as Pick Up Sticks, because that's all its creators  -- Mark "Tread Mark" Wilkinson, Doug Demars, Keri Demars, Jackie and Brad Wilske and Delaine Olsen -- had to do to make the trail.

Then on Valentines Day 2000, someone brought a purple heart balloon up to the top of the trail, and tied it to a tree. This affectionate gesture seemed to strike a chord with many Galbraith Mt. riders, who feel a great deal of affection for this twisty trail of technical delights. 

So the name Purple Heart stuck, but the fact is that this is a great trail by any name. It's more than the plethora of sweet, slow-speed root and rock rollovers, more than the big old cedar log crossing, and more than the Double Log Drop -- it's the way all these elements combine. 

Purple Heart is a trail with a great sense of rhythm and dynamics. It'll surprise you too. Near the end, for instance, when you're just about out of the dark woods, it throws a seriously tricky climbing switchback and big rough rollover into a rock garden just as you hit the blindingly bright light in the clearcut behind.

Although they have traditionally have been called by different names, Purple Heart and Kung Fu Theater are very similar. Kung Fu connects directly to Purple Heart, and continues its path parallel the 2000 Rd. for much of the distance between Arsenio and the Blue Rock.

From the cave-like entrance, Kung Fu snakes tightly down through a series of tasty technical delights. Like Purple Heart, Kung Fu is all natural single track -- no 2x4s here -- using natural terrain to create technicalities, like the neat optional rock pile punch up at the start.

Kung Fu are both well connected. Kung Fu gives easy access to a plethora of great Galbraith trails: 911, Shawn's Trail, Mullet and Kaiser, while Purple Heart connects with the Log Cabin Trail, 187, 2 1/2, Arsenio and SST., plus there is also a fork to Fire Ring, El Pollo Elastico.

It's also worth noting that Purple Heart (like Kung Fu Theater) rides well both ways, so you can use it as an alternative to riding the 2000 Rd. either way from Arsenio to the Blue Rock.

heart.jpg (55788 bytes) On Valentines Day 2000 someone brought a Purple Heart balloon up to the top of the trail and tied it to a tree...
scott_anderson_112100.jpg (46691 bytes) Scott Anderson slices the top of Purple Heart...
log_021700.jpg (21957 bytes) The big log rollover on Purple Heart -- note it is head tube high on the bike -- in February 2000. It has since been pounded into oblivion and disappeared from all but memory...
ma1_091500_400.jpg (34192 bytes) Mark Adriance going off the Double Log Drop on a blazing summer day. In the last couple years, this stunt has evolved into a single log drop (the second log got pounded to bits by the thousands of riders who have passed over it), but it remains a thrill, especially if you get air going off it...
Jerry hums over a minor old cedar log issue... 
rl2_021501.jpg (33654 bytes) Russ Lambert, AKA Guano, attending to snow in his gears in February...

Click here for Map Set Index.

Click here for Driving Directions from Interstate 5 to Galbraith, plus MapQuest maps and live WebCam shots of Galbraith and the main freeway exits for Galbraith.

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Vert Quest -- excerpts from Mongo's World Record Journal by Bruce Brown
Days: 365 Rides: 220 Total vertical feet climbed: 404,900