Hanging with the old folks

Comfortable sleep night. Overcast early on. Today I will ride higher where I tried to ride yesterday.

Drove uphill to Skyliner parking lot. I was the only rig. I walked out on the trail checking on wetness. I could see the pollen high water line but the puddle was gone. I’m in. Geared up and pedaled out. I picked the climb on an overgrown logging road preceded by climbing switchbacks.

View to west of the Sisters

At the climb out spot i ran into Lev and Erika of Cog Wild pausing in their trail clearing activity:

B.O.B. hitched to single speed carrying a chain saw

Lev was the rider. He lead out down the trail w/ me following. I couldn’t keep up w/ him. I volunteered to help but he took Erika who is the most tenured of the Cog Wild guides.

Lev threw down the brake and stopped to clear trail side trees. I bid adieu and continued rolling thru the tight twisty trees. I have ridden this trail several times since switching to 26″ bars. Several spots I just barely cleared between 2 trees.  Down lower the trees thinned out because of partial cuts. Short term goal is Skyliner trail junction. Somebody carved a bench seat w/ the back as a skinny. At first I was the only person there. Shortly other riders rode by some doing laps on the Whoops downhill. I tried to engage every one in a goof conversation. Few enjoiners. Soon other riders joined me on the bench. Lady sat beside me, she’s 67, her husband arrived last, he’s 74. Another couple are retirees from Boeing. Hung w/ the old people on the retiree bench. Then we all pedaled off.

I finished Skyliner back at my van. Today is a shower and maybe a visit to a farmers’ market in town. Kids were still getting wet @ the outdoor aquatics center.

Back into town to visit the farmers’ market happening. Fresh real strawberries, bought a $3.00 pint. Detoured to a grocery store for vanilla ice cream on the way out to camp spot.

Tomorrow is another Phils ride. Fri I drop off my bike for brakes bleed. Should do it at least once a year, last was Dahlonega, GA last spring. My habit is to drop a few $ in at least 1 bike shop in each town I visit. Bend is a brake job and 2 new tires. Kaching.

I called Scott, the Cream Puff director, to learn of when I may help. This Sat and Sun he is doing trail work. Monday is a shuttle ride to top of Alpine for trail work. I’m heading down maybe Fri eve to Oakridge. He has a spot in a trailer park for me.

Short goes long

Yesterday was a to do it day. I now have a cleaned Pisgah jersey and 30 days of Coumadin, a new Maxxis Ardent 2.4 ghetto tubeless mounted on my front wheel, a new sweat cap replacing a 5 year veteran, full jug of huckleberry flavor Hammergel, and a shirt on sale @ REI. Visited w/ Melanie and Lev @ Cog Wild tours. Checked out several other bike shops tire shopping. Weather changing for rain later in the PM. Heat and humidity. Only used a sheet for cover. Lightening flashed and thunder clapped for a good show, unfortunately just a dribble fell down here.

This AM my plan was to drive up Skyliner for a higher elevation ride. Sprinkles fell w/ increasing frequency as I drove higher till the road was completely wet. At the TH the rain no longer fell yet the sky threatened more. I geared up and headed out. Right off the bat I encountered puddles, trail kept the rain that was heavier here. Turned around and rode back to van. I deemed it too wet to ride here.

Drove back down to Phils. Plan now is to ride up Phils to helispot then a return trail back. I rode out savoring the new front tire that really carved turns. My mileage log revealed I had 1089 miles on it, it really was worn out. Hardly a drop of rain wetted the dusty trails. I was pushing a wonderful spin uphill and missed an intersection choice. I made an unintended loop. Stopped to talk to 3 riders who recalled me from mag article. We were conversing when 2 guys show up and 1 of them says I read about you. I reaffirm their dream. I ride of now on the correct trail. I catch up to a rider ahead of me. He is riding my previous ride backwards which will mean a longer than intended ride. I ride down Storm King happier going down than up. I was way ahead of the other rider. I stopped @ a trail intersection for a food break. He arrived then told me about his ride. Cool. Even more miles but on trails I haven’t ridden. Finished all of Storm King then picked up Deschutes River trail heading downstream right above snow melt swollen white water. Commercial rafters run it. Nick dropped me off @ a motel for his ride home and my different way. I should have studied my map to plot my course over new for me trails. I chose the opposite direction once I got on Marvins. I stopped @ a numbered intersection that corresponds to a location on the map to navigate. A local rider rides in and says he is going back to Phils and will lead me. He reversed my direction causing my compass direction made more sense. Ride ended up being 32.68 miles in  3 hrs 50 mins, and climbed 3097′ Way longer than the short ride plan.

Drove into Safeway for groceries and h2o. As I was pouring h2o into my tank I spied a VW Westy entering the parking lot driven by a woman. She circled and parked w/ an empty spot between us. I commented on her van.  She said she lived in hers for 2 years. 60 years old long gray white hair.

Back out to camp spot but somebody else has it. Reversed course and drove out further to another spot that was empty.

I have commented on the generous size of mens size small shirts. Mens clothing is baggy yet women have size choices to dress from baggy to clinging.

Comfortable evening. Tomorrow is another ride.

I need a new rear tire.


Check out the new issue of Dirtrag, the issue w/ Disc Brakes in big red letters on the cover. Jan from Bike and Bean wrote an article and included a picture about me. I learn how other people see me.

Clean body sliding between great soft LL Bean flannel sheets. Fell asleep right away. In bed b4 11:00. Chilly night and AM as I luxuriated warm and snug. Got up. Made buckwheat pancakes w/ real maple syrup.

Plan today is to work on my bike b4 my ride then drive to Phil’s TH. Replaced rear brake pads, degreased and soapy washed chain and rinsed, waited for it to dry then applied 2 passes of SquirtLube.

Parked @ crowded Phil’s. Stepped out of van and was created by a rider calling my name. It was Andrew whom I rode w/ his gang 2 years ago up near Hood River then way up @ Roslyn, WA. He caught me up on several of the other riders I rode w/ back then. His group is planning a mondo ride S of Oakridge that I will schedule in to ride. Cool.

Headed out on my ride out marvin’s Garden to COD climb along to hit Storm King tp Phil’s trail 7.6 miles from van. Big climbing is done, it’s almost all coast downhill. Riding here is in selective machine cut P-Pine open forest. Scars of tracked tree harvesters are weathering away, however the close cut stumps remain as a reminder. Lots of twisty turning trails making climbs never a killer, however in the 21 miles I rode I climbed 2176′. It ain’t flat.

Finished down Phil’s which is not a good idea on a weekend as I encountered many riders pedaling  up. I had some fun moves. Seat dropper is the cat’s meow.

Top of Phil's in manzanita thickets

Drove into town looking for Sunshine Bikes in W Bend to make an appointment for Fri to bleed my brakes. Took some talking to drop my bike off Thurs  and pick up on Fri afternoon. Not bonding too well to shop.

Stopped @ 10 barrels brew pub for a pint and socializing. Later was enjoyable, former was a bust.

Back out @ camp spot. Nice comfortable evening, gentle breeze & no mosquitoes.

Tomorrow I will learn how high I can ride because of snow pack.