It’s every bit of 28 inches

My new bar that is. My old one was 26.5, an inch & 1/2 is daunting. I performed a sidewalk swap out on the street replacing the bars. Went back to my round Ouray grips. And then I was off to rides above Hood River.

Drove out hwy 35  towards  Hood River then up rd 44 to the ride areas. Today was a drive day. I found the place where I camped b4, uninspiring, out in the, but a full on view of the east face of MT Hood. Deer sniffed around me at dusk. On the 26th @ 6:45 AM it was 38 degrees outside and 51 inside. real heavy dew.

Wed I drove down to 8 mile creek TH to start my Hood River tester: 15 mile creek. A group of riders arrived b4 I headed out. A guy said that I prolly didn’t remember him. I asked him to hum a few bars and I might recognize the melody, no not really. But he started to share about himself and I pegged him because I rode w/ him and his wife, Mary, @ Durango. The 2 of them work as guides for Western Spirit out of Moab and they were there guiding a group. I rode w/ them off and on during the ride.

The ride: this time I rode the trail w/ the other riders instead of the easier road climb. Today is the first rdie w/ the wider bars and newly acquired skills. Climbed up the trail. At a creek crossing is where I remet Andrew and gang 2 years ago. Trail dumps off @ 15 mile creek XG, from there the trail drops down on the west side of the creek in the deep woods. Several tech spots that in years pass I walked, today I rode w/ confidence and used my front brake almost exclusively. The down is the easier part, the hard part is the hump out back to the XG.  OK, I  blew up several times and walked my bike till I could recover. In all I rode more than in the past and I would pay that effort price the next day. 20 miles and 3743′ climbed, grueling. Fun dropping down 8 mile carving the corners and lofting the front wheel over the rubber water bar diverters.

lots of saw work required
MT Hood

I had filled my solar shower and hung it from the van where the sun struck it. I parked in deep woods where the sun exposure was fleeting leaving the h2o too chilly for comfort. I drove back to where I camped last night which is just off the Surveyor’s Ridge trail. I spotted 2 guys on extra loaded bikes looking @ a map. I walked down to check them out. They are circumnavigating MT Hood and today was their first day out. I shared w/ them what i recalled from 2 years ago about their route. They said their Scotch ration was heavier than their 2 man tent.

Chilly night and heavy dew again. Thurs was another ride out of same TH as yesterday only this ride will be less taxing. Today is Knebal Spring and 8 mile creek loops. I was beat from yesterday’s thrashing making the hills daunting and speed an unobtainable aspect. The Western Spirit group returned.  Shortly after starting I ran into Mark whom I met yesterday and recommended the route. He is staying w/ Bill and Emily who apparently rented the USFS fire look out. In heavy lupine bloom just like last month down @ Twin Falls. Sweet.

find the Turner

B4 I left my camp spot in the AM I hung the solar shower from an elderberry branch and attached a note claiming ownership and I would be back. Still not hot enough so i hung it on the van hood facing directly into the sun. I opened the awning as a sun shade then enjoyed a navy shower to wash off the swaet and dirt but not to luxuriate under it. More deer again.

Today I need to drive down to HR for supplies and do wash. I camped @ 4200′, HR is 390′ and hot. I checked out Mt View Cyclery in downtown. No rapport spark. One other shop is Dirty Fingers uphill. I visited there when I was thru here 2 years ago. I was looking for a place to socialize. I was just another customer until Mitchell walked in and recognized me. He was jacked. Good visit, I ended up there for several hours eating up in town time. Where I am camped there is not even cell phone coverage.

Did my wash in an Eco laundry using environmentally friendly methods, not like beating clothes on a rock down by the river. The laundromat adjoins a Wal_mart shopping center. I checked out posted signs that prohibit overnight parking. Bought a small YoCream self serve yogurt dish where the customer pulls the handle. One more step to eliminate labor, next up is Burger King where you cook your burger the way you want it.

Back up @ Dirty Fingers for Fri night festivities. His store was poached by a look a like in Sandpoint, ID. Temps are just below 90. I will drive back up to where I have been for Sat & Sun rides. Riding here on trails that have not been dirt biked is way more enjoyable than what i will find up north in WA.

Gotta go drink beer.


A day without driving

Last night I slept w/ the side door open, warm air blocked only by the mosquito netting across the opening. 90 degrees yesterday, hi today was 77 and tonight will be a closed door night comfortable under 1 layer of the down blanket. So far i have not swapped out the down for the light thermal blanket.

Slept in w/o alarm. Today I will ride from camp then do errands in town. At 10:00 I set out to test my new bike handling skills on trails out here @ Phil’s TH. I am also able to pedal uphill managing my shortness of breath. Big new skills are vision and cornering. Vision is picking goals to ride to, always strategically seeing the trail. Works well when the trail can be viewed as enjoyed in the selectively thinned open P-pine and  forest. Run the trail thru manzanita tunnel where the sides of the trail are hard to find. Turning is so new and foreign. Turning requires standing on the outside pedal while looking like a chicken over the handlebar. Drive the inside hand down and into the turn, the sharper the turn the harder the push and lean. Getting better at accepting the tire will grip and really turn. There is no sitting and banking corners .


manzanita and Bachelor behind

I ran into a USFS crew felling trees to clear a survey line for a property owner who complains of woodcutters stealing his wood. We pay for private interests. A woman on the crew halted me while a nearby tree was felled. She works on a 10 man fire suppression crew in the summer and in winter leads backcountry snow trips for troubled youth whose parents can pay for the treatment. She held me captive for a conversation that I enjoyed.

Ride lasted till 3:00. First thing back @ van was a solar shower while I was still warm and could handle the chill. The water wasn’t steaming hot. I used the side of the van for a wind block and washed away. I decided it was too late for town errands and I had food for dinner and bfast. I am now out of beer however. My desert suntan has returned after the 19 days in the wet.

Tomorrow I run errands in town then drive to above Hood River for several days of riding.

What's harvested, what's left, and what has no market

Better Ride skills mean better riding

Over 3 days i learned basic skills, all about increasing efficiency and speed as taught by Dylan and Jeff. Drills were explained and practiced on pavement then honed on the trail. Years ago i taught XC and tellmarking skiing, it has been a coon’s age since I was a student. Skills were introduced and  we applied 3 things at a time. Remarkable: Vision, more than looking up; it is picking goals to ride to and looking beyond each goal. Can straighten out a trail and make a pedal wheelie root pass under the  wheels. Turning is all about making the front wheel carve. Lots of weight transfer skills that keep a rider centered over the bottom bracket. I absorbed a good bit, some things I need to teach my body to do and when.

3 days were spent learning. Rides were part of the class on Phil’s trails.Check out for riding skills. I learned that wide bars are good, my 26.5 will be replaced by 28″ and less of a rise to lower my handlebars relative to my saddle height which will allow me to put more weight on the bars for more powerful turning.

This week was Bend’s big national road ride race event. Sat night a  criterium was carved from downtown streets. I watched a bit of the mens’ race. Maybe 80 racers on incredible technical road bikes racing like handle bar to handle bar in a long line. Their bikes don’t sound like our mtn bikes. Race was a spectator meca.

Sat night I met up w/ Dylan and several clinic riders for an evening of beer drinking. I drank a pint @ 10 barrels and another @ (name) por house across the street.  They kept on going and I drove out to Phil’s for bed.

Today was in the lower 90s and sunny. My desert burn and dryness is returning. Everything in my van is dried out. Tonight I set up my folding chair for a sit down in the cooler outside of the van. The chair was still wet from last Mon night downpour in Oakridge. 22% humidity.

Friday I parked in Newport Market parking lot for grocery shopping. A guy rides up on a cruiser and calls me by name. he recently read the DirtRag article and he wanted to say Hi. I ran into him the next 2 days. His name I finally learned is Todd and he is a math prof out in Humbolt cty in CA. He is a friend of Fuzzy whom I ran into again @ the Por house. I posed w/ Fuzzy for a photo. Fuzzy works for Niner who makes 29ers. Both were @ Phil’s today and both tried to get me to ride one. I said No because I do not want to perhaps be tempted to buy one that I am unwilling to afford. One of Todd’s son’s took a picture of Todd and me. He is to email me then I will reply w/ our pic and my geometry problem to figure out space dimensions in a circular house that I want to build.

I plan on leaving here Tues after I buy my new bar and install it for Hood River environs for several days. Then on into WA. I have started imaging a return route to Sedona for the winter. Too many places to ride between here and there but I am attempting to keep my route base line w/ few wiggles. I want to see the fall colors maybe in Durango: high aspen thickets golden against cloudless blue skies contrasted to deep greens of conifers.

Tomorrow I plan on a big ride @ Phils using my green skills. Hot and dry. My skin reddened after 19 days on the wet side.

Off to a hot bedroom under just a flannel sheet.

Badlands by Bruce. Workers’ anthem.