Heat wave cleared out the rain and chill. Temp in the gorge is almost 100 degrees @ 581′ elevation. I ride @ 4000′ which makes the heat feel, well, like cooler heat. Sunday’s observance.
Hi to Jim Niece for his amazing recall after he greeted me by name and how we share something that we have never met, on the road climb towards Lookout mtn yesterday.
Thurs was a rest day recuperating from the beat down on Wed. Weather was changing to dry and hot. Slept in Post canyon. I received my new Garmin Edge 800 bike computer, 2 day delivery from the east coast. I read the instruction manual and programmed it to my variables. Bell has a new helmet, Super, out that I have been interested in as it has more head coverage than even the Feature. A bit heavier, I accept the 3 ozs of penalty for more head protection. I bought one. Dirty Finger had a shop ride and an after ride hang out, I made the hang out.
Fri I putzed around town. My bronchitis is gone but I still have an infrequent dry cough, doesn’t happen when I am riding. The antibiotic cleared something else inside me increasing my level of comfort. I wanted to test myself and the 2 new pieces of gear up on the Whoopee trail for a short ride. All conditions checked out.
Andrew, Lee, Mark, and rookie Mack planned on Sat to ride Gunsight down as a shuttle. Meeting TBD early Sat AM. Meeting time and location was finally agreed on: Sat, Dog River TH, @ 8:ooAM. We shuttled up rt 35 to Bennett Pass and pedaled out gravel roads to start of Gunsight trail. 5 of us and another group of 9. This is a big ride, more downhill than up but nothing to sneeze about. There were less than 10 trees blocking the trail on Gunsight. Up and down along the ridge line. I rode this part and down to Gumjuaac years ago. The road climb up was on some of the steepest paved roads ever, the shuttle today spared me the killer. 3 small patches of snow. Andrew is the fastest of us, I was slightly behind on a downhill. My look ahead sight caught the path of his body which didn’t match trail condition. I saw snow flying up, and I heard him yelp. Body english and reflexes saved him a sure wipe out, he saved it. The ST dumped us out on a rustic rocky resource extraction road (RER) to climb up to High Prairie which is where Jim said hello. We dropped down another beater RER going downhill, just flying. Not really water bars on the road but they work very well as launching ramps for air. Flying. A left onto Eight mile creek upper section. This intersected where we rode on Wed and where the guys met me once b4 back in ’09. Crossed the road and climbed up towards Knebel springs then a jaunt over to pick up Surveyors ridge traversing over to Dog River TH which shares w/ Surveyors. Now the big vert downhill begins. We ran into maybe 10 riders riding up this steep thing. Fun deep shade forest letting gravity be the engine allowing carving, swooping, letting speed take the bumps away as I skipped over them. Controlled speed, technical trail. Seat dropper is so desirable. Finally down @ TH on the highway, 27.36 miles in 3 hrs 31 mins, climbing 3479′ but dropping 5971′. Killer ride. Andrew and Mark kept their heads down and pedaled. No sit down and enjoy a rest ride. I kept after them just a little behind but within sight. Mack performed well above his experience level. He was riding a 26″ hard tail, flats, Avid mechanical brakes, running shoes and gym shorts. He stuck it. Well done. I came from that and less before, I been there. I enjoy my equipment and clothing choices that I have chosen to buy. I am continually seeking better, more money.
Andrew fed and watered us b4 heading back to Portland. Mark and Mack split. I worked on my bike in the sun. My sweat production is not in question. I hung out in cell coverage for Les to call so we could make Sat plans. I drove down to Parkdale to Solaro brew pub for a lingering pint. No call from Les by 6:30. I drove back up to rd 44 then out to spot off 17 road. Shit, a camper was @ my spot. i picked another one in same area still able to see a good chunk of Hood. I learned that I received cell coverage up here. Still no call from Les.
Slept well. Plan today is to ride Knebel springs loop finishing up on the lower 8 mile creek trail. I parked @ same spot where we parked last Wed, a NW Pass pay site. I assumed my senior pass covered me. I was told different by the campground host. No big deal. I drove to a spot on the shoulder of the road, where i parked last year when i discovered the transmission leak. This time I did not look. I climbed up to the lookout, I felt the results of yesterday’s effort. My goal was to ride @ my pace. A couple started up ahead of me that I caught up to. The woman who was second was wearing ear buds. I pedaled quietly behind her as she was following a man. The trail steeply climbed, I heard her utter sound that to me indicated she was not going to clear the hill. I spoke up cheering her on. She shot forward like a spurred horse. The male said something about her success causing a heart attack. Oh well, the joys of choosing ear buds to cut off a critical sense. I dropped down Bottle prairie swooping on wonderful single track. Ignore the damage from a selective cut. The climb out was a rerouted better built trail which lessened the steep trail by increasing the length of the ride but on a rideable grade. The trail dropped to a packed TH off rd 44 and start of wonderful lower 8 Mile creek.
Trail 49, 2.5 miles long needs a separate paragraph. This trail is the most fun one I have ever ridden. Let it rip. Mostly straight line w/ little wiggles to shed h2o, non technical, less than 6% grade (prolly), still slightly damp. Great sight lines allowing controlled stop to yield to uphill rider or hiker. I encountered 2 groups each that I stopped and leaned off the trail allowing them to climb past. Back on the coasting. Just so m uch fun. On Wed I hit 25 mph. I didn’t beat it this time. Big grinner trail. Rides up easily also. Amazing what a shallow grade trail can give.
Les called me when i was @ the 5 Mile Butte lookout. Evening plans were launched. I plan on driving back to town for tasks. The temp climbed as I drove down from 4000′. Dinner w/Les & Gloria, old Boeing Spokane friends.
Plan tomorrow is to drive to Hailey, ID into their almost identical heat 2000′ higher. riding in the 90’s sweats.
I rode on Wed in the rain and clouds, precip dampened the forest trails. The organic material held moisture in the solids which made the trails tacky and no dust. Today, 4 days later the trails I rode today except 8 mile had dust. Trail building here keeps the organic in the tread which is contrary to IMBA design. Roll w/ the local conditions.
Happy Monday y’all.