Thursday I did laundry in Bend. I noticed the boards I broke on the nearby fence have been replaced. I bought diesel and propane and groceries then headed down US 97 to Crescent Junction over to rt 58 over Willamette Pass down to Oakridge and a homecoming. I visited at the Mercantile then over the bridge over the tracks to old town and up Main st to Brewers Union Pub where many mountain bikers gather. Picked up where each of us left off. Randy from MBO and more. I ate dinner then drove 26 miles up the Middle Fork of the Willamette to Sacandaga FS campground, site of 3 day work party on the river trail. Ben was setting up his kitchen that would feed us 3 squares over the next 3 days. His food is not what can be cooked over a 2 burner Coleman stove. Refrigerated beer trailer w/ 5 taps from a new brewery sponsor. Early arrivals sipped beer while sitting around a campfire that worked to lessen the mosquitoes feasting on our blood. I found a flat spot for my sleep spot.

Mosquitoes: They like the wet side of the Cascades. Lots of females searching blood to lay the next clutch of blood suckers. Minimize exposed skin covered w/ material her proboscis can’t penetrate. My heavy duck pants blocked access. I wore a Carhart jacket for the top then just swatted the neck biters. Opening the van door seemed to be an invitation to dinner. I managed to kill most of then before crawling under my bedding.

Friday AM bfast and packing a lunch we gathered for work assignments. I joined a brushing crew, my role was pitching cut stuff off the trail after the weedeaters cut back the brush. Not string cutters but one a saw blade and the others a metal blade. I drug a pitch fork down the trail essentially raking the trail. The pitchfork width matched the trail width. My work required little effort and a lot of waiting.

brushing on Middle fork of willamette goats outing
brushing on Middle fork of Willamette goats outing

The Middle Fork is a river trail.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADid I mention the mosquitoes?

I learned from Lev of Cog Wild that we would have a shuttle up to Youngs Rock on Sat. Friday the shuttle showed up for a Fri, shuttle. I had started drinking beer before I learned of a shuttle. I don’t ride with alcohol in my system. Missed a shuttle.

Friday night dinner was a Ben’s special. He posted a white board with the menu description. Plastic utensils and using your lap for a table did not do justice to his crew’s effort.

Slept w/ the side door opened covered by netting.

Sat my project was to complete the brushing of the 4 mile section of trail. I organized 2 summer interns and Josh to hand lop brush. We drove down the the far end of the trail then hiked upstream cutting back woody growth. We connected w/ where we left of the day before then hiked back to camp.

Oh, add poison oak to nature’s discomforts.

poison oak
poison oak

Sat after work I changed into my riding gear and stayed away from wetting my whistle. A radio message was received at camp that a saw crew had not returned. The 4 of us who were hoping to ride Youngs were dispatched on a search mission. We were shuttled up stream to ride down stream searching for them. I got to ride over work that I did 3 years ago on a work project, the rocks I laid were still in place. We carried our bikes over several blow downs, this was the biggest and nastiest we dealt with:

tree down middle fork
tree down middle fork

The saw crew came out from the upstream of the trail junction we rode down on. We just missed each other. Us riders got picked up and driven further upstream where they might have been. Us riders ended up riding a bit of the trail but missed out on the shuttle up to Young’s rock. Back at camp I made it to dinner and a few beers. On Sat the sign up sheet listed 27 volunteers.

Sunday’s work was to build 3 bridges, one each over small feeder streams. I worked with a crew on 1 bridge.

what our bridge went over
what our bridge went over
rock hauling and our partially completed bridge
rock hauling and our partially completed bridge

No Sunday shuttle.

Back at camp after a beer I took a solar shower. The shower collected heat from the sun, so much that the temp was too hot. My shower set up is to pour the heated water into the Helio pressure tank and use the attached nozzle to squirt myself. A foot pump is used to pressurize the vessel. Problem is the pressure exceeds the ability of the cap to resist air escaping. I pump up until i hear the air escaping the put the thing on top of my Jobox which makes the pressure last a bit longer. I did add cooler water from my van tank. I emailed Helio about the air escaping and received an answer that blew me off.

To fill the propane I am required to turn off the fridge then start the fridge once the filling hose is detached. I neglected to restart the fridge. Friday AM I woke up. Last night I forgot to turn off the fridge cooling fan which is noisy when running. It was peculiar that the fan was quiet all night. I looked at the fridge control panel which is right almost at eye level when in bed. No lights: fridge was not working. First thought was fridge failure as recently the fridge failed to relight. I pushed in the start button and the fridge started right away. So far so good. I opened the door and checked the thermometer: 52 degrees: food spoilage. A faint smell of badness was present. There is just Ben’s trash bags and I did not want to share my mistake with others. By Sunday stink was what i smelled, I needed to drive back to town and find a garbage can. I removed  a piece of chicken which seemed to be the odor source and milk products. Fridge was working properly.

Sunday dinner at the Pub. I asked Randy, owner of the shuttle company Oregon-Adventures.com, how to get on the Alpine shuttle the next day. He said show up at 9:30 and he would put me on. My plan is to ride the big one: Alpine, Tire mtn, Cloverleaf, and Alpine known as ATCA. I spent the night on Salmon Creek just outside of town.

Yesterday after bfast and clean up I drove to the shuttle location. My bike and me were loaded joining 5 other riders. Randy comped my fee in recognition of my contribution and a local. Shuttle drives up FS road 1912 to Kate’s cut in that Derrick and I built years previously. Logging road travel. Beautiful day. A bit of a climb emerged onto top of Bunchgrass mtn

Bunch grass, no bear grass bloom, folks from Cleveland
Bunch grass, no bear grass bloom, folks from Cleveland

Great old legacy hiking trails in the forest. Down a ways I turned onto Tire Mtn trail

Tire mtn
Tire mtn

Which dropped into old growth cover

Tire mtn
Tire mtn

Clover Patch junction leaves the downhill replaced by uphill mixed in w/ more downhill which connects w/ a logging road and climbing the Clover patch Tie back to Alpine trail near Buckhead shelter. Once back on Alpine the trails continue to loose elevation back to the Red Bridge in WestFir trailhead.

My ride was 23.64 miles climbing 3539″ and descending 6782′. took 3 hours 22 mins, I spent 1 hr 18 mins anaerobic. I started getting a cramp in my left leg that I couldn’t make go away which caused me to walk a little on the last uphills.

I placed the solar shower on the Jobox before I left on my ride. Hot water again. Years ago I discovered using the toilet stall in the rest room as my shower room as the floor is concrete and a floor drain. Another hot shower. I can get clean including washing my hair w/ less than 2 gallons of water.

Clean then back to Pub again. Tonight was a long conversation w/ Jim, the town mayor, about his effort to grow the mtn biking scene here. Green money to the town.

Last night at dusk I drove upstream on Salmon Creek road looking for a sleep spot. This time I turned uphill on a lesser traveled single lane logging road. I was looking for a wide spot or a landing to park in. I drove climbing higher dodging holes and tree branches. I finally found a spot that was being used as a wood products dump.

I like Oakridge riding. Old woods trails under big tree cover. The Middle Fork along a white water river, so clear and pure water. Then up higher still big trees, the famous Jedi section goes thru old growth trees. Growing conditions create big trees. More mature trees create openings such as the Tire mtn pic. The trails are mostly downhill where you ride up a logging road or make shuttle arrangements. The Pub is a great socializing spot. Ray’s grocery store selections are small city choices mirroring what the customers taste and income consume. The town is sandwiched in the Willamette River valley and butts up against USFS land which keeps the town hemmed in and open land next to nothing and expensive. Last year I asked about land and was told that I needed more $ to buy in.

I am making today a rest day and attending to chores such as this while I have internet.

Tomorrow i am joining Jim to ride Heckletooth that he has ridden now 132 times. I get smoked by him. This year I should keep him a bit closer as I am riding a 27.5 compared to his 29 and I am in better shape.

I plan on returning to Bend on Thurs. Friday is fridge service and a urologist exam regarding my sore left nut. I’ll stay in bend for the next week then head north to Hood River.

Oakridge puts a smile on my face. Come check out yourself.


More Bend riding

I spent Saturday night on my land. Earlier I walked the FS logging roads thru the Deschutes Forest. The lower forest is so brushy that walking XC is a shin scrapper. I stayed on the logging roads. I used to make fun of northern ID w/ all of the logging roads, i said if there isn’t a road nearby, wait and one will be built. The Deschutes is just cut up w/ old logging roads as here a road is just a bulldozer blade away. Peaceful night.

Sunday I drove up to Swampy snowpark, 33 miles. Trails up here are in the fuel load forest w/ short sight lines and big trees. Also, once, I described the Michaux in PA trails as if they were made by a drunk staggering thru the forest as the trails were very easy to make. What I experience on the trails here is a similar vein of turny flowing trails. Easy to make trail here. Seems like a format: 1,2,3 turn, repeat. Bermed corners, some have weathered down to loose sand. Tree cover creates shade patterns as the trails go in and out of sunshine and shadow which makes seeing things difficult for my older eyes. Trails here are mostly all about pedaling. 20.92 miles climbing 2349′ (112′ per miles). I drove back down to town for a shower, groceries and a beer at 10 Barrel.

Monday I drove down to Phils TH which has been completed for a much  larger lot and CXT outhouse. I rode up Ben’s which is a one way climb. I rode up a newly adopted social trail named Pine Drop connecting with Phils downhill back to the TH. COTA recommended making select trails one way to eliminate user conflict. All of Ben’s is uphill, the upper part of Phils is 2 way that changes to downhill only when the trail drops. Open Ponderosa pine forest. 15.42 miles climbing 1394′  (90’/mile). Afterwards a short drive to SNAP for a shower, a few more blocks to 10 Barrels, dinner at Longboard Louies. at 10 Barrels I ran into Todd whom I shared a ride with 2 years ago. We made plans to ride up higher on Tues. I drove up 11 miles on mt bachelor hwy to a camp spot. Todd said he would ride up to meet me for the ride. I reacquainted myself with the ride distance that Todd was not aware of.  He will get worked before he even start our ride. Full moon longest day of the year.

Tuesday morning I drove back down almost to the first round about to wait for Todd to give him a ride. He texted me at the time he was going to start pedaling from his house. He begged off w/ life got in the way. I responded telling him I drove down to pick him up. I drove away once I read his text to the TH. At the TH I read his text saying the road was the problem and if I could still give him a ride he would be in. Bummer as I did chose not to drive back down to pick him up. This ride would pick up a short piece of Storm King to Funner all the way to the Wanoga snowpark where Tiddlywinks started. I left Tiddly at the Kiawa junction dead ending at Tylers traverse which uses old skidder roads for descent over natural features. The Larsen’s back to Funner then to Storm King back to van. 16.64 miles climbing 1703′ (102’/mile). Funner is a popular shuttle downhill. Riders need to know and act that with speed comes responsibility. A rider almost creamed me as he was going to fast even with a long sight line. Back to town for a shower and beer and dinner at the Lot. Slept at spot past Phils. It’s like Willow Springs road at Moab: get out to pick a spot before dark.

I replaced my new chain which was a road bike chain w/ a real mtn bike chain. My shifting woes were caused by just a slightly too tight shifter cable. The SRAM guy at Junction said the shifting issue was the B tension screw and not cable. What happened was the chain would not drop down to correct gear and I would shift back up to correct. I was not a happy pedaler as I could never easily shift to the proper gear. Wrench at Sunnyside nailed the adjustment. I ride a 1X11 which is so wonderful as I only shift the right gripshift twisty.

My left nut still has issues plus I have nausea. Today I called a clinic here in Bend where I am a repeat patient. I scored an appointment is just a few minutes. Gotta go.

Tomorrow is wash day then drive over to Oakridge for a 3 day trail work project. Cogwild will shuttle riders up to Young’s Rock which is a killer downhill.


Back at it.

A selective logging and fuels reduction is underway out from Phils which has closed roads for the duration and trails in the area are open on weekends and after work hours. Over the years I have ridden thru stuff effected as above and have watched slow healing of the scars. It sure improves the sight line. Today I rode COD which cuts thru this spring cutting. Sometimes trees were left near the trail.


What it used to look like just across the skidder road

COD not fuel reduced
COD not fuel reduced

Today I rode up Bens to Pine Drop up to Storm King which goes mostly downhill, I turned wrong way at new catch and Release riding away from where I needed to be. MTBProject requires a bit of sharp attention to figure out, neat thing is your location is noted by a small blue dot. I came out at the new visitors center at the start of COD which is inside the cut zone. An official posted sign stated trail closed but my reading of the posted closure notice was it was open. I pedaled to the center and asked.  COD is open as it is a necessary cross over trail. I rode thru the cut per above. Managed forests. Big day 26 miles climbing 2264′ (87’/mile) pedaling time of 2 hrs 59 mins. Empty trails greet the weekday day time rider. Trails are dusty where they can be. If you ain’t first you ride in dust. Tree cover creates shadows and bright sunlight which make it difficult for me to see from the light to the dark.

DR visit generated a referral to a urologist. No tactile pain, urine is normal. Sore nut creates abdominal pain.

Some time ago I smoked pot during a ride. I broke some old habbits which made my riding stronger. It took repeated rides for those discoveries to become my norm. I am pedaling stronger using the gears and letting my breathing control my effort. I moved the cleats all the way forward, tilted the nose of the saddle slightly down to keep my but on the saddle when climbing, and fine tuning my saddle height. Pot has helped. I sometimes stop for a solo safety meeting. I’m in Oregon.

Below is one view of my house, shape is correct. I am working on windows. It is 20’X20′ w/ one corner removed.



Home is where you don’t get rousted just checked up on

Forecast for yesterday morning was perhaps rain. At 1:00 I am to meet w/ the house designer people. Decided not to ride.

Friday’s meeting turned out to be just Michael, the architect just hired. We met at a local pub. I noticed his rain parka hung over his chair that said serious stuff. He shared some things in his life. Last year he hiked 82 days on an incomplete trail going across the northern states. He lives in an apartment and keeps his life almost backpacking spartan as he cooks w/ his backpack pot and sleeps on the floor on a inflatable pad but changed to blankets for more room. We related. His degree is architecture and has had years of experience. He used a tablet to capture my house ideas. We worked out the stairway which can be the bane of a house design. We worked well together. Next step is further refinement.

Afterwards I drove down to my property just NW of LaPine for the night. My own land. I slipped off the cable noose blocking the entrance then drove in over rain softened pumice. I sawed out 2 small short clumps of brush so as not to catch things on the van under belly. My tracks from last summer are still visible. I got out and walked my 1 acre seeing what’s up. I noticed 3 tree tops had fallen for all the damage. I pulled up knapweed in front as that’s the only place it grows as it has spread from the property across the road. I am camping on my property, I ask only myself for permission and can stay as long as I pay the taxes.


Adjoining properties were vacant. Road has been worked on to be a smooth gravel road. I fixed Captain chicken that Rebecca renamed Captain Craig. A long time had passed before making it tonight. It was like a celebration of being home. Although it was the second night here.

Chilly night with the furnace running on a low setting. Rain fell off and on. Forecast Sat night called for rain probability decreasing after 11AM today. I was thinking about riding in the afternoon if so.

This morn I was sitting at my desk when I noticed a white SUV parked out on the road in front. I deciphered the markings on the car as the sheriff. I put on my Mr Rodgers wool sweater and walked out to greet him. I am the first person he has seen on this property so he decided to check out what’s up. We chatted introducing myself to the law. He suggested I get a fire sign from the fire department and hang it along w/ No trespassing signs. The sign would give the law the reason to check up on anybody being on my property. I was shivering in the cold damp and he was in shirt sleeves.

Rain sprinkles fell off and on till mid afternoon when big patches of blue opened up. My chance for a sucker hole to walk the FS roads. I am 4 properties away from the edge of the Deschutes NF. Big Ponderosa pines. Maybe 200 yards into the forest have been fuel reduced. The area is saturated w/ mapped logging roads. I walked out to a hard road and back for 5.4 miles.

Freeze warning for tonight.

Camping on public land for me seemed to have an etiquette as in you stayed in your spot and did not visit others. Others respected privacy for the greater most part. Being on private land in a neighborhood has a great potential for visiting neighbors. The marine family is back home, the guy to the east is still away. The neighbors to the S end are back as I heard their dogs barking.

Tomorrow I will drive thru Sunriver to the upper Phils trail complex. This ride might finish on an uphill where as if I drove down to Phils it would be sweet coasting. However driving high is shorter than going into Bend then out to trails. RT 97 south is reduced to 1 lane that creates slow speeds.

Along the way I find lots of good rides and like to stay in an area. I started looking at time management where I go and how long I stay there. My goal is Bentonville, AR before Thanksgiving for the IMBA World Summit. I need to manage my time to either ride all the places I am starting to identify or ride fewer places but stay longer. Paradox. I’m up to it.

At Twin Falls I visited a Specialized dealer shop. I asked about E bikes as the big S makes some. Guy took me outside to look at 2 that were hung over the tailgate of a truck.

Specialized electric assist mtn bikes
Specialized electric assist mtn bikes

Check out the beefed up bottom bracket area and oversized down tube. The motor is in the bottom bracket massive and the down tube houses the battery. It appears to be a full blown regular mountain bike only it can go fast. Supposed to be under 700 watts and max speed on flat ground under a 170 pound rider of 20 mph. Later I saw one being built up at the Perch. I learned the pedal assist matches your effort, if you are pedaling at say  4 mph it adds matching 4 for 8mph. The rider controls how much energy hence speed is drained from the battery. Amazing. So as I was crushing myself climbing up to Lookout mtn at 6800′ just making balance speed, an e-assist bike could have gone by me and the rider could have carried on a one way conversation w/ me. They are not permitted on non motorized trails. To me the non motorized name should be changed to Heart Propelled which captures what we do versus what the can’t do. More positive and definitive. I have yet to encounter one on the trail. There is a speedometer that must feed back to the brain to stop power at 20mph.