Is not a wasted day.
So last Monday i headed back to Oakridge.
I planned on making Tuesday a rest day as I hung around The Merch. Cog Wild runs their shuttle out of the shop. Phil the driver is very personable. He made a comment about me being on the afternoon Lawler shuttle. I said if only it was free hoping that I woulkd still get a rest day. He said he would give me a pass and he also wanted to know if I really rode my bike. Lawler is up the same creek as Hardesty. The van drove up higher to right where the single track started. 3 other riders, 2 of them rode it yesterday. The start was a gentle climb right off, I stayed sort of with the younger guy. He reached the first tilted downhill section and disappeared. Shortly a trail junction, to the left was sort of downhill and hte right going up. A sign pointed the trail uphill which I took, I didn’t see that guy until beers at the Pub. Deep forest cover, nice woods dirt tread. As elevation dropped I entered a cloud bank which dripped water. The trail was right at the divide between wet and dry.
Trail is chunky, dark tunnel, crazy switchbacks, a short hike a bike climb part way down, finishing with a newly purpose built mtn bike flow trail. The trail dead ended on a logging road, skid tracks said turn left which seemed back up hill. I failed to implant the turn instruction other than if you are going uphill you are wrong. To the left went back up stream, the right went down stream but climbed. The driver said the finish is a downhill. I rode left a few hundred yards uphill expecting to see my van. Maybe I was wrong so I coasted back to the trail and looked right. No, left is the way. I repeated what just ridden going further but still no van. I said if not around the next bend I will stop and wait for the other 3. I went around another bend, said the same thing, pedaled around another and there was the van. Late afternoon ride. Crazy.8 miles pedaling 1 hr which included the road search climbing 745′ but dropping a whopping 3681′. Not gentle like Alpine stuff. Back into town to the Pub.
At the pub I was asking people of places to stay. The mayor told of a spot right on Salmon Creek that he said was not posted so there fore it was not trespassing. I chose his suggestion. I stayed there 2 nights.
Tuesday was open mike at the pub, Brewers Union. Local event brought several to play or listen.
Wed was my rest day. Steve will be visiting Bend this weekend and Oakridge is on his ride card. So I was only leaving temporarily. I drove to La Pine learning a route from Oakridge. I casually viewed the town which is growing, new medical clinic I think. 3 grocery stores but still lack exotic of big bend grocery stores. I ate a pint of the last of the valley strawberries bought from an extensive road side produce stand. Vanilla ice cream and Hershey’s special dark. Took a shower at local anytime. Spent the night on my property. Very quiet after dark. Road is dusty.
I googled laundromat La Pine, only one, reviews stated it felt like home. Thursday was laundry day to check it out. Place was packed and lively.
Laundry done I finished the drive to Bend about 30 miles away. I drove to Phils for a ride. Uphill on Bens, continuing social trail, Pine Drop, then descend Phil’s. Nice loop. Tread is crushed pumice which becomes dust at the slightest disturbance, OK if you are first. 16.83 miles climbing 1463. I rode out to the spot where I camped 2 years ago: gate open and not even a track into the spot. Cool.
I called Woody and learned that COTA was having their required annual meeting and was open to me. Location was 10 Barrels east side facility. East side of Bend is booming new part of town. West side where I hang is old neighborhoods. Greeted Woody. He proposed a 9AM meet tomorrow for a ride. Meeting was 7th Mtn. I drove out to road 41 which was just passed his place.
Friday morning I woke up at 8:30, 30 mins to meet time and no way to make it. I called Woody and asked if I could buy 30 mins. Full breakfast and clean up and drive got me there with 3 mins left. He lead us, riders had ties to SORBA back east. A forester, hydrologist, and a recreation. Great life lines. We rode up the Deschutes to a named falls then rode back down stream tight to the river. This piece is white water rafted. We stopped below a rapids and watched several rafts bounce past.
The spot on rd 41 is crowded, separation is closer.
Swampy Lake snow park is below snow level. South Fork has been cut out. Hot temp in town,higher elevation make for cooler ride. That’s what i did. At the TH while getting ready a local shuttle metro bus pulling a trailer filled with mtn bikes. No solitude now. I pedaled off ahead of the gaggle. I chose an unmarked trail climbing up with hardly a track and nobody following me. Good and Bad. My trail should have been mostly flat to Swampy and well ridden, not what I was riding. I made MTBProject tell me where I was and how I could get to the South Fork. Straight ahead climb. I rode across 2 short snow sections finally catching the trail down to where I wanted to be. The shelter is burned down. South Fork drops down to Tumalo creek in the deep tree cover. I passed 4 riders riding up, I chose to go down then pay the piper climbing up a haul road. I like this trail, my bike is so great. I drop my seat, roll my heels down, heads up, bent elbows, contact with the bike is hands and feet, bike moves all over underneath me. Darkness with intermittent short patches of bright sun. Then the climb out. Areas of selective logging up here: flat land feller bunchers.
My shifting was still not happy. I needed pro help. I drove back to town to Sunnyside arriving about 4:30, before their 7PM closing. I sought help when my turn came. Sure, bring the bike in. A wrench put it in the stand. I had the cable tension correct, everything checked out OK. He commented about a hitch in the pedal stroke. Couldn’t identify sound as it was not consistent. I thought dry chain even though it made no complaint. I put the bike back on the van after rewarding Mike that he performed as a destination shop.
Folks from Spokane arrived Sat night. We made ride plans for Sunday down here to ride Tiddlywinks etc. Sunday we met at the TH: Kelly and Tom, Randy and Lisa who each ride a Turner. Kelly is the rabbit of the bunch and is training for a race. Group ride of varying fitness levels. I rode Kelly’s wheel till my lead on the downs. Upper Tylers has enhanced existing features to make a flow trail. We turned onto Larsen’s traversing mostly over to our climb up Blue square Tiddlywinks, a 2 way trail with a piece of downhill specific. We encountered an objectionable amount of downhill riders yelling that we were riding on a downhill trail. Several close calls. Not made on my map: don’t ride up this trail. We finished cherry stemming Tiddlywinks. I had never ridden this part the other way making this way new. 16.84 miles climbing 1883. Ran into a group of women riders lead by Lyndsey, a retired downhill mtn bike racer owner of a skills instruction. I heard her voice before seeing her. She freaked out when she saw it was me. Stories told
My drive train was still complaining but shifting spot on. Has to be with the cluster that I finally wore out. Back to town. I bought an SLX at Hutches. Dinner at The Lot then drove out to rode 41 as that is to be the start for tomorrows ride plus it way up a bit higher. 90s. I put on replaced the cluster at camp then rode the bike around, Shifting was fine. No noise. Fixed.
Today’s ride was to meet at visitors center right at road 41. Terry and Meg joined. Kelly planned the ride to pick up the lower part of Tylers. We rode up a piece of Storm King where someone known by license plate drove a truck up the trail smashing down rtees when needed. We rode larsens backwards for me and it rode well. Tylers downhill smoking. ride Catch and release back to rigs. There were 4 Turners out of 7 bikes. Me, the longest owner on the newest RFX, Randy and Terry on Burners, and Lisa on a Spot.
My drive train kept throwing glitches sporadically in mostly larger gears. I fiddled in the parking lot. Everything is tight and spins as it should. on back pedal the chain would hop like a stiff link which none were. I clutched the chain to check the idler pulleys on the derailleur. Curses: the lower pulley is fried sort of turning. Solution: saturate with Boshield. Turned better but then went back to hesitating. I removed the chain and spun the pulleys: the lower was fried and lube made no difference. I need a new pulley or learn what about fixing it. Drove back to Sunnyside, waited my turn and bought a replacement set of pulleys. Cool.
Late lunch with 4 Spokane buds, a shower, then out to hopefully not crowded spot past Phils. Score, alone again.
I replaced the pulleys at sleep spot then pedaled: all is now good.
I read in new issue of Backpacker mag that people can become desensitized to mosquito spit and not create itchy bumps. That explains why I don’t bump. Science, real facts.
Suggested reading is Orwell’s 1984.