Forecast called for haze

Last night out at favorite past Phils sleep spot smoke really settled in. The inside was the same as what was outside. My van even tonight still smells of smoke. Forecasted a sunny afternoon today with winds shifting to from  the north where there are no fires.

Wed night

Today was laundry day which chewed up the AM allowing smoke to clear per forecast. Blue sky is just overhead blow smoke blow smoke away. I drove up to the Green Gate. Just a light haze filtered thru the trees. Route went so: social trail to Storm King, Funner to Larsens TH, Tiddlywinks over to Kiwa Butte to Tylers, to Larsens, to Tiddlywinks to Storm King to social trail to cold beer. 16 miles in 2 hours all by myself. There are some pieces of for me really fun downhills. Tylers is beat which has a lot of grade reversals. Drop the seat all the way then dance on the bike. My tires sounded soft at 17 and 18 psi. The rear wheel squiggled on soft bermed turns. Will add a pound. Shifting worked like it was right out of the box.

Been looking at 46T cogs but haven’t found a SRAM derailleur that will handle 46, presently it is 42 that I ride now. I wonder what I would gain by going lower.

Last night I walked from 10 Barrel to the Lot. I passed another beer place on the way. I looked at the patrons seated about. One caught my eye but I wasn’t sure. He stood up and came over to me, it was Derrick from Oakridge up here working on a trail out in Tumalo. Greetings. We shared dinner at The Lot tonight.

Drove out to favorite spot. Smoke was less:

Thurs night

Still smokey. But I am high and dry.

Forecast this weekend is all but 100 degrees. Think Sat I will drive north to RD 44 trails above Hood River.

Air quality in Bend is RED

As is Prineville where I thought I could escape to to ride Lookout Mtn.

I didn’t ride yesterday because of smoke choked air. I drove up to Wanoga TH thinking that it might be above the smoke if there was an inversion layer. No inversion, just smoke, no idea if I  breathed cleaner air than if I would have stayed down low outside of town. Advice is to stay inside. I suspect that the air quality is the same inside my home as is outside, I only rebreathe what is inside. I located the fires in Oregon on its state map to help get a sense of clean air. The fires are to the NW, W, and SW. Winds coming from those directions bring on the smoke. Even Baker City has bad air plus higher temps. I am here in Bend till 5:30 Fri after a CT scan of my gut.

The shifting problem arose during my last ride. I tightened and loosened the cable tension which help on one side of the gear cluster but adversely affected the other side. Resigned myself that the problem was with the derailleur. At Sunnyside I explained my issue and why I wanted the new part. Marty, the wrench told me that what I am experiencing is classic bent derailleur hanger. I put the checking tool on the bike which revealed a slight out of true orientation of the rear derailleur, he tweaked the hanger back to being happy which solved the shifting issue and saved me a chunk of bucks. There are less than 5,000 miles on the derailleur, past experience is these things last for lots of miles unless damaged. I am waiting out better air to realize this happiness inducing fix.

I am now running 18 psi in the rear tire and 17 on the front. So far I have not felt the tire “rolling”. The less air pressure makes the tire more supple and bump absorbing and faster on the dirt; however it slows the bike down on pavement. Noah at 230# and I at 150# had a coast off on Dunning road in Oakridge and he smoked me. I run way lower pressure than he which explains the pavement performance but on the dirt I was aces high which is also ability. I am running Maxxis Minnion DHF 2.5WT tires on Ibis 741 rims which are wide rims necessitating a tire designed for wide rims. I pay a weight penalty for better dirt performance. My smile stays enjoyably frozen on my face because of the performance.

The moon is red as is the early sun.


morning sun from Wanoga
favorite Bend spot

Mother Nature spread some of Harvey’s rain up here. Montana has way more fires with fewer resources to contain them.

Presently MT Hood air quality is yellow indicating Moderate. I might head to rd 44 trails there. La Grande and Baker City are yellow also. Temps appear to be forecast about the same in upper 90s. This is Labor day weekend.

bigness is the eyes of the belly

Years ago rides had to be 20 plus miles to be worth my taking my bike off the rack. That was then, this is now. 2 hours of pedaling is a good amount of riding covering maybe 14 to 17 miles. Rides taking 2 plus hours and over 20 miles are big days now. My oats have been done et up. Understanding this I will describe yesterday’s ride as pretty big. I plotted another way to get up on Mrazek ride to ride Flagline and descend South Fork. No smell or visible smoke experienced at 7AM. Good to go for this ride. I drove up Skyliner to the TH. I filled my hydration bladder at a spigot at the lodge. I climbed up an improved FS road.

This is why lumber companies need more timber to cut and no loggers, just machine operators:

feller buncher

After a left hand turn I took the first right which brought me to Mrazek crossing. Uphill from there. I continue to rdie that short piece of old haul road. Then the single track which is a legacy hiking trail. Woods dirt mostly hemlock needles and dry. Pass Happy Valley North Fork trail on Metolius Windigo. There is still a snow patch remaining tucked in the shadow of a bluff. Then on to Flagline which seasonally opened on 8/15. Already the trail shows signs of wear. Brake bumps and loose corners. I wondered if winter might have filled in the bumps and hardened the corners. No. Still wear happens. Flagline connected to Swampy that took me to the top of the South Fork which for me is a killer downhill. The bike really excels over roots, small kickers and drops, brake bumps, and steepness. I have encountered riders pedaling up which can be done to give an idea of its steepness. Still perhaps a 4% slope can get me going pretty fast, top speed was 23 mph which was prolly on smooth Tumalo Creek trail. Mrazek goes thru heavy tree cover with lots of dead and down. Nature was denied but not for ever.

Farewell Mrazek jct.

Not much for view sheds. Trail breaks out in small alpine openings. Tumalo creek was down enough to keep feet dry at the crossing.

dry feet tumalo creek crossing

Flagline down to top of South Fork and more fun. All by myself. Just so much fun. Trails Ts into Tumalo Creek trail dropping down stream to the TH. Smooth wide trail with several short sight lines. Today I had all the steep pitches to myself. Smoking.

On Metolius I caught up with 3 riders. A woman said we talked on a previous ride at Happy Valley. I guess so. I tried to bribe them with my cold beer but she said they have their own. Back at the TH a tailgate gathering occurred with these riders. 2 couples and they had beer: 16oz Rainiers. 1 was a previous smoke jumper, 2 worked for NOLS and the last was connected to Outward Bound. Kindred spirits.

Ride was 27.06 miles climbing 3323′ pedaling for 3 hrs 53 mins. Said I burned 1727 calories. It was a big day. The Edge 520 calculates recovery time which was 15 hours.

Into town for clean up, beer, and dinner.

This AM skies were again clear in spite of the forecast. I drove up to the FS Visitor Center at rd 41. I call this ride Short Tylers as I ride maybe the lower part. I rode Catch and release turning up on StormKing to a traffic circle of several trail, I took Tiddlywinks up to Larsens which hit Tylers. Blown out corners and dust down to start of Catch And release for ho,e. 17 miles. My legs are worked.

93 degrees. Morning temps justify running the furnace before sliding out of bed.

Sign says the facts in Oakridge:

Oakridge, OR


eclipse from Larison rock

Hot, dry, dusty and sometimes smoke. Hoot owl logging.