Wheels still going around

Steve and I traveled to Oakridge on Sat stopping for short visit in town then drove up river, the Middle Fork of the Willamette parking at Campers Flat then riding in his Dodge van he is home converting to Paddys Meadow for a shuttle then descent of the river back to Campers Flat. Mosquitoes are just hideous. Upper section of trail called for skillful crossing of parts of trees plugging the trail. This one I experienced last year which went way above just blocking the trail. It fell at the switchback and the trail below the switchback. Only way to cross was to lift the bike to a rider on top of log then hand it down. Creative clearance solution as the tree is too big for FS issue chainsaws.

middle fork tree solution, previous ride crawled up and over then down

My body does not react to mosquito “bites” from her sucking mouth part. There are many bloody splotches in my van from a squished bugger, my blood in her abdomen. Steve welts up adding to itching.

Spent the night at Campers.

Tuesday we left in time to make the Cog Wild shuttle for ATCA. Olivia at the Merch applied her feminine touch fixing my shifting issue. Van shuttle to Kate’s cutin. First part of trail is a short climb up Kate’s that Derrick and I built several years ago. Climb up to Sourgrass mtn and a meadow of blooming bear grass. Next week prolly and the meadow will be covered in white blossoms. Down the way the trail crosses a meadow for way out views.

from Alpine,

Then on to Tire mtn trail

Tire mtn trail

Tire mtn drops down into old growth forest, old growth because it has never been logged and I hope it remains that way. Massive trees, climax ecosystem.

bridge on tire massive tree fall

Joined Cloverpatch trail for grown up left over trees form first cut, up then a final down to the resource extraction road. Payback for our fun was about to lay its crushing hand on my body for the climb out. Starts out on descent on single lane gravel road. Steve and I coasted raced. My rear tire kicks up gravel which kept him off my tail. Rd 130 starts the climb. I thank the persons who cut out the blocking trees. This ride I rode the entire road w/o stopping albeit in granny. The climb up the newly built single track climb linking 2 logging roads is purpose built and under tree shade. Well built. Single track connects with more gravel taking us to Buckhead Shelter. Big climbing is over. Mostly downhill on Alpine to Red Bridge finish. Trails are becoming dusty and have noticeable amount of poor riding wear. The front brake is the more powerful stopper, use it when you need to slow down and the rear brake gently which will not create brake stutter bumps right before corners. Corners were blown out. Big effort for just 23.42 miles pedaling for 3 hrs 22 mins climbing 3704′ but rewarding and punishing 6995′ descent.

Solar shower in the toilet stall of the park restroom. Socializing at the Pub. Visited with local Kathy learning some back stories. Camped at Dead Mtn trailhead.

Worked yesterday, recovered overnight, big eyes for riding Heckletooth. Local Jim has ridden this route several times short of 200 times. Steve has a van, I have a van, miles of pavement, shuttle friendly. We parked his van down low, loaded him and his bike into my van then drove the pavement to the bridge crossing Salmon creek and rd 2408 start. Just a pleasant grunt uphill as mosquitoes drained life blood from us. Nasty. Road climb to access the dirt. Tops out on top of Heckletooth, site of past USFS fire lookout.

Downward hike a bike

Some nasty shit in there.

Trail drops down Dunning road which is paved, curvy, and some places steep. Again another coasting race. I ride a 27.5 wheel and Steve rides a 29, both have I9 hubs and big tires. Steve is taller than me and close to my weight. I stayed ahead of him. He said he would suck my wheel then slip out attempting to pass me. He said that as soon as he hit the fresh air he lost speed. Side lugs hold well under hard lean on pavement. Max speed 32.5.

Beer and dinner at the Pub which became very busy. Early arrivals for MBO.

While still in Bend Steve and I did researching to learn that MBO is here this weekend which brings in maybe 350 riders for 3 days of shuttle riding. Our original plan was to ride here this weekend. Wise choice to enjoy a less crowded experience.

Spent 2 nights at Dead mtn TH.

Today is a rest day. Clean clothes, 6 days of riding duds drying inside my van. Soon I will drive over to McKenzie Bridge  on namesake river for 2 nights. Tomorrow Steve and I will shuttle the river trail then the big day on Sat of Oleary.

I grouse at to me unacceptable riding behavior. Steve nailed it when he called us elder statesmen. Be nice to the trails. Riding locations that gain bucket list status attract riders who add their wear to the trails. Who maintains those trails: Locals. Are you as a local to your riding area a trail volunteer? You visit another’s back yard and leave. Are you taking care of trails in your own backyard for the enjoyment of riders who found your goods?

Hot in Bend

Upper 90s. Rides are dehydrating. On the 4th I pedaled 4 hrs for 31.84 miles climbing 3179′. A scale for the stepping on is in the locker room at snap. I lost 3 pounds from the day before. Low humidity and high heat pulls the sweat out. I made yesterday and the day before rest days to avoid the heat or riding.

Friend Steve from Sun Valley arrived last night, we met at 5 at 10 barrels. We rode a big loop to catch all of Tylers starting from rd 41 junction with catch and release. We started at 8:30 AM finishing at 12:45. The temp per the van was 95 and inside it was 100. Low humidity lessens the burn. Our 2 vans are parked out off 41 rd right on catch except our spot is not protected from the high in the sky sun. We left our chairs and tables at the spot signaling yes, this spot is taken. I wrote on my table; Stolen from Craig and my phone number in perm marker. Table is made in Spokane.

The 4th ride was the biggest in a long long time, prolly last Bend visit. The trail system down low is miles and miles, quite possible to put 56 plus mile loops. I rode up non stop the last double track on Mrazek for the first time. I walked part last year on this bike riding clipless, circular 30T chain ring, and 175mm cranks, this bike build is big Catalyst pedals and 510 shoes, 32T oval chain ring, and 170mm crank. Oh, I climbed a bunch of vert at Oakridge. The bike build helped. I let gravity pull me downhill which can be sufficiently faster than I could pedal or want to. This bike is so much fun to ride, even the uphill is well, tolerable.

I did 2 rides with the Spokane folks.

Steve and I are going to shuttle to a high point for Oleary king castle ride on Wed. Plan is to leave here Monday stopping to ride Peterson Ridge in Sisters then McKenzie river trail Tues, Oleary on Wed then drive to Oakridge.

I’m listless here in the heat and after our 3 hour pedal which gave us all of Tylers, 6.9 miles dropping 1500′. Parts of it are machine built flow trail but in the trees. Dusty. I did say how much fun my bike is.

Yesterday I bought a Daisy BB gun for just fun. Made in Rogers, AR, I attempted to sleep in their parking lot on a pass thru. Shot a few BBs this afternoon.

Time is up, moving on.

A day spent wasted

Is not a wasted day.

So behind.

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.

to the west Lawler
to the east Lawler

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.

4 Turner riders

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.