Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Waldo Lake and the Alpine trail

Waldo Lake and I have a bit of a history. About 4 or so years ago I rode waldo in the snow. Unintentionally of course. It was really fun for a while but soon I was wet and cold and 21 miles seemed really long. The next time about half way through I was riding the only real tech section and smashed my knee. Probably could have used a couple stiches and that kind of put a damper of the ride. In fact it was bugging me so much I pulled out 5 miles early. So this year would be the year for more pictures and less cold and less blood. There was probably 30 people invited as this was the 1st annual Pedal Nation Waldo Lake camp out. A week out from the trip Aaron said there would be around 10 riders which meant 16 camping or so. It ended up 4 camping( Aaron,Eric, Reagan and myself) and 5 riding. Calin drove down for the ride but didn't camp because his wife had the swine flu or something. The forecast was for a bit of rain on Sat but when I got up Reagan informed me that there was blue sky and is was not going to rain. About 5 min after we started pedaling it darkened up and cooled down. Me..short sleeved jersey. Aaron..rain jacket. He went to college so he knows when to stay dry.The trail was a bit dusty at the beginning but not too bad. Lot's of rocks and great views of the lake. We twisted and turned and took lot's of pictures and before I knew it we were at the section where I smashed my knee in 07. I had actually tried to ride this section the first time in the snow but ..well....there was snow so it was a little crazy. So I screwed up my first attempt and bent my brake lever about as much as you could bend it with out it snapping. the next few attempts I made it all the way through the bigger rocks but managed to screw up in the easy stuff. Mostly made it but it doesn't count. Eric had me thinking that he might get hurt. His first 2 attempts were not very long before he was jumping down the trail. then out of the blue he stomped it clean. good to see. Down the trail we went and soon it was sprinkling and the sandy dirt had some moisture so traction was great. The rest of the ride was great until about 10 feet from the end of the trail an fascist bug flew into my helmet and bit my head. hurt for 3 hours and I still have a lump. By the time we got to camp it had started sprinkling. or raining. Either way I was wearing shorts and had no rain gear. Eric made Fire and Reagan made Chilli and everything was ok after that. I found out that my tent is made for summer nights and my sleeping bag has a broke zipper. Once again I was camping dirt bag style. Sitting in the rain in shorts and borrowing a cup for the coffee. The next day Reagan had a sore knee so they opted out of the alpine ride. Eric was nice enough to shuttle us to the top so we could BOMB down the trail. Sun was a beautiful day with blue sky and 65/70 deg. Perfect. Aaron said ' Hardly any climbing " so that meant some climbing. but it was mostly down. Great single track through huge trees. If there were some dangerous rocky sections it might have been the ultimate single track. Maybe it was anyway. Great weekend with great people. Looking forward to more riding camping soon.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lewis River Trail...again

The first time I rode the Lewis River trail I knew it was a N W Classic. The ride was a nightmare but the trail was great. I've ridden it 7 times now and every time it gets better. This time it was Terry,Debbie, Eric, Reagan, Tanya (all the way from N. Carolina) and Myself. We started at the upper falls. Most people start at the lower falls and miss a whole lot of good trail. Conditions were great after some much needed rain the weekend before. Terry and Debbie were coming off a week of Lot's of rides like Waldo lake and the NUT, so they seemed ready to go. Tanya was a climbing machine, maybe she was thinking of her growler? I think Eric made one of the hardest climbs of the day. Hat almost made it and I was close too. The ride was great with no crashes or mechanicals. I think the next time I go up there I want to go up higher and ride either the quartz creek trail down to the lewis river or something else just as dumb. We stopped by walking man for food and another great ride is in the books.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

When a tree hit's a woman

or a woman hits a tree. I've helped a lot of people out of the woods in my short mountain biking career and it's never a good thing. I remember the Red Raja used to have these business cards that said "don't get hurt in the woods alone". He got that one right. So on our usual wed night ride in the Tillamook state Forrest the conditions were perfect for a ride. Barely sprinkling and moist trails. Jeremy,Tammy and I took off in the front and were flying along enjoying the dirt flying up in the air. Jeremy and I get to the first bridge and we were having some serious fun. The mood changed quick when Ned came walking down the trail and said Tammy had maybe broken her arm. not good. So we hiked back up the hill and sure enough she was on the ground and in some serious pain. It looked to me like her shoulder was dislocated or worse. I guess she hit a root,went OTB and shoulder first into a tree. We hiked her up to the road and soon Aaron showed up with a car to get back to the parking lot. Off to the Hospital. She was tough all the way there and while we waited for the doctor and x rays. 6 weeks to heal she Say's. She'll be back soon stronger than ever.

Heal fast Tammy!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Mary's Peak

At 4,097 feet Mary's Peak is the highest point in western Oregon. You can see the ocean to the west and the cascades to the east. So they say. All we saw were clouds in every direction. The day started out with our 6 person ride whittled down to 3. Team Enduro.I rained hard on Sat and sunday morning as I was getting ready it was ..raining. I'm ok with that, not because I have some fancy rain wear but because if I cancelled a ride every time it rained I would not ride a whole lot. So Eric, Aaron and I headed south to a trail that none of us had ridden, driving through every scattered shower in the Willamette valley. This trail has been on my radar for some time. I've read a lot about the hard climb and treacherous decent so I was excited to have my own opinion. I hardly ever state my own opinion. We nearly found the wrong trailhead easy enough but got turned around and headed the 10 miles or so through torrential downpours to another HWY which connected us to the right road which was at the exactly same mile marker, and from there it was easy. Drive to end and get out. We were concerned about the temp a the top so we kinda dressed warm ish. About 10 min into the 3.5 mile gravel road climb I was soaked with sweat and plenty warm . When we got to the East Ridge trail it was sprinkling a bit so we were happy to be in the trees. The hill side was really steep so no going off the trail. It was a little rocky but not too bad. Eric and Aaron rode nearly all of it . A couple of the switchbacks were impossible. Massive roots with tight turns. It was kid of surreal with the clouds moving through the trees. Sometimes I thought we must be in B.C. When we got to the top (aka the FALSE summit) and it was so foggy all you could see was ..... fog. It was really cold , so when some clouds went by and revealed the true peak we agreed that this was OUR summit and to not tell anyone. My hand's were getting numb by the time we found the trail to head down the dangerous decent. It was wet for sure so the roots were unpredictable but that the kind of riding I like. Non stop wet MASSIVE roots and quick turns through huge trees. Eric had a few off the bike moments from the slippery roots but nothing serious. I guess he hit his head on a stump. Aaron almost fell while taking a picture. Dangerous thing, standing along side of a trail. Near the end Eric found a cool log ride and rode it clean 2 times. The downhill was too short (as always) but made me want to go back with the helmet cam. I think next time it'll be a night ride!