Author: Soso

Race Report

Git’r Fritter!


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When Saturday, August 1 rolled around, I finally got to ride in my first “A” race, the Fritter 50 in Oakridge – a challenging 50 mile endurance race with almost 9,000 feet of climbing and some really fun singletrack. 

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I had been training for the Fritter since May, when my brother and Rheannon encouraged me to sign up for the race after we rode about 70 road miles through the McKenzie Pass and back. I remember them encouraging me to sign up for endurance races a year or so ago, but the idea of riding even 30 miles sounded daunting. Nothing like completing something you thought you couldn’t do to create new goals.

It’s nice to have a focus, so I actually enjoyed how much mental energy this race has taken over the past couple of months. Training and preparing always kicked up a flurry of questions each time I got on my bike: am I riding too much, too little? What should I eat? How much should I rest?

The big book I ignored. But seriously, I will eventually need to train better for longer races.
The big book I never cracked. I will eventually need to follow this gospel if I intend to train for longer races.

True to my form, I ignored the strategy of training by the book and instead used Jim’s and Rheannon’s advice coupled with some sporadic, light Googling. I definitely think that if I plan a 100-mile race in the future, I’ll have to be more considerate of my body and it’s needs, but I spent many hours in the saddle this summer, so I was pleased at how prepared I was for this race.

How I would handle this ride was a big question mark all summer, but on Saturday afternoon I rolled up to the finish line smiling and feeling good and properly tired. I hadn’t hit a wall, experienced no “bad” misery, and never felt like I was in over my head. No Ragrats. Not even one letter.

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Party and rest time!

Race morning started out on a positive note, much of this because of my lovely No Apologies teammates Rheannon and Stephanie, and the thoughtfulness and awesomeness of my teammate and race co-director Michelle. Michelle and Derrick fed us well before, during, and after the race, and honestly, I don’t think there’s a nicer bunch of aid station volunteers than those at the CCP. Steph and I arrived in Oakridge early on Friday to help out with registration, and we observed how much heavy lifting, running around, and lack of sleep this race takes to function.

Stephanie shows off her race swag at the Mercantile on Friday.
Stephanie shows off her race swag at the Mercantile in Oakridge on Friday.

After a good breakfast we got some final bike prep from Jim, then my teammates and I rolled across the covered bridge onto the road with a few dozen other riders. Because this was my first endurance race, I stayed steady at first. I had ridden most of the course before and I knew how much climbing lay ahead of me so I was cautiously saving my legs.

Last minute bike prep, compliments of the official No Apologies! support crew - Jim Blount.
Last minute bike prep, compliments of the official No Apologies! support crew – Jim Blount.

We soon funneled onto the North Fork river trail, where it wasn’t as bottlenecky as I thought it would be. Still, I rode hard to keep from holding up the riders behind me, even though there was plenty of hike-a-bike for most of us. Soon enough, we were back onto the road for the Long. Climb. Up. At this point team No Apologies formed an evenly spaced parade of coral-colored jerseys with Stephanie in the lead, followed by Rheannon, then me. Following Rheannon helped me keep a pretty moderate pace up the road; I made a new plan to finish that part of the climb a bit faster than I was comfortable with, and slowing down for all the switchbacks and climbs that followed. There were moments when I could see a flash of Stephanie about a quarter of a mile ahead of me, but I lost her on that climb and didn’t see her again until she met me at the finish line, wearing flip flops with a beer in hand.

Rheannon and I pre-riding the road climb a week before the race.
Rheannon and I pre-riding the steep road climb a week before the race. Our smiles should not belie the unpleasantness of this section.

I reached the top of the climb – Windy Pass – and noticed that Rheannon had sailed past the aid station onto Chrome Toilet, the first singletrack of the day. Naturally, I forgot to unlock my rear suspension, but I had a great time on Chrome, which I’d never ridden before. It was especially cool to follow my brother, who had met up with Rheannon on the road climb to support her ride. I don’t get to follow him very often, and he’s quite fast.

I lost those two on Chrome and exited back on the road, where I had to climb back up and out to the aid station. I wish I had ridden Chrome Toilet before, because I wasn’t prepared for such a long slog out of it. Anyone who has completed a race in a rural setting can relate to the anxiety that crept up on me as I pedaled up this lonely road, wondering if I was going the right way. These situations leave you three options: power ahead, either being rewarded with a confidence arrow/sign or risking a really big detour, turn around and figure out where you are, or wait for another rider to put your mind at ease. I actually stopped at one point to fiddle with my GPS, but soon heard the reassuring spin of a wheels coming up behind me. Another rider = right direction!

About halfway through that climb I spotted the confidence arrow I was looking for. Still, that road climb was longer than I expected. I had the U2 song “Zoo Station” stuck in my head, only I kept singing “Aid Station” because that was what I was hoping to see with every turn. Eventually I did, and I stopped for a bit of PB&J and a chat with the volunteers. This is where I ran into Julie, a rider from Hood River who found our blog online and let us know she was going to race. Julie and I stayed within site of each other for about half of the ride, but she ended up beating my time by about 20 minutes.

After a some salt and carbs I descended upon Alpine, which is breathtaking in its scenery and just a shit-ton of fun.

Another amazing trail view brought to you by those lovely G.O.A.T.S.
Another amazing trail view brought to you by those lovely G.O.A.T.S.

I loved listening to my music on this section, pushing myself to ride faster than I’m comfortable with. It was funny seeing photographers embedded in the grass and behind trees. My facial expressions (the “Blount face”) are the humorous – either I’m descending with concentration, mouth agape and slack-jawed, or I’m climbing with a sort of incredulous look on my face, scrunched-face and squint-eyed.

The mountain-bike-Blount face on a long hot climb. No apologies.
My ubiquitous mountain-bike-Blount face on a long hot climb.

I’m fairly new to Oakridge trails so I took lots of photos during this section…

Selfies with seriously the NICEST aid station volunteers I've ever met.
Selfies with seriously the NICEST aid station volunteers I’ve ever met.

One inspirational log on the Cloverpatch tie-in trail had me stopping in my tracks and backing up to take a photo.

Just what I needed to hear.
Just what I needed to hear.

After Cloverpatch, I ran into Jim and Rheannon and some watermelon at the final aid station, right before a lovely, final climb through what Derrick described as a convection oven during the pre-race meeting. This is where I realized it was probably hotter than hell below 4,000 feet where I had spent much of the day, but I took it pretty slow and steady and just zoned out to my music.

Rheannon is one of the main reasons I signed up for the Fritter. That and the excuse to eat "training doughnuts."
Rheannon is one of the main reasons I signed up for the Fritter. That and the excuse to eat “training doughnuts.”

I got back on Alpine and rode past Buckhead shelter, which signifies a descent for the remainder of the ride. This part of the course reminds me of Bend, with a flowy section before you really get going with switchbacks all the way back down to the finish line in Westfir. This is my second time riding these switchbacks on a full-suspension, and I would have liked to take advantage of that and ridden faster, but I was really feeling the fatigue at that point. This is also when I suddenly began experiencing a little “bike shaming”, as I call it – squeaky brakes broadcasting throughout Central Cascadia just how slow I was taking each turn.

Some dude in polka dots flew past me towards the end, which initially confused me, since I had either pulled well ahead or fallen behind any competition at that point. Then I realized he was racing the Cream Puff and was on his second lap. Beyonce’s “Move Your Body” helped me down that last section and I got to the finish line in 8 hours and 3 minutes, with some gas still left in my tank!

In addition to being an attractive addition to this rural scene, spotting the Office Bridge signals the end of the race.
In addition to being an attractive addition to this rural scene, looking down onto the Office Bridge signals the end of the race.

This year’s Fritter was all about finishing and seeing how well I did with training. I want to use this experience to set some training goals for next summer’s races and see how well I can improve my time.

Like I said earlier, I met Stephanie at the finish line and together with Jim and Rheannon, we rode back down to the river to take a little therapeutic dip.

An après-ride dip in the North Fork of the Willamette felt GOOD but was hard to climb back out of.
An après-ride dip in the North Fork of the Willamette felt GOOD but was hard to climb back out of.

At 6 p.m. Michelle officiated the Fritter awards ceremony. Stephanie had ridden hard and took 2nd place in Open Women’s at 7 hours 3 minutes. She beat me by a full hour, so I was pretty shocked when my name was called for 3rd place!

High-fives for second (Steph) and third (me) place for open women's.  Michelle made the after race fun with the awards ceremony.
High-fives for second (Steph) and third (me) place for open women’s.

Dear women mountain biker/readers – this is an open invitation to get involved with the CCP Fritter next year! I plan on improving my time and I won’t be taking selfies so watch out!

Michelle made the after race party fun with fun prizes, including my new CCP cycling cap.
Michelle made the after race party fun with fun prizes, including our new CCP cycling caps.

All in all, this race was exactly what I expected – a challenging and rewarding experience. I have a lot of gratitude to my friends and family who encouraged me to pursue this and went on lots of rides with me this summer. I can’t wait to ride the Fritter again in 2016!

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For me, race day wasn’t over on Saturday – I had to drive home, pack for a work trip, and leave for PDX at 2:30 a.m. for an early flight to San Diego. After a big experience like that, I like to debrief and share race day stories. My fellow teacher and lovely friend Kristina was patient as I began every other sentence with “during the race…”
Adventure Report

Lessons of the 50K


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On Saturday, June 20 I volunteered as a sweep for the Mary’s Peak 50K trail run. Being a race sweep means I stay behind all the runners, making sure they are safe and on the right course, all the while clearing the course of all the signs and markers.

I had looked forward to sweeping this race on my bike because since I started training for the Cascade Creme Puff Fritter 50, I’ve got the crazy eyes for long distance rides. Plus, race promoter Mike Ripley always creates an interesting and challenging course.

 

Crazy Eyes, aka me on a mountain bike.
Crazy Eyes, aka me on a mountain bike.

This experience ended up being different than I expected, and I learned a lot from both the long hours spent on the course and my riding/volunteering/training buddy, Clarinda.

 

The 50K course
The 50K course

I drove up Woods Creek Road to meet a group of very fast looking runners swarming out from the Mary’s Peak North Ridge trail head. An army of nicely toned legs and the crazy look of ultra-anything flew past me as I frantically pulled my bike out of the back. Yes, I was a bad volunteer that morning.  I was running late and had parked my truck just moments before the racers took off.

After I got on my bike and checked in with Ripley, I joined Clarinda, and we set off for what was to be be a very. long. day.

A word about my friend Clarinda. After working in Minnesota for the past few months, she was back in Corvallis for a handful of days when she was asked to fill in last second as a volunteer sweep the following morning. She said yes, and I was happy to get to catch up with her and chat about what she’d been up to.

We took off down to the North Ridge extension trail. Whoops. wrong turn. Now we see the trail head. That was just a warm-up, we told each other. Haha, right? As we headed up the extension we ran into the 25K runners just bombing down the hill toward us.  I always tell trail runners that they have it easier because I can at least sit down on my bike. Sort of a joke, but these guys in particular struck me as seriously aggressive and impressive.

The part where I got silly
Getting silly: just for cyclists? I hope not.

At the end of the extension trail we were back at the parking lot and faced the biggest elevation gain of the day – North Ridge trail up to the top of Mary’s Peak. I think Ripley has fun planning his routes, because as a cycling and running event promoter, he seems to enjoy having his runners run up what is popular for cyclists to cycle down. Take North Ridge for example – rooty drops characterize this switchback-heavy technical climb. Most people choose bike up East Ridge. Buuuuut, this was not a race for mountain bikers, so a’slogging we did go, hoping to finally catch up with the slowest runners and feel like we were doing our job.

Riding down North Ridge in May
Riding down North Ridge in May

Multiple runner-free switchbacks later and reality was settling in – we had ridden only a few miles and climbed just a sprinkling of the 5,000 total feet of elevation. We stared up at Oregon’s highest coastal peak and started asking ourselves questions. Clarinda wondered why she had so readily agreed to this the night before. She pondered on her general tendency to agree to things.  I wondered: did I trick her into doing this? Am I a total jerk? Am I going to break my friend? Will we ever see those damn runners? (Nope on the last one.)

My friend Chris calls this “Level 3 fun.” The kind of fun that is often only enjoyable in hindsight and includes a mixture of misery quests, getting lost, and in this case, realizing early you may be in over your head and there’s nothing you can do about. Just finish. Get your butt in the saddle and your feet on the pedals and seal the deal.

Our slog-fest up to the peak ended at a very busy parking lot; in addition to the 50K there was the Mary’s Peak Hill Climb Time Trial. I checked in with my fellow volunteers and then cruised over to the other event aid station. Oh yeah, new station with new treats. These folks did not disappoint, and offered me bowls of full-sized candy bars.

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Hmm. Bananas or full sized Snickers? This involves classic high road/low road decision-making skills.

Non-bike related commentary: Different aid stations are much like different houses on your trick or treating route, and getting the full size stuff is like when your mom drives you to the rich part of town and you end up totally scoring.

Busy summer day at the top
Busy summer day at the top

After making an unappetizing electrolyte cocktail of Gatorade, Heed, and Nuun (taste buds < bonking), I biked up to the proper top of the peak. Riding a figure 8 pattern with a view that spans the Cascades to the coast, I cleared the trail and met Clarinda back down at the parking lot. We reminded ourselves that the hardest climb was over. Down East Ridge we rode, out of the Siuslaw National Forest and into the vast network of singletrack on mostly Starker Forest and other private land. I appreciated the opportunity to discover some pretty cool trails and revisit some that make up the Mudslinger XC race held every April.

Clearing the top of the trail run on a beautiful and clear day at Mary's Peak.
Clearing the course on a beautiful day at the top of Mary’s Peak.

Bagging Mary’s Peak may have been the hardest section, but our ride was far from over. After checking in at several aid stations, we realized we were never going to catch up with even the slowest runners. I guess when you sign up for a 50K trail run you mean business.

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Clarinda pauses in front of some very dangerous looking ferns.

So, cruising along the course, we had a lot of time to chat and had established a nifty little system for clearing the all the signage: roll up to the tree/fern/green thingy, carefully extract the fluorescent pink and white ribbon from the branch/frond/green thingy, apologize to all fronds damaged in the process, pull the signs stapled to the trees, scoop up mini traffic cones, and cram them into a giant pack on Clarinda’s pack. Slam dunk. Do you know how many slam dunks you can have on a 32 mile course? So dang many. We rode a bit, we cleared a lot. Rode a bit, cleared a lot. This resulted in an interesting cadence and fewer apologies to the greenery as we yanked ribbon, roped off sections, and oh so many little orange traffic cones.

The rest of the ride pretty much followed this uneventful pattern. But the final stretch was most memorable for me. At 4:30 p.m. we rode an exposed, high grass trail called Mohawk that affords a beautiful view of the coast range. We stopped to eat and check in with people via text. Yes we are still alive. Clarinda and I had expected to be done by this time, but all in all we still had another 3 hours to go. As we made the final stretch down the gravel road to the finish line at the Blodgett school house, a truck came roaring up behind us. It was Ripley, rolling down his window and gingerly trying to find an acceptable way to tell two hard-working ladies that they were “balls deep.” Go ahead and say it, I told him. He agreed, and offered to help clear the rest of the course leap-frog style. Yeessssss please. To this day (7 whole days later) I see an innocuous little ribbon tied to a tree in the forest and I scream in my head NOOOO!

A quick late afternoon snapshot on Mohawk trail, in the Blodgett area.
A quick late afternoon snapshot on Mohawk trail, in the Blodgett area. Note the exploding flannel in my new favorite accessory, Revelate’s Feedbag.

And that brings me to the point of me writing this post – after riding 10.5 consecutive hours with Clarinda that day, I was amazed by the smile on her face and her super positive attitude in the face of something challenging and frustrating and more than a little tedious. Hours before she had doubted herself, but she was totally fine! In fact, she went for a ride the next day. I don’t always reflect such positivity but she inspired me by her actions. Earlier Clarinda had questioned her tendency to agree to things, but her willingness to get out there is what makes her a good friend for me to learn from. At the end of the ride as we loaded up our bikes, she reflected on many things she learned that day: her limits are far higher than she thought, she isn’t so worried about some upcoming Oregon 24 Hour Race, and she knows a bit more about the right mix of hydration and nutrition on long rides. As for me, I was pretty happy to log so many hours on my bike, since the Fritter could take me nearly that long, and Clarinda’s positive spin left me in a pretty good mood. We never did catch those runners, though.

Beer and burritos after a long day of sweeping.
Beer and burritos after a long day of sweeping.
Race Report

Ride the Tiger!


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c73dfa_8dacc5b5919a49a2a4f4e85cd2168e1b.jpg_srz_p_490_276_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzLast weekend Rheannon and I met Stephanie in Seattle for the Sturdy Dirty, an all women’s enduro race at Issaquah’s Tiger Mountain. Racing enduro was new to all three of us; unfortunately Rheannon didn’t get to race (she would have killed it!) but she did a great job hiding in the corners of the trails, catching great shots of the riders!

The first thing I noticed about this event was the interesting mix of beginners, amateurs, and pros.  I suspect a lot of them were like me – goal oriented, wanting to have a good time, but mainly wondering what the hell an enduro race actually was. It made for great people watching and mental note-taking for this newb.

The vibe was friendly and social, and the promoters were definitely angling for enjoyment (while the ladies stood in line at the Tiger Summit waiting to race stage one, a group of men walked around offering us bacon pancakes, energy bars, and blue sno-cones. This involved aprons. It was awesome).

After a few “enduro sized” pancakes and some friend-making in line, Stephanie and I embarked on stage 1 down E. Tiger Summit. This trail network has become one of my favorites. When I was a kid, one of my favorite places was the wave pool at Big Splash. After a day at the water park, my head would be swimming in the waves. The grown-up version: my sleepy mind drifting over rock gardens and root drops.

Riding Off the Grid in April
Riding Off the Grid in April

Honestly there wasn’t as much riding as there was socializing and  fun-having. (Riding in a tutu: a characteristic of enduro??) Instead I’ll just give an account of my favorite aid station, “Little Mexico.” Rolling into the bottom of stage 3, we were met with dudes in sombreros and a tidy little tequila bar. I don’t even like tequila but hey, the timed sections were over..

Zamora being cheered on by un tiburón and Senor Sombrero.
Zamora being cheered on by un tiburón and Senor Sombrero.

Overall it was a good amount of climbing, which made Stephanie and I happy, a decent amount of descent, and a more than healthy amount of food, ending with a burrito and beer feed and fancy schmancy tiers of cakes. (Side note: my little Shredly jersey did a great job of stashing all the fuel food I grabbed at the aid stations – these products played second fiddle to the tantalizing junk food offerings. I drew the line at Kahlua pudding shots on a hot day but took a mental note to make that magic happen later.)

And the results: I didn’t come in last. This is good. The not so good: the volunteer who kept telling me to go faster. Thank you, sir. I forgot I was in a race for a second there.

Some day I will go faster. My new bike is helping me on this front. But for now I will have to settle for 36 out of 46 in sport class. And the knowledge that I was able to ride so much more since my first visit in April. I’ve got the Eye of the Tiger!

The verdict: While most of my riding experience has been cross country, I had expected, well, more riding. But I got something different from what I was expecting. My first enduro gave me insight about women’s events and excitement about where we can go with No Apologies. Perhaps coolest of all, I have a greater awareness of the different types of awesome ladies out there riding. I think the Sturdy Bitches were aiming for that, and they got me hooked!

Tequila!
Tequila!
Adventure Report

Let the Training Begin!


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As the Willamette Valley baked in the first heat wave of the year, I spent about 4 hours Saturday afternoon meandering from peak to peak throughout the Macdonald Forest. My wanderings had a specific purpose: to get me in good shape to ride 50 miles and climb 9,000 feet of the Fritter 50 race in Oakridge, this August.

Let me get something straight right away: I love fritters. Specifically apple fritters from Nutcakes. Those face-sized, sugary, doughy concoctions of perfection have just enough grease and lovely little apple chunks, leaving my hands with doughnut dust that usually ends up in my bike glove, having most likely eaten it on the way to some trail head.

My spirit doughnut - THE FRITTER
My spirit doughnut – THE FRITTER

So…..what better race to go for, and what better weekend to start a new training regimen?

Since I began mountain biking, I’ve ridden a handful of races for the experience, but nothing that made me question whether I could complete the course. Not that I don’t think I can complete the Fritter, but I’d like to at least finish by rolling, rather than hobbling in. And I want my face to be equal parts smile and grimace, if I can swing that.

This morning’s inaugural training ride started much later than I planned (I blame it on the cider the night before), and after loading up a new bag, I hit the Oak Creek trail head shortly before 11.

My hot new fanny pack. I've tried 4 packs this spring and this one doesn't hurt my back or bounce around, and it has a reservoir! A winner!
My hot new fanny pack. I’ve tried 4 packs this spring and this one doesn’t hurt my back or bounce around, and it has a reservoir! A winner!

As I pedaled past the initial crowd of hikers always found on Homestead, and up the virtually empty old South Road, I smiled at the thought of my specific purpose on the bike for the next couple of months. I had a focus to improve my endurance, and a motivation for those days ahead when I won’t be feeling as excited as I am now. Also, it doesn’t hurt to know I have five remaining days of the school year. Even with my odd jobs throughout the summer, gone will be the long days spent in the classroom, replaced by long sunny, hours in the saddle!

I climbed up to the “Wall” below McCulloch Peak. Surprisingly there wasn’t a gaggle of riders at the bench, which is what I expected on a sunny Saturday. Alone, I made my way down Tin Can Alley and Brown’s Nose for my first descent. Another goal I made this year was to better familiarize myself the trails, but as I got back to the road, I started wasting a bit of time and phone battery trying to find the way to Funnel Cake, a trail I’ve never actually ridden. So I decided to stick to what I know, and eventually made my way down the Plunge to Sulphur Springs.

Sign at the Extendo trail head - at least we now know that the logs won't be removed until late summer!
Sign at the Extendo trail head – at least we now know that the logs won’t be removed until late summer!

Sulphur Springs is my favorite place to ride on hot day – it just seems a bit cooler, and there’s always the sound of water that surrounds you. It’s too bad that logging has taken out Log Bridge, messing up a perfect loop, but today that didn’t matter as I was focused on making it back up to Dimple for the third leg of my ride.

The lovely Baker Creek Bridge
The lovely Baker Creek Bridge

Following a route of Rheannon’s, I rode down the road until I got to the lovely Baker Creek bridge, which leads back up to moderately challenging Alpha trail.

By this point I was hot and tired. I had lagged a bit earlier, waiting for the map to load on my tiny iPhone screen. Repeatedly pulling it out of my bag reminded me that I need to get a proper GPS or stop relying on technology and just ride. A wrong turn before Alpha took me to a confusing network of Betas and Gammas that leads back down the opposite way I was headed, so I turned around and could barely push my bike back up to the right trail.

Alpha alpha'd me this day.
Alpha alpha’d me this day.

Once I got onto Alpha I was tired enough to just stop in the middle of the trail. This was when I realized I wasn’t passing anyone on the trail because it was, indeed, an unpleasantly warm day.

When I finally arrived at the top of Dimple, I felt far more spent compared to my regular Quimple up Dan’s or Horse. I stopped long enough to drink the rest of my electrolytes, look out over my Corvallis Queendom, then hit Two Face and Hocus Pocus for a bit of fun before I arrived back at my truck at the Oak Creek gate.

My stats: 3, 734 feet; 16 miles. Not bad for my first training ride, but I need to get to 5,000 feet in a single ride pretty soon if I’m going to get the doughnut glory.

Afterward I felt pretty tired, but laughed at the thought that the next day’s ride was going to be an “easy” ride up to McCulloch. Just a few months ago that was my hardest ride, so I’m happy with how far I’ve come with endurance!

A simple Dimple shot.
A simple Dimple shot.
Adventure Report

Ridin’ and buildin’


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Epic lunch spots deserve nothing less than an avocado sandwich.

Rheannon and I rounded out our spring breaks with a nice balance of some all-day epic trails at Oakridge, followed by an early morning OSU trail build day out at Vineyard Mountain. (It makes me wonder – what would be the third addition to make this weekend a mountain biking trifecta?)

Jim and Rheannon’s good omen en route to OROR.

Since Rheannon is training for the Cream Puff, she, Jim and a couple of friends decided to get up early and eschew Oakridge’s friendly bike shuttle to make the 3,500 feet climb up road 1910, where the rest of our group met them at Kate’s Cut-in. The road climbing crew arrived with smiles on their faces and we had a blast riding ATCA – Upper Alpine, Tire Mountain, Cloverpatch, then lower Alpine.

Five minutes into my first descent on Alpine I thought to myself, “Why haven’t I ridden this before???? Like, a LOT of times????” I had a perma smile pasted on my face that propelled me through the tough climbs (and seemingly endless switchbacks at places). Thankfully our crew knew how to infuse some leisure into a long day – it was the perfect mix of shredding, climbing, snacking, repeat, repeat, repeat.

Perfect ‘lunch on the ridge’ weather

After falling face first into a table full of tacos Saturday night at Eugene’s Tacovore and getting a good night’s sleep, Rheannon, JIm and I headed out to Lewisburg Saddle Saturday morning for an OSU trail building work party. The college is taking out the unauthorized Tower (Antenna) Trail and digging the new Vineyard Mountain Trail corridor that will connect the top of Vineyard Mountain with the Saddle.

We were there the whole time, yet new trails always appear almost magically!

We were happy to help break ground on this new project, and I’m pretty excited about all the new trails that volunteer coordinator Matt McPharlin said the college has in store – a Horse-Saddle connector plus an overhaul of the High-Low trail that will connect Peavy with the Saddle. It’s gonna be great when we can leave from the Saddle and hit more single track without so much gravel grinding!

build day4
A great view on the new trail!

What a great weekend – and it’s only going to get better! We’re looking forward to more trail stewardship and definitely getting out to Oakridge more this season (especially since that is Rheannon’s training grounds for the Cream Puff!)