Saturday, September 6, 2008


This was last weekend on my favorite ride, Round Mountain-Lookout Mountain in the Ochoco Mountains east of Bend. My history with the Ochocos goes way back. In 1969 I came to Central Oregon for the first time to work for the Ochoco National Forest. I was stationed at Rager Ranger Station about 90 miles east of Prineville.  I have loved them ever since. 
Phil, who is on the left is "Phil" of Phil's trail fame. We have been riding together since before Phil's Trail. In fact I was one of the first to ride Phil's Trail with a small group of friends.  Of course back then in the mid 80s there were only a small group of mountain bikers. 
The first time I rode in the Ochocos was with another friend Walt and his nephew Jon. I had a bad crash on the way down and was not sure about going back. Phil convinced me and now it is my favorite ride. The top photo is the very top of Round Mountain. The trail gets steeper and steeper until only the young and very strong can ride that last bit. Martin, who is pushing his bike, was on a single speed. He did quite amazing, though I thought I heard him say something about maybe a geared bike wouldn't be so bad.
I met Martin in Spain. We spent two weeks riding road bikes together with some other Scot friends. I saw him again last year in Scotland when Kathy and I were over to visit and watch the Single Speed World Championships. Martin was one of the promoters. He was in Bend for a couple of days so why not show him the best ride we have. When he left he was thinking the next time over he might just spend it all in Bend. We have most everything a mountain biker could ask for. 
It is nice to have friends like Phil and Martin. Phil and I don't ride together as much as we used to, there are a lot more mountain bikers to ride with for one thing. Phil is my car mechanic though and we do keep in touch. It was great to get out with him again and I am sure that will lead to some riding this fall. I know he has to put a rear wheel bearing in my car. He was in the back seat and diagnosed it on the way home. I won't even have to describe the noise to him.
I am not sure when Martin and I will get together. He and Sue, his long time girl friend (Scots don't appear to get married any more), would like to come back and they know they are welcome to stay. We love Scotland so there is always a chance we will go and visit soon. Maybe one of my many Scot friends will get married, that would get us over. 
I do know I will keep in touch with both Phil and Martin and all the  many other  friends I have made through cycling. In fact another Scot, Peter, is coming next week. More showing of awesome trails. I can't wait.

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