Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Not every ride but on many mountain bike rides there is a sense of adventure. I like long mountain bike rides that take me far from home, deep into the woods, high in the mountain etc. Places that put you on your own. On a bike this is different than hiking because we have the added factor of falling and mechanical break downs. It is all part of the fun for me. Being prepared, having a well running bike, and having fun and pushing the limits without crossing into the danger zone. I have crossed the danger zone but it is not a place I want to be.
Yesterday Jody, Jacob and I decided it would be fun to ride the Alpine Trail in Oakridge. We have been having great cycling weather for the last three weeks and there were great reports of the trail conditions. I checked the weather and it said mostly sunny, but cooler and windy. That seemed fine. On the drive over we were seeing showers of snow and rain but there were some breaks in the clouds so it really wasn't too bad. We got to the trailhead in Westfir and decided it was a go.
We started of on some sweet singletrack along the North Fork of the Willamette River. It was in perfect condition. We then decided on the climbing on the 1912 road instead of the 1910 road. This meant for more singletrack along the river. It was sweet, but just when we saw the end of the trail coming there was a small sign warning us of unstable trail conditions ahead. Well what it was is the whole trail had washed out. There were two bike angels standing on the other side of the washout. We formed a human chain and ferried the bikes across the abyss and safely made it to the other side.
We then started the long climb to the top of the Alpine Trail. It actually was warm as the sun came out for moments. Of course when we got almost to the top it decided to snow. Not hard but it was snow and that meant cold.
We stopped on top, had a little food, put on what what dry clothing we had and, after checking the map, started our descent. The Alpine Trail actually starts with a climb. This was a blessing because it allowed us to warm up again.
The descent was epic and fun. The snow didn't affect the traction, and though the hands and feet were not warm they were not frozen either.
I probably wouldn't have started this ride if I would have known the weather conditions before hand. But all three of us arrived at the car with big grins on our faces, once again proving the added adventure added to the enjoyment more than detracted.
Here is a GPS Map of the course.

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