Sunday, August 16, 2009

Let the Riding Continue...

I finally have time to catch up on the events of the last 6 weeks. The week after the C2C '09 event, a number of us took about fifty 16-18 year old young men on a three day camping adventure along the McKenzie. The first day is hiking, the second is mountain biking, and the third is floating the McKenzie.

I arrived Wednesday night and road from Trailbridge up to the Blue Pool as a night ride. That was wild and fun. The next day was a hike up to Tam McArther Rim (a recommend hike for anyone). That afternoon I went on a ride half-way down the lower McKenzie Trail section and back up. Then that night we shuttled up to the Clear Lake camp ground and did the top section as a night ride. The next morning I road the lower section with Todd and Eric to put up signs for the boys (just to make sure) and then hammered the road back to Trailbridge, just in time to grab a quick bite and then lead out the the first group of five 10 boy teams on the lower half again.

I've never spent that much time riding this trail, but doing it over and over like that made me appreciate even more and realize why it was Bike Magazine 2009 Trail of the Year. Even better that it is 1.5 hours from my house!

The following week another adventure started when my brother's wife called on Thursday and said that for his birthday, my brother wanted to ride to the coast again just the two of us! So the next morning at 5:48 a.m. we rolled out of Bald Hill parking lot hammered out the C2C again. Our goal was to set the record for saddle time and total time. We clipped along the first 30 miles with hardly a rest, but I started to feel it after that (maybe not enough food or liquid), and my pace slowed for the next 15 miles. I got my legs back at "picture point" and we cruised for the final 15 miles. We arrived at 1:17 p.m. with a total time of 7 hours 29 minutes and saddle time of 6:26 minutes, both new records. We almost made it without a flat, but as Darin washed off his bike, the tire was flat.

I normally feel fine after the C2C, but this time I was spent. I ate and drank everything I could get my hands on. Then that night we went to Izzy's and I again ate everything in sight. Then next morning after a 10 mile ride up McCulloch and back we had a big breakfast and I finally then felt recovered!

After a few more weeks of excellent night rides and Saturday rides, I finished off the six weeks of riding fun with one more trip down the McKenzie Trail. This time there where 8 of us, and it was one of the best large group trips I have ever been on. The rule of thumb is you add 5 mins to your expected time for every rider in your party. But not this time, we left Corvallis at 5:45 a.m. and picked Frank up at 6:00 at I-5. We arrived and the trail head and finished all the shuttling so that we were riding at 8:30. We rolled into Belnap Hot Springs 21.5 miles later at 11:45 with 2 hours and 22 minutes of saddle time. Everyone road fast and tight and there wasn't a mechanical problem. We were in Sweet Home by 1:30 eating A&W Burgers and home by 2:30 p.m. A perfect trip.

What have I learned in the last 6 weeks? That I have a great circle of riding buddies and as James Sharp says, only a Mountain Bike makes you 14 again.

At Sahalie Falls

Frank, Craig, Geoff, Ryan, James, Chad, James, Zack on the McKenzie

Geoff on "the Gap"

Chad on "the ladder"

James, Zack, Chad, and Ryan on the McKenzie

Mile 10 on the C2C
Darin at "Picture Point" mile 50 on the C2C

No comments:

Post a Comment