Sunday, January 19, 2020

Finley Wildlife Refuge - Short Stroll

Wasn’t planning anything today but Ron said it’s too nice out to work on the house, so off we go straight into the fog. Really? We left sunshine for fog? Dense gloomy fog no less. South looked promising so we ventured on down to Finley wildlife refuge for a short stroll along the boardwalk. Right on the edge of the fog we finally found some sunshine for our walk.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Saturday in Scio

Saturday Ride. Was expecting to get wet but only a little mist at the end. Thanks May for the yummy brownies before and after.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

To Ride or Not to Ride?

To Ride or Not to Ride? That is the question. I wasn't sure I wanted to ride this weekend. Waffled back and forth. Rejoiced when one ride was cancelled, then signed up for another somewhat hoping they would cancel too.

They didn't cancel.

Cold. Wind. Rain. What could go wrong? Six intrepid riders braved the elements and rode from Albany to Corvallis (or in the case of one couple Corvallis to Albany).

Into the heart of the storm.

Onward Ho!

Who's the crazy friend now?
Bluekat / Kari

Lynn and Tim

Mary Ellen, Ron and Dennis.
These guys! We have rode in much worse conditions than today with these two.
We were the ones who always showed up no matter what the weather.
Ride leaders feared us. 

We had several options to turn around if the weather turned too ugly. There was one rain shower on the way out, but we continued on to Corvallis. Took a short break in Corvallis where Dennis and Mary Ellen said their good byes and headed home.

The rest of us returned to Albany following the bike path and Riverside Drive. A little quicker than the North Albany return that was planned. Dry and sometimes a little sun on the return. We had some chaser clouds, but they never caught us. 

Photo by Little Wuesten

Lunch was at Little Wuesten in Albany. I've wanted to try this place for sometime, but hadn't made it there yet. Food was good. Gluten free and vegan options.

22.55 miles
2 hours

Friday, January 10, 2020

What to do on a Stormy Day

What to do on a stormy day? Run straight into the storm front of course! King tide on the coast this weekend. I think Saturday and Sunday are even bigger than today. Bad photos through the windshield. Way too wet and windy to get out (although we did so briefly at Devils punch bowl).
Moolack Beach

There's a story here 🤣 

Boiler Bay

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Gravel Riding in Mac

Cronemiller Lake. Can you find the painted rock?

🍁🍂🍁 McDonald Forest is magical in the fall. 🍁🍂🍁 

This was supposed to be an easy day. Oops.
It’s only 15 miles. How hard can it be? 

 I forgot how steep the climb is coming out of Peavy Arboretum. Not sure how I’m gonna do an epic gravel ride if I can’t even climb 2 miles of 10ish percent grade. So legs were toast in the first 2 miles.

Top of the climb. So happy to see the cap house come into view


The start of some sweet downhill

Actually I still felt pretty good at the saddle so rallied on to the top of Dimple Hill. I confess I walked the trail. I’m not a mtn biker and I have never been able to climb single track. Well not the uphill stuff anyway. I did the chicken ride down the trail though. Death grip on the brakes and one foot dangling for any hasty dismounts. Yeah, it wasn’t pretty.

Forest magic

Got back to the saddle and had a flat. 🤬 I’m slow at changing flats. Really slow. Chatted with some horse riders while working on it. First time using my new CO2 nozzle. Couldn’t tell when it was empty. The BOOM when I unscrewed it suggests it wasn’t empty. My first time changing a tire solo while on a ride. It got me back to the car. That’s all I cared about. 

Dimple Hill

❤️💜❤️ I love riding in Mac Forest. ❤️💜❤️ 
I’m counting this as a leg day.
15 miles • 2135 ft. gain

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Camp Sherman to Round Lake Gravel Grinding

Could've swore I posted this earlier, but this is a ride from October. I think it's my favorite gravel ride this year.

It was a five star epic day!

Dirt Trail at the start.
Some double and single track

Camp Sherman gravel has been calling. We parked near the Camp Sherman store, unloaded the bikes and headed back on the road we came in on. Soon enough we found the trailhead for our connector trail. I've scouted this trail about a year ago. It's relatively flat and easy to ride with my 35mm tires. I knew we had to find the connection out to the road, but while there were a couple of options -- very unused dirt roads, I never figured out the correct one. We took the trail until it hit the main road and back tracked a few hundred feet to our next turn off.


Some Tamaracks along the trail

Lake Creek

Nice little camping spot on Lake Creek


From here it will be dirt and gravel roads. And climbing. Also from here on out, it was virgin territory. I'd not scouted this portion, and many of the the old roads were not marked. I wasn't altogether sure we'd find the right one. We headed up with few views and sounds from the highway somewhere below. Finally I rounded a corner to this view...

Epic View! Three Fingered Jack

This right here made the whole ride worth it even if nothing else epic happened. Turning around I could see Black Butte in the background. 

Ron with Black Butte in the background

Mt. Jefferson

As we continued up to Round Lake the road leveled off somewhat and it felt like we should be getting close. Clouds had gathered and we noticed  bits of white falling from the sky. A very dry sleet, a light dusting at this point, began to fall. Ron was worried about the downturn in weather, but I felt sure we were close to Round Lake and that from there it would be a quick downhill back to better weather. As we rolled along and clouds scudded by, I started to think, maybe we aren't close. I'm mean, I've never been here, so ... We passed a road that pointed to a church camp down the way. Ah! Now I knew we were close.

Loved this chunky stuff.
The Domane handled it with aplomb

Bike porn

Black Butte and Green Ridge

Blue skies still, but clouds soon gather.

Round Lake isn't right on the road, you have to take a dirt road down to it's shore. Of course now the beautiful view of Three Fingered Jack was slightly obscured by the clouds. A couple were camping near the lake in their Eurovan. They had the place to themselves excepting for a few day visitors. We chatted with a group that drove up for the day, snapped a pic of the lake then turned to head back down to Camp Sherman.

Round Lake and Three Fingered Jack

Not five minutes after leaving the lake the skies cleared and Three Fingered Jack was in full view. Why couldn't it have done that at the lake?

Skies clearing

And now the clouds disperse.

Epic downhill! There was plenty of washboard sections. They're hard to spot when flying along, so not much warning before you hit them. I was wondering if carbon road bikes explode on this kind of stuff. Best not to think about it. I think I gained some bike handling skills on this ride. And the Domane performed flawlessly. Who says a Domane can’t be a gravel grinder!?

We returned via the same trail we rode out on and loaded up the bikes. Stopped into to Camp Sherman Store for giant deli sandwiches and goodies on the go. This country store is awesome. Don't pass it up if you're in the area. As an aside, they have good gluten free bread, if you're gluten-free.

Camp Sherman Store

Ran into some snow at the top of the pass. Glad we weren’t up at the lake then. I wondered how it was going for the campers up at the lake.

Summit Storm

Once we were down from the summit things cleared up and the return home was uneventful.