Monday, March 1, 2021

Sweet Sublimity Gravel

Why do I always underestimate how hard this ride is? Sure, there are some hills, but it’s less than 30 miles. Once again my legs are toast. Nutrition was off. I should have eaten better and that caught up with me too. But OMG, it was a great day of riding. 

And we're off

Sweet Gravel Goodness!

Got Sofa?

Union Hill Cemetery
Great views for your eternal rest

Union Hill Cemetery

Typical farmland view in this area. 

When you get to this spot your work is done!
Basl Hill

Route Map

“A majority of the content within this route (course, elevation profile, customized cue sheet, and color mapping) was created by Dirty Freehub. More routes like this can be found at 

27.8 miles
3 hours 22 minutes
2493 ft. elevation gain

Friday, January 1, 2021

New Year 2021

 Happy New Year! 

First ride of 2021. 

Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it? 

2021. 🤗

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Lebanon to Brownsville Ride

 I wasn’t sure how today’s ride would go. My knee has had issues this week but seems to be improving. Then I wasn’t feeling all that strong, but once I was out on the road I felt great. 

Ron had a flat just as we headed out of town. All of us stood around lending moral support while Ron worked on his tire. 

We had a pretty good headwind for the ride to Brownsville. Stopped at Randy’s for treats. I had a brownie. For the return we had a tailwind over the hill on Washburn. I think it was my fastest climb ever up that beastie. The rain caught us a few miles from town. Honestly it was a great winter ride. 

Flat before we even get out of town. 


Wade. New bike day!
Salsa Marrakech. 

Peterson Butte


Against the wind

Food stop at Randy’s 


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Ride to Valsetz

This past weekend we finally made it to Valsetz, Oregon. It’s one of those places I’ve always wanted to go but never did until now. Deep in the Coast range forest is the location of the ghost town of Valsetz, Oregon. There is nothing much left of the town except some old streets (so I'm told, we didn't search for them this visit), and the foundation of what may have been a shop or possibly part of the mill. At one point it was a bustling little town with a school and businesses, but as logging in the area dried up, so too did the jobs, and being that the town was owned by the timber company, eventually they closed down the mill, and also the town. Families had to leave their homes and community and a couple years later the town was bulldozed. 

It's kind of sad. This year we had local communities that were lost to fire. People lost everything, but many of them promise to return and rebuild. The Valsetz community were forced to leave with what they owned and go elsewhere. They had their possessions but they no longer had their community. I know this had to be painful. At least as of a few years ago the former community members still held a reunion each summer, and I think on one occasion got permission to hold the reunion at the townsite. Obviously they still feel those ties to each other. 

Here's more information, probably a lot better than what I'm pulling up from memory.
Article on Valsetz, Oregon

It was cold the day we rode, but at least it was dry. Rain was predicted for later, but we planned to be back before then. It was a short ride, about 25 miles out and back, and not all that much climbing. I didn't think it would take too long, but of course I forgot how much I like to dawdle and stop for pictures. 

We started at the old bridge on Wildwood Road up past Ft. Hoskins park. About 3/4 of a mile in we past the gate and started our climb, such as it was. Mostly gentle grades, even toward the end where it got a little steeper it wasn't too bad. 

Luckiamute River in background

The switchback

Perhaps the remains of a shop?

Unusual for this time of year we planned a lunch stop at the townsite before heading back down the road. We don't usually stop for lunch in winter, especially with indoor dining a no go right now. 

Someone added these rocks and
A big fire ring. Awesome party spot I'm sure.

We ate lunch by the big fire ring in the old remaining foundation. This seems to be the go to spot in Valsetz. A car stopped by and a couple of women asked for directions to Valley of the Giants, an old growth hike that is nearby. Sadly I know it's close, but I don't know the road to get there, and my offline map didn't show anything.  Valley of the Giants is another future adventure I want to do, but that's for another time. 

Reinforced concrete floor--the artsy shot

I didn't take any photos on the way back. It was getting late and we were feeling raindrops now and then. Time to get back to the start. It was much quicker on the return, basically downhill except for a small climb or two at most. It was a fun ride. No really epic views of  vast forests and hills, We would have had to climb higher for that sort of thing, and I was happy not doing any big climbs today. 

Historic photo of Valsetz and the lake
image from the internet

Historic photo of Valsetz
image from the internet

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Riding Everyday in November Final Week

My final week of riding, and I was ready to be finished. Although now that it's done, I miss all the posts from everyone. 

Monday Nov. 23

Another short ride around the neighborhood. The foothills are hiding in the mist so went with the artsy shots instead.

Tuesday, Nov. 24

Mixing it up a bit. Some gravel and some pavement. Bonus gravel: a rider told me about a nice little road that paralleled the paved road for a few miles. That was a treat. About 20 miles, 1400 ft. gain.

Cronemiller Lake at Peavy Arboretum

Climbing up to the 5-way intersection.
I hate this part!

Overlooking the Soap Creek Valley
Nice old barn

Soap Creek Schoolhouse. 
Little free library

National Guard training center

Wednesday, Nov. 25

Recovery ride. Short and just a little sprinkle. Not even enough to need a raincoat.

Thanksgiving Thursday, Nov 26 

This is a gate a local artist created as a memorial at our little cemetery. I always thought it was beautiful. 

I’m 22-26

Friday, Nov. 27

Really pretty morning for a ride. I get heartily sick of fog, but this was pretty today. 

Saturday, Nov 28

A quick morning ride before we’re off to do Christmas stuff. Includes my sad attempt at videography and some really cheesy music.

Sunday, Nov. 29

Quick little ride down on the valley floor. Ron rode with me and we were both tired of doing hills.

Nothing special. Just a field. 

Monday, Nov. 30

Last day was uneventful. A quick ride to finish up. The mountains were hiding in the fog. The clouds were interesting, but not the best lighting. A rather ho-hum way to end. 

A really bad photo shooting into the sun. 

The clouds were spectacular today.
Alas, the lighting isn't great.

I rode 26 out of 30 days. I started 3 days late, because I wasn’t going to do this at all, but all the fun posts shoved me out the door and onto my bike. I also missed one day due to darkness, and I’m too scared to ride after dark where I live. I did do a trainer ride that night, but I don’t count that here. Total distance was 233.5 miles. My shortest ride was 2.4 miles. The longest was 33 miles.  

My most memorable ride was a gravel ride we did out Harris Road in Benton County. Why? First because it was gravel (my latest bikey love affair), second it was a beautiful day that day, and finally it was our first time riding that road, and I love exploring a new road. 

Harris Road

The biggest challenge is always pushing myself to ride outside when the weather is wet and cold. I used to do it all the time, but bought a trainer a few years ago, and even though I hate it too, sometimes it’s better than being cold. An unexpected challenge this year came from our decision to decorate early for Christmas, so the last couple of weekends we had to squeeze in a ride while trying to hang a bunch of lights and later hunting down the perfect tree. 


Thanks Kevin , for doing this again. I haven’t participated the past couple of years, and it was fun to give it a go once again. It really is motivating to see everyone’s posts.