Friday, September 30, 2011

Santa Cruz Juliana

Today I went and rode a Juliana (small). Kudos to Santiam Bicycles in Salem. The guy in the shop not only let me take the bike for a ride, but gave me a guided tour to the nearby bike path. Good thing too, as I probably would have gotten lost.

Okay, the bike. She fit perfectly. Very comfortable. She felt taller, as most FS bikes do. The most amazing thing was how well she rolled out on the pavement. Not bad at all. Just imagine how great she feels on dirt! We took one sharp switchback type corner, and I was a little wobbly on the tight corner. Not unusual for me. Handling wasn't disimilar to my Rockhopper. I had a chance to stand and pedal, and did notice a good deal of "squish" happening with each pedal stroke. The LBS thought that the bike had pro-pedal rather than lock outs. I couldn't tell, being unfamiliar with FS. I never stood and pedaled any other FS bikes, so I have nothing for comparison. Just something I noticed.

It was a short ride, but I'm glad I went up and tried the Juliana. She is definitely on my shortlist.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Long, Long Weekend

A couple weeks ago we spent four days in Bend, riding the trails. Four fun-filled days. One day was spent figuring out how to navigate the city...not that we ever figured it out. Really. The other three were spent zipping (or walking) up and down Phil's trail system. I didn't want to leave on Sunday. I was ready to go back on Monday. I'm ready to move there!

Since I'm trying to write this several weeks later, I'll just add a few notes and let the pics do the talking.

Phils-Whoops-Bens...or something like that.
Friday we hit the trails. Talking to a few folks at the bike shops convinced us that we could and should do Whoops. They promised I'd only have to go as fast as I want, and everything is doable for a noob like me. First we had to get to the top.

Phil's Trail
 Go to the COTA website and check the Phil's trail page. There is a little girl on a little pink princess bike rockin' this section of trail. Very humiliating - I walked it.
Art on the Trail



Taking a break

yeah, walk this too.


Found some kind of monument. Added a rock for good measure

We found this really fun downhill. As soon as I wanted a photo op, we were deluged with other riders trying to get up the trail. Ron had quite a little audience patiently waiting for us to get the pic.
Bench at the intersection. As far up as we went.

We took a little break at the bench we found on the trail, and met a very nice couple from Southern Oregon. I should have gotten their picture. They were on full suspension Kona's, and loved to ride the trails around Bend. I think they had been here for six days. Had a nice discussion about bikes and trails. Told us about another route up along a fire road that is an easier climb. (But still recommended that we climb to the helipad at least once.) The guy even gave up one of his downhill runs on Whoops, to meet us at the bottom of the trail so we could find the start of Ben's Trail. Really nice folks!
No more pics from the trail that day. Whoops was simply the most fun I've had on a bicycle.

One of the bike stores told us about a cyclocross race going on that night. Great fun watching the race. I haven't downloaded the Nikon, so no photos yet.
Saturday morning we made it down town to see the start of the Nationals Mtn. Bike marathon.
The only photos the day we rented full-suspension bikes. Ron is on a Specialized Epic 29er. I'm on a Specialized Safire (26er). Full suspension is fantastic. We rode many of the same trails (sadly, not whoops), and portions we walked the day before we rode right over with these bikes. I think it was Phil's trail and Kent's trail.
This rock is bigger than it appears - Really!
I'm not smiling. In fact I look incredibly tense. The next day we rode our hardtails along this trail again and were able to ride over the rougher sections (and the rock). Not as nice as the FS, but we did it! Ron took the opportunity to ride both the 29er and my 26er. He preferred the 26er.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mt Pleasant Ride with Santiam Spokes

Saturday's ride was the classic Mt Pleasant Ride with the club, and I realized I've not done this ride before. Not sure how I missed it, I believe it comes around each year. Yet I know there were roads I hadn't been on before.

The air was dirty from the forest fires, the sky hazy. It wasn't really bad enough to effect breathing. Just unpleasant, and the views from the ridge, not so good.
Smokey skies
Ace, and the hill we just climbed
Christy, Ace and Ron
We rode with Christy, a new rider, building up her endurance. Heck of a job that day with some steep hills to conquer, and a new personal high distance accomplished - Way to go Christy!
Christy and Ace, Not the hills in the background
We feasted on blackberries along the roadside (I hope they weren't sprayed). The pretty ones were tart, but the dull, ugly ones were sweet. Ron likes the tart, I take sweet.
Old Barn
Approaching Shimanek Covered Bridge...almost done!
Nearly got the bike up to 40 mph coming down Richardson's Gap Road. Shouldn't have braked that last little bit. Once all riders were back in from the various rides we enjoyed lunch at the Covered Bridge Cafe in Scio. Good stuff!

Friday, September 2, 2011

I'll Take Two

Two Friends
Some friends invited us to go for a little ride on Sunday. Friends don't let friends climb hills...

and hills...
Linda and Wally

Two Hills
Wally has ridden Dan's trail from Chip Ross Park in Corvallis. Ron and I have ridden Dan's trail from the Jackson Creek access. Wally's version included an extra hill. Thanks Wally!

A Whole Bunch of Climbing
We took the long route to the top of Chip Ross Hill. In this case longer is easier. The view from the top is pretty nice.
Chip Ross Park
We find the lower access to Dan's trail on our way down behind the park. I took one tumble on a sharp switchback, a stupid-can't-unclip-fast-enough fall. Weighted the inside pedal on the turn. Looked at my foot, looked at the ground and .... went where I looked. Miniscule amount of carnage to knees, not enough for bragging rights.
It's been 5 or 6 years since I've biked this area and it's different than I remember. The climbing is the same. I haven't forgotten the climbing.  We'll ride up the fire roads and access the trail from the top. The roads have become wide single track. We found our original route (610) up to the intersection on Sulpher Springs Road.
Wally at the intersection with Patterson Road.
We aren't done yet. Up we go to the top of Dimple Hill.
Patterson Road
Made it. I like the view from here.
Wally swears there's a better view from the top.
(Geez, I thought this was the top!) 

It's not that far ... 

just a wee climb up the trail ... 

not far at all ... 

and the view is spectacular!


 Fine, we'll do it. :(
Wally and Ron on the trail. You want  us to go up that?
Wally's right. The view is pretty good. We won't have to toss him over the edge.
Corvallis area from Dimple Hill
Bicycle porn - old school and new.
Met a little friend sunning on a rock.
What a surprise! No downhill pics. What took several hours to climb only took minutes to descend. I'll manage to fall one more time. Damn clipless pedals! One last minor ascent to return to the truck. A little over eleven hard miles and a great afternoon with friends! What a puny amount of mileage for how tired I feel.

Two Friends
Two Wheels
A Whole Bunch of Climbing