Mountain Biking Hood River

August 16th, 2014

This year’s mountain biking trip was a Western Spirit trip to the Lewis River (WA) area, with a few days spent in Hood River Oregon before the trip started.  This was by far the most challenging biking trip we’ve ever done. The trails in both areas are generally tree lined narrow single-track, unlike anything we ride on a regular basis. Single track requires a degree of mental concentration that is draining.  Throw in some good sized climbs and we were at our limit.  Since this is acknowledged to be an intermediate-advanced trip, everyone on the trip was fit and experienced.  We had trouble keeping up and had a great time.

Hood River, OR has a great trail system. They also have an area of relatively tame man-made obstacles to ride on. We’ve never ridden anything like that before so it was a challenge for us. These were mostly low to the ground, narrow board walks and small jumps. We crashed a few times, had some fun and decided that sort of thing is best left to other riders.

We took a side trip to the Ape Cave Lava tube. This 2.5 mile tube is one of the longest in the US and provides a generally easy hike through this volcanic remnant. There were a couple of sections that involved a genuine scramble, but it was oddly fun for just a long, dark tube.


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Crater Lake 2009

August 20th, 2009

We rode the rim of Crater Lake in 2007 as part of our “Work is Overrated Tour – 2007.” Crater Lake is the most beautiful place we have ever ridden and that is saying a lot when you think about all of the places we’ve ridden.  The lake is an incredibly deep blue, fringed with evergreen trees and every  glimpse of it as you cycle by is breathtaking.  When friends suggested we do the organized century ride with them this year it wasn’t too hard to  figure out a way to fit it into our schedule.

Over the years we have met several people whom we really enjoy riding with.  Unfortunately in the past few years some of these folks have moved away from California so this ride was a great opportunity to hook up with them again.  We stayed with two other couples in a rental house that was the central gathering place for about twenty riders.  We gathered together there for good food and conversation both Friday and Saturday nights.

The ride was on Saturday and we woke up to a temperature of about 33 degrees and frost on the deck of the rental house.   We had already decided we were not doing the full century because the first twenty miles or so were an out and back flat section through a  valley.  We had planned on just riding straight up to the rim, around the rim and back down for a total of about eighty miles and over 7,000 feet of climbing.  The cold temperature was definitely a downer.  It’s August.  I don’t ride in freezing temperatures in August.  Fortunately for us, one of our friends was planning on being shuttled to the rim and they had room for us in their car.  This meant we could start our ride at 10 AM instead of 7:30 AM.  It was loads warmer at 10 AM!  Just riding the rim is about 30 miles with about 3,000 feet of climbing.  We had a great time stopping at the overlooks and looking out at the lake.

The last twenty miles of our ride were mainly downhill with a flat section at the end.  As we started down Thom asked me if I wanted to coast or hammer. I answered that I wanted to coast and he whined, “Fine,” in an Eeyore sort of way.  So I hammered.  I don’t usually pedal when I’m going downhill unless I’m racing.  Downhills are suppose to be for relaxing, not for working hard.  🙂  I also don’t really like drafting, so I took the lead for about 17 miles, most of which was downhill with an average grade of about 3%.  We averaged over 22 miles an hour;  and it was a blast!  Thom took over the lead for the last three flat miles and we averaged just under 19 miles an hour.  Yeah, fast is fun!

We’ll definitely be riding the rim again.

  • Veronica is still sporting her race number from Barb's Race as she circles the lake.
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Crater Lake, Oregon

July 2nd, 2007

We’ve ridden in more than a few cool places, both on and off the road. Without question, Crater Lake is the most jaw dropping ride we’ve ever taken.

  • This island is called the Phantom Ship. It is the remains of a 400,000 year old lava flow that was covered by the volcano that formed Crater Lake. When Crater Lake was fomed, 8,000 years ago ...


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Cheating Death in Oregon

June 30th, 2007

Fresh off Veronica’s crash while riding her mountain bike, we had 5 days lined up for some spectacular difficult single track riding in Oregon. The North Umpqua River trail is a wonderful trail that we’ve ridden parts of in the last couple of years. We planned to stay at Steamboat Inn for a couple of nights and then shift to camping. We fixed the problem on Veronica’s bike that contributed to her crash and figured we would start with an easier section of the trail. None of the trails are completely easy. Any given trail segment varies from easy, smooth, narrow and safe, to steep, rocky, narrow and dangerous. There are sections where the trail is less than 18 inches wide, with a steep – often vertical – drop to one side. The plan was to ride the easy parts and walk the tricky parts for at least the first day. What was that line John Lennon has about plans? (more…)

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North Umpqua Trail, Oregon

August 30th, 2006

  • This is the trail directly across the river from where we stayed. 200 feet as the crow flies, but at least 5 miles by single track.
We returned to Oregon to ride some great single track along the Umpqua River. This is an area mostly known for its fishing, and is a couple of hours from cities like Eugene and Medford, so there are not many riders out there. We saw no other riders on the trail, and only a few hikers at the trail head. Most of the days were spent in the wilderness by ourselves.

Click on the image to see the gallery.

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