Sunday, June 21, 2009

McKenzie River Trail Ride

Today I was able to take my friend Chris Boden from Ruby Tuesdays on one of the
best mountain bike trails in the country, the McKenzie River Trail. The three of us drove up in my Frontier while Tiff and Chris also drove up so we could shuttle cars. That’s the best part of this trail... it’s all downhill following a river. I have done this trail once beforeon mountain bike back in 2006 when I first moved out to Oregon, but then it was raining and miserable, although we did have fall colors. Now it was spring time and dry... or so we hoped. Storm clouds were everywhere and it poured rain over Santiam Pass on our way to Clear Lake, the start of the 25 mile trail. Thankfully, it was still dry at the start of our day long descent.
Tiffany and I shuttled my truck down the road and quickly drove back to meet the Chris’s. :)
The trail was much as I remembered it and thankfully besides a few quick showers (one good one near the end) we remained fairly dry for the entire day. It was just enough rain to keep the soil sticky under our tires which
made for superb riding. It also made the leaves greener and brought out the rich colors of the old growth forests we rode through. We stopped for quite some time at Sahalie Falls to check it out as we were on the correct trail this time instead of on the other side of
the river like last time I we did it. Chris, Tiff and I were determined to be able to ride over anything in our path and would frequently get off our bikes to try sections over again. Having not been on a bike in a long time I was happy I still had 90% of my skills and balance... just not stamina. Tiff was super excited to
be out on the trail again as she had spent much of the past 9 months in a lab struggling with school and had just defended! Hooray for Tiff!
We spent some time at the famous “Blue Pool” where the McKenzie River resurfaces after diving into several old lava tubes for a mile or so. As usual I pushed my luck riding instead of pushing my bike over several bridges butnever fell in thankfully. We had left the parking lot at 10:20am and were at my truck at 3:45 so we made pretty good time over the 21.5 miles we biked (see profile below and map on left). I think Boden really had a good time although he was pretty tired afterwards. Emily had a terrific time too but was a little discouraged at not being able to bike as crazy and Tiff, Chris and I but I reminded her that this was just her first bike trip and we had been doing it for nearly 20 years!!! I think she’s going to be fantastic.. although both of us desperately need new full suspension bikes!

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