Saturday, August 11, 2012

17k In A Day

Today was the 17k In A Day, A full day of shuttling trails in Oakridge with a promised 17,000 feet of descending. All of that descending didn't come without a price - over 4000 feet of climbing.We started the day at 8:30am. There were about 24 people in two seperate vans.

The first trail we tackled was the Alpine Trial. This is one of my favourite trails in Oregon. We were only able to ride the top half of the trail due to a forest fire.

The second trail of the day was Hardesty Mountain. We had a pretty significant climb to reach the top of the trail. And since I was one of the few people on a hardtail they made me lead the climb. The descent was another story. I went as fast as I could - too fast in many cases, but managed to stay upright.

The next trail, Lawler, was loose and not very fun. Plus it had a climb in the middle. I had to take it easy especially after taking too many chances on Hardesty.

Heckletooth was added to make up for the loss of the bottom half of Alpine. It started with a push up a very hot and sunny hill. This was followed by some of the steepest switchbacks I had ever encountered. One of the guys in front of me went over the bars and hit the gound pretty hard. I walked probably half of the switchbacks and managed to lose my front wheel on one of them.

The next trail, Flat Creek, more than made up for the last two tracks. It was extremely fast and some of the most amazing singletrack I have ever ridden. I was hitting speeds of 40km/h on a track barely 30cm wide. So fun!

Aubry Mountain had a few sketchy sections but was also pretty fun.

We started the last trail of the day, Larrison Rock, just as the sun was setting, which made for some amazing light coming through the trees. This was the first trail I had ever ridden in Oakridge nearly 20 years ago. It was great to ride it again.

I finally made it back to my motel room about 8:30pm just as it was getting dark. It was a really fun day and I would love to do it again on a better bicycle. By my GPS we rode about 60km with 14,500 feet (4300m) of descent. Not quite the promised 17,000 feet, but then I stopped my GPS a bit early a few times and didn't record some of the fire trail and paved descents.

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