Oakridge Oregon is one of my favorite places in this beautiful state. It is located about an hour east of the I-5 corridor. As you trace the Willamette river up to its beginnings the trees get taller, the air more fragrant and the river itself, clearer and cleaner. I've been attending MBO for the last 5 years, missing a year somewhere in there, but this year is the first time I was there representing Signal. Nate and I decided it would be a great reason to bring some bikes and do a little riding. We caught a ride with our friends Heather and Devin in Heather's pimped out sprinter.
We arrived after dark, set up camp and after a beer, headed to bed. We met some friends down there and started Friday with a climb up to Larison Rock trail. I usually start a trip to Oakridge with this ride. We ride from Greenwaters Park up the 3 mile climb that always somehow seems twice as long. This day there were more mosquitos than usual on top, so we just kept moving and flew down the trail. We grabbed a bite of lunch and then headed out on our first guided ride up to Heckletooth. It's been years since I've ridden up there, but the moss covered trees and blooming rhododendrons were just as beautiful as I remembered. Oh, and the switchbacks were just as scary too.
I didn't take many pictures this weekend, so most of these are found online. But it's nice to have a visual isn't it? We rolled back to camp with huge smiles and headed straight to the beer garden where there were no fewer than 8 beers on tap all being served up for free! My friend Roll snapped this picture of me and Nate rewarding ourselves for a day well done.
Look how well we were promoting Signal Cycles. Matching white sunglasses and sporting two color options for the t-shirts. I know what you are saying, "Man, these guys are pros!" We decided to have dinner in town at Jeff Lee's place. Jeff is a bit of a local legend. Word is he was formerly Jackie Chan's personal chef. I don't think it matters if it's true, but what is true is that every time I go there, he challenges us to a drinking competition. This time it was tequila bombs. Jeff always wins.
Saturday brought on rain. I wasn't expecting it to actually rain as much as it did. We rode Alpine, and had a great time, but I felt pretty bad for the trail. With over 100 people riding it in those conditions, it will need some time to recover. It was so wet that we were being pelted in the eyeballs with mud all the way to the bottom. I eventually developed a method of keeping most of the mud out by squinting as tight as I could and still see, while blinking as fast as my lids would flap. It looked kind of like this:
We were all feeling a bit cold after a long wet ride, so after dinner I took my friends, Roll and the 2 Nates, to an amazing hot spring not too far from where we were camping. It's a short hike to the two pools sitting alongside the rushing Willamette river. We sat in the dark and talked about how good life is as fathers, and husbands. I missed my girls and was starting to look forward to getting back home.
Sunday the weather was a bit better, but we opted to stay off the bikes, mostly because everything was soaked and/or covered in mud. Instead Nate investigated some fishing holes with his fly rod, and I read my book and took it easy while we waited for Heather and Devin to finish their ride. It was a fun weekend with great rides and great people. Here are some more pictures that I found taken by some other friends.