The month of the race.

by Eugene on September 1, 2012

It’s September. The flowers have bloomed and lost their petals, the dirt is drying up even in the most moist north facing enclaves.  The mosquitoes have retired for the season, the logs have been cut off of the trails, and if you’re  a mountain biker, hopefully you have some miles in your legs by this time of the season.

The red maple in my front yard has its first crimson accents, and the grass is that particular color that signifies late summer in the northwest.  This time of year is my favorite time to ride around Oakridge.  Despite the dryness of the soil, you can hardly call it dusty.  The contrast of the vine maple and oregon grape against a backdrop of conifers is stunning.  If we’re lucky, and we are, there will be some very clear days where a person can stand atop one of the regions volcanoes and see Mt Shasta in California, and Mt Adams in Washington.

This year there have been a couple little wildfires near Oakridge, one of them is still burning up on Buckhead Mountain, the heart of the Alpine Trail.  Alpine is closed for a while.  But is has been a wet year here, and the burning logs rolling down the hill haven’t been able to set the whole countryside afire.  The smoke rolls off of Buckhead like the whisps from last nights campfire reminding us of the potential destruction fire can bring, yet surrounded by moist forest one could say it just adds character to the hills.

This time of year I find myself trying to balance between working at the Mercantile, finding and organizing volunteers to help at the FAT 55, managing the permitting, food, music, and other elements of the race, and getting out on my bike.  The past couple weeks have been rich in all of the above, but especially rich in good rides and great volunteers stepping up to help.  I’ve been out on Heckletooth, Bunchgrass (all the way from Waldo Lake Rd, Fuji Mtn Trail, back to Oakridge), Larison Rock, Hardesty, Deception Butte and Salmon Creek.  Getting out on rides is what fuels me to keep my fire stoked for promoting this event, for getting stoked when you come to Oakridge to ride, for living in this little town on the headwaters of the Willamette.

The rides I’ve been out on have reminded me of some places that need some TLC, whether it be fixing a corner, filling a rut, putting up a sign, or clipping back some brush that took advantage of our wet spring and early summer.  With only three weeks left before the 2012 race there’s no time to waste.

I’ve also been real fired up to see a couple unicyclists sign up for the event!  A long time unicyclist myself, I’ve always thought it would be rad if there were endurance unicycle races.  As with the bike race my logic is to think that if I like the idea, other people might too.  So, it has been with a warm heart that I have received these entries.  The only course posted on the website is the 50+ mile figure eight, which leaves me wondering, did these unicyclists sign up hoping to do the entire course?  Or were they hoping I had something else up my back pocket?  I’m hoping for the latter.  My thought is to start the uni’s with everyone else, run them up Salmon Creek to Rd. 207, The Wall.  Here the bikes will turn left, and the uni’s will go right. Right up The Wall.  The will hit the Eugene to Crest Trail and head down, now back on the bike course once again.  Once back in Greenwaters Park they will continue on just like the bikes, but instead of going out to Larison Creek they will climb up to Larison Rock, and finish in the park.  It should work out to just over 20 miles.. A marathon uni race!

Come on out to pre ride the course.  Heckletooth is pretty dry and slippery, but overall it is all in good shape and is fun to ride.

Cheers to September!


April Showers

by Eugene on April 3, 2012

April is here, and it is really starting to feel like spring, despite the rain.  The flowers are beginning to bloom, the temps are on the rise, and the trails are melting out.

A number of people are already signed up for this years event, and I’m excited for the new course.  Permit dependent, riders will head up the new trail on the South Side of Salmon Creek, incorporating a technical and challenging new singletrack into the first 8 miles of the race.  It should be a lot of fun!

We’ve people are expressing interest in the unicycle category, but no takers just yet.  I’ll put more details about that course up shortly.  As of now I’m thinking of a Salmon Creek/Larison Rock figure 8, totaling about 20 miles.  This seems in line with the 55 mile challenge for the bikes.

There has been a lot of trailwork done around Oakridge already this year, but much more needs to be done.  The GOATS are organizing trailwork parties at least once a month, as are the DOD, and the FAT 55 will be jumping in to help organize as well.  This year our focus will be on Heckletooth, as we have focused on Larison Creek the past two years.  That said, we will be working on all of the trails involved in the course throughout the year.

I’m looking forward to a great riding season, and have already done an awesome North Fork Willamette mountain uni ride, and a few local trail rides by bike.

Hope to see you out here in the coming weeks and months!



Riding Heckletooth in February

February 13, 2012

I got a late start, it was after 2 when I left, and it gets dark about 6.  But it was a nice day, and I had been inspired by Max who came out and rode Heckletooth yesterday. I rode down to Greenwaters, and pedaled up the levy trail, following the south side of Salmon […]

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May 2011

May 17, 2011

Mid May 2011.  Last year’s race is more than a few months behind us, and the summer riding season is almost here.  This winter brought extremely high water to the Oakridge area, and we lost one of our favorite bridges-the footbridge out on Salmon Creek.  With this key connection for last years course washed downstream […]

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Almost Time to Ride!

September 16, 2010

The summer has flown past for me, and the race is upon us.  We’ve got a great live music line up in Greenwaters Park all day long.  Rhythm and blues, plus a few local singer songwriters!  The course is in great shape.  We’ve brushed it out, bucked out the logs, done treadwork on much of […]

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July 29, 2010

Summer is on, and the race is fast approaching.  Gone are the cold wet days of contemplation and brewery beers.  Registration is filling up, deadlines are looming, and it’s time to work! Norm and I have been getting down to business by building the website you see here, contacting lots of potential sponsors, and working […]

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February 11, 2010

February 11, 2010.  It is raining a steady rain outside the Brewers Union Local 180, and I’m inside drinkng a locally crafted IPA dreaming about 150 people riding up 1st st and beginning a great race through the hills and creeks surrounding our town. I’m thinking about what the race is.  More than just a […]

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