Saturday marked the second “event” by the Unpaved/OMTM guys. This one was the Timber Logjam and would cover a lot of territory familiar to me from my own personal rides. I’ve just never hooked it all together like this and I did get to learn some new roads too.
Since the Hell of the North Plains ride the weather around here has not improved all that much. In fact we have set a new record for rainfall for February and we still have a few days left! My outside miles for this month were just about half of what they were for January and the Logjam increased my February miles by about 50%. One of the reasons for that is I opted to ride out from my house to the start in Banks. This would add almost 30 miles (mostly flat though) to the proposed 50 miles on tap. It’s what I call a good long day.
It was for sure a chilly ride out to the start. It was barely 30 degrees at my house and dropped down to about 28 for a bit out in the boonies. By the time I got to the Banks Trailhead though the sun was out in full force and there was blue sky. A rarity this month!
I’m a big fan of big tires on these rides. This one was going to be a bit rougher than some other gravel rides given the route through Stub Stewart, Johnson Rd and the Wildcat Mtn area from the HOTNP ride. I’ve been running 40c Panaracer Gravel Kings and they are doing a great job. I still think I liked the WTB Nano Race a bit more, but those were a bit softer and wore fairly fast compared to these. They did better in the muck and more singletrack type stuff though….anyway I digress……
For the most part it looked like Logjam riders took up the BV trail parking lot and overflow parking. I felt a bit guilty for the other trail users who might show up a bit later, but there is plenty of parking in downtown Banks just a few hundred feet away too.
I didn’t take an official count or anything but I would wager a guess that there was at least 60-70 of us that started the ride. I’d basically spend most of the day with Trevor and Blair and a lot of back and forth passing with the same half dozen or so riders.
Everyone set off up the BV Trail as a more or less cohesive group. I think we did an okay job of not ticking off the joggers or other trail users. After 6 miles though we turned up Bacona Rd and started the first real climbing of the day. This is a nice gravel road, hard and good runoff and not overly wet.
Perhaps the coolest part of this whole ride was Jay and Allison from Cycle Oregon on Genzer Rd and their nicely timed coffee/cookie/soda/beer stop. I don’t know if anyone else did but I tossed them a small tip for their effort, after a bit of protest from Allison, I told her to donate it to the Cycle Oregon fund if they wanted. All in all the coffee and cookies was brilliant and I took a 7-UP which came in wicked handy deep into this ride.
I downed some coffee and a couple cookies and was quickly on my way. The road kicked up a couple of notches in difficulty and steepness for a bit before taking a very easily missed turn (thank goodness for GPS routes). After about 200-300 yards one of my long unanswered questions was finally answered. We popped out at the Unfit Settlement viewpoint in Stub Stewart Start Park! I always come from the park proper and never had a need to go beyond the viewpoint further up the clearing, now I know where it leads. It was a bit snowy from the previous day’s rain/snow and the views were quite sweet today…..no, I did not stop to take a picture, I really should have. It’s in my mental photo album now.
People opted for all sorts of routes heading from this point and down to the BV trail again. Even I took a bit of a detour after dropping down Hares Canyon but ignoring the left turn over all the downed trees and popping out on the paved park access road right near the dumpsters. In retrospect this turned out to be a good choice though as not far up the BV trail I hooked up with Trevor and we spent the remainder of the day riding together.
The downhill section from Johnson Rd and back onto Timber Rd was one of the highlights to me, I love ripping downhill sections like that. The temps picked up a bit more here and we were back into the sunshine for a while too. It was cold and damp around Stub and on the BV trail.
I didn’t take too many photos for the rest of the day. Mostly trying to keep moving and my camera kept working its way to the bottom of my handlbar bag. That made it a P.I.T.A to retrieve while riding.
Trevor and I missed a right turn at some point on Lousignont/Cochran area and ended cutting off what appears to be 2 miles or so. This allowed us to hook up with Blair for the last 20 miles though after we stopped for a random food/drink session and he came pedaling up the road from behind us. I think we worked fairly well together and I have no problems saying I was the slowest of the 3 of us.
The last climb up Wildcat Mtn was rough (more from tired legs at this point) and long. Thankfully not anywhere as icy or snowy as during the HOTNP ride.
It was a quick jaunt from Cedar Canyon back to the official start. I still had to ride home, Blair had to get to a wedding and Trevor was going to wait for Carly. I need to officially put in writing that Trevor’s banana bread that he shared must be magic. I felt pretty damn good for the rest of the ride home and I can only assume it was the banana bread!
So once again a huge thanks to the guys from Unpaved/OMTM for mapping this out. Great job! looking forward to the next installment.
Thanks for reading,