On Memorial Day, Monday the 29th, I got the chance to ride Scenic McKenzie Pass (Highway 242) for the first time. Being my first year in Eugene, I really wanted to do this ride. I had seen a lot of photos of other cyclists on the ride before, with the high packed snow walls; it just seem incredible. Also, last October, Angel and I had a chance to drive it while going to the OHBS in Bend, it made me really want spend more time there and revisit the Pass.
They close off Hwy 242 during the winter months due to snow. They open it back up in May for a couple weeks only to cyclists, which is a great time to venture out, because you have no fear of cars coming up the hill behind you. The pass is about 4o miles from the turnoff at 126 to Sisters, OR. I chose only to ride up to the Dee Wright Observatory, (22miles) the summit of 5325 feet elevation. 3600 feet of climbing with great views throughout of the Willamette Nation Forest, Mount Washington Wilderness Area, Three Sisters Wilderness Area, and into the Deschutes National Forest (if you continue or start in Sisters). Up towards the top there are amazing lava fields, it’s kind of crazy to think about the lava fields, and how much volcanic activity Oregon had just a couple thousand years ago. At the top, like I mentioned, is the Dee Wright Observatory where you can look out at all the amazing mountain and land formations.
It was a super fun ride. I tend to ride a little slow, taking about 4 or 5 hours on my way up, but that includes a lot of stops for photos, food, making a couple snowmen, and just enjoying the view. It then only took about 45mins to get back down to the bottom. An incredible descent after riding that same route up. I totally recommend this ride for anyone who ever gets a chance. Just be prepared to climb a lot. Here are my photos from the ride.
Along the way I decided to made a couple snow men just for fun. I thought other cyclists would like the encouragement while going up and down the pass. The one in the road has 2 faces. I had to climb the snow wall to get his features, but that was really cool itself.
360 Degree View along Highway 242
360 Degree View from atop Dee Wright Observatory
Here is a 360 Degree View from atop Dee Wright Observatory from the first time Angel and I drove the pass last October on our way to Bend for the OHBS. We took a lot of photos that day. I’m really glad I got a chance to ride the pass, hopefully I get to do it again.
History of McKenzie Pass – HERE
I have had my Surly Long Haul Trucker for 2 years now, and I have never doubted myself for choosing it over a different bike. The love story between me and the LHT began long before I got her. For years I knew I wanted the bike. I would try out other bikes at shops and never be happy with how they felt or how they were set up. I knew I wanted to do long rides and touring so why not go with a full out touring bike such as the LHT? The one thing was I already had a decent amount of bikes and not a lot of money. Also, I didn’t like the colors it was offered in for a couple years. They were dull colors: Utility Blue, Olive Green, Truckaccino Tan, I wanted something brighter, and then they showed off the new color at Interbike in October 09, Blue Velvet (also known as Hill Street Blue) and I knew I really wanted it.
I moved to Oregon in late March of 2010. A month later, on April 25th, I bought my Surly Long Haul Trucker. I was so happy that day, finally getting a super comfortable bicycle to ride for a long time.
This year on April 25th I happily was able to do a nice 20mile ride with a friend in the morning. Then after he left to go home I kept going, ending up riding just over a metric century that day, 67.58miles in total.
Last year on Surly’s birthday I got him the Surly Rear Nice Rack, and this year I got him the Surly Front Nice Rack to Match. This rack is massive, and will certainly see a lot of use. Now I just need to get myself a set of Ortlieb Front-Roller Panniers to match my Back-Roller.
Happy Birthday Surly!!!
Posted in BIKE, Day Ride, Events, News, Reviews
Tagged bicycle, bike, bike commute, bike tour, eugene, LHT, Long Haul Trucker, Oregon, photo, Surly
Yesterday Angel and I got a chance to hang out in Portland after taking her sister back from a visit. We started out the day by going to the newly opened Velo Cult Bicycle Shop. Started in 2006, the shop originally is from San Diego, but decided to move the entire shop to Portland, employees and all. We visited them Sunday, on the morning after their Grand Opening Party. (They were still cleaning up after it). The shop caters to commuters, tourers, randonneur riders, and other subcultures of cycling with refurbished and new bicycles, but this is not just a place to sell and service bikes, but a place where all “bicycle culture” gets to meet. There is a large and open floor plan. They have some amazing mechanic work stations, with benches for customers to talk with their mechanic right in front of them; a bar offering local beer and food, a photo booth (which sadly was shut down when we were there), and even an authentic castle drawbridge (which doubles as a stage) in the shop!! I believe the drawbridge is from Canteburry Castle, after it was demolished in 2009. This is a really cool shop and you should check it out if you have a chance. They plan on hosting shows, and screening movies there in the future, as well as putting on other fun events for cyclists.
Also while at Velo Cult I got the chance to check out the Complete Surly Troll. I wouldn’t mind getting one of these as my first mountain bike. I also think it would make a great touring bike for Angel. It would be a good companion to my LHT. If only the Troll came in some color other than orange (her least favorite).
Before we went to Pedal Nation, we stopped by the Off The Griddle food cart. With super nice staff, they offer amazing veggie burgers from their solar-powered cart. Angel went with Vegan Cheeseburger, and I went with O.T.G Burger (no lettuce, tomato) just grilled onions and added BBQ sauce; I like my burgers simple. It’s always fun waiting for your food to come out while you read through some Trivial Pursuit games.
After we arrived to Pedal Nation, I spent a lot of time talking with different people about their products and learning whatever I could. There were a lot of cool things there. The spectrum of booths was across the board, with everything from wooden helmets, a fat tire recumbent, to an upcoming indoor mountain bike park (The Lumberyard) and other great cycling groups. Full list of exhibitors HERE. One thing I thought was really cool is that Nutcase is coming out with 4 bell designs based off of their helmets, which will be available for purchase in the near future (possibly June), along with a new visors to attach to their helmets and even cycling jerseys to match the helmets. Those should all be great. I’m sure Angel will want a watermelon jersey.
Before leaving Portland we had to get our favorite pizza at Sizzle Pie. I went with 2 slices of cheese, and Angel got a rabbit salad. There was no Spiral Tap in the case, (our favorite) so we got one to go that we could eat at home. It was a super great idea. Angel wanted the pins, and I thought I might put the patch on my safety vest. This is truly good pizza.
Posted in BIKE, Events, FOOD, News, OTHER, Reviews, Reviews, Trips, Videos
Tagged bicycle, bike, bike commute, bike tour, food, mountain bike, news, Oregon, photo, Portland, Surly, vegan, vegetarian, VeloCult
March has been very eventful for me so far, but there haven’t been any big topics I have wanted to blog about yet.
Last week I got to go on a nice long ride with a friend outside of Eugene; we got to sit and watch some cute baby pigs for a little bit. The next day, Angel and I had a nice ride around Eugene. We went to the Masonic Cemetery, and got a lot of great photos of some wild flowers. I’ll write about the cemetery next time I go there. It’s a great place to spend some time looking around. Afterwards we went to Viva! Vegetarian Grill for some ice cream and sweet potato fries. (Recently, I won a free ice cream cone, for guessing the flavor right on their Facebook Page, but haven’t had the chance to clam my prize. It’s peanut butter. YUM!) Later that night Angel and I went out to eat with some friends at Cornbread Cafe, our first time there. We have had really nice weather so far this month, but it looks like the next couple weeks might not be that great.
Most recently Angel and I went to see The Lorax. When we got our movie tickets we didn’t really look at the tickets themselves right away. (We got the tickets early). Later we realized we had received IMAX tickets. We have never seen anything in IMAX, and neither of us have ever seen a 3D movie. We don’t care for the idea of 3D movies, as we both have glasses (and don’t want to deal with the 3D pair), and find all the hype annoying. After we went to exchange the IMAX tickets for normal 2D tickets, we were told they were for John Carter, (didn’t notice that part) not what we wanted at all. We just wanted to see The Lorax, standard 2D, not John Carter IMAX 3D.
Well anyway, here are some nice photos I have taken since the beginning of the month.
Posted in BIKE, Day Ride, FOOD
Tagged bicycle, bike, bike commute, eugene, food, LHT, Linus, Long Haul Trucker, mixte, Oregon, photo, Surly, vegan, vegetarian
Posted in BIKE, Day Ride, Videos
Tagged bicycle, bike, camera, eugene, GoPro, LHT, Long Haul Trucker, Oregon, Surly, video
Today was a great day for riding. Earlier in the day I went out for a ride with Kori from GreenCycle Services on a Christmas tree pick up in North Eugene. It was nice to get to know him more. Then I met up with Angel after she was done with all her classes for the day at school. We went for a ride around the river paths, then went home to eat, where I had a stupendous peanut butter sandwich on toasted Dave’s Killer Bread heels (I LOVE heel sandwiches). Then went out for a solo ride into the South Hills of Eugene. I went down Willamette to Fox Hollow to McBeth. This was the first time I went that way. Normally I take Fox Hollow back into town. Going toward McBeth this time was fun. I found Bill’s Bench (if you know anything more about it, I am interested), it’s a nice little bench right off Fox Hollow Rd set aside to watch sunset right on the road. On the plaque it reads:
Bill Sloat, a long-time Fox
Hollow Resident, loved this
spot and dreamed of a bench
here so cyclists and others
could enjoy it too.
Placed by family and friends
of William R. Sloat with
permission of the Dale Smith
Family, owners of this land.
After that I saw a flock turkeys, a sheep/goat with large straight up horns, and three American bison. Sadly the turkeys ran when I got closer, and the sheep/goat and bison were too far away to get a good photo. It was a great sunset ride, with some well deserved pasta when I got home.
Posted in BIKE, Day Ride, FOOD, Videos
Tagged bicycle, bike, camera, eugene, food, GoPro, iPhone, LHT, Linus, Long Haul Trucker, mixte, Oregon, Surly, vegan, video