Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bend, OR

We spent a few days exploring Bend, OR during the week of Claire's birthday.  Bend is a rapidly growing city of over 82k city and a metro population of 200k in central Oregon. It is located where the high desert meets the hills. The gem of the city though is its downtown area.  The river flows through here with numerous parks laid out along it.  The neighborhoods here are spectacular with a perfect blend of residential and commercial that makes this area very livable. There was no shortage of farmers markets, concerts, art walks, etc. while we were there.

We spent much of our time here just walking around the city.  There are numerous breweries here and we had fun sampling many fine IPA's.  I've been a fan of Deschutes Breweries Mirror Pond for some time now and it was fun sampling all their small batch stuff at the brewery.  I would suggest 10 Barrel also for a great brewery.....maybe even better?

If your in the area stop by Chow for breakfast. This is simply one of the best breakfast's I have ever had in my life and they are 100% committed to using all extremely local and organic food. Really one of the best places to eat....simply fantastic!!!  The sous chef is a new friend of ours and was kind enough to make Claire a spectacular birthday dinner at their home along the banks of the river right in town.....thanks again.

Bend was very hot during our stay so we didn't ride too much on the trails around town.  We did get out to west Bend and rode around Phil's a couple days though.  The network of trails out there were fantastic.  Lots of flow and you could tell it was built by bikers.  Bend actually reminded me a bit of Helena, MT in terms of their trails....mellow and flowy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

McKenzie River Trail (MRT)

We left Oakridge, OR and headed north to the famous McKenzie River Trail.  This ride has been rated the best ride in the country by the likes of Bike Magazine and others so it was a no brainer when we found ourselves this close to it.  Its a 26 mile point to point (AKA shuttle) that runs along the beautiful McKenzie river. This trail did not disappoint at all.  The water falls, old growth forests, log bridges and beautiful blue pools were simply spectacular.

The shuttle was a bit pricey, but was well worth it.  I also wouldn't call it the best trail in America, but it is definitely up there.  The trail can be ridden by just about anyone that can mountain bike.  The more experienced rider will love the flow of the trail, not boring at all.  This should definitely be ridden when close to Bend, OR or Eugene, OR as it sits about in the middle of both.

There are a couple very nice state campgrounds close to the trail.  One is right at the end of the trail which is nice if you want to roll into camp and crack a beer right at the end.  Bring your own food also as there really is nothing in town other than a gas station.  The trail maps are free also so no worries about that.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Oakridge, OR...Loggers, More Hippes, Beer and Mountain Bikers.

Oakridge, OR is a logging town in central Oregon turned mountain bike mecca. The mill closed down and they decided to embrace mountain bikers rather than slowly decay.  The closed business downtown have started being filled with things we bikers shop....check......brewery...check......shuttle and guide music and pizza....check.....

....chicks on downhill bikes in bikini's...... double check!!!

We spent a long week here and biked our brains out.  We found a great camping spot along the river just north of town.  We had a nice trail that lead from camp along the river right to the brewery.  There is a mind blowing 400+ miles of singletrack that can be ridden right from town.....yes insane.

Ride in the morning, play in the river in the afternoon, then bike into town for a beer and some live music after dinner.  These are the lazy days of summer my friends.  The days we dream of when a long Montana winter sets in.  These were the times that I'll forever remember.....the times spent here were priceless.

We had the pleasure of riding a nice section of the North Umpqua Trail (better than the famous Mackenzie but that's for later) the day before before we arrived in Oakridge.  We also stopped at Oregon's only National Park (Crater Lake) which was something that I wasn't expecting.  The lake on that blue bird day was insane....I have never seen water like that in my life.  The color is incredible....I spent a half hour just staring at it in disbelief.

Next up is Bend, OR bitches!!!

*Post written from a killer brewery in White Salmon, WA....just across from Hood River, OR....Everybody's Brewing (That's their name).  Get a Big Brother Imperial IPA if you dare!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hippies, Beaches, and Fog.....AKA The Lower Oregon Coast and Northern Cali Coast

We both forgot how much we love the Oregon coast and the northern California.  The jaw dropping coastline, the lush old growth forests, and the amazingly clean smells blended together so well with 20something burnout hippie's begging for weed and/or lottery money......what's not to love?

In all seriousness we love exploring the coast line and finding secret beaches through holes in rock (seriously) and flying kites on the beach after lunch.  We haven't driven the coast since Claire graduated college and we quickly remembered why we loved the trip so much.  Anyway, here are a few pics from our couple days driving the coast.  We went inland to bike, but we definitely will be coming back for a few more days of exploring like little kids.

More biking to come.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

San Francisco (not to be comfused with Frisco)

We left the Downieville Classic and headed back to Tahoe for some riding with a terrible view.  We actually played around Tahoe for a while and then headed back to Downieville area for some more riding and to ride the popular trails without the proved to be fun.  Lots of other trails in Downieville than the classics.

We then decided to head into civilization and so that we could find myself a new phone that was launching that week and get in some culture.  It was a fun trip in the city and great to forget about biking for a few days.

We drove over to San Francisco to see the city by the sea and visit old friends.  Claire went to school a couple hours from SF and we have always had a soft spot for the city.  To me its the most beautiful large city in the US and it proved itself this time.  The food was amazing as was the people.

We made some new friends along the way.  Thanks again to know who you are!!!!

We played, laughed, drank and ate in this great city.  It was incredibly fun and a nice break from biking and camping.  Thanks again for everything Ali.

 Next up is Northern California and Oregon for a few weeks....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Downieville Classic 2010 (aka The All Mountain World Championship)

We blew through Utah and Nevada enroute to the Sierra Mountains.  While we were in Tahoe we found out that the Downieville Classic was going on.  One of my friends rode here and loved it so I figured we would check out the town anyway.

We rolled into Downieville Saturday and found a cool little town along a river.  We have spent lots of time in the area as Claire went to school in Chico, but had never stopped in this specific town.  Its very small is all we will say and the town was FULL.  We found a parking spot in front of the police/rescue/fire/whatever station and they let us stay there so we popped the top and grabbed a beer and headed to the river to watch the river jump.

This is Greg Minnaar from South Africa flipping the famous "Shit Bike" from Bike Magazine.  He's one of the top DH racers in the world.  Lots of pros gave it a shot and it was amazing to swim in the river while watching the event.  Kirt Voreis was in town and I have a video of his jump I'll post later.

The downtown area had been blocked off and was full of tents and vendors.  We had a blast that evening.  Camelbak made us a free dinner of tacos and we danced all night to the live music downtown.

We even woke up early Sunday and had Chris King make us breakfast.  It was fun mingling with the pros and company insiders.  Claire got to meet the owner and his wife of her bike, Turner Bikes.  We made plans to meet in Canada for the Crankworx's Festival.  Super nice people and they both raced. 

Sunday was the final DH race.  Here's the deal......Saturday you race a cross country race and then Sunday you race a downhill race.....all have to be done on the same bike and then you are crowned the "All Mountain" King......congrats to Mark Weir on his DH victory....super nice guy and a killer rider!!!!

More Tahoe riding to come....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Colorado....good bye and a note on this trip**

We left Colorado and are in Tahoe right now after a brief stop in Utah again to ride Park City.....we have both ridden there so I did just a day of riding.  We also rode Aspen, Salida, Monarch, Pagosa Springs, and other places in Colorado I can't remember right now.  Western Colorado is a great place and has endless riding options of all types.

**Its impossible to put everything and everyplace we ride and go on this trip online.  Its hard to find fast internet and I just have too much fun stuff going on to play on the computer.  I'll try and come back and update this when the trip is over.  This is a big trip and I hope whoever is reading this understands that.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Gunnison, CO (Hartman Rocks)

If your driving or flying to Crested Butte your going to have to go through Gunny.  Make sure and stop by Hartman Rocks just outside of town.  Spend a few hours exploring this amazing area.  Lots of free camping and tons of fun rides around here.  There are free maps at the trailhead so don't worry about getting lost....just pedal and rip up this amazing place.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Crested Butte, CO

We spent over a week here including the 4th of July.  The town has hundreds of miles of singletrack you can ride and it would take a summer to ride everything.  This is simply put one of the best places to ride anywhere.  Lots of free camping, a great downtown full of places to get a beer and some grub, and some of the most killer biking anywhere.....heaven I tell ya!

The town is gorgeous with small old Victorian structures painted in lots of fun colors.

There are lots of guides on where to ride here.  I will say what ever you ride, ride Reno/Flag/Bear/Deadman's....this is easily one of the best rides anywhere.  Its over 20 miles with the most amazing flowing decents anywhere.  Check this site for some ride best...."click me".

The 4th of July was one of the best I have ever done.  Great parade with lots of food vendors and a farmers market going on.  The mountain village put on a great free concert with a huge firework show, after that the town of Crested Butte put on their own firework show.....not bad.

I had a hard time pulling away from the cross country riding, but the ski hill has 5 out of 7 days of downhill riding for $35....not bad.  Lots of cool wooden features and definitely worth the money.

Not sure what else to put here other than whatever you do, come to CB in early July and go crazy. I had the time of my life here.  This is a perfect place and a long week I won't forget.