Well, obviously I don’t need tell you about the trip up but, I had a great time flying up to Oregon with Ogre. For me the best part of the weekend was the fact that I got to actually ride all three days of MTB Oregon and there were skills clinics for women specifically.
When Ogre and I started planning this trip, I visited the MBO website and requested the video CD to see what to expect. I didn’t think the chances were good that I’d be able to ride much and especially not with Ogre. The trail listings sounded like the rides were more advanced than my skill level, but I figured I’d find something that would be fun and maybe I’d be able to walk/ride my way through one ride. Boy was I wrong. There were several beginner/intermediate trails available. The one that kept me coming back everyday was the Salmon Creek Trail. This trail left directly from the camp area and followed along the side of a beautiful creek. The majority of it was covered by lush, mossy forest and even in the heat was a pleasure to ride.
On Friday morning I joined 13 or 14 ladies for a skills clinic taught by Tanya Huff, a Cannondale rep. We worked on basic climbing and descending skills and finished up for the day by riding down some stairs. After the clinic, I rode out on the Salmon Creek Trail 6 miles with other riders that had attended the skills clinic and our guide. We stopped for a break at the campground that is located on the far end and then started back towards camp. After about a mile Karrie, the lady riding behind me says “that can’t be good”. I stop to see what’s the matter and we discover that she has managed to break the rear derailler off(not the hook, the derailler itself). Thanks to the quick thinking of a couple of our fellow riders, she goes from a gearie to a single speed in just a few minutes. Karrie decides to head back to camp via the road and I volunteer to accompany her. We enjoyed the views of the countryside while getting to know each other, agreeing that the real fun of these kind of gatherings is meeting new people. We make it back to camp and part ways. She heads off to see if the onsite mechanics can fix her bike, I go to return the demo bike I got to ride, a ’07 Cannondale Rush. The Rush was a great bike, though I think I’m sticking to my Spider for quite a bit longer. The geometry was just fantastic, but it felt too heavy and I hated the gear shifts and the Terry Butterfly seat on it. My butt hurt for three days.
Day two, we wake up and wander over to get breakfast. Thanks to all the great people of the Oakridge Kawanis and Moose, we enjoyed hot, fresh food morning and night. After breakfast Ogre heads off on his ride and I head over for the next skills clinic accompanied by Impy. Yeah, I can now lift my front tire and am working on lifting up the rear, then I can start bunnyhopping. Impy and I decide to head out on the Salmon Creek Trail after the clinic. BigLarry and Jilm join us as the three of them want a ‘light ride’ day so they can save themselves for the Middlefork Ride on day 3. I lead them out the way I went with the group on the previous day and BigLarry overhears a guide telling someone on the trail that there is a more technical option for the return route. Impy, Jilm, and I are game so off we go. The more techie trail turns out to be across the creek by means of a cool bridge. I definately was struggling to keep up with the others on this section, but boy was it worth it. The trail was festooned with short bridges that were built on an incline, gnarled tree roots, and then fun swoopy sections that were sheer pleasure to glide through. I was grateful for the break along the stream we took at the end of this section. The route lead us to Oakridge’s fish hatchery where got to see young salmon, trout, and representatives of the local wild bird community. BigLarry wanted to head into town for a map, so I joined him while Jilm and Impy returned to camp. The trip included a much enjoyed stop at Dairy Queen. Then back to camp.
Sunday started with most of our camp heading out to ride the Middlefork ride, leaving Rod, Jeff, Joe, and I to figure out what we wanted to do. The boys decided on a trip down Larrison Rock. A trail that runs about 6 miles, but has some tricky, techie parts from what they were saying. They tried hard to get me to join them, but it just didn’t appeal. I was starting to feel the effects of the 30 miles I’d managed wthin the last two days. Before they left Rod and Jeff convinced me to head out on Salmon Creek one more time. We made it out about 3 or 4 miles when my legs told me they were done. I reluctantly turned back with Jeff, while Rod continued on to finally see the end of the trail (he hadn’t made it to the far campground yet). Jeff and I returned to camp and I began packing up. Jilm had agreed to shuttle some of Ogre and I’s things south to give a little more room in the plane. The Middlefork riders began trickling in about 3 pm and talk turned to “what’s for dinner”. The rest of the story is pretty much just as Ogre said. I didn’t ride with Ogre once, but I really don’t think that matttered this time. We both found ourselves rides that rocked.