There’s a heatwave in pdx right now, so the trolleys are running s-l-o-w-l-y so their pans won’t snag the sagging-because-of-the-heat catenary (it was designed about 20 years ago before the climate started obviously going to hell, and introduced extended ~100°F hot spells, so the new normal means the old tensioners don’t have enough capacity to take in all the slack), and that means that when I see a train coming I have enough time to set up a deliberate photobomb.
Picture was in Lincolnshire, where it really opens up, and also where I ate a snack and turned around.
As soon as you get into lake county the dpr gets super dreamy.
they re-opened the fire roads in Big Basin to the public on Friday for the first time since the CZU fires in 2020 so i went and did a classic Butano → Johansen → Middle Ridge → Gazos loop
The lower half of Butano looks pretty good, but it’s pretty crispy from the overlook to the airstrip
someone’s replaced the solar panels on the headquarters of the legion of space commandos at the north end of the airstrip. I still have no idea what’s in this little shack but it was making humming and clicking noises.
The north end of Butano Fire Rd is on private property between Butano and Big Basin state parks, and it’s being heavily cleared of trees. The road has just been chewed to moondust for a solid mile.
Big Basin… well, it’s still there. But it’s in pretty rough shape.
Sunday in the same spot:
The trees are trying really hard
The guy with the weird treehouse camp on the private inholding at the northwest corner of the park is still there. All the treehouses are gone, but a few of the traincars seem to have come through relatively unscathed. He’s embracing fireproof structures - I saw a concrete block and iron beam structure going up
Lower Gazos Creek Rd is outside of the park boundary and it’s a similar story to the upper bit of Butano: significant tree clearing going on, deep moondust in places
Went out yesterday to reopen access this gnarly power line cut that Carvana ruined 30% of to make a giant parking lot.
This dude came to help on his Crust fork equipped basket bike and only ate shit twice.
I did a rush tour of the coffee places that caught my eye, not sure who the different roasters were. Ó-le was the best espresso I had, followed by Reykjavik Roasters (in the art museum), then Emilie and the Cool Kids (would have loved to stay longer and eat pastries there) and Kaktus. Kaktus shots were interesting but a little off, maybe? I already can’t recall. Ó-le was the standout though.
No pics but I went on a night ride last night to escape the heat. We started at 9:30, when it had cooked down to 85F or so.
We went reverse direction on some very familiar trails that are strictly one-way only either climb or descend. (Climbed Phil’s and descended Ben’s, for those who know).
It was a lot of fun! In addition to the typical night-ride disorientation, going reverse was like being on totally new trails everything was unfamiliar and even familiar features run in reverse were weird and super hard to judge how far along the route we were. A+ will night ride again.
Woke up, made coffee, rode 13 miles to buy donuts, hung out in the park eating donuts and drinking coffee, rode home. Not sure what those forks are about. I really want to move to actual Salt Lake City. Need to make the donut run a regular thing regardless.
Finally did a mtb ride in Ohio. Nice trails, no climbs, flowy, constant switchbacks, singletrack, green tunnel, wife found a bunch of chanterelles. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was impressed. Not my home trails in the east bay hills obviously but a very fun day out in the woods.
ain’t that what it’s about? times are changing but one of the local trail networks in philly used to be so twisty windy that the secret to going fast was to go less fast. otherwise you waste all of your energy accelerating
I’m behind on posting photos, but here are a bunch from last weekend. My wife had a trails conference in the middle of the state that I tagged along to and we rode out and back with a motley crew of the state’s leading trail nerds. It was quite an experience. Touring with a group with different pace and rest-break expectations was super frustrating. And it wasn’t clear in advance how rough the riding would be, as we were visiting a bunch of right-of-ways that aren’t yet trail. There was lots of hike-a-bike, bushwhacking up and down embankments, and swarms of deer flies and mosquitoes. That said it was fun to explore, string together a mental map of these future trails, and pick the brains of this crowd on the details of a bunch of trail projects.
One upside to riding with others is there are actually some photos of me!
Some notes from The Rift:
The course was incredible. It looked like rain the whole week, but it was only the last 30 mins or so that I got wet from anything other than a river crossing. I think I would have had to take multiple tours to see all the crazy biomes there. Every time I thought I’d seen all the route had to offer, there was something new to appreciate. Aside from a really pointless dogleg around 75 miles in, it was great.
I finished pretty poorly (12:56?) but didn’t expect to do well; I just knew I could finish it. For a variety of reasons, my training this year has been eking out zone 2 with a couple bigger local rides as climbing tests. Most of the elevation on The Rift is in the first half, and I walked a lot to avoid blowing up, losing a lot of time in the process (taking photos, too). I had a 46/30 11-32 which was mostly fine, just not enough leg strength. When things turned to descent or flat, I did fine, and even mopped some folks up on the way back in.
Tire pressure I got mostly wrong (I think a lot of people did). 35psi in 40mm were great on the neutral start, but calling The Rift a gravel race is a bit generous. It’s really just rocks or sand, or rocks in sand. I stopped a little ways into the race and dropped pressure without knowing how much. It was way better over the rocks, but when I reached the flatter section to pump back up, it registered <20psi. Oops. 25 probably would have been the best all-around but I got spooked and put it back to 30 for the final road parts. Unfortunately there’s a 3-mile rocks segment before the last road that really beat me up.
Anyway, here’s a smattering of photos of the course, and probably the only time I’ve been glad to see horses on the road:
Regular Friday afternoon fixie gravel loop. We were going to ride South then to the Beach but it’s the first day of fishing season and traffic was nuts. Soooo many huge trucks with trailers.
Friend sliced his tire on some glass leaving the meet up spot.
Local brewery bought up 5 acres of abandoned warehouses and put a “beer pier” with a food truck which is cool because you can pay $8 for a beer instead of splitting a six pack from the mini-mart across the street and drinking it there for the same price. Stopped there after.