The plan was to head out to Hood River, ride about 100k with about 7300′ of climbing on some remote gravel roads. Plagued by Adam getting too many flats, we cut it short but still had a great time none-the-less. This is one of those rides where you finish wanting more, which is good to experience occasionally.
Check out the proposed route here.
FaTRoB did awesome on these gravel roads, btw…
I’m still putting some of the final touches on the FaTRoB build. I just installed a Supernova Plug III to power a charger for my iPhone. I’ve decided to forgo the GPS and use the iPhone and the apps GaiaGPS and Benchmark Maps. Both allow you to cache maps to peruse when there is no cell service, which will greatly aid in navigation in some back woods scenarios.
I’m also getting the last of the pieces together for the baggage I’m making for the ride, but more on that soon enough. Getting stoked to get out and explore/do some long days with some nights in the woods.
NOTE: I wrote this a few weeks ago, but forgot to publish it. Such is life when you’re busy prepping for a show…
Many of my friends just completed the first Brevet of the season, the SIR 200k. Meanwhile, I’m busy wrapping up projects and getting ready to show in Detroit in a couple weeks, so I’ve only had time and energy for shorter rides.
I awoke yesterday at 06.30 and got into the shop by 07.30 to do the rest of some finish work on some frames that I dropped off to Class Act to get powder-coated. Afterwards I went home and generally goofed around, stressing about where to ride, how long I wanted to go, etc… I finally decided to just get out and explore a few areas I’ve been meaning to for a while. Donning my lightweight jersey, shorts and arm warmers, I quickly found that I was too warm. In March. Awesome! I climbed up an unpaved path to the top of Powell Butte and was awarded some killer views on this mostly clear day.
Bombing down the path and heading towards my next bump in the landscape: Gresham Butte. A helluva climb up a paved road averaging 11% over the .8 miles, I was happy to find the top. I quick hop over the rocks that barricade the path and I’m boogying down the Gresham Walking trail. Starting off paved, It quickly turns to loose gravel and I stop at the bottom to let out some air. 40 PSI felt ok on the pavement, but turns out that 35 PSI works just as well, but was still a little too much on the looser parts of the gravel path. The next climb averages about 7% and a bit over a mile to the top. It’s here that I decide to start navigating back. A lovely descent down Butler rd, the meandering through some neighborhoods and then a bomber descent down 190th and I’m back at the Springwater trail. After a few minutes, I decide to ride through neighboring streets instead of dodging the joggers and horseback riders and other cyclists on the trail. I meandered home, taking interesting looking alleyways and side streets until I arrived home. 25 miles, about 1600′ of climbing, packed into the middle 10 miles. An unshabby time and super fun to find some new routes that are definitely worth revisiting and exploring some more.
I’m gauging interest to see if folks might be down for a little Porteur Project? A badass rig for city riding either set up as a single speed or a geared bike. I’m thinking $2600 for frame, fork, front rack and headset… Drop a note or leave a comment if it’s something you may find keen.
Hi Folks. As of this writing I still have a couple slots open for this wonderful deal. Head over here for the full details. You’ve still got a couple weeks to order, after that I will offer up another one for late fall delivery, so act now if you want one of these wonderful bikes for your summertime riding.
I tried installing a new theme this week, to give the website a new, more polished look. But it broke the site a bit. I couldn’t easily access the blog and the design layout is anything but intuitive. I’m working on it, but it’ll be a little bit before it’s nearly where I want it. In the meantime, is there any content missing that you’d like to see on the site?
Wow. Such a great day on the bike with what is really a fantastic route. 60 miles of mixed terrain riding and packing in a bit over 4000′ of climbing in 2 climbs.
I drove out with my good buddy Jack and we parked the car about 5 minutes before 10, got our stuff together, grabbed some coffee and a restroom break and headed out. I didn’t print a route sheet, nor did I worry about starting about 30-45 minutes after most folks. That part was actually kinda cool. I usually start with everyone and find myself into one of the faster groups off of the front missing most of the field. Starting late, I got to catch up with a lot of folks on that first climb, seeing many familiar faces.
The climb up Dalles Mtn rd was wonderful. Nicely maintained gravel, wide open views of the Columbia River Gorge and near zero auto traffic made the climbing go quickly enough. Chatting with a few riders on the way up and generally taking it kinda easy made for a truly pleasant warmup.
We finally crested and I was beginning to get a feel for how FaTRoB was handling the turns and the Vee Rubber Speedster tires were handling the somewhat loose gravel. The first few corners were taken rather cautiously, but after getting used to the handling I was able to open ‘er up and let ‘er rip. I quickly found myself off the front and at that point and the terrain leveled and then picked up on some rollers so I put down the hammer a bit and caught back up to Jack, who was getting a bit sideways in the corners and getting way too rad for me. Prior to today, I had only ridden the bike about 2 blocks after assembly the night before.
We meandered along the plateau above the Columbia River until we found our descent. We took the Merryhill loops rd down to the Stonehenge memorial and grabbed a sandwich from our jersey pockets. A quick reprieve and some sustenance and we were back on the bikes and headed back into Oregon and towards our final climb. Moody rd was one of those that has you wishing for one more gear, I’m sure, no matter what you have. But the climb is over soon enough and we are on a bank of the range overlooking the Gorge again and feeling almost like we’re on the edge of the world. This meanders for a few miles before a ripping descent takes us down to 15 Mile rd and our final turns into The Dalles. At this point, FaTRoB was like an old friend, reliable and something to be comfy around, though I did find myself occasionally looking for the down tube shifters. Jack and I used the final miles to trade stories and tell crappy jokes and goof off, making those final miles pass with ease. This is exactly the type of riding I had in mind when designing FaTRoB. Climbing, gravel and paved roads, fun and fast descents and a bit of distance. I’ll have more about the specifics of the FaTRoB build in a future post.