By: Chris Kangas, Video by: Ron Aclan
I first heard about MBO a year or two ago, while killing some time on MTBR. I don’t recall if it was the advertising or the chatter on the forums, but it piqued my interest. My good friend Ron ended up attending that year, and he came back all smiles. I caught some of the photos the following year, and when Ron came a callin’ this year, he told me to clear my calendar in August; we were in.
I must admit that the prospect of 9 hours in the car was a bit daunting. In the back of my mind, I asked myself if the extra miles would be worth the drive beyond something closer, such as Tahoe, Greagle, or Downieville. There was only one way to find out. Before I knew it, the departure date had arrived, and we rolled out of San Jose at 6:20 AM on a Thursday morning. Surprisingly, the drive went relatively quickly. It helped that it was naturally broken into segments with varying terrain. From the familiar stretches through the East Bay, the flatlands along I5, the mountainous stretches in Shasta’s shadow, the rolling red hills on the way to Klamath Falls and final descent into Oakridge; all were different enough to keep the drive interesting.
Shasta Looms Large
It ended up taking about 9 hours, and upon arrival, we grabbed a sweet camp spot overlooking the Willamette river, before heading to town to sample some of the fine local cuisine.
Back at Greenwaters park, the MBO HQ for the weekend, we signed up for Saturday’s “Epic” ride (aka ATW), which would cover Alpine, Tire Mountain, and Windberry trails. Each ride has a rating that covers the difficulty with regard to distance, climbing, and technical challenge. The Epic was relatively high on all marks, so I was interested to see how MBO defined “Epic”. The next morning, we eagerly boarded a well-loved school bus, and rumbled down the highway and into the mountains.
The bus ride was a good opportunity to get to know some of the other riders, and there was a nice mix of newbies (to MBO), as well as vets from prior years. Once at the drop spot, we quickly retrieved our bikes from the box van, one by one. Many thanks to the bike loaders, for making sure that each bike had its own mover’s blanket, which provided protection during the bumpy ride.
Bike Transport for the Masses