View from the Drop Zone
Once mounted up, we warmed up on a gravel road climb, before turning off onto the Alpine trail. The climb through the forest was smooth and quiet, due to the muffling qualities of the pine duff that carpeted the sinuous singletrack. After snaking through a grassy meadow, we hit the descent, which was punctuated by a series of fast, tight corners, preceded by the occasional washboard of braking bumps.
After popping back out onto a gravel road, we got word of our first casualty; further back on the trail, on one of the riders had his derailleur and hanger ripped off. Luckily, one of our guides had a universal spare, so he was able to continue. The break provided an opportunity to get to know some of our fellow riders, and we were again rolling before long.
The descents were broken up by a series of short but moderately steep climbs, which had the fortunate effect of spreading out our group, giving the illusion that you were on one of your weekend rides with a handful of buddies….with the small caveat that you just happened to be ripping some of the most choice singletrack around.
After turning onto the Tire Mountain trail, things turned from good, to very good. 25-50 foot sight lines turned into 150 footers, and the speed increased accordingly. Most turns were flowy and smooth, with the occasional tight switchback, which proved challenging to folks with longer wheelbases or double triple clamp forks. The sensation of floating through the forest, with greenery blurring by on either side, was intensified by trying to keep your point man in sight, while simultaneously attempting to gap the guy gunning for your tail.
These Trails Create Some Serious Smiles
Oregon Trail Dog