The following day, we opted for the longer Middle Fork shuttle, since it came highly recommended by some of the prior day’s riders. Due to the anticipation, the bus ride went quickly, and the larger group disembarked and quickly split into 3 smaller groups, based upon the desired amount of hammering, with the goal of having the 3 groups cross paths at the lunch stop.
The faster group climbed a rooty, rocky singletrack for about 40 minutes, before turning around and retracing their tracks to the start of the Middle fork trail. Middle fork is a trail of variability. Climbs, descents, dust, waterfalls, mud, ash, shade, and sun….there is a little but of everything. While not as flowy as some of the prior day’s rides, the sheer length and beauty made for some excellent riding.
Creek Crossing, Middle Fork Style
Post lunch, the trail became more as I had envisioned, staying closer to the river, while still venturing into the trees for some leg sapping climbs and the occasional hike-a-bike.
Waiting on a Very Large Chainsaw
After catching the bus back to camp, I swung by the Shimano tent, and Tommy delayed his jump into the dinner line to rebuild my rear hub, taking care of some issues that I had experienced out on the trail that day. Great way to stand behind their products.
On our final day, we elected to hit up Hardesty, which is known for being a fast and furious downhill, with very little up, once the initial climb is under the belt. Hardesty was a bit rougher and steeper than the other rides we had done at MBO, and the penalty for wiping out looked to be more severe. It struck me as one of the more important trails to ride at your own pace.
Ibis is one of MBO’s proud sponsors
Before we knew it, we were back at the rendezvous spot, and the faithful bus and van were waiting. It would have been great to have had the opportunity to hit up Lawler as well, but many folks had a long drive ahead of them, so the bus made a beeline back to Greenwaters Park.
By the end of the weekend, we were pretty beat, left with the feeling that we had only sampled a small portion of what Oakridge has to offer. I was particularly struck by how much work was put in by the organizers and sponsors, as well as how friendly and appreciative everyone in Oakridge seemed to be at having the mountain bike community descend upon their tiny town for the weekend. One thing is for sure; it won’t be my last trip to the area. Next time, I’ll just allow a little more time for some more extensive exploring.