Mtbr Explores Bend People and Culture
Day 2 was a day filled with thoughts like “There is NO way today can be better than yesterday; but it IS!” and “This must be what Super Hero Tacky Dirt feels like!” It started with our guide Patrick letting us know we had a “short climb” up and around the corner then down we go! The climb was truly unbelievable. I can’t believe we didn’t see any gnomes. They had to be the ones spreading the pine needles on the trail. It had snowed the week before but the sun had been shining since. The ground was hard enough that you didn’t collect mud on your tires but soft enough to show where you have been. The climb was so wonderful in fact that I even made the comment, “You can’t even tell you are climbing, its so beautiful!” Kyle would have thrown a rock at me if he could have found one.
Patrick introduced us to the following ride: we started at Dutchman Trail Head. Rode Flagline trail (more high country awesomeness, some stunts and features), over to Vista Butte (killer 360 view, super fun loose descent), Swampy lakes Trail head to Wanoga Trail Head( jumpy pump track), Funner (lots of log rides, berms, drops and jumps), Lower Storm King to the Deschutes River trail, back to Mount Bachelor Village Resort.
Again we downloaded photos and had the guides in for a brew. Soon we were showing off photos, laughing at/with each other like we had ridden together for years. Before we knew it, it was getting dark and we had once again missed getting to see Bend in the daylight. We showered up and headed into town in the dark. This time we headed to 10Barrel Brewery. The food was amazing, the outdoor fireplace was heating us up like marshmallows and the beers were tasty! We were met by Cogwild’s Melanie and Gill (with a G.) Gill let us know what beer should taste like and made sure we know she rode a custom bike. Once our tummies were warmed and filled, we headed to the Deschutes Brewery. They hosted a Día de Muertos party and it was off the hook. There was a marching band all dressed as mariachi players, a girl climbing on fabric hanging from the ceiling and a band. The place was packed and the beers were flowing. There might be a video somewhere out there, but thats another story. Soon it was midnight and we were wanting some sleep for the ride tomorrow.
Once again the sunlight made us pull the blankets over our heads from the brightness of its rise. It was day 3 and we were feeling it. Everyone was a bit slower, drinking a bit more coffee and doing more stretching.
We wanted to have our street clothes in downtown Bend today so we could see some of the town after the ride. Today would be a shorter ride. We met Lev at Cogwild. He wanted more of this Cali action. We were heading to Whoops for a double lap, the slalom course, the pump tracks and to The Lair. We clipped the GoPro’s on our chests and off we went. It was a short climb to the top of Whoop’s and we were happy to have it behind us. Lev would go first and we would do our best to 1) mimic his style and 2) stay up with him. lol on both accounts! I swear it was ten pedal strokes before he turned around and slowed up for us. Francis, Derek and I decided to “let them get ahead” and we would do a separate video. It amazes me that 2.3 miles of fun can be that exhausting! After two laps Lev took us over to another area in Bend. This spot had what seemed like miles of pump and slalom tracks. It was incredible! It was an old converted logging road and seriously was about a mile long. Can you believe the city actually encourages this type of riding? Oh, I wish we could have that here!!! There might be another video of Lev, Aaron and Francis on the slalom course. If you are thinking “I could never ride something like that”, please note we watched a family of three picnic’ing on the top of the slalom course. After we rode down, the boy, who was all of 4 years old, rode down. It was incredible to watch. Watch out Mark Weir~he’s coming to get you!
Next we headed up to The Lair. With trail names like Broken Chairlift (the climb) and Apollo 13 (the double black diamond descent) we were in for a treat! This is slalom country. I can now say I can get my bike’s rubber off the ground. It might only be an inch or two, but this type of riding sure gets you trying stuff like never before!
After a few circuits of The Lair we were off the see the city! Lev, forever the family man was heading to see his daughter earn her first medal at the cross event! Wooohooo!!! We met up with Melanie and Gill at Cogwild and Melanie showed us the beauty of Bend. The old houses, the new houses, the trees with orange, yellow and red leaves, the river bending its way through the city. We ate at a tiny place called The Riverside Market. A deli style store with about ten beers on tap!!! Next we were off on our bikes to see the Oregon State Championship Cross Races. I’m not sure how many people were there but it sure seemed like a trizillion to me. It was the finals for cross season and Halloween weekend to boot so 99% of the riders were in costume. If you ever needed a reason to smile this was it. We watched as clowns, ghosts, goblins and even Gallagher rode by. Every lap Gallagher completed, he destroyed a pumpkin with a big wooden mallet. It was a riot. Soon enough it was time for the big ride home (all of ten minutes or so.)
We rallied one last time and headed to the Deschutes Brewery/Pub for our final dinner in this glorious town. We already knew the beer would be awesome, but were amazed by the quality of the food. I can’t wait to eat there again.
So to sum it all up, I can’t wait to get up to Bend again. The trails amazed me, the beer filled me and the people were some of the best anywhere. When you decide its time to visit Bend, be sure to hop on the web and take a look at www.visitbend.com. You won’t be disappointed!