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Thread: McKenzie Pass

  1. #1
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    McKenzie Pass

    Anyone have info on when or if the pass is opening for cycling this spring?


    Thanks
    KRhea

  2. #2
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    They got lot's of snow up there last weekend and into this week. The snowpack is close to normal now, so unless it keeps snowing and stays cold, it should open to bikes by mid-May. I'll kepp an eye out for local reports and post when they come out.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

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    Thanks Shifty!

    KRhea

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    This looks like a great area to ride. A google search pulled up this =>

    http://www.tripcheck.com/Pages/SBmckenzie.asp

    Looks like its normally closed from November thru July.

  5. #5
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    OK, I contacted our local ODOT guy and got the following response. It's not good for riding this spring or summer:

    From ODOT
    it is indeed a normal snow year and the snowpack on OR242 is nowhere near as deep as it was last year. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer a bike/ped-only window this year. As you likely know, ODOT, the U.S. Forest Service and the Federal Highway Administration have been working on the highway for the past two summers, and that has caused it to be closed to all traffic during construction.

    This summer will be the final phase of the three-year improvement project -- and the most bothersome to cyclists. This year we will pave a 15-mile section of the highway, install new guardrail and signs, and widen shoulders. ODOT has had snowblowers clearing a path for the past two weeks, and we should reach the summit by the end of April. That will allow the contractor to begin work the first week of May. Because of that work, and the heavy equipment on the road, the highway (from Alder Springs to the Dee Wright Observatory) will remain closed to all bicycle, pedestrian and vehicle traffic until mid-August. The eastside portion of the highway, from Sisters to Dee Wright, should be open by the end of May, if not sooner.

    I know this represents a hardship for recreational users such as yourself. However, once we complete this last phase, you can expect no major construction activities for the next 10-15 years. So please bear with us.

    We will notify media and interest groups should the aforementioned plan change, and also later this summer when we are preparing to open the highway.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  6. #6
    My tank takes chocolate. FlowerBlossom's Avatar
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    Oh. Sad. I was hoping to make this a training ride for the Tour de Blast. And, make it an excuse to visit Mecca (original Deschutes Brewery).

    I'll just have to drink the imported holy water, instead of from the source.


    Thanks so much for doing the research and posting this!
    Feminism is the profound notion that women are human beings.

  7. #7
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerBlossom View Post
    Oh. Sad. I was hoping to make this a training ride for the Tour de Blast. And, make it an excuse to visit Mecca (original Deschutes Brewery).

    I'll just have to drink the imported holy water, instead of from the source.


    Thanks so much for doing the research and posting this!
    There are other epic rides which begin and end at the Deschutes Brewery, come on down!

    A great alternative to McKenzie Pass would be the beautiful Aufderheide highway between McKenzie River and Oakridge. Along the way are hot springs, old growth forests and wild rivers.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  8. #8
    My tank takes chocolate. FlowerBlossom's Avatar
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    Wow. Wouldn't that be something.

    You do this in, say, a few days, right? I mean, if there are hot springs...shoot...that would take at least one day per.
    Feminism is the profound notion that women are human beings.

  9. #9
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Sure, take your time, a few days would work over here. You can stay at this hot springs resort on the McKenzie River, http://www.belknaphotsprings.com/hotspringPool.html then ride up Aufderheide where there are natural hot springs (like in the woods). Spend a couple days in Bend too, and ride around Mt Bachelor to work up a thirst.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  10. #10
    Ovdabak, OR DArthurBrown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    OK, I contacted our local ODOT guy and got the following response. It's not good for riding this spring or summer:

    From ODOT
    it is indeed a normal snow year and the snowpack on OR242 is nowhere near as deep as it was last year. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer a bike/ped-only window this year. As you likely know, ODOT, the U.S. Forest Service and the Federal Highway Administration have been working on the highway for the past two summers, and that has caused it to be closed to all traffic during construction.

    This summer will be the final phase of the three-year improvement project -- and the most bothersome to cyclists. This year we will pave a 15-mile section of the highway, install new guardrail and signs, and widen shoulders. ODOT has had snowblowers clearing a path for the past two weeks, and we should reach the summit by the end of April. That will allow the contractor to begin work the first week of May. Because of that work, and the heavy equipment on the road, the highway (from Alder Springs to the Dee Wright Observatory) will remain closed to all bicycle, pedestrian and vehicle traffic until mid-August. The eastside portion of the highway, from Sisters to Dee Wright, should be open by the end of May, if not sooner.

    I know this represents a hardship for recreational users such as yourself. However, once we complete this last phase, you can expect no major construction activities for the next 10-15 years. So please bear with us.

    We will notify media and interest groups should the aforementioned plan change, and also later this summer when we are preparing to open the highway.
    They said this same thing last year. For the final three weeks of the road closure, the road was perfectly traversible, yet they kept the road "closed" until yellow center lines could be painted on a couple bridges. The heavy equipment had even been moved away at that point as well. Not knowing the road was officially closed, I did the route, wondering why more people weren't riding it. Several forest officials and police vehicles passed me on the way, many waving pleasantly as they did so.

    Unless the work is more expansive than last year, which is hard for me to believe, I think that route will still be perfectly safe and doable. My guess is that ODOT simply wants no liability in case someone blows a tire or breaks a wheel, or takes a header on some bit of debris left behind.

  11. #11
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    Current check of ODOT says the east side is open to bikes. It's partly cloudy and somewhat cool right now. Might be a good day for it.

    -B
    Cyclocross: Side effects may include but are not limited to; nausea, blurred vision, increased heart rate, and an elevation in blood pressure. Should you experience difficulty sleeping, compulsive headset repacking, frequent derrailuer adjusting, constant checking of tire pressure, or impulse bicycle parts purchasing, register for the next cross race immediately.

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  12. #12
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    McKenzie Pass, Rt 242 is now open all the way over from the McKenzie River to Sisters. ODOT says this is the end of it's three reconstruction project. Lots of great riding weather right now, come down and enjoy this spectacular ride.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  13. #13
    Senior Member skiph's Avatar
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    So when are you putting together a ride?

  14. #14
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiph View Post
    So when are you putting together a ride?
    Any time, when you coming over?
    The weather this week is looking like the perfect time to do it, sunny and temps in the 70 80 range. It's best to ride it on week days, but an early start on weekends is not too bad.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  15. #15
    Senior Member skiph's Avatar
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    Shifty:

    I don't know if I could get any others to come over on a weekday.

    Some are 'retired', some are still working, some are running around on trips.

    My main riding partner should be back today or tomorrow...let me check with him and see if he wants to do it, and when.

    I think I've recovered from putting on our club's ride Sunday before last and might have my work caught up, but not before the weekend or early next week.

    I'll PM you when I know more.

  16. #16
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    I'm planning to ride Old McKenzie Pass sometime next week, if anyone would like to ride with me let me know what day would be best. I'll also be keeping an eye on weather up there, then pick the best day. It's a fantastic ride, and a great time to do it.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  17. #17
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    Yo Shifty, where does the ride start exactly? I could up for it since I happen to be one of the retired guys. I'd have to calculate the drive down, the ride time and the drive back time.

    Let me know.

    KRhea

    PS See you at the Peach!

  18. #18
    Senior Member gregstandt's Avatar
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    Take some pics. The NW Photo sticky hasn't seen alot of activity this summer.
    Make us all jealous of a brand new road through some terrific scenery!
    Relax, it's a bike ride.

  19. #19
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRhea View Post
    Yo Shifty, where does the ride start exactly? I could up for it since I happen to be one of the retired guys. I'd have to calculate the drive down, the ride time and the drive back time.

    Let me know.

    KRhea

    PS See you at the Peach!
    I start at the National Forest McKenzie River Ranger Station, nice parking and facilities. It's just east of the town of McKenzie Bridge on highway 126.
    McKenzie River Ranger District
    57600 McKenzie Hwy
    McKenzie Bridge, OR 97413

    Weather is looking more favorable later in the week, so we can plan accordingly. The Ranger Station is a bit over an hour east of Eugene. I'd say start riding by 10:00 maybe earlier. The ride can either be 45 or 80 miles, 40 one long hill, 80 has two.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

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