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indyfabz 09-17-12 09:02 AM

I had an Awesome Cycle Oregon
Returned home yesterday after participating in the 25th anniversary edition of Cycle Oregon. It was as fun as it was challenging. The rough numbers:

Day 1: Bly to Silver Lake, 70 miles, 3,900’ of climbing.
Day 2: Silver Lake to Ft. Klamath, 81 miles, 2’600’ of climbing
Day 3: Ft. Klamath to Prospect via Crater Lake and around the rim road, 90 miles, 7,000’ of climbing
Day 4: Prospect to Ashland, 78 miles, 5,800’ of climbing
Day 5: Day off in Ashland
Day 6: Ashland to Klamath Falls, 65 miles, 5,600’ of climbing
Day 7: Klamath Falls to Bly, 65 miles, 2,150’ of climbing.

I suspect the elevation figures are a bit low as there were many small ups and downs each day that were probably not captured.

A large pack of howling coyotes entertained us the night before the first day of riding. When we started out for Crater Lake at 6:57 a.m. it was at or near freezing (three nights there was ice on the tent fly). Fortunately, the climbing to the rim started in earnest around mile 6 so it helped warm things up. Getting around the rim was harder than I remembered when I first did it five years ago. With the out and back to Cloud Cap Overlook, we got to 8,000’ in elevation. Four other places we exceeded the 7,000’ mark. The day ended with a 30 mile descent into Prospect, about half of which was rip roaring.

Overall, the roads were mostly devoid of traffic. On Day 1 we probably saw a half dozen non-event related vehicles. That’s no exaggeration. All of the host towns and those that we stopped in were welcoming in every aspect. At Silver Lake, a resident was selling corn, sausage, ice cream and other treats outside of his home. Dozens of people relaxed on his soft lawn under his shady trees while they refueled. At Ft. Klamath we camped on a working cattle ranch. We had to kick dried cow pies out of the way to set up the tent.

Most of the food and water stops were either in forested areas or in lovely town parks. The 15 mile descent into Ashland, home of the Oregon Shakespeare festival, is one of the state’s iconic descents. Needing to rest our legs, we skipped the optional 24 mile climb to Mt. Ashland during the day off since we had climb out of Ashland the way we had come in the following day. Never before had I seen so many loopy people at the top of a hill. Klamath Falls, our last overnight stop, put on a 15 min. fireworks display for us. Not even a hint of rain, and the few days that were on the hot side seemed comfortable because of the lack of humidity in most places.

And it's small world. The first night in Ashland I ran into a volunteer who I had gone to junior high with back in the late 70s. The next day I ran into a woman who was in law school with me. She was also volunteering with the ride.

Pictures are being edited and will be available shortly.

Shellyrides 09-17-12 09:52 AM

Wow that sounds like a amazing ride! I know the area well but have never seen it off a bike.

chefisaac 09-17-12 02:53 PM

nice trip. I used to flyfish in crater lake. All of the places you went sound great and have visited them when I lived in Oregon. I miss that place.... a lot.

Mark Stone 09-17-12 03:27 PM

Sounds like an awesome ride! I love organized rides like this one - there's a lot of camaraderie and feeling a part of something, especially at the end when the sense of accomplishment hits everyone. Great ride!

Hill-Pumper 09-17-12 04:48 PM

Sounds like a great ride, I wish I had the time to take off and do that ride considering I live here. :(

indyfabz 09-17-12 07:20 PM

I made a short video. I didn't take as many photos as I do when I am on a self contained tour, but I got a few.

camprman 09-17-12 07:38 PM

That had to have been a gorgeous ride. Some day, oh yes, some day.

skilsaw 09-18-12 12:04 AM

When I read your numbers, I thought, "I could never do that." But looking at the pictures, it appears that a lot of average people took the challenge. I need to set my sights higher. I could do it, or something similar if I set my mind to it.

Thanks for the inspiration.

indyfabz 09-18-12 05:40 AM


Originally Posted by skilsaw (Post 14744432)
When I read your numbers, I thought, "I could never do that." But looking at the pictures, it appears that a lot of average people took the challenge. I need to set my sights higher. I could do it, or something similar if I set my mind to it.

Thanks for the inspiration.

About 1,100 of the 2,200 or so did the loop around the rim of Crater Lake. You had the option of riding up to the rim but not doing the loop around, which was the hardest part of the day.

There were definitely people who were "in over their heads" so to speak. More people get SAG rides than used to when I first did the event in '02. The day after the Crater Lake day, I saw people getting rides after the first food stop around mile 25 or so. A couple of the SAG vans were packed to the gills when they passed me at the start of the climb after the first food stop. Another day we saw several full (they can take about 10 people and bikes) SAG vans pull into camp, unload and then head back out on the course to pick up more people. But overall, it's a hardy group. One thing that had made it more "cushy" is the tent & porter service. They provide you with a tent, set it up for you and have your bag waiting at it when you arrive. I think there are 500 T&P slots, and they fill up extremely quickly. This year, the ride sold out on 40 min. The T&P service in about 10 min. Without the T&P service, you have to retrieve your own bag from the luggage drop area and pitch your own tent and do the reverse every morning. The cool thing is that there are "sherpas" to help with your bags. They are usually local high school kids. You tip them a couple of bucks per bag. The money is used to buy things like football uniforms or to pay for class trips. The goal of the event is to pump money into local economies that have been hit by the loss of timber and other jobs.

Neil_B 10-08-12 06:56 AM

Looks like you had a great time!

chefisaac 10-08-12 08:45 AM


Originally Posted by Neil_B (Post 14817810)
Looks like you had a great time!

I see you are posting again.

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