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McKenzie Pass Oregon 2012

Old 05-04-12, 02:23 PM
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McKenzie Pass Oregon 2012

I received a note today from ODOT saying that they will begin clearing the road of snow soon. They don't have an estimate yet on when it will be open to bikes only. There is a website for this road status, so we can all keep up on what's happening. https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/REGIO..._Project.shtml

If I hear anything new I'll post it here. Last year it was the middle of June before we could ride the pass, hope it's sooner this year.

First this:


Then this
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Old 05-05-12, 09:40 PM
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I am looking forward to hearing it is open. I have never ridden it and am itching to try.
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Old 05-06-12, 07:06 AM
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I'm planning on riding the pass in late June. I hope it's open but only to bicycles. Wouldn't that be nice?
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Old 05-06-12, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
I'm planning on riding the pass in late June. I hope it's open but only to bicycles. Wouldn't that be nice?
That's how it works. They plow one lane but leave the gates closed for a while, preventing automobile traffic.

I rode it for the first time last year. The only thing to be careful about is you get cooking on the downhills and if you're not paying attention the gates come up real suddenly, especially the gate on the West side.

A couple of ride reports here and here.

Last edited by kenl666; 05-06-12 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 05-07-12, 02:47 PM
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Looks like a great time! If you hear of it opening, please post. I would be up for doing that.

Ike's Pizza, a great place to stop on the way home!
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Old 05-07-12, 03:02 PM
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https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/REGIO..._Project.shtml

Found this, hopefully it will be updated as they progress.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:22 PM
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The word today from ODOT reports just a few miles left to plow, should be open for bikes only by Memorial Day. I'll post the actual date as it's released.

From ODOT:
As of May 15, ODOT has about 4 miles of plowing remaining until the entire Old McKenzie Pass Highway is open for cyclists. Probably around Memorial Day.
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Old 05-15-12, 10:02 PM
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Excellent! Thanks for keeping us informed! I should try and do that this year before the gate is opened.

Shifty - When you've ridden that, do you usually do an out and back or a loop of some type?
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Old 05-16-12, 08:00 AM
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I've always done it as a day ride, usually from McKenzie River side. We ride over the pass and down to Sisters for lunch, then back over the pass and down to the start. That's about 75 miles.
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Old 05-16-12, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
I've always done it as a day ride, usually from McKenzie River side. We ride over the pass and down to Sisters for lunch, then back over the pass and down to the start. That's about 75 miles.
Nice! Sounds like a perfect day!

(I'm assuming you take the bus to McKenzie Bridge - Sure am jealous the public transit system down in Eugene!)
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Old 05-19-12, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
Nice! Sounds like a perfect day!

(I'm assuming you take the bus to McKenzie Bridge - Sure am jealous the public transit system down in Eugene!)
Don't let anyone know you are jealous of LTD when you are here. It's one of the favorite political whipping boys in Lane County. It seems like everyone loves to complain about them: They're behind the times, they're trying to be too modern, the buses are empty, the buses are full, and so on. It would be funny but for the fact that we, like so many other communities, desperately need to invest in our transit system and that is difficult to do when it is fighting for its life in the public square.

In fairness, I have my own complaint about them. LTD has no safety program for training and dealing with scofflaw bus drivers and it shows.
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Old 05-19-12, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
In fairness, I have my own complaint about them. LTD has no safety program for training and dealing with scofflaw bus drivers and it shows.
We had our own problem with a driver at Blue River one year. The driver didn't want to wait for us to go back to pick up our panniers after we loaded our bikes on the racks. We had left our packs about 40 yards away, because we weren't sure where the stop was at. (The stop was being blocked by a construction truck that was working on the library when we were looking for it.)

She actually made us take our bikes back off the rack and wouldn't let us on. The amount of time it took us to take the bikes off the rack was about equal to the time it would have taken for us to get our packs. Because of her we missed the lunch buffet at Track Town Pizza! When we got into Eugene, we made a formal complaint at the bus depot.
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Old 05-21-12, 11:08 PM
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Hi Shifty,
Thanks for the post, I'm thinking about coming down this weekend.
I want to do some mtb around there but might bring the road bike and do some climbing.
Will let you know.
Looking at that picture reminded me of the great ride it is.
Ciao
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Old 05-22-12, 04:19 PM
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Dabbo, let me know if you'll be around, we can try to ride, or at least coffee. Are you riding mountain in Oakridge?

The word today is that the plowing is complete. Should be able to ride it any time now. Take care the rest of this week, they'll be bringing equipment down the road.
This picture posted today by the plow crew. Job well done!!!

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Old 05-22-12, 04:57 PM
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If they do not open it next weekend, I am going to ride it. Can't make it down this weekend... Was planning to be down there, but plans got screwed up.
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Old 05-31-12, 10:26 AM
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Any word on when it'll open to vehicles? I'm planning to ride it Sunday after the Gran Fondo but don't want to drive over there and find cars/trucks zipping up and down the road. The ODOT site currently does not have any info as to when it'll open to traffic. I thought it was closed to vehicles for at least a week, maybe two after it was plowed, anyone know if that's correct?

Thanks
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Old 05-31-12, 04:56 PM
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I rode the pass yesterday (Wednesday) from the west side, it's in fine condition and so nice without the car traffic. There has been no official word yet for the opening of the gates. Based on what I saw yesterday I would guess that the opening to cars will be two weeks. This weekend will be a good time to ride it, Sunday looks like the best weather. Have fun at the Fondo!
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Old 06-01-12, 09:08 AM
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Do you know where the gate is on the east side? My wife and kids want to meet me for lunch on the east side. They were also hoping to get to the lava fields, but I am not sure that is possible.
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Old 06-01-12, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by rearviewbeer View Post
Do you know where the gate is on the east side? My wife and kids want to meet me for lunch on the east side. They were also hoping to get to the lava fields, but I am not sure that is possible.

Knowing what I know of the gate and using Google Maps, I believe it's about a 7 1/2 mile climb from the gate to the observatory. I've skied to the observatory from the gate, it didn't feel too tough on skis. It's too far to walk, but possible to ride depending on your wife and kids level of fitness.
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Old 06-04-12, 12:52 PM
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Was a great ride yesterday. Way more people than I expected. Was a little cold and windy at the top, but was a very enjoyable ride, I will definitely go again next year.
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Old 06-05-12, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by rearviewbeer View Post
Do you know where the gate is on the east side? My wife and kids want to meet me for lunch on the east side. They were also hoping to get to the lava fields, but I am not sure that is possible.
Not sure how far it is, but you could probably tell by looking on Strava. The little jog around the gate shows up on the gps files. It's not uncommon to see people hiking up the road.

On Fri 6/1, Eurosports in Sisters said they'd heard two more weeks before it would open to cars.
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Old 06-11-12, 06:13 PM
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I rode the pass from the McKenzie River side again on Sunday, 6/10, a beautiful sunny day. The gate is still closed to cars, but it sounds like the gates will swing open late this week, I heard 6/15. The road was crowded with bikes enjoying the road, sunny day and fantastic beauty of the ride. Don't let the cars stop you from enjoying this ride, traffic is not that bad on weekends, and even better during the week. Trucks and longer motor homes are not permitted on the road any time, plus cars go pretty slow due to the twisty and narrow road.
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Old 06-19-12, 05:40 PM
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The gates will be open to all traffic on Thursday morning, June 21. It's still a great ride, even with a few cars.
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