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robmitchell 09-17-07 11:56 AM

Cycle Oregon ride report (LONG)
Hi everyone,

We just finished the 20th anniversary Cycle Oregon ride last Saturday, my little chicken legs are fried.
This is our third year in a row we attended the week long event. Weather was awesome, scenery off the charts. for route details.
We were on our Calfee with triple up front and 12x25 cassette.

Like the fool I am, I did our local yearly hill climb on my single bike the day before, then off to Sisters Oregon.

Day 1- Sisters to La Pine - 64 miles/2400 ft elevation climbed of easy tail wind cruising. I vowed to take it easy as my legs were tired and I had an idea of what was ahead. For once I listened to myself and did not hammer despite my rested stokers energy.

Day 2-La Pine to Diamond Lake 92 miles/3400 ft elevation climbed. One long day, it was about 28 degrees in the morning when we left about 7:30 a.m. I foolishly did not take my warmest gloves and booties so suffered the first hour before it warmed up. They have gear drop at the first rest stop and lunch so being over dressed and then dropping off your clothes as it warms is easy. We had one wonderful stretch of rollers at about 20 miles with a tailwind and could have used an 11 tooth, as you can imagine we made some new friends on single bikes.
The ride got tough after lunch with the long gradual climb and it warming up to almost 80 degrees.

Day 3- We were at Diamond Lake for two nights. The next day was optional ride up to and around Crater Lake, 60 miles and 6400 feet elevation climbed. We were too tired so rode just the climb up to the rim for pictures and back down about 12 miles up. A little dissapointed but knew how hard the next few days were.

Day 4- Diamond Lake to Dorena Lake- 88 or 100 miles with option and 3400 ft elevation.
The first 40 miles were DOWNHILL, on smooth wide roads with little traffic, oh yeah, the greatest downhill ever. We rolled and swooped past everyone in sight (safely of course using the stoker bell). I think our average at lunch was 27mph. (could have used an 11 tooth) After lunch we paid the price, about a 15 mile climb with some 8% pitch near the top (would have used the 27 tooth). It was on a remote road they had closed to oncoming traffic. Very scenic. The downhill was a little too steep and curvy for my liking (8-10% near the top) and no fun. My rear Avid disc did not feel that helpful. We made it down and found out later there were 3-4 single bike crashes with one broken hip.
After the climb it was downhill and flat for about 30 miles, but with some head wind so not so easy. We hammered to hard and paid for it the next day.

Our rear Rolf wheel had two spokes that were lose at the finish, the on site Bike Gallery mechanics repaired them, no problem.

Day 5- Dorena Lake to Oakridge- 55 miles and 5500 feet of elevation- woe are we-
This stage crushed us, the scenery was fantastic but the climb near the top had more 8-9 % pitches with a double summit top. Once again I vowed to never ride again. The downhill was steep at the top but not as scary as the previous day, so some fun after getting off the top section.
That night the Bike Gallery mechanic put in a new longer rear disc cable and housing at his suggestion.
It made a big difference in braking power!

Day 6- Oakridge to Rainbow 65 miles 3300ft- Another hard climb to lunch and me not eating enough the previous night made for a mini melt down rest stop prior to the big climb. Glad no one but my wife witnessed this. After lunch- the second greatest downhill ever 25-27 miles of swooping fast turns thru the old growth forrest making us want to keep the bike and not buy ATV's.

Day 7- Rainbow to Sisters- 43 miles and 4100 ft- Started off with 30 miles of uphill but manageble 5-6 % pitches over the pass and then another fun downhill finish into Sisters. We felt better than the previous day or just numb from the week.

We had a hotel in Bend for the night thanks to the smart stoker!

Although we had trained the ride was still pretty grueling. We would guess 20-25 tandems but not really sure.
Some of the tandem teams cruised past us on the climbs inspiring us.

I will have to wait a few weeks before considering next years Cycle Oregon.


zonatandem 09-17-07 05:21 PM

Thanks for a nice report and great ride in Oregon . . . the hillwork can be an issue especially by Crater Lake . . . but aaaaah those views/descents!
Two suggestions . . . keep them legs from 'frying' and get a larger cassette for that many days/ miles/climbs.
Emergency full gloves: slip a pair of socks over your hands (like mittens) and cut a hole for your thumb.
Imagine you'll think twice about doing the local hill climb before a long tour . . .
Heard that last year there was a tandem fatality on Cycle Oregon on one of those descents . . . so be careful and scrub some of that downhill speed early!
Congrats to you and your stoker!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

moleman76 09-18-07 12:07 AM

What is the range on you triple chainrings that matched up with the 12-25?

oldacura 09-18-07 07:39 AM

You weren't clear about the options but that sums to about 467 miles & 28,500 vertical feet in 7 days by my calcuations. That's a long, hard ride!

I've heard good things about Cycle Oregon.

We've done Ride The Rockies several times with similar distances & climbs. About mid-week, I start quesitoning why I'm doing this. Often, by the end of the week, I start to feel sad that it's about over.


robmitchell 09-18-07 07:46 AM


Yes a 12x27 cassette would have been nice or even an 11x26 for fast flats and steep hills
I had warm gloves in my bag, in the truck, on its way to the next nights town. Real smart!
Just neglected to wear them, which would have been easy with the gear drop available.
As for doing the local hill climb prior, I have done that the last 3 years so not much chance of me changing my ways until I bag the racing, which may happen soon.

No Deaths last year. We have done the last 3 C.O.'s and there was an unfortunate accident 4 or 5 years ago where a lady crashed and died on a steep descent. I heard her hands cramped up and she went off the road, but not sure about the facts.
A couple of the descents had 8-10 % near the top so picking up speed after slowing was to easy.

I will check our chainrings up front to see what size they are.


robmitchell 09-18-07 12:50 PM


In response to the question earlier
Our chainrings are 53/39/30 with the 12x25.

Toatal miles 434 elevation 24,000 estimate since we opted out of the ride around Crater lake.
We did do the ride up to the lake for photo's it was fantastic (the lake) not the climb up.

It is quite a week and amazing to witness the mobile city or Cycle Oregon. It is also amazing to see the different people on all kinds of bikes from fancy Tandems to heavy MTB's.


arcticbiker 09-21-07 09:05 AM

CO Trip
2 Attachment(s)
What a wonderful trip. My wife and I enjoyed the scenery and hills. We rode around Crater Lake. Here's a shot of the lake. I used the trip to ride a demo bike while I was on the trip. A Lemond Tete with full SRAM. Nice ride.

[email protected] 09-25-07 10:04 AM

We were another tandem team on Cycle Oregon this year. We did the same with regards to Crater Lake and opted to not do the rim and the additional 4000 vertical. When all was said and done - my Polar indicated 446 miles and 24,461 feet of climbing. We had a great time.

We have a CoMo Speedster which is far from stock. Have new XTR v-brakes in the front and an Avid Disc in the rear. Never had any problems over the ride - except letting the front rim cool down a couple times on the Day 4 descent because I was on the brakes WAY too much trying to keep the speed down due to all the riders on the road.

We suffered a bit on Day 5 as well - it was a tough day. We run a 26/44/54 in front and 11-32 in the rear - and had plenty of gear. We were able to average about 75 rpms for the climb - with a mix of sitting and standing on the climbs.

The downhills were awesome - we saw 52+ mph on several of them and I'll tell you - they were some of the best we've ever done.

With regards to the Rolf wheels - i'm VERY disappointed in ours. We've had several front spokes come loose for no apparent reason - so I carry a Rolf nipple driver with us on all rides. We've had to replace all the rear bearings once and all the rear axle parts once due to continued loosening of the bearing adjustment. I've also had to replace the front rim because of severe uneveness of the braking surface. Our friends actually own 2 sets of Rolfs - so they have a set to ride while the other is getting fixed for one reason or another. Rolf has been great with regards to repairing them but for the $$$ we spent - they've been less than reliable.

Here's a shot of the wife and I on the Crater Lake Day.

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