Oregon trail gravel who wants to join me
Last Post 09/09/2019 08:47 AM by Cosmic Kid. 55 Replies.
Author Messages
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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12/23/2018 11:06 AM
Registration opens Jan 15. There is a training goal for 2019. 5 days 400 miles of mostly gravel forests mountains camping and beer. 30000 feet of elevation. http://www.oregontrailgravelgrinder.com/
79pmooney

Posts:2293

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12/23/2018 12:46 PM
Wow! I've already decided one goal of 2019 is RondePDX, March 30th (I believe). 8000' in 50 miles, all in Portland or just west, starting 11 miles from home and featuring crazy steep paved pitches in the Portland west Hills. (Very early on is Brynewood. The final corner is >20%.)

If I rode this I would have to choose a bike. Either the Raleigh Competition or the Mooney could do it. Mooney is the stiffer, more efficient bike, less subject to overall shudder on fast rocky descents. Competition is wonderfully smooth on rough surfaces. (It has the butted touring chainstays that Raleigh had Reynolds draw for them in the 50s. They look like seatstays. Also skinny forks; adding to both comfort and shudder.

This would be in the category of my 2012 Cycle Oregon - Crater Lake - on the fix gear. Epic. And Day 4 as a Pioneer would be a graveled and geared equivalent to Day 3 of that ride, up Crater Lake, around the rim, my detour down to Diamond Lake and back (oops!) and down. 16 years later and older, can I still do it and do I want to? I do not have the base of that year and this ride comes up a lot earlier. (I rode McKenzie Pass ; out and back from Sisters that year about 2 weeks earlier tahn this ride on that fix gear. It was that ride that confirmed my brand new bike could do it, both the big climbs and the big descents.)

If I were to do this, Ronde PDX would be the perfect training/'indicator. Timed right. 27 days to make up my mind.

Thanks, OC for turning my world upside down.

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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12/23/2018 07:56 PM
You're welcome Ben.

I was actually going to surprise CK with a showing at DK200 but this is a nice new target. We'll keep that one for another year.

The Diverge will probably need some new rear rubber by then otherwise just need to put in the miles. May or may not do the Gorge Gravel Grinder in NE Oregon April 7. Organized by same outfit.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3013

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12/23/2018 10:10 PM
Sounds like an epic ride.... up I have ZERO interest in camping out at this stage if my life.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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12/24/2018 05:32 PM
We typically do posh car camping in the family tent but for this one I'll break out the old backpacking tent.

Last spring break we actually "camped" in a yurt on Oregon coast and did some killer hikes. But the week ended in a torrent of hail and some of our fellow campers suffered collapsing tents and flooded sites.
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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01/05/2019 08:56 PM
Hi Ben
If you are considering this, signing up for NEWSLETTER on the website gets you an extra 10percent discount with advance registration on Jan 12.

Most likely my friend that I rode Haute Route and Mauna Kea with will join in. He will probably want to race at the sharp end of affairs though cause that's who he is. Kea was only 2nd time in 25 years that I had the better of him. Altitude sickness this time while a bout of flu was first time.
79pmooney

Posts:2293

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03/04/2019 11:32 AM
OC, I was starting to wonder what I've got myself into. I haven't been riding enough - weather, house projects and enthusiasm - and getting home hammered from rides that shouldn't. Got humbled on an organized ride 8 days ago and didn't get back on the bike until yesterday.

Yesterday was cold and very windy. Classic Portland "gorgeous" day. Absolutely clear skies with the wind howling out of the Gorge. My enthusiasm was zero. So I decided to keep it simple, stay close to home and just do some West Hills climbs. Very close to home is Council Crest, 1073' so I headed there first. Then down to the west edge of the city and back up to Pittock Mansion and then to the top of Barnes road, 1045'. Never went hard. 28-25 (or 23 - I have to count).

Not much of a ride, but I got reminded - I love to climb! On the way up to Council Crest, I passed a woman and said as I did "Don't mind me. I'm just an old mountain goat." And the fire is burning again. I don't have to do the long miles. I don't have to battle the wind. Serious uphill starts 3 miles from home and once I am into those hills, I never have to see flat again.

I think my geared TiCycles is going to see a lot of riding. The West Hills is not fix gear country unless - you are really hardcore AND plan you rides (and head space and knees) carefully. But triples for completely unplanned rides where everything is vertical,; well, they rule! (and wow! are those gears - both choices and shifitng - nice! I know you'll laugh. 9-speed, DT and a heavy Mirage RD but the shifting is like silk. Love that Mirage. Absolutely flawless shifting and over Campy cogs, absolutely positive. Zero "hunting". And as much as I like to dislike Shimano, the D-A trip;e fromt and 105 cranks are just as good. SunTour top mounted DTs, for this guy, are as good as it gets. (I learned recently that they are probably Superbe. And yes, they are superb. Not the auto-correcting SunTours, just the best non-ratchetng DTs I ever used with superior ergonamics.

4 weeks from last Sat is the RondePDX; the crazy 50 miles and 7000+' in those hills. I did about 2000' yesterday. I can do this. Won't be a front runner, but that's OK.

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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03/04/2019 02:36 PM
Its a long way to mid-June Ben.

February has been cold here and all the north facing downhills out of town still have snow on them. I have yet to commute to work. Did get a ride a week in last month, all around the 100 km mark but mostly flat.

This weekend I got two rides in, both with just over 3000 ft of climbing. Started out crap but improved quickly. Time to start building but the big push forward won't come until after spring break.
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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05/30/2019 01:51 PM
Alright, bringing this old thread to live so we don't continuously run interference with CK's DK200 thread.

Ben - I trust you got the email with initial ride details as well. Going through the start list - now I know your last name (haha).

"The entire 5 days consists of roughly 70% good to great gravel surfaces, 20% average surfaces, and 10% wild and crazy surfaces. Wild and crazy may be soft sand, loose dirt, rocks, roots and other fun stuff"".

I caved and got a VIP tent service. You only live once. Figured I could better use the morning time resting and stretching instead of breaking up camp. The biggest disappointment is reading first night will be a dry one. Camping at high school so no alcohol. Only in America LOL. For the other evenings there will be Deschute brews and whiskey.

BTW - we will be on the Sisters Creekside campground (in town) on evening prior and after the event. Site 19 if you're looking for us. Vanagon with BC plates; should be easy to locate. If my friend's vanagon makes it. It has developed new issues.

If we don't see you prior, my friend is a tall dude and will likely be sporting his Glotman-Simpson yellow/black kit (mind you, it looks like there are two others from his club as well). I'll be in the Fuggitivi kit (look for Steel & Oak, Caps bicycle shop sponsor logos on back) which comes in black, pink and, blue/purple. Not sure which version I'll wear first.
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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06/02/2019 07:00 PM
In a bit of a training hiatus. Last week saw me ride five 47 km days for bike to work week but no big rides.

This weekend spent 11hrs trimming hedges and clean up. My body is not liking me too much right now.

This week another week of just commuting then a weekend of solo parenting. Hopefully final two big training rides on Monday and Tuesday after that.
79pmooney

Posts:2293

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06/03/2019 05:11 PM
I went for a HR check ride yesterday, an easy ride around Hagg Lake. A near flat ride out and back, then a hilly 8 mile loop at the far point. Kept my HR between 124 and 138, observing how I felt. (Now my HR went up to ~145 on the hills and higher out of the saddle though I cannot see it then.) Encouraging. Felt really easy and I was home in around 5 1/2 hours including stops, one at a store where I consumed a Coke, chips and cookies.

Then things got odd. I went to a store. Just before I walked in, my right foot and ankle went just floppy. Mo motor control. I walked in holding on to the doors, then using a display as a handrail. Within 3 minutes, l was back to normal. I've never seen anything like that.

In my concentration to get ready for this crazy 5 days of gravel, I've been focusing more on riding and less on upper body work. Hadn't lifted for a few weeks. Over the past week I've been having neck and shoulder pain sleeping; quite obviously slight muscle pulls from poor pillow placement, loss of strength and poor flexibility, So Saturday I did a quick easy lift. Easy upper body stretches yesterday on awakening. Slightly longer stretches this morning. Had breakfast at my computer, then got up to start my day.

Getting up a sharp pain went though my left side along my ribs. Is that pulled muscles or heart issues? As I wondered that, I remembered last evening's leg issue. A little fear. Felt flushed and a little faint. If I go to ER, it's an unknown amount of money I cannot afford. (New to Medicare so it's a whole new ballgame.) If I don't, well I've worked trauma intervention. I know what death looks like. This death is totally preventable. Am I willing to risk being that stupid?

So I asked my housemate/renter to take me to ER. Three hours later, they had EKG'd me, chest X-rays, vitals, many interviews and two rounds of bloodwork. Cleared. I'm home now feeling just fine. (Learned I was cleared by that bloodwork. In addition to looking at all the usual stuff, they looked for a fancy named particle in my blood that would be dead heart tissue. A heart attack is part of the heart muscle being deprived of oxygen. That tissue dies. Within the next three hours, some of the dead tissue will have entered the bloodstream. Those particles are a very sure marker that heart tissue has died. I passed with flying colors. Now let's see what this cost me and Medicare.

Interesting start to my week. You know, I am slowly coming to the realization that there are great blessings to boredom!

Ben
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3013

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06/03/2019 05:22 PM
You made the right choice Ben....glad you checked out OK!!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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06/03/2019 05:48 PM
Glad you checked out with flying colors Ben. Hopefully that bill won't be too steep; Here in Canada all that work would have been done "free" (I am sure we are paying for it one way or another but no bills).

Last checkup I did was 2015 for Haute Route Alps; mandatory medical certificate, my doc an old Russian lady made me go through a hole battery of tests before I got her signature and clearance.

Stretching is your friend. I need to do lots of it at moment. Had a cough while riding bike this morning which led to a minor back spasm. Holding that pole trimmer for hours while balancing on a ladder will do that for you. Happy to be done with that for a year.
79pmooney

Posts:2293

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06/03/2019 06:57 PM
I still have no idea what that foot issue was about. I mentioned it from the outset at ER but their focus was on the heart stuff and the doc wasn't concerned at all that the two were related. Maybe it was just a temporary body dysfunction, like my Prius sometimes drifting into neutral and I cannot get it back into drive. (Some operator error there. It only happens when my hand is on the stick and I am in drive.) Maybe my body saying "pay attention", kinda like Jessica J that day my fork cracked and I could not get the chain to behave on the tiny downhill cog. If both of these things (my foot, the chest pain) hadn't happened a few hours apart, I wouldn't have taken action. If my chain ran clean that day I would have dived into my favorite steep downhill tight corner at 35+ and hit the brakes hard.

Stretching - I partially tore both Achilles several years ago. October. January, I went to the annual Cycle Oregon ride unveiling. The associated partners all have booths or more. Megan Mosely PT, Bodywise was there. Went over to say hi. She asked me how I was and I mentioned my Achilles', not thinking anything more that just being honest. She hands me a card for a free visit and says "I can something about that!" She did. Lifechanging. My Achilles', my shorter right leg (of which I never had a clue, my posture. Now every morning I grind my coffee by hand in a fine Japanese grinder, stretching both Achilles and both hamstrings as I count out the 420 revs. My knees olvce it and I rarely have to stretch pre- or mid-ride.

Lastly - some ER advice. Want quick service? Either walk in with a bleeding head or mention your heart. (Heads bleed profusely and they like clean carpets. I hit my chin one crash and rode the 5 blocks to the nearby hospital. They were on me like flies to a carcass! To put in 3 stitches. Broken arms don't work. Long waits unless they are idle.)

Ben
Dale

Posts:1248

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06/04/2019 08:05 PM
Dang, man... hope it's just some little quirk and it's over with.
longslowdistance

Posts:2006

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06/05/2019 05:42 PM
3 minutes is pretty short for a TIA, but it's a thought.
79pmooney

Posts:2293

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06/11/2019 09:36 PM
Did my second block of training since June started and things are coming around. (And that GPS is a good training tool! Even with no bells and whistles. Just speed, average speed and mileage go a long ways. (Average speed on the fix gear is just "how hard are you working?") Rode 102 miles Sunday (geared), 10 miles in-town and later back Monday. Wow! was that hard! And it hurt. Today 45 fixed, fairly early to beat the worst of the heat. (Hit 95 and dry. 85 when I got home.) I;ll do that same 10 in and back tomorrow at the hottest hours of the day. Thursday should be cooler. Maybe another 45 fixed?

So form is coming around. Good sustained speeds - but - this work hits me harder than it ever used to! Yesterday was crazy. I took a nap this afternoon. Felt so good to lie down. I keep telling myself that HR monitor is going to be my friend and that I need to treat it as such. Listen to it with respect; that what I am doing now is so I can "enjoy" the ride next week, that 134-145 is a zone I should NOT hang out in!

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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06/11/2019 10:23 PM
I did 110 kms yesterday with 2500 m elevation (double Seymour)

Today I rode 135kms with close to 3000m elevation. Would have hit 3000 if it wasn't for frayed derailleur cable on final climb causing lost gearing so I went straight to shop to have it fixed. Better today than next week. Hot as hell today had to cut out one climb. Also crap recovery from the double Seymour ride. Next week will be a battle to finish five days. Remind me not to sign up for multi day events.

Then again the two rides combined where close to half the distance and over half the elevation of the 5 days. We'll see. Rest for remaining days to maximize freshness at start. Will see you there.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3013

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06/12/2019 07:16 AM
Some solid day there, OC....you’ll be ready to go!

Looking forward to the reports from both you and Ben!!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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06/15/2019 10:15 AM
Weather for next week looks near perfect but lot of work needed on course. Update from organization...

We have been hard at work this past week getting courses cleared and cleaned for the inaugural Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder. Huge March snow storms have left a lot of snow up high late this year. Check out the work we are doing on the Oregon Military Wagon Road that crosses over the top of the Range. Some drifts were still 5 and 6 feet deep! We plowed nearly 4 miles of road in the past three days to gain access from Oakridge to Gilchrist on Stage 3. It is now ready to race!
longslowdistance

Posts:2006

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06/16/2019 07:55 PM
Kinda makes one think about tire choices. F'in epic!
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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06/16/2019 08:08 PM
It's not like I had any tire choice to begin with...size wise that is.

Ben - there was a note on FB that stage 5 may have to be rerouted if they can't clear the snow. Presumably in Mt Bachelor area. They have an alternative lined up but no details. From memory when I was there I'd assume they'd have to stay more east and lower which is still pretty darn scenic.
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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06/20/2019 08:44 PM
Quick status update. Have had several meet and greets with Ben. Survived the first two epic stages. Including 20 k of sand bunker hell aka a mid 1800s wagon trail on first stage and today with a 30 km climb and bone chilling drizzle for breakfast. Tomorrow is the real epic day with more wagon trail hell a 40 km climb and several others.

Day 1 w photos Check out my activity on Strava: https://strava.app.link/qzB0Zn8JGX

Day 2 Check out my activity on Strava: https://strava.app.link/ydXsv6bKGX
longslowdistance

Posts:2006

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06/20/2019 09:17 PM
Wow, Day 2 began with an HC climb. Not on pavement. Hello!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3013

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06/20/2019 09:22 PM
Man, that is some hellacious elevation gain between 2 days...looks awesome!

Following you now in Strava...looking forward to the next post!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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06/20/2019 09:48 PM
Tomorrow morning is decision time. Another doable day like last two which means downgrading to adventurer or go for broke on the hellish explorer route and risk a DNF. The explorer route tomorrow is way harder than last two days. Possibly a 9 to 10 hour day.
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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06/21/2019 06:22 PM
Survived day 3 after joining the mass exodus to the "easier" adventure route. Still a big day in saddle.

Check out my activity on Strava: https://strava.app.link/0XHhWOJeIX
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3013

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06/21/2019 10:16 PM
Wow...outstanding.

And that ice cream was well earned!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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06/22/2019 08:47 AM
The wagon trail turned out to be a ton of fun per pics. But very sadistic sand trail at end. Sapping.
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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06/22/2019 07:05 PM
Today I contemplated my future as a roadie. Butt is raw my back is a mess from rattling on washboard and getting side swiped in loose sand but at least I don't feel like I need to pull a roadside dumoulin anymore and each time we hit a hill things still feel descent.

Check out my activity on Strava: https://strava.app.link/wy0QuoLWJX
79pmooney

Posts:2293

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06/22/2019 09:40 PM
I'm back home with my "Died of Dysentery" T-shirt. Finished the first stage Explorer route but I crashed hard on the descent and rang my bell. Continued, adrenyiized enough that I couldn't/didn't assess injuries. Woke up next morning feeling worse but in riding condition. Felt OK riding to the start. First mile or two were fine. Then we hit an easy, short descent with some stones at the bottom. RIght away I could feel my brain rattling. Completely obvious I had zero busininess riding the rough; I kept thinking that I had no business risking that there might be another such downhill and rough before the next rest. (Turns out there wasn't and I passed up the next 18 miles where this mountain goat excells but it saved me from freezing to the bone also.) So I stopped.

Waited maybe a couple of minutes. A black SUV appeared and I flagged him down with a thumbs down. The EMT. I rode with him the next hour and a half to the first Aid station. HIs specialty is EMTing in the wilderness; especially places where the usual medal supplies arent and he has to improvise. Felt to me the riders were in good hands. (Now they do havgfe to plan there spills to be near one as the ride had only four.) Two rides later I came into camp with the sweeper; my bike beat me to camp. Had the option to take the "Bus of Shame" to the starting point but elected to instead to take the "Lonely Bus" with 5 others to the next campsite. By then I knew I wasn't riding any more and just going home, but I wanted say proper good byes. Missed OC. Saw him from the bus as we were leaving.

My impressions? That first stage was hard! That sand! Now I know why so many horses died. I can easily imagine the settlers making less than three miles on a day. That means being up there long enough to easily see bad weather.

And the event as a whole? Wow! For a first time, a lot done very well and a few serious hitches. No hot showers after that ride? No real food at the aid station that was announced as lunch. Yes I was very late - but that also means I spent a long time since my last significant food. I alway could fill my bottles, but heard stories of the aid stations running out. The organizers listened and they had far more water at the stations the next day. It turned out to be cold. Murphy's Law. Except for the aid station glitches, the food was good, appropiate and plentiful. In camp, there was always food to eat. No mioney required. Appropriate food that a racer would eat. Now the coffee fell well short. They had a private vender with a VW bus who was overwhelmed in the mornings when it mattered.

The vibe and focus of the event were super. Between that and a course that is close to epic (and will become so if the weather ever turns) and in a place that is spectacular/magic, the seeds are solidly planted for this to become a 5-star event. I predict they will sell out next year to the 500 rider cap I heard will be employed. Easily. Word is going to spread fast.

So, my impressions as a rider. That first stage was hard!! HR went out the window from the outset. I started getting used to the idea that 155 was the norm; that I wasnt' getting to camp at lower. The sand was unbeliveably hard. One stretch I did manage to get through, I looked down - 165! I never went that hard again and bogged down many times. Fell several times. OC watched at least one. Walked a lot of the sand. On the 2nd patch of wagon sand I parked the front wheel on a nearly buried immovable pumice rock and went over the bars. Landed a lot harder but it was still sand. My last fall was when the quite good, fast tire track I was in suddenly dropped maybe a foot to half again that and became a stream bed. I shut down all I could but was still moving along. Needed just an inch or two more than the rut would give me. Bike stopped suddenly and I went over the bars again, this time onto hard surface, hititing helmet, shoulder and ribs (though the last two I didin't feel at the time beyond general hurt. Good thing was that I didn't fall far since the floor had been effectively raised so much.

This course is both out of my league and one I will never consider again for TBI reasons. In fact, I've had the wakeup call that gravel probably should not be in my future unless I am willing to make the jump to full suspension. But I may well consider going again to volunteer or work there. This felt like the start of something that is going to take off; that I got to be blessed with being there at the start. Because I didn't ride, I spent a lot of time with the organizers and got to see them work and show their hearts. I wasn't there at the start of either Leadville or Cycle Oregon, but I sense the same passion and I think it is going to blossom as they did, onlly its unique calling.

So, again, Wow! I don't regret going at all even though I have paid and will pay rather heavily. Got an expensive luxurious hotel last night gambling on a comfortable bed. I have only paid more in major cities but I got blessed with a very good, very soft bed and 4 fine huge pillows to arrange around my injuries. (And a glorious, hot shower!) And as to the future? Well I have probably knocked off a few more of those peskey brain cells and get to live the next 90 days with a slghtly cracked rib. No, not formerly diagnosed. I'll skip two more sets of chest Xrays, the deductible and the words "Well there isn't much we can do. Ribs heal up well on their own. It's just going to be painful for the coming weeks." As rib pains go, this is just a 2. Coughng and sneezing aren't a lot of fun and can take it to a 3. I'll just suck it up. (And hey, I paid for that "Died of Dysentary" T-shirt and will wear it with pride!)

Ben

Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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06/22/2019 10:35 PM
Good write up Ben. You made the right call. Except for the couple sand crashes on day 1 I haven't had any others. Been taking things appropriately easy. We finally had hot showers today. I saw you in truck on way out but was in too much of a mental haze to wave goodbye. I was probably a bit short on words the other encounters as well except day 1 but such has been the event. It takes a good bite out of you. Finally drank three beers this evening and feel almost civilized.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3013

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06/23/2019 06:53 AM
Bummer you had to pull out Ben, but as OC notes, you made the right call.

Gotta admit the idea of this ride is growing on me...still not much of a camping person, and no hot showers has ZERO appeal, but the adventure sounds (and looks) epic.

Looking forward to OC’s Final reports.

Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
79pmooney

Posts:2293

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06/23/2019 02:43 PM
CK, you just gave me an idea. How to fix the shower issue and make everybody happy. Our showers were in the locker rooms of small rural schools. Schools that have been hit hard by the dying timber industry and other factors. It's summer, not football season. The schools have offered their premises (and the kids on the teams) in return for needed hard cash from the race but this was the first time. Probably nobody at the schools ever thought about how badly hot water is needed and just how much 2-500 riders having just pulled a personal epic need.

I would love to help this event. Now suppose I go to our local George Morlan Plumbing (that I have done considerable business with as a home owner), explain this event and challenge and ask them what plumbing outfit they would recommend in the Bend/Sisters area and a name to contact. Meanwhile contact the race organizer (who I spent a good deal of time with), tell him I"d like to be the guy to get the showers right and have him contact me as soon as the route is determined so I can go to those schools, talk to their maintenance crew (person) and work to upgrade their facility, paid for by the race as goodwill for the school and community, much like Cycle Oregon has been doing since its inception.

School wins, the kids on the teams (who for I'm guessing small change are busting their butts doing the grunt work to make the camps happen) love it. Now more enthusiasm from those kids, an even better feeling event and the race promoter gets to add this to the good things they are doing. One fewer issue the very small crew that runs the race has to deal with. Yes, they would have to cut the checks. They cannot charge a lot more in signup fees and capping the field puts a ceiling on money coming in from the riders who benefit from the showers, but as I said above, this is going to take off. Sponsor money is going to roll in.

And it opens doors. Want to change the route in future years. It's a small world. Every AD in the area will know that bringing OTGG means better showers. They will lean hard on their school admins.

Now there is a far easier way to have good showers - contract a shower truck. Cycle Oregon contracts three. This week there should be a surplus of shower trucks since fire season has not started and CO's 3 are free. Easy, except juggling the location issues with a full semi can be an issue and realities often mean a longer walk than riders like.) But goodwill-wise, I see the the shower upgrade as having lots of upside. And gym showers are always close to the football field where we camp.

Those kids - it was pretty obvious that many were new to the concept of being on a work team and actually working hard. I see this event continuing and the kids learning to man up and work hard; with both the rewards of bringing in improvements to their facilities and achieving better esteem in the eyes of their coaches and getting to participate in the competition to do more than the other kids. (Very visible at Cycle Oregon; it's fun to watch.)

What am I getting myself into? Am I nuts?

Ben
Dale

Posts:1248

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06/23/2019 08:30 PM
"What am I getting myself into? Am I nuts?"

Not sure about the former but the latter we're all pretty much guilty of. The proof is the nutty events we jump into with foolish abandon.
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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06/23/2019 11:33 PM
Certainly this event will be back bigger and better. Some really top end racing going on at sharp end. Strickland said it was one of hardest events he has ever done. I think biggest challenge for this event is weather. If the entire week is cold and rain like stage 2 which is certainly not inconceivable in mountains then things will be logistically incredably challenging. The organization was already caught off guard a bit with dry spring making trails a lot harder to ride than usual with lots of loose surfaces. So easy stage was in fact quite hard.

At dull end of race I was on a good day. Excellent speed and power on climbs. Unfortunately it all came to naught some 10k from finish with a silly spill in loose sand. Hit my side hard after which my back was useless and power gone. I also heard a bad creak from my bike. Carried on 5k later the creaking became regular. Thought it was headset checked it out seemed fine and didn't check further. Post finish there was an additional 25k high speed descend. It was only in town while loading bike in van that I noticed the frame was cracked. Must have ridden like that for 30-35kms. The end of the Diverge. But we made it and finished inaugural OTGG.


Check out my activity on Strava: https://strava.app.link/TMtD6uCTLX

79pmooney

Posts:2293

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06/24/2019 12:51 AM
Congrats, OC! Hope your back isn't a biggie. It is better to break your bike than you.

That last post-finish descent, did you descend from McKenzie Pass on the pavement? That is a heck of a descent. I did it 7 years ago on my brand new ti fix gear on a 42-13. A blast. First time I'd ever gotten to ride a gear that big fixed.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3013

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06/24/2019 08:53 AM
I saw the pic last night of your Diverge, OC....wow! Likely won'r get covered under warranty since it was in a crash, but you should try and get a replacement anyway.

Congrats on a great week of riding!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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06/24/2019 10:14 AM
Thanks gents.

Back is OK today. It'll be fine.

Yes Mackenzie pass Ben. Would have enjoyed it more on a non broken bike. As it stands I was a little nervous with all the racket it was making.

Really enjoyed the last flat section with headwind into town. Full power down. Still lots left in tank. This was a good week to make me realize I am a roadie.
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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06/25/2019 06:50 PM
Final results are in. Tried hard but missed lanterne rouge by two spots and about three hours of ride time, not counting the 17 abandons. Almost 29 hours on a bike in 5 days compared to 16.5 hrs for race winner and over 37 hrs for the last place in adventurer category. Mind you, the latter was a tandem; those two were rad on the sand surfing but suffered a bit of power on hills. Still a smiley happy couple after those 37 hrs. Bunch of crazies.

https://www.oregontrailgravelgrinder.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/OTGG-Explorer-Men.pdf
longslowdistance

Posts:2006

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06/25/2019 09:49 PM
Wow
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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06/25/2019 10:01 PM
Actually the 29hrs was the race time. With added ride time to start and from finish to camp every day it was 34hrs and 40 mins in five days per strava. That would put tandem couple at some 42hrs holy hell.
longslowdistance

Posts:2006

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06/25/2019 10:08 PM
Assuming they are more than just a riding team, Wow again.
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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06/25/2019 10:13 PM
Definitely husband and wife.
longslowdistance

Posts:2006

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06/25/2019 11:31 PM
And kudos to OC, for playing in the same sandbox (get it?) as some serious big boys. That should and I hope does offer some serious satisfaction. You rode in the A team pool, and of course you are not 28 and you have a job etc. Better to be the worst of the best rather than the best of the worst. I (we) are impressed. Keep hammering youngster!
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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06/26/2019 08:07 AM
Thanks LSD. My friend Uli who's a year older than me properly got to rub shoulders with big boys and girls on final two stages after taking it easier on first stages. He was in front group last two days until close to end.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3013

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06/26/2019 09:14 AM
There was a husband / wife tandem team at Kanza....definitely bad ass.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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07/05/2019 02:37 PM
Posted By Cosmic Kid on 06/24/2019 08:53 AM
I saw the pic last night of your Diverge, OC....wow! Likely won'r get covered under warranty since it was in a crash, but you should try and get a replacement anyway.


Yo - just got a call from Caps my LBS. Not only did Specialized warrantee the frame; I am getting a full carbon frame in return for my old aluminum one! The frame already arrived in shop.

CK - this means DK200 in 2021 is on. I've already decided this will become a road trip (rather than flying). Now we need to just keep this forum alive long enough for planning purposes.
79pmooney

Posts:2293

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07/05/2019 05:45 PM
I've started training for Cycle Oregon. Fixed again. Crater Lake again. This time the North (much harder) entrance - to be done intentionally unlike 7 years ago when I rode down by mistake and had to do the unplanned ride back up.

I'm 7 years older. Even in super shape, this is going to be HARD! But unlike 2 weeks ago, well within my skill set. It's back to the every Thursday, Bald Peak Road end to end. It's a road ~12 miles long that starts 20 miles south of Portland and runs up to, then along the Chehalem ridge, going right past the summit of Bald Peak, 1600' then down to the county I live in and 200'. Total ride is 2000' elevation gain. (On a map. Not counting all the whoop-de-dos.) 42 miles total (and easy to add more).

That ride is perfect training for CO rides like this year. I can ride the loop either way for quite different climbs but both have ~1000' near continuous climbs and shorter, very hard sections. Yesterday I did the steep part in my flat ground gear to save two stops. Wow! Did it OK but the next short steep pitch took everything I had. Breathing, etc, was just fine but my legs were saying "you're kidding!".

That ride comes with two rewards. The high point is the highest point in two counties and has a great view of the adjacent county far below. Either way has great (very different) descents. Clockwise is fast - like as fast as you ever want to go if you are willing. Fixed on a 46-12 on the rock steady Mooney is fun. Lower gear and/or my quicker steering Jessica J can be nerve wracking. The other descent is much more gradual, 4 miles long and has great views. 42-13 on Jessica J is fun. Bigger means bogging down if there is a headwind.

I"m getting psyched.

Ben
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3013

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07/05/2019 05:57 PM
OC - AWESOME! Really surprised they covered it under warranty, but “huzzah” for that!!! And an upgrade to boot...outstanding!

DK 2021 is on!! Already looking forward to it!!!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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07/05/2019 09:45 PM
CK - maybe good karma from owning three Spec bikes (only one of those is mine) and being a good LBS customer.

Ben - good to hear you're back at it. Mentally I'm ready but physically not yet. Something in my left hip is getting pinched causing leg to twitch and cramp. Very unusual. And knee areas are stiff. Hope to be ready for BrewFondo next week. 90 miles 9 breweries. Yeah I can do this.
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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07/15/2019 04:15 PM
OTGG Exclusive Early Registration 🤠 Opens TODAY at 5pm


CK!
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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09/08/2019 04:33 PM
The Diverge 2.0 finally is in house...

The shoppe had it mostly build up but when they wanted to put in wheels they realized thru axle technology had changed. Needed new wheels.

Specced and ordered new wheels which shop build up. When they wanted to put in rear wheel they realized supplier gave them wrong size hub.

They build up wheels a second time with correct size hub. And voila.

Replacement frame is an older carbon model with zertz inserts. Thankfully not the newer dampening system that I hated on Mauna Kea rental bike.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3013

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09/08/2019 05:47 PM
Glad you are back up and running....sucks to get the run-around like that.

What had changed re: the through-axles? I get that some brands have specific axles themselves, but a 12x142 wheel should work on any 12x142 frame. Did you have one of the earlier 12x135 Specialized frames?
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:2755

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09/08/2019 06:01 PM
CK - yes. And the rear wheel on old frame was quick release. Now both are thru axle.

No runaround. Just shop guys not looking far enough ahead or checking things with crazy summer busywork.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3013

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09/09/2019 08:47 AM
Gotcha....and I didn't mean "runaround" in a negative way. Just that as soon as you think you have one thing resolved, another pops up, etc.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!


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