We met Miles again just out of Hood River & organized the afternoon’s ride. A fall in shallow water while kiting the day before had left Miles with a badly sprained ring finger & a extremely swollen hand – he wasn’t so keen on riding downhill, but still wanted to get out for a ride. We chose to go up the Dog River Trail (so looking forward to watching the final series of Corner Gas when I have time next month) & I would ride Surveyor’s Ridge while Miles rode the boring road back down. Dog River proved to be as much as we expected – really nice singletrack through beautiful forest that was one big climb. It was pretty tiring, but we kept a good pace & I think I only had to walk briefly twice; all up we climbed almost 700m in ten kilometres (about 2000 ft in six miles). Steady going & overcast conditions were in our favour, although the little drizzle was nice it did make things humid.
Miles left me at the top & I continued to complete the loop by riding Surveyor’s Ridge. As the name suggests, it was typical ridge riding – up & down & up & down, never really getting too far away from 1300m. This ride is reputed for giving occasional windows of views towards Mt Hood. But that cooling cloud was also covering the mountain, so I never really saw that much except a little of the lower snow. I turned off to ride down to the Oak Ridge trailhead. What fun it was - really fast & smooth. About halfway down I was starting to think that it was almost as good as Downieville & then it turned in to a lot of switchbacks. Out of the pine forest these got more severe & I was getting a bit sick of constantly braking & turning. I’ve since been told that it’s better not to turn down to Oak Ridge, but instead continue along the ridge trail to the big powerlines & come down from there. Never mind, it was a great 35 km ride & excellent to put a few hours together on the bike.
|Along the ridge there would suddenly be random large piles of rocks amongst the trees|
|The many flowers (blue, pink & white as well) were prettier than the obscured Mt Hood|