McKenzie Trail and the Borrowed Wheel

I did not have children so that on Father’s Day, I could have my offspring do my bidding. But, because of the fact that I am a father, I do get some privilege each year in June. This year I thought it would be a great present to ride the McKenzie River Trail on my bike with my son. If you know Austin, you know it didn’t take much to convince him to go.
As a side note, my bike was almost put out of commission after my Ashland ride on Saturday but with some help from Peter at Unreal Cycles, and the really sweet carbon wheel he loaned me (only a few scratches on it Peter); I was able to head out on Sunday morning as planned.
I could describe the ride as amazing, breathtaking, beautiful, or fabulous, but as a mountain biker, I m pretty certain that you have to use the term “Epic” in place of all those or you might be called a sissy. Epic definitely fits for an abbreviated description of what you experience on this trail.

I believe the reason this trail is so Epic is the combination of nature’s finest landscape and a well established trail that makes it possible to ride the entirety of it on your bike.  You wind up and down (there is some peddling involved) through old growth forests, fields of ferns, through some technical lava rock sections, on the edge of cliffs, and all the while doing a  it near lakes, rivers and waterfalls.

Some highlights along the trail are Clear Lake, Tomolich Pool and Sahalie Falls.  Take the time to stop and appreciate the beauty.  The water in the Lake and Pool are so clear that you can see 100 feet down.  Simply amazing… I mean Epic.

The first recorded explorations of the McKenzie River area was in the spring of 1812. Donald Mackenzie (or McKenzie), organized an exploring party that traveled up the Willamette River. The party named McKenzie’s Fork of the Willamette River in his honor.  If Donald only had a sweet all mountain bike to ride! 

One definition of the name Mackenzie is “fire born”.  The name fits this trail perfectly due to the many influences that volcanic activity have had in shaping the landscape.  From the way the river bubbles up at Tomolich Pool through the Volcanic rock, to the many technical lava rock sections along the trail, the fire born influence is ever present. 

When you ride the McKenzie, take a lunch, plenty of water and get some rest.  You will need it.  Austin, Jenny and I enjoyed a 6 hour adventure and at the end of the trail ate berries and cantaloupe to celebrate.  I mean we drank beer and cheered the successful journey without any broken bones. 

I also cheered Peter from Unreal Cycles for letting me borrow a wheel so that I could ride.  I really appreciate your constant help when we need it.  You are a rock star.

(the bike and the borrowed wheel)

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