March 23-29 Entry

My main goal this past week was to try and get back on track with my normal riding schedule.  Anytime I have a big “official” event I try and take 2 days of rest leading up to it.  With the Double two weeks ago and vacation last week it was time for some normalcy.

I hadn’t ridden the C3 since Joshua Tree and I was jonesing for a good fast road ride.  So, Tuesday, that’s what I did.  With a loop that included Jacksonville, up past Gold Hill, back over Blackwell and out to White City before heading through town and home, I managed about 50 miles and was pretty happy with a 19 mph average.  Looks like a little extra rest the prior week paid off!

Wednesday, my fellow Unreal Cycles shop rider, Mark, and I decided to go ride with our old friends in Jacksonville on their weekly night ride.  With 18 people in the group, things started out a little slow, but it wasn’t long before the group split into two and seven or eight of us were on our way to the top of John’s Peak.  That is until we got sidetracked on a fresh trail and decided some exploration was in order.  As it was getting dark we headed back down the hill after reaching the end of the new single track.  But, not before hitting the always fun Granite Trail.  Thanks Mark, Eugene, Andrew, Doug, and Aaron H. (cool name, dude!) for pushing me harder up the hill.  Friendly competition is always welcome!

Thursday’s ride.  Well, so much for getting back on schedule.  Thursday, this happened.

With another two days of rest behind me, Saturday, I decided to ride a route that I had put on hold the previous week due to rain.  The Conde Creek loop.

Rolling out at 6:45, I was feeling good.  And, with a few short side roads thrown in for extra mileage, I rolled past Stone Ridge Golf Course about 15 miles in to the ride.

Another 15 miles or so and I was in the tiny historic community of Lake Creek.  For the record, the lady that runs the General Store there on the weekends is very friendly to cyclists.  She has let me in to use the rest room and get water and a Snickers (awesome) before the store was officially open on a couple occasions.  With so many people seemingly trying to take me out while I’m riding on the road, it’s nice to know someone out there is friendly!

About 5 miles past Lake Creek is the turn off to the Lake Creek Covered Bridge.  It’s only a short half mile gravel ride to the bridge that was built in the 1800’s.  I recommend checking it out sometime.  There’s also a small picnic area there if you are so inclined.  On my way back to the main road I scared a coyote that was snooping around the local farm’s barn.  I couldn’t snap a photo before it ran away but, still, kinda cool.

5 more miles worth of short rollers put me at the turn off to Conde Creek Road (at least I think it’s called that).  From here, one immediately starts a nice mellow climb.  Mellow as in 2000′ of gain over 4 1/2 miles before any real flat spot to recover.  Another 6 1/2 miles later, your tired, ragged body gets unceremoniously dumped out on Dead Indian Memorial Road just below the Summit.

It was at that point I had to make the decision whether or not to turn right to drop down Dead Indian into Ashland and on home for about a 75 mile ride or stretch it out a little.  

So, I turned left and headed to Howard Prairie and around past Hyatt Lake, ending up at the Greensprings Lodge.  While I’m not the the best descender, I really love the descent from Greensprings Summit down to Emigrant Lake.  This time, I had to pass a slow car, safely of course (no, REALLY!), and from that point on I had no cars breathing down my neck all the way down.

Once at the bottom, it was just a matter of winding through a couple orchards in Talent to make sure I hit the 100 mile mark.  My legs felt exceptionally good on all the climbs and overall it was another great day of riding!

What are you supposed to do after a big ride?  Next day is recovery ride day.  At least that’s what all the fast guys that race tell me.  Good thing I just like to ride rather than worry about winning races all the time or else I would have missed out on a fun Sunday morning of mountain biking on John’s Peak!

I got a late start as I was supposed to ride at 9 am with a friend who shall remain anonymous.  Unfortunately, his “birthday party” ran a little later than expected the night before so I was flying solo again.

After Twin Peaks, Atsahu, Jackson Ridge, Lower Canyon Vista, Ol Miner’s, and Boulder with a little bit of Britt and Beekman thrown in I had 3000 feet of climbing in just over 17 miles.  With 6500 feet the day before, I was ready to bury my poor legs as they were pretty much dead.

But, that seemed a bit hasty and I would miss out on a really fun ride next Saturday.  The Rogue Flahute is coming!!  110+ miles with a whole lotta gravel roads thrown in, all ridden on a road bike.  I missed it last year due to illness so I’m pretty excited for it.

Last week, on Facebook,  I mentioned that I wanted to do a big ride soon.  I had only ridden about 40 miles total while on vacation (not counting the double century).  A prominent local cyclist, apparently thinking I was being sarcastic, pretty much told me to shut up and ride.  Ok, I added the “and ride” part.

But, that sounds like a good idea.  I think I’ll do that.

Aaron

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