Climbs, Crash and Crags

It seems almost everyone I follow, locally, on Strava and/or Facebook has been talking about MOTR the last few weeks.  Mountain Of The Rogue.  It’s a trail system recently built just outside of the town of Rogue River.
I figured it was high time I go check it out for myself.  I met my good friend Robert there on Monday evening.  We have been trying to find time in our schedules to get in a ride together for quite a while and we finally made it happen.
The trail starts out climbing right away and aside from a couple short flat sections, it never stops going up until you reach the top of the “Mountain”. 
Until you are just below the peak, you are riding in a nearly treeless, super-exposed, poison oak wonderland.  Unless there is a plan to constantly rip the PO out all Summer, I suggest hitting the trail soon.  A lot of the Leaves Of Three is avoidable, but as some grows right in the middle of the trail, it won’t be long before it’s less fun and more itchy.

 

Once you hit the top it’s all downhill from there.  Literally.  The descent starts out with some rocky, technical stuff.  As a 70% roadie, 30% mountain biker, and 100% sissy, I chose to hop off the bike in 3 or 4 places to avoid injury (or more likely death for me).

But after the rocky bit, it’s a smooth fast course with lots of awesome berms to fly around on the switchbacks (and there’s a lot of them).

 

 

Aside from the PO, I really, really like the whole trail.  In fact, I liked it so much Monday that I went back by myself on Wednesday. 

It was still as much fun.  At least until the very end where my face made the acquaintance of a not so friendly log that was lying on the ground minding its own business.  Thanks to my riding glasses all I ended up with was a really black eye, a 4 inch scrape on my neck and a skinned up knee.  That’s all.  Ok.  It sucked.  But, it didn’t hurt too much.

So, I drove straight out to Jacksonville to join the group ride happening there.  Unfortunately, my sissiness kicked in after 5 or 6 miles and I called it a night.

Deciding it might be a good idea to try and recover, I took the next two days off in preparation for the Castle Crags Century on Saturday.
Having ridden this supported ride the last two years, I was really looking forward to it.  I picked Shawn up and we headed down to Mt Shasta.

 

One of our buddies was getting ready to roll out at the same time we were, so we took off together.  5 miles in, I had a flat.  I hate flats.  I hate making the people I’m riding with wait for me more than I hate flats.  Whatever.  I swapped it for a new tube and we were back on the road and headed up the 8 or 9 mile climb to Mumbo Summit.
As we were just about to reach the top, PSSSST.  Another flat.  This required a closer examination.  It seems when I was putting a brand new tire on the rim the night before, I had moved the wheel tape just enough to expose one of the holes where the spokes attach to the rims (I’m not a mechanic.  Don’t ask me the names of parts.  I will be wrong).  A couple of pieces of duct tape borrowed from a truck driving  MacGyver and we were once again rolling.

Unfortunately, not long after we started the long, steep descent back to the Sacramento River, Destry had a mechanical issue and had to bail from the ride.

Shawn and I pushed on through the heat, miles, hills, and wind all the while taking in the views of the surrounding area.  It was a good day in the saddle and another successful Century in the books.

Sunday, after dedicating 7 hours of my day to my domicile relocation effort, I squeezed in a short Roxy ride to finish off the week.
Aside from the noticeable changes to my face (painful, but an improvement!), the week was fun and challenging. 
I can’t wait for the next one!
Aaron

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